21 7 / 2014

Radical feminism is basically historical-materialist so ‘being precedes consciousness’, i.e. the material world determines what you can think about it (your ideology).  Or, the material world of humans is produced by capitalism so then humans have a capitalist ideology (substitute ‘capitalism’ for ‘patriarchy’ when talking radical feminism).

But in queer feminism/ theory, consciousness precedes being so the root that the ‘radical’ so often affixed to ‘queer politics’ refers to is what you think.  Which sort of makes sense if you take an ‘I think therefore I am’ approach — you have to have a consciousness for the material world to exist for you, therefore the material world stems from your consciousness (for you).  Therefore you can think the world differently.

Personally I think being and consciousness are in a kind of chicken-or-egg loop, but if pushed I opt for historical-materialism.

21 7 / 2014

"

When I first encountered feminism I thought what my problem in life had been was a question of sexual orientation. I had been strange because I wanted to have sex with women. BUT in some way this account of my life did not fit. The fact that it was now ok in lesbian circles to have sex with women did not make any difference to me. I did not believe that the way I was, was defined by the fact that I wanted to have sex with women. It felt more like a deep desire to be free…

What I saw when I read the Political Lesbianism paper was that inside me was not a lesbian (woman attracted to woman - struggling for expression in a heterosexual world) but a woman, a completely woman-defined-woman, struggling to be free of a world where women must be shackled to the demands of men, including the demand for sexual submissiveness…

What this has meant to me now is that I cannot cannot separate my love for women from my love for women - the passionate from the political.

"

Jessica Wood (letter), printed in Love Your Enemy? The Debate Between Heterosexual Feminism and Political Lesbianism (Onlywomen Press, 1981), p54 (via radtransfem)

12 7 / 2014

So anyone who knows Foucault knows that we’re all ‘confessing animals’, convinced that we’re carrying around some inner truth we need to a) locate, b) name and c) share with the world.  Then we can ‘be ourselves’.  We can ‘be free’.  So far, so familiar to anyone who’s had a coming out process.

But we’re also supposed to know that actually, there is no inner truth.  It’s all ‘free floating artifices’ these days.  So sexuality, nationality, gender, race, class — these aren’t written into anyone’s DNA and even if they were, DNA, like everything else, is only readable through ‘discourse’, a superimposed ‘matrix of intelligibility’, which decides which bits of the data being read mean ‘straight’ or ‘gay’ or ‘white’ or ‘black’ etc.  The fact that ‘discourse’ uses a lot of these mutually exclusive binaries also makes it fairly obvious that the point really is intelligibility — making things easy to understand — not accuracy or nuance or, you know, ‘truth’.

That last bit seems fairly irrefutable to me and the first bit about the coming out process definitely rings true, so I can understand what’s happened with these two bits of more or less common knowledge: we’ve created a kind of mashup which goes ‘people need to find their inner truth and share it with the world in order to be free and themselves, and because being free and “yourself” is so important, everyone needs to respect that, but also, because actually everything is just free-floating artifices, and any truth anyone ever finds is just a particular reading, also we cannot demand any corroborations of the truths we must nonetheless respect’.

I don’t know why I have a problem with this mashup.  It amounts to respecting people’s self-definitions and the people whose self-definitions get the least respect — I’m thinking trans people — are also undeniably some of the most oppressed people in the world, as statistics about the preponderance of trans people in poverty and getting murdered and things will tell you….

11 7 / 2014

sexandsocialism:

is for men not to oppress women.

Common ways in which men oppress women include*:

Reblogging myself because, you know, important

11 7 / 2014

"

I know men don’t want to give up using porn. Why should they when they know they don’t have to? It’s there, it’s often free, it does the job they want it to do, and they’ve already convinced everyone that they’re entitled to do so.

Maybe because it hurts the people involved in its production, it hurts the women who have to deal with men who use it, and because it hurts the women they are in relationships with. A man who uses porn while he’s in a relationship is basically saying to his partner, ‘I care more about the fact that I want jerking off to be quicker and easier than I do about the fact that someone I’m jerking off to might be being raped, about the fact that it hurts you and damages your self esteem and security in our relationship, about the fact that it is detrimental to our sex life’.

"

08 7 / 2014

I just trawled my favourites for TWO HOURS to find some bits of feminist theory Tumblr had secreted away somewhere for me to remember just imperfectly enough not to be able to google them.

08 7 / 2014

holisticsexualhealth:

Don’t Confuse the V’s

holisticsexualhealth:

Don’t Confuse the V’s

(via lesradicalfeminisms)

07 7 / 2014

"Previous research has suggested that parenting roles, work roles and home roles within same-sex parenting families are more equitably distributed when compared to heterosexual families. ‘People take on roles that are suited to their skill sets rather than falling into those gender stereotypes, which is mum staying home and looking after the kids and dad going out to earn money. What this leads to is a more harmonious family unit and therefore better health and wellbeing."

06 7 / 2014

When women ‘go the way of the cis penises’, well they’re not coming our way.  Meaning that a bisexual woman consuming one of those rare media representations of a bisexual woman will probably be disappointed if that representation has her going for anyone other than a woman, really.  Not because it’s a competition between team gay and team straight (a competition bisexuals would be the last to endorse) but because it sort of is a bit of a competition between team men and team women, or people of the same gender as me and people of a different gender than me.

06 7 / 2014

We will not ‘identify’ our way to the revolution.