Adam Ash

Your daily entertainment scout. Whatever is happening out there, you'll find the best writing about it in here.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Feminism in dire need of a pro-sex feminist

Why do so many women not want to call themselves feminists? I sincerely think it's because the word carries the stigma that feminists don't like fucking -- least of all fucking guys.

If feminism wants its good name back, it will have to come up with a pro-sex, highly bonkable feminist spokeswoman, who is seen to fuck guys, and to like fucking them. Often. A feminist who digs cock.

Feminist Catherine McKinnon is the big case in point. Even though she is highly bonkable herself, she has placed porn at the center of male domination. She holds that it's because of porn that women aren't free and equal to men, which, in today's sexualized environment, comes across like she has something against fucking itself.

To men and women who've grown up in a porn environment, where they watch porn together for their personal use -- to make their own fucks hotter -- this must seem like the height of silliness. Any male-domination role that porn has historically had, has long since collapsed under the fact that young people today use porn like they use alcohol, dope and chocolate: for its turn-on consumer value.

McKinnon's analysis is not without merit: "Sexuality, as socially organized, is deeply misogynistic. To male dominance, of which liberalism is the current ruling ideology, the sexual misogyny that is fundamental to all these problems cannot be seen as a sex equality issue because its sexuality is premised on sex inequality. Equality law cannot apply to sexuality because equality is not sexy and inequality is."

This is very witty, and the wit, although misplaced, continues here: "Women are commonly raped, battered, sexually harassed, sexually abused as children, forced into motherhood and prostitution, depersonalized, denigrated, and objectified – then told this is fun and equal by the left and just and natural by the right."

You have to admit, she's very deft. I'd like to have a lawyer like her on my side in front of a judge. She's also plenty angry: the ACLU is the center of the “pro-pimp lobby”.

On the other hand, here's a Major Chick Pundit who must be applauded for the pioneering work she's done in furthering the cause of sexual harassment, a very new and necessary crime in our law. (Shit, I hope I'm not sounding patronizing. Any man who ventures into a feminist discussion knows that uncomfortable feeling of putting his very balls, two sensitive and easily bruised organs, on the line.)

OK, let's get down with her argument. Look, many men, including me, share MacKinnon’s belief that many men fear and despise women. But, as this article on McKinnon's new book, Women's Lives, Men's Laws, states, "the idea that pornography bears a significant causal responsibility for all this is remarkably unimaginative and is not supported by evidence that sexual violence increases when pornography becomes more available in a society. Some of the most misogynistic and abusive cultures are those with the strictest censorship, and some of the least misogynistic, such as Sweden, were the first to lift restrictions."

The reviewer continues: "MacKinnon is right to insist that the unequal status of women pervades sexuality and is not limited to the public sphere. But this causes her to undervalue sexual pleasure, which we all have to take where we can find it. The huge pornography industry serves this end by feeding people’s fantasies. Since she finds most male fantasies revolting and degrading to women, and most consumers of pornography are men, this doesn’t matter to her. In fact she wants to stop it, and therefore fixes on the illusion that she can fight inequality by controlling men’s fantasy life.
What about female sexual pleasure? MacKinnon mentions it only once, in a riposte to Judge Richard Posner’s unwise claim that men have a stronger sex drive than women. This, she says ignores 'the clitoral orgasm, which, once it gets going, goes on for weeks, and no man can keep up with it, to no end of the frustration of some. (This underlies the often nasty edge to the query ‘Did you come?,’ when it means, ‘Aren’t you done yet? I am.’)' We are evidently in a war zone."

The reviewer adds: "MacKinnon’s anti-liberal credo seems to me to require a moral justification that she does not even attempt to provide." In order to redress social inequalities, state power cannot simply invade the personal autonomy of individuals (which an attack on porn will be). If individual rights are "given no weight and automatically overridden by claims of group inequality and group subordination, we will get tyranny in the name of equality – a familiar result. Catharine MacKinnon should either explain why her contempt for rights of privacy, autonomy and freedom of expression does not have this consequence, or else explain why it is acceptable."

As someone who grew up in apartheid South Africa, where most of the West's literature canon was banned on sexual grounds, I can attest that the greatest human right is freedom of expression. And that is what is wrong with feminism as it is popularly perceived: they appear to be against freedom of expression, especially freedom of sexual expression. Which more or less puts them in the same camp as Evangelical sex-hating gay-bashers.

Until some sexy cock-happy feminist appears to gainsay this stereotype, feminism will remain lurking in the shadows of popular culture. It needs a poster child bad.

38 Comments:

At 5/20/2005 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree. There are too many stereotypes about anti-feminists.

I think feminism will arrive when feminists get over the idea that you have to be a feminist. Just as you don't have to be a Christian, a Buddhist or a Marxist, you can believe in feminism or not. It's just another belief system and the mature believer is the person who more than tolerates the non-believer. I'm not a feminist but I have feminist friends and colleagues. I also have friends who are Jews, Muslims, Presbyterians -- and I'm none of those things.

An ideology has arrived when its leaders and believers can kick back and let others be heretical or different. An orthodox Jew can have atheist friends. Prosex feminists are trying to make it harder for women to escape from the net of feminism! I prefer Dworkin who didn't try to pretend that all women are feminists. In her warped way, she was more tolerant.

