Progress Versus Cooptation in the Radical Feminist Movement

 Progress Versus Cooptation

 in the Radical Feminist Movement

Bev Jo

One of the saddest things to me has been the altering and re-writing of the history our magnificent Radical Feminist and Lesbian Feminist movement of the Seventies. Entirely new words have been made up to describe and criticize the politics of that time. I want to ask all Radical Feminists to question everything they have been told, including which ideas and politics they are told “did not work” or were “bad.” Please don’t accept bizarre terms and names for us and our politics that we did not define ourselves.

Those of us who have been around a while know that those opposed to Radical Feminism and Lesbian Feminism make up names to insult and belittle us. “Cis” and “cis-gender” is one example of men simply calling us names. Please don’t accept their definition of us. Please don’t let someone outside of our movement limit us, re-categorize us, and define us out of existence.

Another term that is about re-writing our history in a way to influence our movement now is “intersectionality.” Now what the hell does that mean, really, and who made it up?  It was NOT part of any Radical Feminist discussion I have ever heard about or read until recently. Did I blink to have missed this? Please question any academic or bizarre term that is not immediately obvious, and assume it is a  reactionary attempt to liberalize or destroy Radical Feminism. And please don’t add to the power of a questionable word by using it, as if it is valid. Whatever is being discussed, there is always a word version that everyone can understand. The quickest way to destroy Radical Feminism is by making it an elitist movement for only the select few.

Yes, there was a complaint in the early Seventies against recognizing and ending racism, anti-Semitism, classism, ageism, ableism and more among us. It was quickly recognized as being a reactionary, right wing style of politics by the privileged (which you can see a variation of in the male right wing still), and was never a part of true Feminism or Radical Feminism.I have been part of the early truly Radical Feminist movement since I was a teenager, in 1970. I was not remotely interested in the pretend “feminism” of the privileged since they did not represent me at all. And they were boring. I was immediately drawn to and identified with the real Radical Feminist Women’s Liberation Movement, however. I read everything I could, much of which is far more radical than much of what I see now being written. I soon joined collectives and began writing articles, working on perhaps the first Lesbian Feminist conference in the world in Berkeley in 1972, published “Dykes and Gorgons,” one of the first Dyke Separatist newspapers in 1973, taught self defense classes for girls and women, etc. I never left our movement/community/culture. I never stopped.

I’ve known from the Eighties that our beloved Radical Feminist movement was being diluted and sold out in a number of ways. I blame the influence of academia and the influx of the combination of sado-masochism, porn, “fun fem” politics, and the genderqueer/GBT movement into our communities.

It wasn’t until I went online that I found out about a whole elitist “feminist”….(I don’t know what word to use — it isn’t a movement, it isn’t a community, it isn’t a culture — it feels like an in-crowd pretending to be radical) something…. that uses in-groupy terms I have never heard before, and so limits who is welcome and who can participate. Any women who comes across this group recognizes immediately that she can join only in an inferior position unless she is one of the rare few where her privilege gets her into a high position. An exclusionary movement is by its nature anti-Feminist. This new “feminism” pretends to be the modern, most evolved version of feminism, but is actually a return to the days before Feminism became real and powerful. Instead of being a new stronger feminism, it is more like the groups of very class and race privileged women who discussed how much of a better deal they could get from men, while still worshipping men and denying the existence of more oppressed women, including those who say no to men. (I’m talking of the media Feminism that was threatened by the “Lavender Menace” or any real radicalism.)

This reactionary politics is extremely destructive and narrowing and segregating of our once enormous, all-embracing Radical Feminist and Lesbian Feminist Women’s Liberation Movement.

So where did the term “intersectionality” come from and why is it being used against us?

Wikipedia says:

Intersectionality is a feminist sociological theory first highlighted by Kimberlé Crenshaw (1989). Intersectionality is a methodology of studying “the relationships among multiple dimensions and modalities of social relationships and subject formations” (McCall 2005). The theory suggests—and seeks to examine how—various socially and culturally constructed categories such as gender, race, class, disability, and other axes of identity interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels, contributing to systematic social inequality. Intersectionality holds that the classical conceptualizations of oppression within society, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and religion-based bigotry, do not act independently of one another; instead, these forms of oppression interrelate, creating a system of oppression that reflects the “intersection” of multiple forms of discrimination.

Decades after grassroots Radical Feminism recognized that injustice and inequality from patriarchy still exist among us, even when we are women living as separate from males as possible, this bizarre sociological analysis and term was developed, using the exact kind of language that continues those hierarchies.

The first part of fighting injustice is to refuse to accept the names that those who are trying to hurt you use against you.

“Intersectionality” is an academic term. That would explain why the elitist “101” is sometimes added to it to explain it. “101” is used to designate a college or university beginning class. Anyone without the privilege/money to go to college or university might not know this, so they are automatically made to feel that they don’t belong, and are discounted and disqualified from the discussion. Segregation begins, because classism is intrinsic to much of racism. Patriarchy thrives on in-groups, with most on the outside. Radical Feminists should NEVER do that to other Radical Feminists. It is not radical to make anyone feel they are not part of the ingroup, It is not radical to HAVE an ingroup.

Now anyone with half a brain, who is not invested in feeling superior to other women, will know that “higher” education gives you skills and privilege, but certainly does not make you smarter. In fact, the self-educated women I know are far smarter than most of the professors I know. However, once someone becomes deeply entrenched in a patriarchal system, they usually identify with it and then defend it. (Notice how doctors rarely break ranks even when their acquiesing means people die?) For one thing, if you want to write well — clear, direct, honest, accessible, and intelligently — you do not write in an academic style. It is elitist and limits your audience, including those whose first language is other than the language you are writing in, which is not good for any political movement. It is also much harder to con and manipulate your audience if your writing is direct. Anyone who has learned the academic style of writing has to unlearn it to not be boring and to sound coherent. But most academics deliberately use it to prove superiority.

Yes, there are a very few excellent Radical Feminist writers who are academics. Generally, they are from class-oppressed backgrounds and had to sense to never learn (or had the sense to later unlearn) convoluted patriarchal academic writing styles. I am not criticizing any woman who has gotten a good academic job. I am criticizing those who are using that privilege to alienate and isolate other women in order to have an elitist, segregated, intrinsically anti-feminist “feminism” that is more like a country club than a political movement or community.

If those elitist standards were in place in the early day of Radical Feminism, there would have been no Radical Feminism because most of our best, clearest thinkers and writers were class-oppressed and often race-oppressed, and most were Lesbians.

Suspicion of upper and middle class culture and their ties to patriarchal culture were intrinsic to early Radical Feminism. Everything we were taught that was absolute truth in patriarchy was treated with suspicion. Every lie and con, from the media to religion to schools to families, were examined and analyzed. There was no automatic worship or revering of the most privileged. Unlike in many of today’s “feminist” writings, blogs, facebook threads, etc., it was understood that Feminists did not laud science and doctors — these were the men who burned the real healers who were witches, these were the men who explained why genocide and slavery were good, because they set Nordic men at the top evolution and everyone else was there for those men to use, and these were the men who tortured and experimented on women (back when lobotomies shock treatments for women were not uncommon, and before the modern time where most women seem to be put on psychiatric drugs). I still am in shock when a “feminist” on a thread lectures about what is fact based on “science” and statistics formulated for pay by male companies. It is so frustrating to feel like we can never go beyond a certain very limited place because we have to keep going over and over the same things that were figured out 40 years ago.

