Tuesday, August 27, 2013

8.27.13 Backlash Against Feminism/Appropriation of Feminism: Two Sides-Same Coin

Sometimes, while I keep up with the day-to-day activism of various women and the underlying message of their personal role in the overall solidarity puzzle, I find myself curious.

My curiosity stems from questioning whether certain sects of feminism, sects that are overwhelmingly under scrutiny by radical feminism, might have actually started out as good inter-movements towards women's liberation.

Take sex-positivity for instance.  I wonder if sex-positivity actually started out as a way for women to discover their bodies sexually.  I wonder if sex-positivity was rooted in body acceptance and adoration.  Sex-positivity is supposed to be about women claiming agency and autonomy over their total bodies - and this includes their own sexuality.

However, men polluted this.  Which comes as no surprise.  The sex-positivity movement became hijacked by men who made it all about capitalizing on pornography, exploitation, and catering to their orgasms, under the guise of women's "empowerment."

Further, let's examine this whole idea of gender-non conformity.  Radical feminists (yes, those women that the QQQ, Queer Qids Qlub enjoys trashing, harassing, stalking, and threatening) actually helped bring gender non-conformity to the Western forefront during the second wave.  Pre-patriarchy, women and men didn't have bullshit gender roles.  They did what was best for survival.  They co-existed within nature.  Patriarchy on the other hand, is a highly unnatural state of being.  Whatever role they fit had nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with fostering life.

What did the post modern queer theorists do with the helpful idea of abolishing gender?  Simple! Don't abolish gender, just identify with it! Certain activities, choices, roles, forms of expression are for men and others are for women.  How is it that we are in the year 2013 and still dealing with this garbage?

Sex is reality.  Sex-based oppression of females exists.  Gender is simply the legitimization of sex-based oppression, indeed, it is a tool of further exacerbating violence against women.

See? These both began as really great concepts.  These were the sentiments (and still largely remain the sentiments) behind both of these factions.  Men took women's ideas, mindfucked them, appropriated them, repackaged them, and then responded to womens demands with a cum shot to the face.

So, I am wondering, what with sex-positivity and gender theories, whether it really benefits women's liberation to include men at the forefront of any women's movement.  Men are more than welcome to consider themselves allies to feminism (not feminists!) and can take a step back and let us women do the work.  Trust me, we can handle things perfectly fine without you.  If you need something to do, stop trying to discredit meaningful feminist discourse, stand up against misogyny and lesbophobia (this will likely mean UNsubscribing to Queer Theory), and educate your fellow men about how to meet the bare minimum requirements of human decency.

You can't begin to "help" us if you are constantly talking over us, erasing us, and appropriating our movement.  

Stop making everything about your hurt feelings and your sad boners.  

This is about women. This is a women's movement.

Deal with it!


Bev Jo said...

I agree. We have always needed separate movements from men. Occasionally coalition work for survival perhaps, but not longterm since it ends up being the women are used by the men.

I remember in the early Seventies, some of the Lesbians who helped create our movement writing about how they had given up working with both men and het women because of how oppressed they were, and how badly treated. It's never ended good for women to work with men.

My original Lesbian Feminist and Separatist community didn't need to talk about "sex positivity." It was understood that we were Lesbians and made love passionately. Many of us had gone through hell as teenagers to be able to be with our lovers. Only later as more het feminists came out joined us (who had chosen men first and realized they could get a better deal with Lesbians) and were still Lesbian-hating and female-hating on many levels, did love-making become an issue. I did workshops with lovers about equal lover relationships and Butch oppression because it was common for Butches to not be loved equally. And we got tremendous hostility for that. I still get that hostility.

The "sex positivity" as I saw it, was extremely anti-love, anti-lovemaking and passion. It was porn and sado-masochism and genderqueer politcs brought into our community from gay men and het/bisexual women sexologists. Pat Califia, JoAnn Loulan, and Susie Bright made a lot of money off Lesbians by pretending to help Lesbians about "sex." The heterosexism and Lesbian-hating in their books is clear, but they used the clever technique of ridiculing anyone who objected. Linda Strega and I reviewed Loulan's book "Lesbian Sex" in our article, "'Lesbian Sex,' Is It?" and questioned the cold focus on heterosexist sex as opposed to Lesbian love and passion. She was furious and titled her next book, "Lesbian Passion," increasingly promoting porn and sado-masochism. We said her definition of "Lesbian" meant she was not a Lesbian, and a few years later she admitted on national television that she had a boyfriend she'd been keeping secret.

Part of the problem is the usual: Money. The promoters of porn get tremendous backing from men. One look at the sado-masochistic glossy "Lesbian" porn magazine On Our Backs (which was a snide take off of the feminist newspaper, Off Our Back) makes it clear how much money was involved. The pornographers destroying our culture had the backing to get their propaganda in print. Those of us who objected had virtually no power to reach Lesbians. We can see the parallels with the trans cult and other assaults on Lesbian culture.

dokutou-mekki said...

I also agree about separate movements. Within my time as an liberal feminist or intersectional feminist, whatever you want to call it, a lot of people were in favor of separate spaces for LGBT (or QUILTBAG or queer as they call us now) or in favor of separate spaces for people of color. That seemed reasonable and so you'd think that the same people arguing for that would be in favor of female only and lesbian only spaces, but no. That's were the backlash comes in. It's one of the reasons for me hitting peak queer and trans.

We do need separate spaces because men like to hijack our shit and pretend it's feminist. I always feel bad when I see a young woman on the internet describing herself as "cis" and apologizing for it. Same goes for when important discussions about abortion rights erase women and say "uterus bearers." Identity doesn't trump biological reality. Also, my mom and my aunt are both pro-choice and then went through menopause. Yet, they do not throw a "this does not apply to me" fit when the word "woman" is used in relation to abortion and reproductive rights, even though neither of them can reproduce anymore.

I wonder about sex positivity. I live in a red state with non-existent or abstinence only sex-ed. So, I did use to support sex positivity because initially the movement was cool with lesbians. But now that movement shames us for not being sexually attracted to men and shames all women when they don't cater to male fantasies. Because empowerment.