I've been around sex-positive feminists since age 10. I don't think feminists are all prudes. I think they're too primitive in their understanding of human rights, sexual dynamics and feminine pleasure. I threw out my vibrator a long time ago. I'm also skeptical about some of the abortion issues. Yes I want the procedure to remain safe and legal, not because it's my "right" as a woman, but rather because it's better for society as a whole. But I have a responsibility to use contraception, rather than a "right" to an abortion. If more people thought this way, there would be fewer abortions. But that's MY stance -- I am not trying to convert the feminists to my point of view. I can live with a difference of opinion.

What the world needs is more authentic tolerance. People like me don't need to be henpecked by true believers -- we're apostates who have moved on. I'm not afraid to be seen as a manhater or any of that lame stuff. I've had sex with women. It was okay. I'm not afraid to be seen as a lesbian or a prude. I was embracing gay rights at age 13 and telling everyone I was bi. I am actually more worried about being seen as a narrow-minded hetero. I'm in favor of gay rights but... I'm not a feminist!

I don't wish to be saddled with the feminist label because I don't want a bunch of other women telling me to conform. But then again, I don't want to be called a Buddhist or a Scientologist.

Biggest problem with feminism is intolerance and immaturity. My advice to feminists: Learn to take a vacation from your ideology. Don't take it so seriously! Paradoxically, that's when sensible people will be able to take you more seriously.

Anony Miss

 
At 5/20/2005 12:41 PM, Blogger Adam said...

Great points, but I don't agree. Since the inequality of women is the world's #1 problem (it's why we have world poverty), and feminism is the #1 movement against it, I'm all for feminism, not as a stultified ideology, but as a live movement, and would like to see it back on form to the peak influence it wielded some decades ago.

 
At 5/20/2005 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there I think we are talking a massive human rights question --or at the very least, the problem of human suffering. Kind of a big ticket item! and I don't think that a cabal of American feminists obsessing about their clits (whether they follow MacKinnon or Susie Bright) will solve the problem of world poverty. Or even female poverty.

Nor will a movement of affluent privileged women embracing the male sex organ because they've outgrown their vibrators solve this problem.

As for Catherine MacKinnon and her pro-clitoral statement...that really says a lot. MacKinnon fits another stereotype: the ideologue who needs a good bonk. All this obsession with the clitoris ... don't get me started. My clitoris is part of my sex life but nothing beats a good screw with Mr. Right. The woman who is getting that has no need to attend all-female conferences and huddle with her "sisters." Perhaps the solution is close to the one you propose after all.

Perhaps a feminist leader who is getting an excellent bonking on a regular basis would inspire other women. But the problem is... the real problem with feminism is this business of having to hang out with a whole lot of other women. Why would that satisfied woman want to go to endless meetings and listen to her unsatisfied sisters for hours on end when she could be home having the time of her life with Mr Wonderful and basking in the glow of his undivided attention???

Note that I make a big distinction between American feminism which is mindless and women's organizations in other countries which may actually be dealing with real issues. But those are often serious human rights groups. I wouldn't insult them by calling them feminists.

AnonyMiss

 
At 5/20/2005 6:56 PM, Blogger Kelley Bell said...

I take issue with feminist Catherine McKinnon’s comment that “most consumers of pornography are men.”

Men are visually simulated by sex, while women are emotionally stimulated. Therefore, in order to truly evaluate which sex purchased more material related to the idea of sexual arousal, we must broaden the definition to include the types of material that is sexually stimulating to females.

Romance novels account for over 50% of all paperback book sales. The inclusion of this statistic alone clearly shows that woman are far more active as consumers of sexually simulating material than men.

McKinnon goes on to say that "Sexuality, as socially organized, is deeply misogynistic.”
Here she hits the nail right on the head. But why? The answer to that lies in the current state of world religion. The “Big Three” (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) are all based on patriarchal values. They all exalt a God with primarily male attributes, and place women in a subordinate role.

If history is to teach us anything, let us learn this:

All world religions can be placed in one of two categories. Matriarchy or patriarchy.

Matriarchies are found in agriculturally based societies that depend on the bounty of the earth and the change of seasons. They are generally peaceful, and exalt birth and new life, with a nurturing, divine mother figure.

Patriarchies are found in industrial societies that rely on trade, commerce or conquest to fuel their economies. They are generally war like nations willing to do battle for righteousness and divine good. They share the common element of forcing conquest or assimilation upon any group that does not share in their ideology.

The reason that most world religions are patriarchal is simply because they have systematically wiped out the matriarchies. This alone should tell us what lies ahead for humanity if this trend is allowed to continue.

The world will never be at peace, nor will women ever take their rightful place beside their male counterparts, until the world embraces a new form of theology that exalts the concepts of matriarchy and patriarchy as a divine parenting model of human kind, in a doctrine that embraces scientific principles and open diversity.

It is up to the women to create this change.

The key is not for women to simply embrace their sexuality, or to demand equality in the workplace, but rather, to embrace themselves as the divine expression of nurturing beauty, and bringers of new life. Only when we value ourselves, will others see the divine light within us. Then, the chain reaction will follow.

Case in point: The Tree of life
In the bible, the story of Adam, Eve, and the apple is taught as Eve’s original sin. But long before this tale was told, a much older version of the story circled the globe, in which a hero was sent on a quest. Only when he proved himself worthy, did the goddess appear before him, and grant him the reward of the fruit from the tree of life.

One story values women the other condemns them.

So plant your seeds ladies, and pass out the fruit. Our future depends on you.

 
At 5/20/2005 11:58 PM, Blogger drumgurl said...

