09 12 / 2013
"Do you also think it’s odd that white men commit the overwhelming majority of mass murders,” wondered Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Senior Director of Advocacy for the Women’s Sports Foundation, “but that people don’t identify that as a causal factor? Instead we talk about mental illness and gun control. If it were Asian women or Jewish men or elderly African-American, it would be topic number one. But not white men.” In fact, the media response to mass shootings often reimagines white men as victims."
09 12 / 2013
… and in its Struggle bind them.
I’ve found that the axis of oppression most commonly deployed in this way is class, but it seems quite likely that that’s how I would feel about gender if I was a black woman having my racial oppression subsumed in the feminist struggle. You know, the supposedly transcendent feminist struggle in which all women — black, white, variously abled and sexually labelled — are meant to find common cause. And then you often get the double whammy of the white male class warrior with both feminist and anti-racist struggles in his crosshairs: see here and here (shame on you, androcentrically named New Statesman).
It was always my working assumption that everyone rejected this thinking when it came to their own struggles — in my case, I assumed I could count on working class women not to think class could subsume gender.
But I recently had a conversation with a working class woman, a feminist whom I know and respect, in which she contended that class could do just that: that it is the axis of oppression to rule them all and in the (anti-capitalist) struggle bind them. Her argument wasn’t one I’d heard before, but I’ll list the ones I had:
09 12 / 2013
"Because men want women’s sexual services for themselves only, seeing female-female sexuality as taking something from them, men make women’s heterosexuality compulsory. As a result, females view male sexual partners as “good” and female sexual partners as “bad” *for women*. But compulsory heterosexuality for women means more than that women should simply have sex with men rather than with women.
It means also that women should have sex with men no matter how badly we have been treated by men. Consider, for example, the rape victim who is pressured to “return” to men sexually and affectionately through such remarks as “Are you angry at all men now?” with the implication that being angry at men as a group, or at any man other than the rapist, is not acceptable.
Consider also the many ways it is communicated to women that we must have sex with our husbands, whether by priests, sex therapists, the family doctor, or one’s own mother. Choosing to give up sex with men or to withdraw from men *because men are physically violent toward women* is not considered a legitimate option for women. Imagine the responses you would get if you told others you were giving up sex with men or disengaging from men because men are violent toward women.
Choosing to withdraw from men simply because men do not relate to us in mutually empowering ways is treated as heresy."
07 12 / 2013
"In the sexual-liberation movement of the sixties, its ideology and practice, neither force nor the subordinate status of women was an issue. It was assumed that — unrepressed — everyone wanted intercourse all the time (men, of course, had other important things to do; women had no legitimate reason not to want to be fucked); and it was assumed that in women an aversion to intercourse, or not climaxing from intercourse, or not wanting intercourse at a particular time or with a particular man, or wanting fewer partners than were available, or getting tired, or being cross, were all signs of and proof of sexual repression. Fucking per se was freedom per se."
07 12 / 2013
"Lesbophobia is dual in nature. It’s not only hatred for women who are attracted to women. It’s also hatred for women who are not attracted to men."
07 12 / 2013
"The big lie about capitalism is that everyone can be rich. That’s impossible. Capitalism works only if the vast majority of the population are kept poor enough to never quit working, are kept poor enough to accept distasteful jobs society cannot function without. If everyone were a millionaire, who would empty the trash or repair the sewers? It follows that the poorer the general population is made, the greater the worth of the money held by the wealthy, in terms of the lives which may be bought and sold with it."
06 12 / 2013
WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?
Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.
Or let’s talk water. We so often hear that the world is running out of water. People are dying from lack of water. Rivers are dewatered from lack of water. Because of this we need to take shorter showers. See the disconnect? Because I take showers, I’m responsible for drawing down aquifers? Well, no. More than 90 percent of the water used by humans is used by agriculture and industry. The remaining 10 percent is split between municipalities and actual living breathing individual humans. Collectively, municipal golf courses use as much water as municipal human beings. People (both human people and fish people) aren’t dying because the world is running out of water. They’re dying because the water is being stolen.
…Personal change doesn’t equal social change."
04 12 / 2013
maybe instead of complaining “not all men are like that”
you should be saying “too many men are like that”
because when you say not all men are like that what you’re telling us is that you care more about your feelings than you do about our safety
and that’s some shit right there
02 12 / 2013
"The reality is that so-called pro-life movement is not about saving babies. It’s about regulating sex. That’s why they oppose birth control. That’s why they want to ban abortion even though doing so will simply drive women to have dangerous back alley abortions. That’s why they want to penalize women who take public assistance and then dare to have sex, leaving an exemption for those who become pregnant from rape. It’s not about babies. If it were about babies, they would be making access to birth control widespread and free and creating a comprehensive social safety net so that no woman finds herself with a pregnancy she can’t afford. They would be raising money for research on why half of all zygotes fail to implant and working to prevent miscarriages. It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex."
01 12 / 2013