unwinona

chasertiff:

When I say “boys are dumb” what I really mean is “boys have been raised in a patriarchal society that forces them into an incorrect and problematic view of masculinity that not only forces them to strip away valuable virtues from themselves, like patience and gentleness, but also forces them them to view and treat women in unhealthy ways that devalues women as people and makes them into objects purely for a man’s benefit”

but it’s a lot faster to say “boys are dumb”

unwinona

unwinona:

"In a society that disparages women’s culture, distancing myself from that culture was a way of benefiting from sexism by again aligning myself with the dominant regime. ‘Yes, women suck, but I’m not like all those other women.’

It was the same impulse that leads so many women to say that they ‘just don’t get along with women; they’re so catty after all.’ The underlying message is: ‘I am one of you, not one of them, and entitled to the advantages you enjoy.’

Most of posters on the Women Against Feminism Tumblr instead embrace the trappings of traditional femininity: They don’t need feminism because they ‘love to cook,’ ‘want to be stay-at-home moms’ or they ‘like men.’ Obviously these women are operating under a very flawed understanding of what feminism means. Feminists didn’t fight for the right to cook and be a mom because those options have always been on the table. They wanted additional choices. (The logic flaws in their argument are nicely summed up here.)

But I think the WAF are ultimately utilizing the same strategy I was back then: Sisterhood is dangerous. Much safer to uphold the status quo, to say to your oppressor, ‘You know what? I think you’re right about this whole feminism thing.’ Aligning yourself with the dominant group and upholding their ideas is a subconscious attempt to benefit from their power. And it can work, for awhile.

Ultimately, the problem is that this is a short-term survival strategy, based on an assumption that inequality is the way of the world, that it’s unlikely to change anytime soon, and that one has to figure out how to get by within that unfair system. For a 16-year-old girl with no real power in the middle of Oklahoma in 1999, that felt very true. For young women who live in a place where gender roles are very entrenched, where those who reject sexism are in the extreme minority, and where there is a lack of access to the resources and community that can sustain them during a lopsided fight, they may never adopt a more long-term strategy.” (x)

snowflakeespecial

rookiemag:

yoaguanto:

Jenny Holzer - SURVIVAL, 1983-1985 (exhibited as part of Creative Time’s 42nd Street Project 1993)

"Like the Jenny Holzer pieces, you’ve got a lot of people saying, ‘What the fuck is that? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?’ And it’s like, well, why are you angry about that and you’re not angry about anything else you see here? About drug dealing, about people with drugs, about homelessness, but you’re getting mad about this sign because people feel it doesn’t belong here. And they feel all the other stuff does." (Theatre Electrician) (x)

Twenty years later, these still feel shocking in the best way. Jenny Holzer forever.

-AA.

The bolded tho…!

twentythreetimes

Staring Back

twentythreetimes:

I took testosterone for you. You started smiling at me. You trusted my heart like I was a grandson; you trusted my intelligence like I was a Real Boy who had grown up able to ask questions in class instead of spending hours after school quietly researching the answers for myself. You trusted my hands to carry your furniture in the discount store where I worked. You trusted my intentions to be stronger, my instinct to protect, my need to fuck, my right to personal space. You trusted my swagger and gait. You averted your eyes on the street. You stopped staring. Middle-aged couples smiled at my girlfriend and me.

When I was nineteen, I discovered the word “dysphoria” in a trans activist group on campus. Dysphoria explained my humiliation of being a female. It explained why I felt that I should be treated as my older brother had been. I wasn’t free to live the way I wanted to – unless I was a boy. Being a man opened all the doors I had banged my head against for eighteen years. After living as male for a year and a half, I decided to start hormones as I received copious support and encouragement when I asserted myself in this new light. Everything finally fit into place and made sense. A new name and a more visible display of masculinity was my passport into a world where I was finally an equal. In this brighter world, I was part of the majority. I didn’t have to lower my eyes in shame anymore.

“Oh, isn’t he sweet for buying her that hope chest in Goodwill?”

The waiter always gave the bill to me.

“Isn’t he a nice young man for opening the door for her?”

Kisses in the park were cute.

I got jobs the same day I walked into an establishment and declared that I was a hard worker.

I was innocent until proven guilty, worthy until breaking trust.

Men shook my hand without being gentle and looked at me face-to-face instead of giving me a full body scan. Staring at me rudely on the street now implied confrontation. My body was no longer public property.