McKinnon's feminism is such old news. Isn't anyone here familiar with the modern feminist movement, or with third wave feminism? It's totally pro-sex. (In fact, most feminists want to legalize prostitution.) It's pro-CONTRACEPTION and pro-comprehensive sex education. And it's pro-free speech, anti-censorship... and that includes with regard to porn.

Who the hell do you think are buying all the vibrators?

Kelley Bell, you left the same comment on my blog, so I will leave the same response to you here:

Eh, sorry Kell Bell, but you're trying to prescribe a very narrow role for women... and men.

I have no desire to "embrace myself as the divine expression of nurturing beauty, and bringer of new life".

:barf:

I'm not nurturing. I'm an aggressive bitch. And if I was running the show, I would go to war when needed. Might isn't always right, but it isn't always wrong either.

I'm not emotionally stimulated by sex. And romance novels suck. Bring on the boys in g-strings.

 
At 5/21/2005 12:03 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

AnonyMiss, doesn't your Mr. Right like to lick your clit? Mine does.

 
At 5/21/2005 12:13 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

I think anyone who doesn't want the rights feminists have given them should just give them up. I mean, who is FORCING you to participate?

If 'feminist' is such a dirty word, then don't be a hypocrite and use what they've given you. Don't vote, don't speak in public, don't own property, and don't use contraception.

I mean, if feminists are such bad people...

 
At 5/21/2005 3:15 AM, Blogger Adam said...

AnonyMiss, there was a time when an act of feminism was to leave your husband, because as a consciousness-raised woman you realized you were living in a repressive marriage. Now it seems as if you're saying that if you and your male partner are bonking each other happily, you don't need to be a feminist. In other words, a feminist is a woman who has somehow failed with men. This sounds to me like blaming the victim.

Redneck Feminist, you're absolutely spot on. But here's another way to look at it: lesbians have been excellent at hyping the idea of the lipstick lesbian to overcome the stereotype of the obese dyke, i.e. lesbians are now hip and cool, but the popular culture is unaware of third wave feminism, i.e. the 3rd wave women haven't done a good PR job for feminism like lipstick lesbians have for lesbians. That's why I think feminism needs a cock-happy, media-savvy spokeswoman to change its stereotype, which is still that of a woman who is so suspicious of men, she doesn't much like fucking.

Kelley Beck, you make your points beautifully, but somehow I don't think New Age feminism is going to be clear or powerful enough to overcome the current stereotype, which is about the perception of feminists as hopelessly sex-conflicted.

 
At 5/21/2005 9:12 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

"but the popular culture is unaware of third wave feminism, i.e. the 3rd wave women haven't done a good PR job for feminism like lipstick lesbians have for lesbians"

That's a good point, but I think part of the blame lies with the media and what they choose to cover.

For example, last year I was the president of the feminist group on my campus. I am engaged, so I'm definitely in a good relationship with a MAN. I used to be a teen model (before I got sick of being a paperdoll, haha). I'm a size zero, proportionally busty, and have long blonde hair. There were several other hotties in this college feminist group as well. In fact, I would say MOST of them were hotties.

But whenever we got press coverage, whose picture would appear in newspapers? Whoever fit the stereotype of the unattractive bull dyke. I mean, I was the PRESIDENT! And who was quoted in the papers? The most extremist leftist feminist -- never someone with a good, rational argument. That really made me mad, because not only was I the president, but I'm also not a leftist. I'm closest to a libertarian, politically speaking.

Anyway, what kind of activism do typical feminists groups do? I'd say the biggest campaign right now is the push for emergency contraception available over-the-counter. You know, contraception -- that thing that PREVENTS unwanted pregnancies and therefore PREVENTS abortion.

The second biggest campaign is probably opposition to mandatory conscience clauses -- another contraception issue. American feminists are also involved in the push for women's rights internationally. Check out any feminist website, and they have some kind of "global feminism" campaign.

I am shocked that anyone would say most feminists are against putting pregnancy prevention first. I can cite sources backing up my position. Can you, AnonyMiss? Can you find even ONE feminist group that isn't working toward greater education/access to contraception?

http://prochoiceaction.org/campaign/sen_reidprevention_0205
http://www.ppaction.org/campaign/fillmypillsnow_dontknow2
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/pp2/portal/medicalinfo/birthcontrol/;jsessionid=337D0EC816764D7C983C1C9753CEE9D5
http://www.feministcampus.org/act/prescribechoice/
http://www.capwiz.com/now/issues/alert/?alertid=7230296&type=CO

 
At 5/21/2005 9:26 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

"But the problem is... the real problem with feminism is this business of having to hang out with a whole lot of other women."

I didn't realize that was a requirement. Can you cite your source, please?

I'm no longer involved in any feminist group. I don't huddle with any sisters. I play in bands with MALE musicians. Yet I am still a feminist.

Also, my self-esteem does not depend on how much attention my fiance gives me. A truly secure person doesn't need to be validated by anyone else. But it IS great to be in a healthy relationship and SHARE your happiness with him (that is different from expecting someone else to make you happy). If you ask my fiance why he's crazy about me, and why he does in fact give me his full attention, it is mainly because of that self-confidence I have.

/Rant Over.

 
At 5/21/2005 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Redneck - there's a lot to respond to but the query about my clit I'll address first. Yeah, I get plenty of that! Thanks for asking :-) I just think the clitoris is overemphasized by people like MacKinnon. Maybe for ideological reasons.