The tragedy is that almost everyone I know who joined our movement after 1980 didn’t learn these basic ideas of Feminism. The most arrogant insist they know those politics even while revealing that they don’t. I have been on discussion threads that were virtually incomprehensible because of the academic language used. When I’ve asked for the discussion to be more accessible, including for those whose first language isn’t English, I’ve been ignored or told to get a dictionary. This is not like any “radical feminism” I have ever known. It’s not even liberal feminism. It’s right wing politics to separate the most privileged from the least privileged.

I was invited to one of these discussion threads (ironically about “privilege”) by someone I later heard described as a “feminist leader.”  (My original Radical Feminist movement had no leaders. Radical Lesbian Feminism was anti-leader because it was not Feminist to give your power to others. All women were encouraged to question and think for themselves. Those put into a leadership position tried to reject it. Mistakes were made, but the good intentions were there. There was an amazing warmth and camaraderie. There was community.)

I was new to this new reactionary style of not even pretending to not be elitist. I repeatedly asked the one who started the thread to write in clear and direct, rather than academic language. I wanted everyone I knew to have the chance to partcipate. She got worse and was supported by the group. I finally asked if they wanted a “community” segregated by racism and classism. They ignored me. I kept thinking of the brilliant Radical Feminists I know who would not feel welcome there or be able to participate. (One later said she watched it all and did feel too intimidated to participate. What a loss. And how dare they do that to her?) Meanwhile, the “leader” said she was “disappointed” in me and told us that she was “tearful.” She continued to harass and bully me until I felt it had become abusive. At the same time that this was unfolding, I was writing to a Radical Feminist friend and told her what was happening. When she heard who the “leader” was, she warned me that that was an ex-lover of hers who had been physically and emotionally abusive to her. She verified what I was feeling by describing her exact style of the manipulation. I tentatively mentioned to the discussion group who my friend was, and was immediately blocked from the thread. No warning, no explanation. I had gotten support from only one woman there, who had been harassed with me. She was also the only other woman who identified as working class.

Do I think that those who were part of that thread really did want a segregated group? I think it was less direct than that and that they did not want to give up showing off their arrogance and class status and privilege, and that that was more important than trying to make it be open to all Radical Feminists. I also saw them doing class bonding with some very unfeminist women there. Their class connection seemed more important than anything else. I believe that they would have been even worse except they were aware that it might make them look bad.

 But what a waste of a chance to help build a movement which could involve and include all women. Especially now, when those who are poverty class are increasing at a rapid rate, it’s even more important to be never use exclusionary language. Not to mention, I want the warmth, intelligence, kindness, humor, and love that I know is part of poverty class culture and is rare in colder class-privileged cultures. I often think that, with a few wonderful exceptions, the class-privileged are just not too bright or interesting. For one thing, most of them do believe they are better than the rest of us and they don’t even notice that they are not. If they have some feminist politics, they try to hide their feeling of superiority, but it does still show. Again, there are wonderful exceptions, so there is no excuse.

 Someone wants to bully or silence you?  They just use their privilege without shame or accountability. And most witnesses let it happen because those with the most privilege are the most valued.

“Reverse discrimination” and “reverse hierarchies” do not exist. It is a right wing idea, as is “oppression olympics” — as if talking about being oppressed ever got any woman anything other than worse treatment. I cannot believe that women who claim to be feminists are using such right wing language as “oppression olympics” and “reverse hierarchies.” Where does any Feminist who dares to talk about the oppression in her life and how she feels marginalized and patronized in a discussion with more privileged women get anything other than ridicule, patronizing, and banning? The treatment is so bad that most Radical Feminists have learned to just keep quiet about their lives and experiences, and the most privileged dominate and bully. And that is exactly what I believe these women want. It’s the country club mentality. How dare someone who they are oppressing talk about her meaningless life? (Of course, even the right wing has learned to have a few oppressed tokens, so mascots can be useful — as long as they obey.)

Yes, a very few individuals have bullied other Feminists by calling them oppressors. From what I’ve seen, it’s been around 2% compared to the arrogant bullying I’ve seen from those using privilege. Ironically, it’s class-privileged feminists who I’ve seen doing the most bullying about the issue of what we eat. I have dear vegan and vegetarian friends who never bully anyone, but that is the issue that I have seen be the most divisive and destructive for decades to our Radical Feminist movement, with class and race-privileged women (primarily) being the ones who are harassing and attacking other Radical Feminists over what we eat. I believe that using what is virtually the cult politics of aggressive veganism and vegetarianism to shame, ridicule, and lecture other Feminists is a way that a group of extremely privileged people with some awareness of politics can justify bullying other people. It is so bad that I have read self-defined “radical feminists” glory in seeing the video of a disabled Radical Lesbian Feminist — Lierre Keith — being physically attacked by a group of men at the Anarchist Book Fair because she dares to speak out about how having been a vegan for twenty years destroyed her health. Again, not all vegans and vegetarians are like this, but this issue has done tremendous damage in our Radical Feminist community. So where is the criticism about this division that I see with “intersectionality?”

The other criticism of talking about differences in privilege and oppression among us is that it will somehow divide us and get us to ally with men rather than  . Where did that come from? I never saw that being said in the early Seventies. We were discussing differences among us as women and Lesbians. It is the NOT discussing of differences that is a way for women to ally with men they share privilege with, especially if part of that privilege is substantial rewards they get from male family and ex-husbands.

 By the way, I’m a Lesbian Separatist and my political writing is rarely about men. My focus is on Lesbians and women as a movement, community, and culture. Every Radical Lesbian Feminist I know  is working towards us having a truly diverse and inclusionary Radical Feminist movement. Saying that sharing support or daring to talk about racism or classism or other issues of oppression that divide us is to ally with men is simply a tactic to shut us up.

The charge that acknowledging differences in privilege and power fractionalize us is the opposite of the truth. When we first began doing that in the Seventies, we created an open, welcoming, and truly diverse and strong Radical Feminist movement. I can’t think of any other movement where there was such a variety of women and where the poorest to the ruling class (family background) became lovers and friends. Nowadays, our “women’s” community feels much more deliberately segregated. Then, many Lesbians from rich backgrounds did not seem to feel as superior as now. And as a political movement, when you attack and humiliate and drive off the most oppressed, you end up with a weak gang of bullies who inevitably end up at each others’ throats.
If you really want to see what divides and “fractionalizes” us, notice how often classism is used to silence other women. Instead of just disagreeing in arguments, the class-privileged will use patronizing and parental language to attempt to humiliate and infantilize the class oppressed Radical Feminist. An example is to tell them that their politics or ideas are “absurd” or “ridiculous” or to be even more insulting. Notice when a discussion is respectful, as if between equals, and notice when tricks are used to dominate and prevent equality.

Or, as my friend, Val, said more simply, in response to the statement “Worst of all, is that intersectionality highlights the differences and therefore fragments any unity against patriarchy:”

I would have thought it’s the more privileged feminists not realizing that they are perpetuating patriarchy with their unexamined lesbophobic, racist, classist, etc. writings that is fragmenting our unity.


