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any radical feminists on MDC? - Page 10

post #181 of 281
Another radfem here. I was something of a liberal feminist (albeit not very sympathetic to many parts of the "sex-positive" movement) until I found out my husband was using internet pornography behind my back. When I told my parents my relationship was likely over because I would NOT tolerate sexual objectification of women, they cut me off, saying, essentially, that I was making a huge mistake because "boys will be boys" and if it bothered me I must have "self-esteem" issues. Same with several of my "feminist" friends. I started doing a lot more thinking and re-examining about relationships, male privilege, and how men are taught that they have an inherent right to access and judge women's bodies, women's experiences, and women's spaces. I got so frustrated about how discussions about the sexualization of female bodies, sex work, and heterosexual sex all revolved around discussions of "female agency" - so the choice of the male viewer/consumer, who is often objectifying the woman and not caring whether she's consenting or trafficked or whatnot, isn't even critiqued.

From there it probably took two or three months for me to become pretty radical. I'm not quite a separatist, but part of me certainly aspires to it.

I think in some respects what I was looking at re: pornography and sex work has the same root cause as what you were hearing, princesstutu, with black women being blamed for so many social ills: if it deals with women, it's a "woman's problem", and therefore is the responsibility of women...even if it's men who are causing the problem! It's the same thing with domestic violence and rape - it's not as if women are beating ourselves up or raping ourselves, but somehow they're "women's issues" and only women are addressing them. Men don't even have to acknowledge that the problems exist, let alone fix them.


Astrea, if you haven't read Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs, you definitely should put that on your list. It came out a few years ago, but it's still very timely.
post #182 of 281
Hi Tahpenes! Great points (although it seriously bites you had to go through that with your XH) and I'm totally with you. There have been a couple of assaults on women in forested/nature areas where I live and it pisses me off to no end that the response seems to be "Women: don't walk in the forest or on these trails alone" (subtext being: because if you don't it's your own fault if you're attacked, assaulted, and murdered, you stupid bimbos). WTH? I don't even know where to begin. I ranted for about an hour to my DH about how sexist and ridiculous that is when I heard the most recent story.

I make a point of walking in the forest every single day, now. That said, I can't bring myself to walk the paths that go the deepest into the woods--even though I know it's completely illogical and that statistically, I'm in far more danger every time I, say, drive my car--and that ticks me off.
post #183 of 281
It's amazing how much we have to shape our behavior as women to avoid attacks, and often don't even realize we're doing it. But most men don't seem to have a clue!

I heard an anecdote once about a high school teacher who was doing a lesson on gender for a social studies class, and she gave her students a little "quiz". One of the questions was, "You've gone to the mall, and had to park in a far corner of the parking lot. As you leave, what do you do to keep yourself safe?" The girls in the class scribbled for several minutes, and the boys were confused. They were asking things like, "Is this a bad neighborhood?" "Is there a lot of crime here?" "What do you mean 'safe'?"


Good for you, Astrea!
post #184 of 281
I touched on this in my senior thesis (sociology - on public gender based harassment) as an undergrad. I'm forgetting how to spell her name, but Hille Koskela? wrote about the phenomenon, calling it the "fear paradox" since women are conditioned to fear attacks in public spaces, when in reality they are more frequently attacked in the private sphere by men they know and often trust, while statistically men are more likely to be victimized in public by strangers. That whole blame the victim mentality about where women "shouldn't" go, when, really pisses me off. It's why I used to carry knives and such when I was much younger. Fortunately never had to use them.

BTW fwiw, I'm not really a fadical feminist, more anarcho feminist, but I'm enjoying this topic.
post #185 of 281
Oh, I wish I was radical. I was once upon a time! I am a lesbian feminist mama. At present, the most 'radical' I can claim myself to be is being a Doula and reading my boys matriarchal bedtime stories-lol-

I have always kind of had low self-esteem/body image because of my thick thighs and ghetto booty so I used to always where baggy clothes and such to hide my shape. I WANTED to look like the little tarts on the magazines. I very recently (sad, seeing as i;m 30 now) accepted that was dumb, this is my body and i'll wear whatever I want, and whatever makes me feel good.

The area I live in is mostly gay men and retirees (Palm Springs, So. Cal) so there really isn't much of a movement here. I try to do what I can myself (installed a 5th wheel tow hitch a couple months ago in the back of my partners truck) and other such 'male dominated' tasks. Other than that, its just me saying i'm a liberal feminist. I don't walk softly, and I do carry a bog gun (figuratively speaking)
post #186 of 281
Does anyone else get terribly annoyed when people categorize your children according to their biological gender, and then treat them in a certain way? I have a girl and a boy, and this kind of thing is becoming more and more obvious. Granted, I choose to live in an overly patriarchal country. Part of it is my personal mission to prove that women can do whatever they like.