For me, orgasms during intercourse (with Mr Right) are more profound and memorable. But then I'm a lot like those sappy chicks in the romance novels. I like being adored by a man, chased around the block a few times and asked out on a date. Courtship makes me happy, so does getting my hair done for a special guy. Clitoral sex is something I can do for myself, and it's nice when my guy does that but even more interesting when we have a male-in-female simultaneous explosion. I think some feminists, especially American feminists, are just not having that yummy experience with a man. And they might look at life differently if they were.

But if we're talking about a woman who is trying to do something about the disgusting behavior of, say, the IDF toward Arab women at the checkpoints ... those feminists are working on serious issues. And those issues are of universal human importance. I think they are probably involved in that cause for intelligent reasons that go beyond their personal hang-ups. Alas, American feminism is pretty unevolved compared to feminism in the Middle East.

 
At 5/21/2005 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi again Redneck -- we probably agree on a few things but like to use different language. Or something like that. However, on this contraception thing, I don't expect us to agree.

I'm not saying that feminists are opposed to contraception. I'm saying I dislike the emphasis on abortion rights. Or rather: if others want to emphasize that, then go for it, you should have the right to "sell" your argument in the marketplace of ideas. But I'm not one of the people who is buying. I've come to a different conclusion about abortion which probably isn't a feminist one.

I see this as a fairly private thing, though. I would not be motivated to wave a sign saying "Abortion is regrettable. Join my side." It's a big enough responsibility to figure what's right *for me*. And I recognize that everyone's got a different view of this. At the end of the day, I like to focus on the responsibility angle of birth control, rather than the rights angle. Perhaps there's actually a role for both -- maybe some people need to wave the flag for abortion rights while others simply need to be out here, setting an example by using birth control.

And I try to make the world a slightly better place by educating my sex partners about this issue. If a man even hints that abortion is an option, I let him know that it's NOT one of my options and that he won't be getting any pussy from little me unless he takes a more chivalrous stand on contraception. I do this for selfish reasons but I also do it for socially responsible reasons. I want the guys I sleep with to understand that they can't just go around bonking us without any concern for the risks. Most already have that sorted out but some men need to be re-educated on this matter... Too many have come to view abortion as some sort of easy solution. Sometimes I am tempted to blame feminism for this.

 
At 5/21/2005 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Housekeeping issues: I think I should have signed those last two anon posts! Hopefully the context will make it apparent that I wrote 'em.

xox,
AnonyMiss

 
At 5/21/2005 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm not nurturing. I'm an aggressive bitch. And if I was running the show, I would go to war when needed..."

Lordy. Was it necessary to :barf: all over Kelley's Belly??? She seems a rather gentle civilized soul and surely deserves a bit of, hmmm, cordiality? I guess I'm somewhere between the two extremes -- not too nurturing either but more passive-aggressive as bitches go than outright aggressive... and way too lazy to run the show all the time or go to war. Though, when I really really have to, I do figure out how best to run my show. Redneck, you asked me to cite some sources... I just don't know how to respond to such requests. When opinions spout from the self like Athena popping out of her dad's forehead... sources are quite uncalled for.

AnonyMiss

 
At 5/21/2005 6:36 PM, Blogger Kelley Bell said...

Thank you AnonyMiss. :)

Kelley belly is a bad ass black belt who has been at the end of knife and gun and survived.

I am the baddest bitch on the planet, and happy to oblige anyone who wants me to prove it.

My point is that as we mature, we all ask the same question:
What is the meaning of life?

eventually we all leave behind the miniscule arguments and shift our focus to the big picture.

Eventually we all seek the divinity and syncronicity of it all.

All these sub topics are small stuff.

Only when world theology embraces men and women on equal ground will there be peace and equality.

Until you are willing to fight that war, you are doomed to loose all the other battles.

Like puppies chasing their tails.

 
At 5/22/2005 9:15 AM, Blogger HawkOwl said...

I think the one thing that comes out of this discussion is that feminism is a form of dogma rather than an action plan. It's a platform for making bizarre statements like that thing about religion and the idea that gender inequality causes poverty. Pfff...

Poverty is the ur-state. Cavemen were poor. Poverty doesn't have causes, it's where you begin when you don't have causes to be rich. Being rich has causes, such as an over-abundance of resources which allows some to focus on leadership rather than the nitty-gritty, hunting-gathering tedium. Granting that poverty is statistically correlated to the status of women (which I don't, I have no idea either way), then it should be said that inequality allows men to create riches, not that it keeps women in poverty.

To get back to the topic of feminism itself, it's had its day. Suffragettes had a valid point and gained it. I appreciate what they did. Later generations of feminists didn't have a valid point because inequality is no longer legislated. It is now up to the individual to rise to the challenge of having equal rights to the guys. Some do. Some drive truck, walk alone at night, change their own oil. Others plan their lives around latching on to a man with a good income, and let him do the "manly" tasks to reinforce him in the role of the provider / protector. Either approach can work. If you're happy with your life, who's to say you did it wrong?

The feminists are the ones who will neither live their lives as if they're equal to men, nor let a man help them out. They can't walk around at night because they don't know how to deal with predators, but they don't want to have to take a man along. Instead, they just make noise. They demand that law-makers compensate for their personal choice of irresponsibility by putting down what they perceive as the oppressor.