So, do we want a Radical Feminist movement that welcomes all females to be part of it, or do we want a segregated “movement” that consists only of the most privileged women and the few more oppressed women they keep as mascots? The last is not Radical Feminism and is far closer to right wing male politics.

Again, what is the goal of those who name-call and taunt anyone who dares to bring up feeling treated badly by the dominant classism and racism that is in any group, and which does not want to recognize oppression among us as relevant?  I think it really is to silence so they will not lose their positions of power, so they will not feel uncomfortable, and perhaps because they really do want an elitist movement.

If this is not their goal, then they can stop insulting and bullying the rest of us and join us in working towards continuing our original wonderful truly Radical Feminist movement.

Bev Jo

P.S.

December 2011

Since writing this, I’ve seen an even more upsetting anti-feminism masquerading as feminism — and that is deliberate censorship and selective editing on blogs and Facebook groups. These groups have become an important way to build Radical Feminist community and share ideas. I naively thought that such groups would be run collectively, but instead have seen virtual dictatorships with threats and banning, and, even worse, selective editing. A well-known blogger who does important work  exposing the “transgender” cult  posted at another blog and was edited non-consensually in a way that completely misrepresented her. In an fb “radical feminist” group, I and a friend were subjected to what can only be called classist emotional abuse, but the worst, most revealing comment (“Gee, let me dumb this down for you again, …..”) was selectively edited, as was my outraged response in defense of my friend. And then we both were banned, without explanation. (I had made the mistake of recommending a list of books by early Black women Radical Feminists, so an furious white class-privileged woman in the group went after me.)

Again, this is not remotely feminism but is right wing tactics. Editing out crucial parts of an argument?  Editing someone’s post against her will?  Some of the women doing this have amassed quite a bit of power and fame as “Radical Feminist” leaders, even though they are extremely Lesbian-hating het women still with men.

It’s one thing for those of us with support to be treated like this. But I worry about isolated or new feminists who don’t know that being censored isn’t  being done only to them and end up leaving our movement. Again, do we want an in crowd privileged clique of a tiny reactionary few, or do we want a truly diverse and inclusionary enormous Radical Feminist movement?

Please do know that if you have been censored, insulted, and ridiculed, that you are not alone and not all bloggers or fb groups are so cruel and unethical.

About Bev Jo

I've been a Lesbian from my earliest memories and am proud to be a Lesbian. My life's work is defending Lesbian culture and existence against those who oppress us. Working-class, ex-catholic, mostly European-descent (with some Native American ancestry), from poverty class culture. Lifelong Lesbian, born near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950. Became lovers with my first lover in 1968, became part of a Lesbian community in 1970, and became a Dyke Separatist in 1972. Worked on some of the earliest Lesbian Feminist projects, such as the Lesbian Feminist Conference in Berkeley in 1972, the newspaper “Dykes and Gorgons” in 1973, the women’s bookstore and Lesbian coffeehouse, and taught self defense to women and girls. Have published in several journals and anthologies, including “For Lesbians Only,” “Finding the Lesbians,” “Lesbian Friendships,” "Amazones d'Hier, Lesbiennes Aujourd'hui," “Mehr als das Herz Gebrochen,” the Journal for Lesbian Studies, Lesbian Ethics, and Sinister Wisdom. With Linda Strega and Ruston, co-wrote our book, “Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics for Lesbians Only” in 1990. Have been disabled since 1981 with ME/CFIDS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome) or perhaps Lyme disease (who the hell knows) and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.) I love nature and plants and animals -- and especially the animals who are feared and hated and killed by people who don't even know them, just as Lesbians are. I've learned to love rats especially, who I do not consider inferior to humans. I'm a spiritual atheist, but I've found out that there is definitely life after death because a little rat returned from the dead for three days to comfort us. These hated little animals are so kind and loving, and willing to die for someone they love. I say, in our fight to protect the earth -- distrust all "truths" we are taught by patriarchy. The true truth is often the opposite.
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44 Responses to Progress Versus Cooptation in the Radical Feminist Movement

  1. Mary Sunshine says:

    So beautifully articulated, Bev.

    Do you remember the old Lesbian Insider/Inciter/InsideHer of the late 70’s , early 80’s? That was a treasure of lesbian feminist thought, lore, theory and life stories. I used to have all the issues, but they are lost to time now. You have described above what I remember from that periodical, plus many others of that era. Also, the festivals, conferences, gatherings, lesbian-feminist lands.

    We have lost so much that will have to be re-generated. Women *will* regenerate it if only because the collapse of the money system will cause the precarious privilege perches of academia to evaporate. The collapse of the money system will also result in most class-privileged women being thrown into the chaotic hand-to-mouth situation that poor women know by heart. They will of necessity open their minds to learn new attitudes and survival skills. That gobbeldy-gook that has erased what we knew as feminism will become meaningless and valueless – much like the old Confederate currency.

    The female life-force will re-assert herself as she always does, but this time with many fewer male-made impediments to her growth.

    Thank you, Bev.

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  2. Bev Jo says:

    Thank you so much, Mary!

    Yes, I thought the old Lesbian Insider/Inciter/Insighter was the best of the Radical Lesbian newspapers (Lesbian Ethics by Fox/Jeanette Silveira was also good. Sarah Hoagland plagiarized the name for her book.) I DO have every copy of the Inciter still. I loved that Minneapolis Lesbian Separatist community, which has so changed now, though I think Pam is still there.

    It’s so important that we remember and let others know.

    I’m glad you’re optimistic about the future. I keep seeing the good Lesbian hearts in my community, but most know nothing about basic feminism. It is so strange. One thing I’ve been noticing, similar to what you’re saying, is that the increasing numbers of the poverty class might make for a much kinder future women since, as a group, poverty class women are so warm, kind, smart, and generous.

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  3. madradfab says:

    Yes. Radical feminism for all women! Please!!

    I started out as a complicated liberal feminist and then stumbled upon gender trender from, oddly enough, a pro trans site that dismissed gender trender as awful. Then from gender trender I found links to a whole world of feminist bloggers that I didn’t know existed. Although I am not a lesbian (I’m bisexual) everything made so much sense and reflected questions that had arisen in my own mind about the trans community and the feminist community.

    I am so grateful for blogs like yours and for what I am learning now. Thank you!

    Like

    • Bev Jo says:

      Thank you so much! Nice to meet you!

      Yes, Gallus Mag’s Gender Trender is amazing. If only all people would go through the archives. What a difference that would make for all girls and women and intersex people. And it would certainly help some men too.

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  4. SheilaG says:

    Excellent article Bev. I remember reading Lesbian Inciter maybe in the early 80s. Radical feminism is such a powerful concept, and whole communities were built around it. We had no leaders, but somehow all the work got done. It was amazing. It’s too bad women don’t do the reading from the original sources, because you can never trust malestream or academentia for any truth about the radical feminist movement.

    I too get tired of all the academic terms from sociology, psychology etc., and I still meet lesbians all the time who long for lesbian spaces, and are so deprived. Drugged too. One lesbian drop in group I went to had a discussion about depression, and of the 14-15 women in the room, only two were not on anti-depressant drugs of some kind. That was shocking, a shocking moment to me.