It was expected of me to demand rights and protect my own territory – it was respectfully masculine rather than overly defensive. I was the typical American, I was the Southern Boy, I was a complete human being with flaws every other man had. I was listened to and allowed the space to gather my thoughts without being interrupted or having my train of thought hijacked by a more qualified opinion. I was the expert of my own experience. I discovered male privilege. The grass on the other side was even greener than I had imagined.

Perhaps transition wasn’t the act of rebellion I thought it was. I had been resisting my entire life as I admired cute girls and sat with my legs open because it was comfortable and begged my mother to let me shop from the men’s section. More accurately, transition was a final acquiescence. It was the only way to make my behavior normal. It was a solution historically backed by psychiatry.

It gave me such a feeling of relief to point to my condition of transsexuality and say “Look! I was born with a defect! It’s a physical, chemical, hormonal, brain problem that I can’t help.” It was treatable; there were doctors to see, medicine to take, and a community of support. My friends said they “knew it all along.” Psychologists approvingly checked off every symptom from the DSM-IV and diagnosed me with Gender Identity Disorder. My pain had a title and a treatment plan. I could speak with an authority that was only laughed at before transitioning – in the gas station, on the phone, to the waitress, to the bartender, to the landlord. I was taken seriously by perfect strangers instead of being gawked at, an extraterrestrial surrounded by familiarity. Why didn’t I transition sooner?

When I look in the mirror, I see a mise-en-abyme, a picture within a picture. I am a product of my society, a response to your criticism and encouragement, I am a hall of mirrors reflecting your uncertainties and insecurities. I see eyes that look back with questions for answers. I see the shame of being a dyke and the elation of being a boy. My transition wasn’t a a careless decision, or a mistake – it was a reaction to my society and my experience that resulted in a better quality of life and provided me with the comfort of having answers and options. Eventually awakening to the ill-fit of living as male allowed me to examine my sex from a more holistic perspective.

What is my gender? I identify with my sex after being repulsed by it my entire life. My gender is that having a cunt has affected every facet of my existence, even when I turned the tables on others’ perception of my body. My gender is having discovered that I don’t enjoy fitting in with the guys: passing as male, becoming fluent in bro-talk, and being assumed to have a penis. By making my sex invisible, I internalized misogyny. Conforming as male meant hearing the word “rape” used as a synonym for domination, humiliation, or asserting authority - and not being able to say anything without being incongruous and confusing to my male peers. They could not have imagined the memories and emotions that word conjured up for me, but I could not find the words to call them out from any other perspective than that of a female and my own personal experience. Being a man meant bragging about “getting pussy” and listening to over-dramatized fantasy versions of my co-workers’ sexual exploits. It meant laughing at the manifestation of misogyny saturating my world and profiting from it. Being a man meant much more than this, but this particular aspect was one I could not swallow through I tried for three years via a deepening subconscious hatred of my birth sex.

My gender is an effort to reach and find a new lens through which to view my reality of being female. Female and male, feminine and masculine are paradoxical, self-referential Janus-words. The inadequacies of language force me to put my existence into the phrase “I do not have a gender.” I do not play any role of gender blindly, but with awareness and a careful observation of each reaction.

Since deciding to detransition, I present my public face with the sentience of being ambiguous. When something as fundamental as one’s sex is uncertain, one’s entire identity is put into question. Many strangers get hung up on that one pivotal point, and I can always tell – they aren’t really paying attention and they dislike me for having an appearance that isn’t as user-friendly as they are accustomed to. Their eyes uncomfortably search my face, my body, my words and gestures for clues. Every motion I make is not of my own volition, but a reluctant answer to a question I would rather ignore. It is never the clear-cut answer they want. They may forget that I never asked to be examined; they must be blissfully ignorant of the fact that their expressions of discomfort are all too familiar to me. Their hands push down and hold me under their microscope. Endless eyes press down into the lens; they stare back at me everywhere I go, innumerable, unblinking, larger-than-life.

When I am alone, my essence, words, and actions cannot be divided into a gender. Solitarily, I am a nebulous, happily abstract being, but every time I step outside I must loathingly allow others to examine me unscrupulously. I have never thought of myself as a circus freak but I have received a very clear message from my parents, teachers, friends, airport security, and co-workers: “female” simply cannot be packaged as I am. I tried to become something else, something understandable, expected, and digestible. Now I choose to stare back at you with defiance and I offer no definition, explanation, or apology for who I am.

unedameauxchats

redressalert:

There’s a lot of talk these days about the social category woman versus the biological category woman.