Personally I think that if all the men stayed home and women had the run of all the jobs etc, we'd find the exact same situation: some women would do the "guy jobs", some would latch on to a butch to support and protect them, and some would refuse to do either and just stay at the bottom demanding to be legislated up the ladder.

Bah...

Funny thing is, all I really meant to say is that anyone who thinks women are being treated badly just hasn't any idea of the challenges facing men.

 
At 5/22/2005 11:31 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

Hawkowl, you're generalizing. Some feminists support men's rights activism. Check out Wendy McElroy or myself. I have argued the men's rights perspective many times on my blog. I'm very aware of biases against both men AND women.

"The feminists are the ones who will neither live their lives as if they're equal to men, nor let a man help them out. They can't walk around at night because they don't know how to deal with predators, but they don't want to have to take a man along..."

Can you cite a source for that? Because I carry a gun if I'm out at night, and I know how to use it against a predator.

"They demand that law-makers compensate for their personal choice of irresponsibility by putting down what they perceive as the oppressor."

NOT true of libertarian feminists. In fact, that's the exact OPPOSITE of what a libertarian thinks. We don't want the government involved. We want gender-neutral laws, not laws that treat women as helpless creatures who need the government to rescue them.

"It is now up to the individual to rise to the challenge of having equal rights to the guys."

That's funny. That sounds like ME. I have made similar statements on my blog. I think that if more women wanted equality, we'd have it. But they don't. They have found that it's easier to sponge off a man than to do any work themselves. So basically, they want to preserve the right to be lazy.

I'm engaged, by the way. I'm not anti-marriage. I just want MY marriage to be a little more equal. I'm not a parasite; I don't think my fiance is obligated to support me. I should be responsible for myself.

But if people want to have traditional marriages, that's their right. Just don't come crying to me when things go wrong, you get divorced, and you find that you have NO money and NO job skills. Because I'm opposed to alimony. Why should someone else have a right to YOUR paycheck? Why should the law protect you? If you choose to be dependent on someone else, then that's the risk you take.

So in a nutshell, as a libertarian feminist, I don't fight for special laws for women. All I can do is raise awareness of my position, which is why I blog. What's wrong with that? I know what the first amendment is! And I hope I can use it to convince some women to take more responsibility for themselves. But if they don't want to, I'm not going to FORCE them.

 
At 5/22/2005 11:43 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

"Redneck, you asked me to cite some sources... I just don't know how to respond to such requests."

I have cited sources. Didn't you see that? So you can follow my lead if you can't figure it out. Have you heard of search engines?

Anything that is pure opinion -- such as "I'm an aggressive bitch" -- doesn't need a source because it is about ME. I think I'm an authority there.

However, if I was going to act like an authority on what SOMEONE ELSE thinks -- such as claiming to know what all feminists think -- then a source should be provided.

So... can you provide evidence that MOST feminists don't want to put unplanned pregnancy prevention FIRST? I provided several feminist "prevention first" campaign links.

And not all feminists support abortion anyway. Have you heard of Feminists For Life or Hugo Schwyzer?

http://www.feministsforlife.org/
http://hugoboy.typepad.com/hugo_schwyzer/

Oh wait, I forgot... you just magically know what all feminists think.

Who is the one spouting opinions?

 
At 5/22/2005 11:51 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

Kell Bell, I apologize if I was rude to you. The only point I was trying to make is that not all women fit your ideal, and I used myself as an example.

Calling myself an aggressive bitch was more of a slam on me than a threat to you. And yeah, the nurturing crap DOES make me want to barf... as do romance novels. Is that offensive?

I just don't fit your stereotype, and that's all I'm trying to say. I don't buy the idea that because *most* women are a certain then *all* women should be that way. I strongly believe in individuality.

 
At 5/22/2005 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Redneck, try to relax. I don't need to follow your lead and cite sources. I'm different from you! I think you misunderstood - I meant that MY opinions pop out of my forehead. (We're all built differently.)

Blogging is recreational for me. If you enjoy hunting down links, go for it. I'm just here to spout my opinions as I would in a cafe or a wine bar (minus the wine as I do have a hangover today) -- and if I were in a cafe I would not be hunting down links. (I like that we've gone from HawkOwl's cave dwellers to some form of cafe dwelling.)

I don't think I know what all feminists think, you hyperventilating guntoter. What are you talking about? I've never said that all feminists are against birth control. What I've said is that I don't think my attitude toward contraception is a feminist one. That feminist emphasis on abortion rights doesn't appeal to me. I can't possibly know what all feminists think. I think you're trying to turn my comments into an attack on feminism because aggression appeals to you.

But for me, really, this is not about attacking feminism. I was explaining to that nice man, Adam Ash, and to anyone else who is curious, why feminism isn't my bag. That does not equal an attack on an ideology which is about 300 years old, has roots in Marxism, Rousseauism, early Liberalism, Anarchism and various other schools o' thought... and happens to have a rather colorful amusing history. (You don't have to be a feminist to be informed about it, by the way.) And I'll add that feminism goes in and out of style, has experienced popularity and then faded and come back and faded again. Like other beliefs or causes. And that's okay, I think. The world is always changing. Ideas have a, whatchamacallit, shelf life perhaps...

Anyway.

Redneck in her cave polishing her weapon and me in my cafe nursing a digestif -- what a diverse and varied "place" Adam's blog has turned out to be!!

 
At 5/22/2005 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops i forgot to sign that one!
AnonyMiss

 
At 5/22/2005 7:25 PM, Blogger drumgurl said...