    Although I can feel frustrated and angry at patriarchy, or the co-optation of or movement by acadmeic pretenders, I don’t feel depressed, because radical feminism drives me, energizes me and uplifts me!!
    I love women like Bev Jo because she is the real deal. There is no more powerful amazon example than the woman who is a lifelong lesbian, freed forever from any contact with sex with men. There is a large group of women throughout herstory who built communities away from men. Medieval geniuses like Hildegard of Bingen and Joan of Arc are examples of true lesbian power. We need to spread the mesage to women far and wide that to never have sex with men will be a source of great courage and power. (For the dumb out there, you all know I’m not referring to rape, molestation etc.–that is violence not sex).

    Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who chose to be a lesbian from the get go. I’m in a see of formerly het lesbians, who of course have to say that they had no choice. Of course you had a choice, you chose, you gambled on the male horse and lost. So Bev Jo writes proudly of how all women choose to rebel, and to not bow down to patriarchy, the girls who never gave in to het indoctrination pressure. You have the girls who gave in to feminine conditioning, but you have a bulk of true resistence at very early ages, and this is the soul of radical lesbian feminism. This is where Mary Daly got her great power, it’s where the power came from. Patriarchy and the penis drains women’s power, and the sexual side effects with sex with men last a lifetime.

    It is essential that all women hear the radical message so that they know they don’t have to marry men, don’t have to go the fem dolled up route, and don’t have to settle for this garbage.

    Radical lesbian feminism and separatism is the spiritual power of a goddess, coming out of the earth in great beauty…. right now, I see goddess trees all over the place, turning leaves, revealing all their beauty.
    That “leaf power” is lesbian power, look across the street and suddenly a gingko tree turns bright yellow!
    Don’t pay attention to any “post-modern” academic who talks about radical feminism. They aren’t using the original source material, they’ve tried to discredit our great thinkers and accuse them of things they never did. Beware of het or ex-het women attacking lifelong lesbians, because they are simply speaking from a sell out perspective. They chose penis worship, but that is not the present or future of radical lesbian feminism or even the power of separatism.

    We have a huge body of work now to build on and grow from. Keep reading, keep studying… radical feminists of the old school have incredible resilience…. the liberals come and go, the crazies and sell outs drop out. There are many lesbian hating and never het lesbian hating blogs that have now disappeared on the scene. There are many women who attempted to ban people like Bev Jo and me just for saying that all women choose, or that women can’t help having sex with men. Just saying this stuff can get you banned by the crazies out there. I feel sorry for the het women who have only their hate of men to thrive, when a radical lesbian has the love of women.

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  5. SheilaG says:

    Oopps I mean “Can help having sex with men…” Women choose to have sex with their enemies, and then they get mad at people like Bev Jo and me. I wonder why? Radical feminism is great for all women, but het women have the hardest boat to row. They often drag our movement down, or go back to men.
    IF we maintain our radical commitment and share our knowledge, radical feminism will be a force worldwide. Mary Daly said that if it decline in one country, it will pop up in another. I rather suspect that the most powerful radical lesbian movments are growing in Liberia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia…. in fact, I correspond with Saudi dykes regularly. I’ve met Bosnian mass rape survivors who are lesbian… they made it out of hell, and they would put all these academic het women to shame with their courage.
    Well, I’m talking way too much here, but inspiration comes to me on this blog, where I feel fully heard and fully validated as a proud lifetime lesbian butch powerhouse Amazon. The woman who chose women!

    Like

  6. SheilaG says:

    I’ve met a lot of women on the Internet, on blogs etc., but Bev Jo is the only one I ever wanted to talk to on the phone!! She’s the greatest!!!

    Like

  7. Bev Jo says:

    Thank you so much, Sheila! You are amazing too. You are such a find, because, as most women work for and apologize for men, most of the rare Never-het (and sometimes Lifelong) Lesbians work for women who have chosen men first or are still choosing men. Too many support male-identified “radical feminists” against those like them, who said no to men and yes to other females. So these feminists threaten, bully, insult, and censor us in order to not upset men still focused on men.

    The unspoken rule is you must never let women know there is another reality by daring to say you never chose to be het and/or that you’ve always been a Lesbian. Until we spoke out, the politics of het identity dominated even Lesbian Feminist groups, with Lesbians bragging about their het past and occasionally saying we all chose men first. It’s just like being a Lesbian among hets with our reality denied. And as soon as you say you exist, they go for you. They accuse us of pushing the issue, even though they always push their privilege. On one hand, we’re accused of being “lucky,” because the cult line is how oppressed poor het women are and we must save them and not spend energy supporting Lesbians. But then when the very aggressive het feminists start with their Lesbian-hating, we are again supposed to disappear rather than have our existence offend these pretend feminists who seem to have growing power among Lesbian Feminists, in spite of how reactionary and liberal their politics really are. On blogs and threads, het women are welcomed to talk endlessly about their experiences with men, but we are expected to be silent or be censored and banned. Why is our existence such a threat to liberal feminists?

    We will not have a truly Radical Feminist movement until men and women allied with men are not put first. We will not have a truly Radical Feminist movement if everyone in it does not know our original Radical Lesbian Feminist politics of the Seventies. (Those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it.) We will not have a truly Radical Feminist movement until Lifelong Lesbians are welcomed and accepted.

    I just wanted to remind everyone that there are still Lifelong Lesbians among all ages of Lesbians, including some quite young. We do always survive in spite of almost everyone wanting us gone. And we are everywhere. I think it’s interesting that a higher percentage of Lifelong Lesbians and Butches seems to exist in more oppressed cultures around the world.

    It is so rare to find Lesbians who really do love Lesbians and put our people first. You’re a treasure, Sheila!

    Like

  8. Helen says:

    I’m sorry you were not made aware of ‘intersectionality’…I believe it came about in the late 80’s and yes it is an academic term. It is widely accepted by radical feminists, so I’m not sure why instead of understanding the term and what it means to your own rad fem politics you rant against the elitism of academic feminists and profeminist sociologists. No one is shoving their elitism onto you or alienating you for not being university educated. Like you said ‘intersectionality’ existed in the movement’s ideology before it was termed as such. It is a useful term that looks at how gender interacts with class and race. Racism, for example, is highly gendered. It provides a way out of ethnocentricity and looks more widely at the global oppression of women. It is still all about women.

    Like

  9. Bev Jo says:

    I think we have a major class difference here. Why is my objecting to something that is bad for our Lesbian and Feminist movement called “ranting?” And why are you assuming that I’m not university educated?

    It looks like you didn’t read what I wrote. I explained all this in my article. I want an inclusive Radical Feminist community, not a segregated one. Using completely unnecessary academic terms prevents that. There is absolutely no reason to use words that are not commonly understood other than for those using them to feel superior at other women’s expense, and to keep out the most class-oppressed women (who are also likely to be oppressed by racism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, etc.) I also don’t want any woman whose first language isn’t English to not feel able to participate.

    No, “intersectionality” is not “widely accepted by radical feminists” because I know Radical Feminists all over the world who would never use it. That is a passive-aggessive way of trying to put me in my place, but I am not intimidated by women trying to reinvent or dismantle some of our best Radical Feminist politics of the Seventies for an elitist audience.