But I am starting to get worried about the kids. High pitched, hysterical voices and "princess", "beauty", and similar words are the way of choice to address my daughter. For my son, it's "little pirate", "hero", and the like. Often he's addressed in this exaggerated, uber "masculine" voice. They're already being told what they can and can't do according to their gender. Ie, my son can't cry when he falls, can't wear pink if he likes, etc. My daughter is constantly told about her looks (yes, she's beautiful, as is my son! ). If I point out some of her other qualities, the usual comment is, "yes, she is a looker!", like that is all that matters.




How do you folks cope? I want to show my kids it is OK to be authentic.
post #187 of 281
Uhuh! My son is 12 months, he started walking at 9 months so yep, he's active and into everything. My daughter also took her first steps at 10 months. Funnily enough I've never complained about my son's toddler antics. They are par for the course second time round. I do remember complaining about my DD at this age. So the "Oh he's a boy!" Comments really irk me. Hello! Did I complain? No. Did I even bring it up? No.
One mother of twin boys had that exact conversation.
Her: "Wow, he's walking. Is he into everything?"
Me (dreading where this is going): "Yes."
Her: "Oh, he's a boy. You'll get used to it."

For goodness sake. You only have boys, how the &**%^$%^#$ would you know? Have you ever met a female toddler?!
post #188 of 281
That's horrible! My daughter even got told in a store that she could nit buy the blue ball, because she's a girl. She needed the pink one .

Do you ever say anything about it?
post #189 of 281
Hey jump mama jump! I'm a baby anarcha-feminist Just learning about the world of social anarchism and being floored by how much it fits with our family's values and beliefs (for years my idea of anarchism was selfish punks and the Anarchist Cookbook ) PM me if you ever want to chat!

Ugh, the gendering stuff... it's horrible. Really horrible. I haven't hit it too badly yet but sometimes it bugs me how much of DD's wardrobe is pink. It's all hand-me-downs so that's awesome and fits with my environmental and ethical value system but it's still very, very pink. And if I dress her in any other color, people think she's a boy. I couldn't care less if they can decode her sex instantly based on her appearance or not, but if folks assume she's a boy and later find out she's a girl they're always so apologetic and embarrassed. I'm just Who cares? She is who she is and who knows what gender or sub-gender or gender mix she'll choose to ascribe to (or not) when she's grown.
post #190 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrea View Post
sometimes it bugs me how much of DD's wardrobe is pink. It's all hand-me-downs so that's awesome and fits with my environmental and ethical value system but it's still very, very pink. And if I dress her in any other color, people think she's a boy



This is us exactly! Basically, if my DD isn't dressed head to toe in pink or wearing a dress everyone assumes she is a boy. A week or so ago we were in a store and DD was wearing a normal DD outfit - a monster truck t-shirt, a khaki skort, and her beloved Spiderman hat. One of the employees came up and said "Hello sir" to my DD and kept reiterating it with "How are you today, sir?" blah blah blah. Then, all of a sudden she looks at DD's shoes (which are pink with yellow and green designs) and says "Wait, are you a sir or not?" and when I told her DD was actually a girl the employee seemed frustrated and made a comment about how I was confusing people with the way I was dressing her! Um, no, these are the clothes she likes so she's gonna wear them! Ugh.
post #191 of 281
the gendering stuff drives me crazy. We too have tons of pink hand me downs and clothes that were gifts, mostly from family. I tend to buy her more "neutral" stuff, which basically means people think she's a boy when I dress her in it. She's almost 4 months and has very little hair so it's not like people really can tell other than from her clothes. It just weirds me out that it seems to matter to people so much. It's always the first question people ask, "boy or girl?" if she's not wearing "girlie" clothes. I think I'm just going to start asking why it matters, that's what I did as a teenager when people would rudely ask me if I was a boy or girl (I wore baggy clothes, had a shaved head for a while, and mohawks, etc).

A few weeks ago I was taking her for a walk and our next door neighbor was out doing yard work and started talking to us. She was wearing green overalls and a khaki onesie and he asked me if she's a boy or girl. This really bugged me since his wife keeps bringing us stuff for her (they have kids our age - it's a really weird dynamic which is a whole other rant in and of itself), most of it being super girlie. Really, you're wife has bought us two dresses, a pink onesie, a bag of used girl clothes, and a pink winter coat! And I'm using female pronouns to refer to her!!!! And you're asking her gender???!!! I took that as an underhanded comment on how I'm dressing her. My dh thought it was an oversight since he's whacked out on painkillers after having had knee surgery (but still manages to make his lawn an obsessive hobby?!). I still think it was super passive aggressive. Yet another reason I'm really starting to hate them.

And on a related note, what's with people addressing her as "little man"? People refer to baby girls as "little girls" not "little women" so why are baby boys called "little men"? I know it's semantic but it bugs me. I'm kind of a "language-nazi" though.
post #192 of 281
whoo-hoo! happy happy happy to join you mamas (and dadas?).

going to go back and read all the pages, but..

yes, boy is the 'default' when you dress your babe in anything other than pink. orange = boy. red = boy. ANYTHING OTHER THAN PINK = boy.

i derive much amusement from this blog, there are frequently posts with pics of the boy as default..toys, etc.

good to meet'cha, everyone!
post #193 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by princesstutu View Post

Are there any good books written about socialism by women?