Fine, but then don't expect anyone to believe what you say if you don't have evidence to back it up.

Libertarian feminism has no roots in Marxism.

"That feminist emphasis on abortion rights doesn't appeal to me."

I'm a feminist, and I'm personally opposed to most abortions. Get it?

You have made several generalizations about feminists that are untrue. For example, you claimed that feminists "have to hang out with a whole lot of other women." And that is a lie.

You called feminists a privileged class of women -- another lie. Why do you think I call myself a redneck? Because I'm rich?

But what's really hilarious is that any of us, including myself, think we should have any say in someone else's sex life. As if women "should" do this or that. Too much emphasis on the clit, or whatever. Why is it our business?

Also, if feminism isn't your bag, then don't be a hypocrite. Don't use any of the rights they've given you. At least I have enough respect to know who fought for my right to vote, own property, and get an education. But anti-feminist women just want to bite the hand that fed them.

 
At 5/22/2005 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm getting the impression here that you're a lot angrier about anti-feminists (or about something)
than I am about feminism. You seem to be spoiling for a fight but I don't know what the point of that would be, exactly. I'm not looking to bite anyone's hand. I don't bite, basically. And yes, I think we all know that libertarian feminists don't have roots in Marxism (Duh!)

This 300 year old ideology has roots in various schools of thought...I think I named about four or five. I meant, of course, that these are the different strands. I'm guessing that your own version of feminism owes more to anarchism and early liberalism (in the Euro sense not the Fox television sense.) And actually it's quite an interesting perspective that you have. Just because I don't share it doesn't mean I can't appreciate its merits. The idea that one can just live and let live, be a feminist and let others not be feminists, seems quite sane to me. Hey, it has worked for the Presbyterians.

But your responses are sort of in line with what I said earlier -- the lack of tolerance. And when feminism begins to show tolerance it will perhaps be a more palatable ideology for more people -- for who really wants to be associated with an arrogrant, immature, intolerant ideology?

As for being a self-professed redneck, most American rednecks are quite privileged in global terms. So yes, American feminists are privileged -- whether they are gun-brandishing rednecks or vegetarian vibrator vendors.

I'm interested to hear about your views on abortion. But I think abortion rights have been central to the late 20th c. feminist movement. It would be silly to deny this. Feminists who oppose abortion are really on the fringes of feminism. I don't think anybody takes that feminist anti-abortion group very seriously. NARAL probably has more members, more of a track record and a much larger mailing list.

You know, there were abolitionists who worked to outlaw slavery in the 19th century, and that is one reason I can't be legally enslaved. While I think these people did a great job, I don't have to call myself an abolitionist. This doesn't mean I want to bite the hands of these long-dead reformers, it just means that a certain historical moment has passed.

 
At 5/23/2005 1:21 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

It seemed like you were bashing feminism before I even started posting on this thread. So basically I thought you were bashing feminists while saying WE should be tolerant of YOU. Perhaps I was wrong about what you were saying.

I don't think I'm intolerant -- although my web persona is quite crass, haha. I just think that people who don't want equal rights should give them up. That's not intolerant; it's just giving people what they say they want.

Most feminists are pro-choice, and abortion is a central issue to modern feminism. However, most feminists follow the "safe, legal, RARE" ideology. Prevention definitely comes FIRST. Even if someone thinks abortion is an okay thing to do, isn't it painful and expensive? I mean, wouldn't everyone agree that the fewer abortions, the better?

If it appears that they focus on abortion, it is because they think Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Birth control used to be a "safe" right, meaning that feminists didn't fear losing it. But now even birth control is under attack, and the feminists are the only ones fighting for it. At least I'm not aware of other groups fighting against mandatory conscience clauses, while fighting for comprehensive sex ed and emergency contraception available over-the-counter. All those things reduce abortion.

As for my views on abortion, I am personally opposed to fetal-stage abortions in cases that don't involve physical health risks. While I have trouble seeing an embryo as a person, a FETUS is too close to fully human for my taste. I don't think it's right to abort a fetus. Yet it would scare me if Roe v. Wade was overturned. So you could say I'm pro-choice, but I'm shaky on the issue. I used to be against all abortions back when I went to Catholic school, and it has been hard to rid myself of that ideology.

But what really bothers me about the right-to-life groups is that they generally oppose contraception. A woman can't get birth control at a pregnancy crisis center, but she can get it at Planned Parenthood. I know you're not against contraception, but most of those "pro-life" groups are. So in that regard, I've had no other choice than to align myself with the liberals.

 
At 5/23/2005 3:38 AM, Blogger Kelley Bell said...

It's cool Red.

For the record, I hate romance novels too.
I just cited that stat to show that porn aint the problem.

Carl Jung says that the number one human need is acceptance. We all want to be loved, and we all love others. So I dont believe for a moment that you are not a loving nurturing woman.

Im not trying to stereotype anybody, or be overly new-age.

Im just saying that all over the world, governments are being run using a patriarchial value system and that these concepts filter down into all of our lives.

One example: How can the catholic church teach family values when it is an organization of celebate men who refuse to allow women any voice or vote?

Another: That muslim women must pray in the balcony of the mosque, and are not allowed on the main floor with the men.

If we look at each issue on the feminist plate, we can trace them all back to the deeply rooted patriarchial value system.

Im not saying we should or could wipe out religion either, Im just saying that this is where we need to do the work.

When the religions of the world promote equality and diversity, the governments of the world will do the same.