Historically, in feminist theory, this categorical separation is done in order to demonstrate that femininity (submissiveness to/dependency upon males) is not a natural outcome of femaleness, but is instead a stereotypical role forced upon female humans from conception, in order to facilitate male supremacy (“patriarchy.”)

This stereotypical role is built upon a sexist interpretation of our physical reality - we are capable of gestating fetuses, giving birth and breastfeeding, and thus must fulfill this role and only this role of creating and nurturing others; furthermore, not only does the power to create human life supposedly mean we exist only to take care of others, but in the fundamental patriarchal reversal, this power is framedas weakness - to mean we cannot take care of ourselves. Therefore, we must attract and keep a man to protect and provide for us; therefore we must depend upon, and serve, men.

It is at the AND THUS in the above paragraph that feminists say NO. Because the female capability to bring new life into the world is bothundeniable (every single human who ever lived came into existence via a woman’s body) and un-shameful (creating new life is not allwomen can do, nor are all women bound to do it, nor does this capability to create others mean we cannot provide for ourselves.)

This separation between female reproductive capacity and feminine social role is done in order to show that how men wish to view women - as their mothers, wives, servants and whores - as human beings wholly defined by our usefulness to them - is not all that women are or can be. To put it more simply, the feminist separation between the biological category woman and the social category woman is done in order to show that the social category woman is bullshit.

~~~

Men on the right do not accept the separation of the social category woman and the biological category woman. To them, humans born to the potential baby-making class should become wives and mothers, and spend their lives serving their husbands and children. In return for this lifelong servitude, they will be provided (a kind of condescending, infantalizing) approbation and (supposedly) a modicum of safety. Women who do not find a man to take them in shall serve by default as servants and whores.

Men on the left have taken the separation of the social category woman and the biological category woman to mean they can simply ignore the biological reality of female impregnability. Females are not born to the potential baby-making class but to the facilitation-of-recreational-male-orgasm class. Our uteruses are no longer fetal incubators belonging to men; but our entire bodies are cum receptacles to be used and discarded by them. We are no longer born to whisper “you’re such a good provider” and push football sized infants into the world via our vaginas, but to scream “oh my god you’re so big” and be buggered to the point of anal prolapse.

It should not be shocking that some men are willing to let go of the desire to use women to father children to whom they pass on their name and wealth when we are living in a hyper-individualistic a-historical time in which very few of us end up in old age with enough to live on, let alone to pass on to future generations.

It should not be shocking that in a culture determined to focus on the purchase of short-term pleasure that we would see men turn women into disposable sexual commodities rather than long-term domestic help.

It should not be shocking that many men would furthermore expect women to continue being their voluntary emotional caretakers as well as their voluntary sexual service providers and to feel short-changed in their manhood when this expectation is not met. (See: Men’s Rights Activists.)

And it should not be shocking that feminists object to all of this, to any definition of women that is dependent upon our use-value to men.

And make no mistake, this is what the social category woman comes down to: use-value to men.

~~~

Various use-values women may serve for men:


  • Heir-makers
  • Caretakers
  • Therapists
  • Maids
  • Cooks
  • Secretaries
  • Decorations
  • Orgasm facilitators
  • Objects of derision and violence (building dominant masculine identity in opposition to feminine “weakness”)
  • Proxies (enforcing feminine roles on other women)


These days, the separation of the biological category woman and the social category woman in mainstream leftist spaces is not done in order to show that the social category is bullshit. It is done to erase the inconvenient physical reality that recreational sex can have long-term consequences, and to enshrine the social category of women as decorative, sexually available foils and punching bags for men.

This is done ostensibly to protect a small group of males (trans women) from other males, as if pretending they are female will protect them, as if the position of decorative sex object is one of safety, as if dependence upon use-value to one’s oppressor is not the very thing feminists fight.

Women are adult human females. We exist outside the male gaze. We are not defined by our usefulness to men. Biological reality exists outside the dictates of male desire, and our social reality should do the same.
I appreciate this essay. It speaks to the reasons why the idea of “male woman” never sat quite right with me, and why, in the end, I couldn’t keep thinking of woman as having two definitions (the second being “someone who passes for a woman”).
It’s because the social role is predicated on having a female body—and when you eliminate that piece of the definition, you erase not only female reality in general, but also the specific reasons and ways that female outliers are punished and harmed for not “fitting.”
There are wide discrepancies of male experience, but I don’t think it’s accurate to say that the social role of woman ever applies to a male. Passing isn’t being. In patriarchy, men have always compared other men to women as an epithet. Neither of these are the same thing as being groomed into subordination from birth or before, on the basis of your biology. The “social role” rests on both biology and lifelong socialization.