    It’s not a question of “understanding the term.” I understand the elitism and I reject it. It’s not “useful” in any way other than to segregate our community. We don’t need academics coming years later to redefine and try to destroy our original Radical Lesbian Feminist politics.

    Academese is patriarchal. How do you fight patriarchy when you still worship one of its main tenets, which is classism?

    Writing clearly, directly, and in a way that all can understand also make it a lot harder to manipulate and con. (It’s also hard to do that writing in academese.) Having a good and influential academic job does not mean that a Radical Feminist can’t still write clearly and accessibly. Quite a few do. But others are in deep with using classism against other women. I still do not understand why, other than to have a private club where they can bond with each other. (It’s kind of difficult to have a truly eqalitarian community where all Radical Feminists are welcome when one doesn’t want to be embarrassed by the presence of another Radical Feminist who she hires to clean her toilet.)

    It’s no coincidence that those who use exclusionary language are also pushing the line that women cannot oppress each other. This is not “Radical Feminism.” Radical Feminists answered that decades ago.

    And yes, if you object to the weakening and liberalizing of our Radical Feminist movement, you will be banned and censored. They end up with a very small crowd.

    As I’d said, if this elitism was dominant in the early Seventies, we would not have had a Radical Lesbian Feminist movement because it was not the academics and privileged who were our best thinkers, writers, activists, etc. It was the increase of elitist academics as well as the porn and sado-masochists which did tremendous damage to our movement and culture in the Eighties, and which has continued.

    Again, why not have as welcoming Radical Feminist movement as possible?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jane hathaway says:

    Bev, your writing is a breath of fresh air to me, and old in age, but recent, politically, radical Lesbian. I wasn’t a Lesbian, or a feminist, during the 70s … I was right-wing then. When I first found the rad fem online community about 6 years ago, I was bothererd by a lot of terms I didn’t understand, such as intersectionality, and essentialism, also post-modernism. So I really appreciate your plain-spoken radical writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Valerie M says:

    I agree with Jane. Loving women should not be convoluted or a private club for self-congratulating privileged academics. Ignoring the way women perpetuate oppression against each other is not feminist or loving. We should be doing everything we can to rid ourselves of patriarchal ways of thinking, not assuming we were the only ones immune to our environment.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bev Jo says:

    Thank you both! A lot of us can read the worst of the academic crap, but why? I got to where I could not find a single interesting Feminist idea in most that hadn’t been plagiarized. I hate being bored. (Again, I want to say that there are some academics who are not doing this and are writing clearly and well.) What really did it was to find out that there is a brilliant, courageous Radical Lesbian Feminist who felt too intimidated to try to join the fb thread about “privilege” that I had been banned from (but which I had been invited to originally). I kept pleading with the group to write accessibly and clearly, and most would not do it. I didn’t know until later about the friend who could not participate. Who are we missing? Who have we lost?

    Like

  13. SheilaG says:

    The radical lesbian feminism of the 70s was about action and transformation. It was not about convoluted vocabulary words. I’ve noticed a pattern of discounting radical lesbian voices on the Internet— we are accused of being classist, we are accused of being racist, and we are accused of het bashing. We are accused of ‘ranting” a term of dismissal if there ever was one.
    Radical lesbian feminists created very egalitarian communities; it is the hallmark of radical lesbian spaces to be free or sliding scale, to be inclusive of all income groups and “classes” and in the best of circumstances you find all races present too. I dare you to find a community as diverse as radical lesbian space— where else can you find a senior vice president at a bank talking to a woman who is barely off the streets?
    I love language, but I can see academic arrogance from a mile away, and feminism has been ruined by these academics. Their boring books come piling on because they have to publish or perish, and so loads of academic books come out which say nothing and mean less.
    Why else would Bev Jo’s book get ignored, when it is probably the most grass roots book ever written about butch dyke life and culture, and a daring critique of ex-het invasion and manipulation of radical lesbian spaces. A radical space is radical because all dykes are welcome, and straight women are welcome too if they can check their arrogance and make-up at the door.

    Like

  14. SheilaG says:

    You have a lot of snide “newbie’ radical feminists who have no herstory in the movement, who actually were fun femming it up in the 90s, but who trash lesbians constantly. These are the women who ban Bev Jo and me, for example. Almost all of them are either actively (living with men) hets, or ex-het lesbians who think “femininity” isn’t oppressive. Our vision of lesbian feminism was to create spaces of power, spiritual energy, and dyke inspiration. It was a place you could go and be sure to find a lover who was not a mtTrans, or a bi-sexual poser. We created lesbian only radical spaces for a reason. There are rules within radical feminism, and rule number one is to respect lesbians, and to honor women who love women. Het radfems largely hate men. They have lost the het lottery, picked too many men, suffered too much PIV, and these screw ups now blame radical lesbians for sticking to a powerful ideology that was on the cutting edge of women’s freedom.
    What is the difference between a radical feminist het and a het who lives in Beverly Hills? Het #1 married or lived with the wrong man, Het #2 married a rich man, and could comfortably sponge off of him and get het privilege. The failed het women come into radical feminism not out of love for women, but out of failure to make hetness work for them. They got beat up by men, raped by them, used up by them… so now they bug us for never swallowing the het indoctrination cool aid.
    Radical feminism is for all women who want to be free. I’ve met radical lesbians everywhere, in every country I’ve been to. Failed het sell out women are a dime a dozen, Bev Jo’s are the gold standard… show respect and honor radical lesbians. We don’t do “intersectionality” we do sisterhood!

    Like

  15. Bev Jo says:

    Thank you so much, Sheila, for saying that all so clearly and so well!

    Like

  16. Witch says:

    Oh, Bev. I’m a young woman with a bit of shakey history about feminism. I’m 18, latin-american, working class, of colour, and I’ve been interested in feminism since 13, being introducted to it by a lesbian who I loved with all of my soul. She told me about being a lesbian, loving other women, but she sent me Feministing to read, Shakesville… And I was becoming angrier and angrier at that community, I mean… That wasn’t the feminism I looked for! I became radical at 15 without backstory of reading radical texts, simply because I had no idea they existed; but that lesbian told me being radical was baaaaaaaaaaad because think of the poor men, not every men is like that, femininity isn’t oppresive… I gradually became more and more liberal and now, at 18, I’m more radical than ever.

    What you talked about the “oppresion olympics” is specially interesting, because it looks like in liberal feminist sites you can’t discuss how “womyn” automatically puts you in an oppresed place. In the country I live there is a soap opera where they finally shown a lesbian kiss, the first homosexual kiss in television. FEMINISTS said a lesbian kiss wasn’t “shocking” enough, that a gay kiss would shock the patriarchy much more. I wondered why? Why? Why do we ignore that being a womyn automatically puts you in the oppressed position? Why don’t we understand the primal oppresion is sex-based? And, of course, a white, het, educated man had the nerve to tell me he was as much as oppressed as me because he’s fat (I’m skinny as hell because I actually can’t eat in my studying journey, because everything is expensive and I have no time until I come home. Also, strange metabolism and health problems…). WHY? How? HOW?