 
At 5/23/2005 8:35 AM, Blogger Adam said...

KB, now I get you. Great point. I'm basically anti-religion myself, and you make me realize even more why. Sam Harris wrote this book, The End of Faith, about the irrationality of religions, which represents my views. I think if he'd have made your points about how patriarchal religions can be, he would've built a much stronger case.

 
At 5/23/2005 11:53 AM, Blogger Kelley Bell said...

Adam, I will add that book to my reading list.

I have always been anti-religion too, but I struggle with that, because so many people need it as a guide, a moral constraint and a crutch in times of stress.

I have come to the conclusion that spirituaily is nessessary, and most likely ingrained in the human psyche (every culture on the planet develops religion) but that organized religion is bad: "The opiate of the people"

This patriarchial value thing is about more than feminism...it is about equality, respect and diversity for everyone.

black-white, gay-straight, christian-pagan, jew, muslim, man-woman, adult-child, humanity-nature...

All Patriarchies engage in control and dominance in the name of God.

All Patriarchies engage in war.

Therefore, I say, without apology, and while braced for a tsunami of backlash...

Patriarchies are the root cause of all war and intolerance.

If George Bush understood that, I doubt that he would have sent Laura into the eye of the storm.

(Now I will duck and run for cover.)LOL

 
At 5/23/2005 12:30 PM, Blogger Adam said...

Spirituality and religion are not the same thing. Whereas it's probably impossible to have a religion without spirituality, you can have spirituality without religion (Zen exercises, etc). Just like you can have morality without religion. In fact, I think it's advisable to have both spirituality and morality without religion, since religion screws them up.

 
At 5/23/2005 2:24 PM, Blogger Kelley Bell said...

Amen Brother Adam...
Let's start a cult!

LOL

 
At 5/23/2005 6:53 PM, Blogger Adam said...

What's a good name for our cult?

 
At 5/23/2005 10:08 PM, Blogger HawkOwl said...

Redneck,

I find opinions way more fun when fresh and not cribbed from someone else's opinions. That being said, it seems we have the same approach to "women's rights." What I wonder is, if you act equal, want equality, and lobby for equality including for men, rather than privileges for apathetic women, why do you call yourself a feminist? Sounds more like a... equal rights activist or something.

Second, I don't think "anti-feminists" don't deserve the rights the early feminists gained. I think those of us who act equal are the real heirs of the feminists, we're the ones who deserve the right to vote etc. The women who act inferior and bitch about wanting more privileges (i.e. a good deal of "women's rights activists" if you don't want to lump them with you as feminists) are the ones shouldn't be voting.

(For the record, I don't think anyone should be automatically granted the right to vote. There ought to be a test or something...)

Third and finally, I think we're all entitled to have one thing to say about everyone else's sex life and that is: use birth control!!!!! I don't care if it's abstinence, abortion, hormones or homosexuality, as long as you have some fool-proof scheme to ensure you're not gonna have kids when it's obvious you're not gonna take care of them. (That said, disease prevention is good too.)

Oh, and Kelley, I didn't agree specifically with your take on the sociological implications of the divinity's sexual persuasion, but I do agree that spirituality is part of the human psyche, and some religions harness it in a negative way.

Ta-ta.

 
At 5/23/2005 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Redneck - I also have some issues with the anti-abortion groups. Primarily, I just think that -- if you don't believe in abortion, don't have one and don't do anything to cause one. But I've been involved with the issue since I was quite young and once upon a time, I petitioned for abortion rights. I don't regret that at all, by the way. But I just decided that I wasn't interested in waving that flag anymore.

However, I certainly do not find myself attracted to the "anti" flag wavers. They are too intrusive.

As for full equality, I don't really want it. I want equality in certain areas of life but not all. I suppose I care in theory about access to education but since I never bothered with further education (and always felt that formal ed was a plot against human freedom and hated school) I would happily give up that form of equality. I don't vote and I don't drive (I like the man to do the driving.) I don't order my own food when I'm with a man-- I give him my order. I do keep my own bank account and when I was married I had a secret stash.

But I don't care whether a man makes more money than I do or any of that, as long as I have what *I* want. If I ever had a child the father would have to agree to support me (and the child) for the rest of my life in grand style. I will never support a man or pay half the rent. If I have to pay rent (which I've done most of my life) I'll have the place entirely to myself. I never want to join an army and would give up my right to vote in order to avoid that.

Do I think this is how every other woman wants to live? Or should live? No. Not at all. I don't have an answer for how everybody should live but I do know that equality is of limited appeal TO ME. I only want it up to a point in certain areas. I also think that equality is a very American ideal. I know that libertarian feminists are very big on it but it just seems a little overrated when it comes to the sexes.

I think extremes of poverty should be addressed and extreme suffering requires human kindness. I don't agree with racial or ethnic apartheid. And racial inequality bothers me a lot -- in part because it emasculates entire groups of men. (Emasculated men are never fun to be dealing with and they are also quite tragic.)

But the bottom line is, not all women, not all people, are true egalitarians. So what I have really been trying to say is that *egalitarians* must learn to be more tolerant. Certainly, we should all be tolerant of egalitarianism (until it becomes dangerously authoritarian.) This tension between egalitarians and others will probably exist for a long long time. I don't know if it will ever go away. It's a radical concept that doesn't work well in practice and is hard to implement. A certain amount of equality is a healthy thing to strive for -- but when it comes to the sexes some of us want to draw the line.