And, wait...I just remembered: anarchy isn't misogynist. Altho, that doesn't mean anarchists can't be.
we sometimes jokingly call those "MANarchists." only in jest. (men aren't the only mysogynists, of course)
a booklist for the curious?
Anything by Emma Goldman, including but not limited to Living My Life (volumes 1 & 2) and Red Emma Speaks (an edited collection of her work)
speeches, etc by Voltairine DeCleyre (Voltairine DeCleyre reader is one, there are others free online)
post #194 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post
we sometimes jokingly call those "MANarchists." only in jest. (men aren't the only mysogynists, of course)
a booklist for the curious?
Anything by Emma Goldman, including but not limited to Living My Life (volumes 1 & 2) and Red Emma Speaks (an edited collection of her work)
speeches, etc by Voltairine DeCleyre (Voltairine DeCleyre reader is one, there are others free online)

Have you read Ursula LeGuin's The Dispossessed? Anything by Doris Lessing? I like her autobiographies.
post #195 of 281
Aubergine68, we LOVE LeGuin! Haven't thought about Lessing in years, I need to revisit her, it seems
post #196 of 281
I lurk this thread but YEAH to the comments about clothing and colors for babies. I dressed DD in cute shirts we picked before she was born, with things on them that were special to us, and there was some blue on them. SO many people thought she was a boy, even when we told them she was a girl. I guess the cultural statement of gender colors was stronger than my actually telling them. Just recently some retired volunteer sherrifs offered DD a junior deputy sticker-- and then one had to ruin it by asking me if she had a brother, like, she wouldn't like it or couldn't have it, but we could pass it to her brother. I didn't even bother saying anything to them.

I love LeGuin's short stories especially. "She Unnames Them" is my favorite fem lit of all time perhaps.
post #197 of 281
hildare I just have to thank you for posting the socimages blog. I hadn't seen that before and totally dig it.
post #198 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post
yes, boy is the 'default' when you dress your babe in anything other than pink. orange = boy. red = boy. ANYTHING OTHER THAN PINK = boy.
SO TRUE It's late so I don't have anything more articulate to say than that I despise this, so very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post
we sometimes jokingly call those "MANarchists." only in jest. (men aren't the only mysogynists, of course)
a booklist for the curious?
Anything by Emma Goldman, including but not limited to Living My Life (volumes 1 & 2) and Red Emma Speaks (an edited collection of her work)
speeches, etc by Voltairine DeCleyre (Voltairine DeCleyre reader is one, there are others free online)
MANarchists Love it.

I had Living My Life out from the library recently but never got around to reading it. Hope to do so soon. How "heavy" is it? Mama brain fog is a sad reality around here.
post #199 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrea View Post
I had Living My Life out from the library recently but never got around to reading it. Hope to do so soon. How "heavy" is it? Mama brain fog is a sad reality around here.
I thought it was pretty interesting, but I like autobiographies in general for the little glimpses of history they provide. She's a pretty inspiring orator/writer, and I enjoyed it.. she can get a little preachy, and I don't always agree with her views on marriage/relationships but again, that's from a different time, when marriage was sometimes oppressive for women. I hope you enjoy it, it's not a heavy or depressing work at all.. but it's no outlander either
post #200 of 281
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the book rec's, hildare. I have a bit more free time, now, so I'll be reading more.

About gender: I will be honest and say that I never really understood gender talk. As far back as I can remember, I've always felt female and I remember being 9 years old and very excited about getting boobs. Oh, how boobs made me happy! So, I never understood people who say they felt they were in the wrong body, etc. I was always like, "You were born with that body for a reason. Get over it." in my head.

Recently, staring at my sleeping 5 month old baby, I realized that gender is not real. She could have easily been a boy (I wouldn't have been surprised if she was a boy b/c I felt boy energy when she was inside me, but maybe I just felt STRENGTH and misinterpreted it as boy b/c that's what we're socialized to do). People call her a boy all the time...even when she has pink on. And, I know this is what people do b/c they did it with my older kids. My oldest (a boy) was always a girl, even if he work navy blue sweats with football appliques on them. My next was always a boy, even when she had on pink frills. For a long time, I chopped this up to "people are stoopid".

But, now...I don't know. I totally see how gender is this made up thing and maybe it's good that people call boys girls and vice versa b/c maybe that means we're ripe to put down the patriarchal gender roles we've been handing out like candy for generations.

Living in the bay area, I see a lot of transgender folks and lesbians who dress like gay, artistic boys (if there's a better way to express that, please let me know) and I really understand the fluidity of gender, now.

As such, patriarchy ticks me off all the more.

For about a year now I've been taking part in protest movements (none around feminist stuff specifically, except getting down with some protestin' mamas in SF) and I find myself becoming more and more radical, more and more anarchist. (The socialists and communists can't understand this, for some reason.)

Anyway...just sharing.
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