    And what you said about those extreme, disrespecting vegans… You won’t believe when I tell you. While discussing it, I naively asked if I could kill, say, a cow, as humanly as possible, to prevent it feeling pain. A feminist said “humanly killing” was the same as saying “humanly raping”. WHY? Why would you compare rape to that situation? I can’t be a vegan, I’d die if I were vegan, and they essentially tell me I’m the same as a rapist because I need meat?

    Sorry for all the rambling… I’m still learning with those wonderful Radical Feminists you are. I’m trying to present Radical Feminism to other friends as well, and the contradictions of liberal feminism, as much as those attempts are, more than often, failed. I come from a country with little to no history of Radical Feminism, as a result of imperialism and military dictatorship. I’m so sad when I see liberal feminists hesitant to fight capitalism. I wonder what they try to achieve…

    So… Thanks a lot for those texts. I can’t think of anything else to say. Sorry for the rambling. And sorry for excusing myself so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Bev Jo says:

    Welcome, Witch! Where are you from? That is fantastic that you found your way back to your original radical self. Actually, I don’t know those sites you mentioned, but I am seeing a version of “feminism” online that is so liberal as to be what I don’t consider even feminist. It’s anti-feminist really.

    It looks like you’ve seen even a worse version that I have. A gay male tv kiss more “shocking” that a Lesbian kiss?!! We threaten patriarchy at its core. Gay men have been an intrinsic part of it, from when the ancient Greeks killed the Amazons (recorded in life-like friezes, now at the British Museum) to Roy Cohn to J. Edgar Hoover to Hitler’s Ernst Roehm, etc. (I’m not denying gay men’s oppression, but they, as men, have had far more access to power than Lesbians have.)

    Yes, fat people are very oppressed, but it’s far worse for fat women, and an otherwise privileged white het man (class privileged, from what you said?) of course is far more privileged that an 18 year old working class Latina Lesbian.

    I really agree about you knowing your body enough to know you need meat, and good for you to have the strength to go against the vegan pressure. Plants feel too! That feminist vegan comparing you to a rapist is so typical of that cult’s cruel bullying tactics.

    You weren’t rambling at all! You are absolutely clear and write well. No bullshit or academic mind fuck. Just clear, good Radical Feminist politics.

    Nice to meet you!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Witch says:

    First of all, thanks a lot, Bev Jo! I’m from Brazil, a country full of mindfucks… At the same time conservative and liberal, but, above all, ruled firmly by the patriarchy, to the point there are people protesting a law against punishing hardly men who beat up their spouses, girlfriends, wives, because it’s apparently inconstitutional, it gives power to a group over another, think of the poor, poor men who are beaten by their wives and there’s no law to help them… At the same time, we have SlutWalk (Urgh), and this “choice” bullshit, and a female president who was tortured in the military dictatorship (An who, of course, is called a dyke, and can’t do much for women because of the religious right). It’s a strange, strange place; I love our nature and I remember clearly my spiritual awakening when I got to see the untouched forests of the south, when I saw Mother Nature’s power and beauty, and I still tear up remembering because it was so beautiful, but our poliics are shit. I believe we still gotta walk a long way to have a true, firm feminist group, but until now in my country reings fear of anything “politically correct” or “too subversive”, and of course, women can and will be killed if they do anything patriarchy dislikes… I remember coming back from school when I was 16 and a man shouted at me, from a bus, “Hey, dyke, watch out, I’ll rape you!”, in broad light, at almost 1pm, and the only thing I did was to dress not like patriarchy wants me to dress…

    Yes, that man is class privileged. He’s a white-collar worker, and while I do understand fat people are oppressed, I couldn’t believe what it implied: Oppression now is being seen as individual, like as in, “well you can be lesbian, black, working class, poor, but who are you to say you’re more oppressed than every white, rich, het men, you don’t know their stories, their experiences”. Everything is relative now, this thing of “you don’t know what happened to them” is such bullshit; of course we don’t know, but isn’t it obvious that some classes are more oppressed than others? It’s not “oppression olympics”, it’s fact.

    I’m kinda glad you don’t know those sites… As least when I last entered them it was full of choice, liberal liberalism, cool slut walks, empowering via sexiness, freedom by fucking more than one man. I’m actually very afraid of this liberal feminism (I dislike the term “fun feminism” because I had the most fun reading radical feminist blogs) thing in my country. The backstabs (Liberal feminists saying radical feminists aren’t true feminists!) to women, the importance of being always sexxxxay and femme (Liberal feminists promising with their feet together, lesbians aren’t all butches! The great majority of them are femmes! And gays, too, they are mostly masculine and not feminine! See? They can fit the patriarchy too!), power by fucking men (To the point I heard monogamy was anti-feminist and polygamy was the thing to end womyn’s oppression… Mono/poly with other men). I feel so powerless.

    So, so powerless. I wanted to try and form a lesbian group, but politics here are confusing and even if you’re a liberal, white, het man you can get death treats and you must ask for exile in other countries if you dare go against some powers; like what happened with a politician here. I’m afraid, I’m already afraid just by walking down the street. Some years ago, when I was very young, I saw some radical lesbian communities online, but most of them are abandoned by now. But here with this wonderful international radical feminist community I feel at home and draw strengh to try to help womyn as much as I can.

    So, thanks a lot, Bev Jo and everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    • KgSch says:

      Those vegans sound scary but I’ve bumped into ones like that before. I do think it’s a divisive thing too. I wonder if veganism is being more promoted towards women as another fad diet to get us to voluntarily fuck up our health.

      Sadly I am not surprised that feminists would declare a gay kiss more shocking than a lesbian kiss. I have bumped into women who will gush over a gay male couple (fictional or real) and then turn around and be disgusted by a lesbian couple (fictional or real) or even deny they are lesbians. It seems to be a thing where some het feminists fawn over gay men and then ignore or openly despise lesbians.

      Yes, that’s true! Gay men are oppressed for being gay, but being men they are still part of the patriarchal system. Some are aware enough to know that gay-hatred has its ties in misogyny. Others, primarily a lot of the so-called “LGBT” organizations are aiming for the biggest piece of patriarchal pie possible, hence the boycotting of Mitchfest (misogyny and lesbian-hatred). There are also groups that are promoting making surrogacy easier for the richer gay men. I think surrogacy is a disgusting practice because the majority of women who do it are desperate and poor. Also, it is bad enough that most heterosexuals, particularly men seem determined to make the human species overpopulate itself to death. We don’t need gay men and lesbians contributing to that too.

      Yes, I have also heard the insistence that not all lesbians are butch or “not all feminists are those ugly, man-hating lesbians, we’re good, we’re het.” It’s true that most lesbians are fem but this is another case of throwing butches under the bus to appear acceptable to the patriarchy.

      Also, ugh SlutWalk. That shit shows up at every town or university I go to. Sad to hear it’s become internationally popular.

      I haven’t heard that monogamy is misogynistic, but I have heard that being sexually active with as many men as possible is empowering.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bev Jo says:

        Definitely veganism and vegetarianism became yet another way for women to starve and punish themselves as a diet fad, and, even worse, to police other women.

        I agree about surrogacy and the rest of what you said!