 
At 5/24/2005 7:27 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

Whoa, I didn't visit for a day, and now there are 32 comments! I have read them all, and y'all are making some good points.

I certainly don't want to outlaw housewives or anything. My sister is one, and I think she's a strong woman. I still don't support court-ordered alimony, BUT I fully support individual couples to make there own private agreements. So in that way I support alimony.

As for why I'm a "feminist":

fem•i•nism

1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2. (sometimes cap.) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3. feminine character.

I would say I fit #1, but NOT #2 or #3. I'm not part of any organization anymore.

I don't lobby for men's OR women's rights, but I have called my senators and representatives regarding both.

In my personal life, however, biases against women affect me more. For example, I'm a rock/metal drummer, and EVERY time I play a show, some losers (male or female) have to come up and tell me women can't play aggressive music. Bah. I don't let it get me down too much, but constantly having to "prove" myself more than the guys does wear on me a bit. I mean, people assume I suck before I even play. And the chicks get mad because I'm not a dumb groupie like they are. (Note: While some guys are dicks about me playing music, it can also be a guy-magnet. I get hit on way more than groupies do! And I also get a lot more respect...)

Hawkowl, I would agree with you about birth control EXCEPT some religions are against it, and I support their right to be ignorant. Too bad, because I think it causes more problems. And that's why the recent attack on the right to birth control (from religious fundies) really bugs me.

 
At 5/24/2005 8:53 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

Regarding my statement that people against equality should give up equal rights: I wasn't talking about people who are against PRIVILEGE for women (such as affirmative action). I was talking about people who are really against equality under the law. An example would be Linda Davis, who was married to the FDA's anti-birth control physician David Hager. She believed that a wife is the husband's property, the wife should submit to the husband, that women shouldn't work, and that people shouldn't get divorced. Then it came out that she was being abused by her husband. And guess what... she got a divorce! And her lawyer was a woman! I would accept that if she had a change of heart, but no... she still holds the same beliefs. She just made an EXCEPTION for herself.

Regarding the work of "earlier" feminists. Birth control was illegal in some states until 1977. In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the Supreme Court said that MARRIED couples had a right to contraception. Unmarried couples didn't get that right until Carey v. Population Services International (1977). I wasn't alive then, but some of the feminists behind those court cases are still alive. I give them credit where it's due.

It also was legal to fire a woman JUST because she was pregnant until 1988. Public school teachers were affected by this the most (and may I note that they are STATE employees -- not private employees). I know for a fact that some anti-feminist women have benefitted from feminist work in that area. I was alive in 1988, and I'm a young third-waver.

In some states, marital rape is not against the law. I mean NOW, in 2005!

Getting back to birth control, that right is certainly under attack. Religious fundamentalists are running the FDA and denying women access to emergency contraception. The fundies are also pushing for mandatory conscience clauses, meaning that a pharmacist can refuse to fill your prescription and then CONFICSCATE it so you can't get it filled anywhere else. I argued on my blog that it should be up to the business to decide, not the government.

http://redneckfeminist.blogspot.com/2005/04/conscience-clauses-let-businesses.html

 
At 5/24/2005 8:28 PM, Blogger HawkOwl said...

Redneck, you're right about some religions rejecting birth control, however, it seems to me that the ones who do, generally also forbid sex for non-breeding purposes. I find it very aggravating when women who call themselves catholic get pregnant at, say, sixteen, and then say they "don't believe in abortion." (This is an actual case in my acquaintance right now.) It's just wrong to claim catholicism as an excuse to have absolutely no birth control, and then go out and have pre-marital sex anyway.

Now all the dates for birth control, that's very interesting and I had no idea, but I don't think birth control is a "women's right" issue. (Yes, I'm aware I'm not gonna have much support for this opinion.) It only appears so because men can't get pregnant. That being said, where are MEN'S rights in birth control? Where is men's right to abortion? Regrettably, it takes two to have unprotected sex, and only one of them has any options after the fact.

(The above opinion is coloured by the fact that I live in Canada, where we have health care. I'm aware that things differ down south, but that's an issue with your health care system, not a women's rights issue, IMO.)

And while the marital rape thing is very sad, I'd like to point out that most of what is abusive when a man does it to a woman is improv material when a woman does it to a man.

 
At 5/25/2005 11:14 AM, Blogger Kelley Bell said...

I can't think of a good name for our cult, but I must say that this has been a most interesting discussion.

I have learned from each of you who posted, and I hope that we all rant together often as we flitter about in cyberspace.

 
At 5/26/2005 9:15 AM, Blogger drumgurl said...

Thanks, Kelley. Sorry I barfed on your belly (haha).

Hawkowl, there IS a "Choice 4 Men" movement.
http://redneckfeminist.blogspot.com/2005/03/choice-4-men.html

And Planned Parenthood is also supporting the development of a male pill.
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/pp2/portal/files/portal/medicalinfo/birthcontrol/article-000420-birth-control.xml

I can see why, in theory, birth control isn't a woman's rights issue. But the reality is that no other groups other than feminist groups are fighting for it. Nor have other groups fought for that right in the past, except for perhaps healthcare professionals.

"...what is abusive when a man does it to a woman is improv material when a woman does it to a man."

Agreed.

Also, I understand a bit more where you're coming from now that I know you live in Canada. Feminism is different there. I live in Iowa, a very socially conservative state. And... I went to a Catholic high school.

 
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