        Liked by 1 person

        • KgSch says:

          I’ve also noticed that it’s a lot of younger people going vegan, particularly young women. It just seems similar to the rise of anorexia in younger and younger girls. Plus there is a lot of policing going on there too, and those creepy culty pro-anorexia internet groups. I know some older people who are vegetarians, but most of them are hippies and at least they still eat dairy products so they get some good protein. It can definitely be dangerous for your health. One of the professors at my school put himself in the hospital trying to be vegan.

          Like

          • Bev Jo says:

            It’s felt like a plot against girls and women. In many parts of the world, females are forbidden meat that’s fed to boys and men, so the irony that in countries where we can choose meat, we don’t. So much of it is like an eating disorder. And so many women are now disabled from not getting adequate nutrition. The saturated animal fat is even more important that the meat, and doctors of course tell women to not eat fat. The result is bad health, depression, suicide….

            Liked by 1 person

          • KgSch says:

            Yes, saturated fat is the good kind of fat. Doctors might as well be telling women not to eat anything. Saturated fat is definitely better for you than all those low-calorie snacks that taste like fake sugar.

            Like

      • OutlawSage says:

        The worship of gay men is monumental. Like an epidemic. Part of it ironically is obsessing over men who don’t want degrading sex from women, not that they know this is part of their obsession with gay men but it is. Subconsciously they know what we know about what men think of women and how they treat women. The usual worship of men is there as well. Gay men are an out that allows them to still worship men without having to worship misogynistic (in their minds) men. In order to appreciate lesbians they would first have to appreciate women and they don’t. Men are interesting, women are not and that’s just the end of it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bev Jo says:

          Sadly, I agree. I never understood it. Women are far more interesting and far less dangerous than men.

          Like

        • KgSch says:

          That’s a good point. I think that many het/bi women have the mistaken belief that gay men are less misogynistic than het men. It’s just not true. Yeah, a gay guy isn’t probably isn’t going to want to rape you but I’ve heard some of the most misogynistic slurs from gay men. I’ve met some gay men who seem like good people, but they are still not as interesting as women, especially lesbians.

          I think that worship of gay men is a way to be able to continue worshiping men, but not look like it’s man-worshiping because it first glance it just looks like helping out an oppressed group. It seems similar to pseudo radical feminism where they look like they are helping women, but instead obsess endlessly over men and claim men have weird powers that they don’t have. (As in the “all women have Stockholm syndrome and instantly trauma bond to men” nonsense.)

          I also know het women who were socially isolated/bullied in grade school who ended up being friends with gay men who were also social isolated/bullied. So that’s another reason.

          I completely agree with this comment, “In order to appreciate lesbians they would first have to appreciate women and they don’t. Men are interesting, women are not and that’s just the end of it.” I’ve noticed that when it comes to heterosexual women allies, most of them are really just gay men allies. (Or nowadays tranny allies. The tranny best friend is the new gay best friend.) The majority of the time, lesbians are not paid attention to as much or ignored at best, or treated with contempt at worst.

          Liked by 1 person

  19. Bev Jo says:

    Yes, I agree that our feminist politics about oppression is being used against us. Men claiming our identity use it, and really, like you said, anyone can, with the “everything is relative” crap.

    You’re right — better to call the sell-out feminism “liberal feminism.” Or even “reactionary feminism.” It’s not really feminism at all. I guess if men who hate women can claim to be feminist, so can women who are against feminism.

    I hadn’t heard that monogamy was anti-feminist in a long time. It’s men who refuse to be monogamous and that got carried over into our movement long ago. The same old mistakes being repeated, over and over.

    I’m really glad you feel supported here. I feel very supported by you to. So thank you too.

    I do know some Radical Lesbian Feminists in Brazil, so maybe you could get in touch with them. It helps to have support nearby. Here, there are so many Lesbians, but so few with Radical Feminist awareness, so friends across the world and online do help me also. But it’s much worse for you to have to feel so afraid because of how dangerous it is to be a radical Lesbian.

    It’s wonderful about your beautiful wild nature there though. I know what you mean about “spiritual awakening.” I feel that too here, though so much has been damaged.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Don’t equate your and your kind’s hateful vomit with “women”, “lesbians” or even “feminists”. You do not stand for us, and we do not stand for you.
    You do not know what oppression means. I hope you and your supporters die in a fire, for being the vile, hateful, obnoxious people you are.

    Like

    • Bev Jo says:

      Gallus got one of these too. Great company to be threatened in.

      So, who is this man to tell us what women, Lesbians, and feminists are?

      Like

    • Pat says:

      Sivu, can’t you see that your response is in fact hateful vomit? Wishing people to burn and die–does not that not seem like pure vile and wickedness?

      Like

  21. LS says:

    Bev,
    I’m so sorry that you still get nasty posts from insensitive and cruel people.

    We love you,

    Like

  22. G says:

    Hay Bev found your site by accident, or maybe the goddess.
    Anyway here I am blogging on Facebook, I don’t do things like this except when my professor ask me to. The elitist vocabulary your talking about, when I questioned such I was told its called process though. Yes, Yes, Yes it separates many of us from being at the table, you explained it beautifully. I am being introduced to the world of educated religious feminist groups( some are lesbians) that are engaged in open discussion at the same table as the patriarchal politics.
    I hear what your saying stop with the language barriers, the segregation of one female group to another. We’re losing ground on many of the issues that were already hard fought and won in the 60’s and 70’s. I have always believed that if the table don’t want you there, then make your own table. But since studying women’s involvement in the surrealist art movement of the 40’s, I have to wonder if maybe I’m missing something. I’ll try to explain myself. First let me say thank you for everything you did for women in your active involvement of the second women’s movement.(And still are)
    I was to young, and missed out. Sadly it looks like I’m going to get a chance to get involved, it appears we came up a little short on some of our basic human rights goals. These issues and our herstory is all very new to me, I was hiding in the modern dark ages of middle class America. But I’m cured! I don’t know if this is a question or a statement but please correct any part that many need some redirection. Had the female artist of the surrealist movement not participated, then what herstory would there be of women involved.Although the Feminist movement in France and America accused these women of supportin female oppression, I would also ask how do we know that these women weren’t re-framing the “GAZE” in their subject matter. Now its 2012 and we have Feminist Religious groups popping up and sitting at the same table that’s been stoning, suffocation, and starving us for century’s, do we stay or do we go? What is the best approach, I haven’t enough information yet to make a sold opinion. But I agree with you whole heartily, segregation of women by women against women will only perpetuate our male dominated world.
    Peace and Laughter
    G

    Like

    • Bev Jo says:

      Hi G,

      I’ve been seeing so much on facebutt that is called “feminist,” but seems to be the opposite. I don’t believe real Radical Feminism can be religious. I know women make compromises, and some of what seems to be religious is cultural identity, which can be important to not lose, but basically I believe religion is our enemy.

      Like

  23. SheilaG says:

    There is a very clear difference between religion and cultural identity, which any Jew can tell you. Religion is the enemy of women, and has been for thousands of years. I think women get confused about this, and thus continue to support oppressive woman hating religions at our own expense. It’s very hard to get women to break free from this.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Bev Jo says:

    I agree completely! Religion is evil, but it’s essential to respect oppressed cultural identities. Where would Radical Feminism be without the Jewish Radical Feminists who helped create our movement?

    Lesbians becoming or returning to religion is a sign of the culture becoming more right wing. I can’t believe how many Lesbians are saying they can’t go to community events because they have to go to church. From when I was 5 to 14, I had to go to church 6 days a week, from Sept. to June. What a waste of my life. But good training in how to be an obedient, mindless, unquestioning servant, who will accept any amount of meaningless boredom.

    And it’s all a cult. I really like the cartoon I re-posted on my fb page today — a nuclear mainstream family at the dining table with the father saying “…they placed jesus’ corpse in a tomb and then three days later he rose from the dead.” The mother retorts, “Bill, stop scaring the kids with those fuckin’ zombie stories.” Love it. And it’s a cannibal cult too.

    Like

  25. druidwinter says:

    Reblogged this on winterdominatrix and commented:
    know the facts>

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Lizzy Shaw says:

    Good post. You’re right, it is completely unnecessary to use wordy academic language/words that were invented in the same year I was born. I remember when the feminism I was aware of was the third wave/right-wing variety and someone said she felt sorry that poor women and/or women who didn’t go to college wouldn’t be able to understand feminism. The fact is though, many poor women and/or women who don’t go to college have a much better version of feminism than the sell-out kind.

    The main thing I dislike about the idea of intersectionality is how the trans cult uses it to mean that men can become women and are more oppressed than actual women, even though the term was originally focused on racism. Still, it is very academic-y and true radical feminist groups were/are inclusive of all women even without using that word.

    I can understand the focus on the idea that women are oppressed as a sex. I know some women focus on that since the trans cult is trying their hardest to turn the definition of “woman” and “lesbian” into, “whatever some fucked up man wants it to mean.” But, arguing with trans cultists and their supporters is a waste of time. And discussing classism, racism, lesbian-hating, and other things like that doesn’t all of the sudden mean that men can be women/lesbians. It greatly annoys me when women claiming to be radical feminists perpetuate those inequalities or shut down discussion of them because that isn’t radical. Plus, real radical feminists always have to deal with the trans cultists and their supporters accusing us of being racist, classist, ableist, etc. (because those words mean whatever you want them to mean apparently.) I just love when I get accused of being classist by some upper-class man who can afford vanity plastic surgery to attempt to look female. Meanwhile, I come from a lower-middle class background and last year was the first time I’ve ever earned enough money to have to file taxes. I don’t care about helping rich people.

    True radical feminism is not lesbian-hating or racist or classist. In fact, many women who have not been through the mindscrew that is most women’s studies university classes (and accompanying right-wing feminist groups) have better ideas and insights, especially because nowadays one of the best ways to be a right-wing feminist is to make up lies about radical feminists, never mind that radical feminists are responsible for the few rights we have. It’s a witch-hunt, plain and simple.

    I also agree with you, Bev Jo and Witch about the vegans. Most of them don’t seem to care what other people eat but there are too many of them that form a little cult that like to wish rape on people (but mostly women) who eat meat. The reality is that being vegan is a terribly unhealthy choice that is not more ethical than eating meat. Humans are omnivores. I applaud Lierre Keith for telling the truth about how being a vegan was bad for her health.

    I also agree about religion. That’s another taboo thing though; you aren’t allowed to criticize anyone’s precious religion. I also don’t like agnostic/atheist groups that treat being agnostic/atheist like a religion either, especially because almost all of those groups are lead by some nutjob man who’s a misogynist. (They might not believe in God, but they still believe in patriarchy, which is the one true religion on this earth for men.)

    @Witch

    I had some similar experiences with “fun feminism” too. I agree that it’s not actually very fun. You aren’t allowed to point out sex-based oppression and fucking a lot of men is considered empowering. I’ve also heard a lot of put-downs for monogamy too. There is also a ridiculous focus on proving that, “not all feminists are like those ugly, hairy, man-hating lesbians.” I wonder if that’s why almost all the “lesbians” in the media are more feminine than a lot of het women I know and are obsessed with the heterosexual act of putting sperm in their bodies so they can get pregnant and contribute to the world’s overpopulation problem.

    Sadly, I’m not surprised by people in your country saying that a gay male kiss is “more shocking” than a lesbian kiss. I’ve been told many times that gay men are more oppressed than me, but that is another lie/mindscrew, just like the lie that het women are more oppressed than lesbians. Many gay men directly oppress lesbians to get a piece of the patriarchal pie, as we can see by all mainstream “gay” organizations banding together to destroy Mitchfest.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. KgSch says:

    I very much agree about the academic language. I can read it but not everyone can. College is expensive. Plus, if it’s a political movement it should be written about in a clear and logical way. I agree with you about the intersectionality thing. It’s another example of odd academic language.

    There are definitely trolls out their and/or women who are only into radical feminism (or a cheap-knock-off really) for their own personal agendas. (I think most often that personal agenda is ego.) I do think that it also puts off new-comers to the whole thing. Who would want to join a clichey group that is just like a high school-themed soap opera anyway?

    I have also seen some of the bizarre accusations about radical feminism only being about helping the most privileged women. Why do people think that? Well, it’s because the “women’s/gender/queer studies” professors and the trans cult said so and also there are too many knock-offs claiming to be radical feminists who are into helping privileged people (aka themselves.) I got accused of only caring about rich people once (because I said I was a radical feminist), which is hilarious because if I or my parents were anywhere near rich I would not have so much student loan and medical bill debt. Seriously though, according to academic “feminism” classes, Betty Friedan=all of radical feminism. It’s beyond ridiculous. Talk about distorting history. They would never, ever assign your book as reading material.

    It’s sad how so many feminist groups are actually so anti-feminists. Editing posts like that is just dishonest and if the point of the group was radical feminism, you’d think they’d be happy with a list of works by black radical feminists. Those groups should just call themselves mainstream feminists to save everyone else the trouble. At least they would be more honest.

    So much bizarre stuff gets called “radical feminist”. Sometimes is the trans cult beliefs. I know a “radical feminist” who parrots the “true transexual” myth and is always pulling a “not like those other radical feminists” (meaning us) line by saying tax payers should have to pay for men (and occasionally women) to get cosmetic surgery. She also randomly accuses radical feminists of harassing teens with dysphoria. (In her view, harassment equals saying that you shouldn’t multilate your body because you don’t fit into the gender box.) There’s actually a lot of those. Then of course there’s the “women don’t have choices” nonsense, often combined with “het women aren’t privileged over lesbians because het women all have Stockholm syndrome. I have my unicorn man but lesbians should still pity me because of Stockholm Syndrome.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bev Jo says:

      Feminism has been said to be about only privileged women from the beginning, which was lying or deliberately ignoring the majority of feminists. Of course the media image is very privileged and het, and creepy enough to put girls and women off.

      Yes, they erase us.

      A lot of the groups are troll and perhaps even run by agents.

      I agree!

      Like

      • KgSch says:

        That’s true. And especially if you say you are a radical feminist or a lesbian radical feminist than somehow you’re super privileged and only care about helping rich people. Because those heterosexual men pretending to be us who are STEM careers are so much more oppressed than us. And so are those (mostly men) who run AIDS charity organizations and get a salary of 300K. Talk about blatant lies.

        I agree about the creepyness! Especially nowadays mainstream feminism seems to be a pissing contest to prove how male-worshiping you are.

        Liked by 1 person

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