These days, the separation of the biological category woman and the social category woman in mainstream leftist spaces is [done]… to enshrine the social category of women as decorative, sexually available foils and punching bags for men.

This is done ostensibly to protect a small group of males (trans women) from other males, as if pretending they are female will protect them, as if the position of decorative sex object is one of safety, as if dependence upon use-value to one’s oppressor is not the very thing feminists fight.

Women are adult human females. We exist outside the male gaze. We are not defined by our usefulness to men. Biological reality exists outside the dictates of male desire, and our social reality should do the same.”

womanontheedgeoftyne
Feminist silence about love reflects a collective sorrow about our powerlessness to free all men from the hold patriarchy has on their minds and hearts.

bell hooks, Communion: The Female Search for Love (via vul-va)

you know what? that’s some bullshit. feminists are screaming their throats raw about love. and because the love is ABOUT WOMEN LOVING THEMSELVES AND EACH OTHER, and that love is not about CENTERING MEN, bell hooks doesn’t even hear it as love. in fact, she hears nothing at all. she hears only the “silence” of “collective sorrow” and a feminist “powerlessness”. she dares slander love by conflating heterosexuality with vast universal loving-kindness. such blasphemy! akin to grabbing a fistful of whale-poop and declaring an end to the ocean’s mysteries. how dare she! LIES! 

i know a shit-ton about love. i know how much love it takes to burn down lies in my own mind and in the minds of my sisters. i know how much love it takes to stay on the battlefield and FIGHT FOR WHAT I LOVE. and you know what i love? WOMEN. i know how much love it takes to resist with every cell in my fucking body and carry that spark of resistance through the hellstorms of each moment of each day, where i am told that i am not entitled to even the ground under my feet or the breath in my lungs. where i am not even allowed TO CALL MYSELF WOMAN. 

and also! also! my love is POWERFUL. my love is not some sorrowful victorian ms. havisham perma-mourn wah wah why won’t men straighten up and fly right whine! MY LOVE IS NOT ABOUT MEN. 

the power of my love is in SEEING THE TRUTH OF MALE HATRED AND EVIL CLEARLY. the power of my love is THAT IT SEES AND ACTS WITH THE SKILLFUL MEANS OF RADICAL FEMINISM THAT IS FOR, ABOUT, AND BY WOMEN. only women. 

my love is not some consolation prize. loving women is not forlorn or maudlin or sentimental. loving women is robust and raw and terrifying and cleansing. my loving myself and my sisters is vajraradix diamond-sighted radical truth-speaking! my love is diamond-radical vajraradix pure! my love is not about grasping at what is not there! 

my love is so profound that it brings the light of truth. and that truth is that the times are so dark that the only way is to turn away from men and burn alive with love for my sisters. 

my love is not about rescuing men. my love is about WOMEN. 

sisters! do not accept that you are second best! do not accept that you have no power! if you love then you are ever-powerful! if you love then you are already free!!!! 

this, is the revolution. the non-grasping love that banishes the darkness of evil. the non-grasping love that consumes you alive. so that you burn as a human pyre, a bright column of living flame in this dark age. 

sisters! LET’S BURN TOGETHER AND LIGHT THIS WORLD ON FIRE! 

(via redhester)

reverseracism

Actual things that should be done with plantations

elegantly-tasteless:

-burn them all to the ground

- sacred museums telling the actual history of slavery not glorifying the lives of slave owners

-genetic testing/ ancestry mapping sites for Black Americans 

I really like the second two choices.  Truth telling FTW!   Also, people gotta know where they came from, so everyone can move forward.  

But y’know, obviously the first choice is the easiest.

never-obey

At a lecture I was giving in a large West Coast university in the Spring of 2008, the female students talked extensively about how much they preferred to have a completely waxed pubic area as it made them feel “clean,” “hot” and “well groomed.” As they excitedly insisted that they themselves chose to have a Brazilian wax, one student let slip that her boyfriend had complained when she decided to give up on waxing. Then there was silence. I asked the student to say more about her boyfriend’s preferences and how she felt about his criticism. As she started to speak other students joined in, only now the conversation took a very different turn. The excitement in the room gave way to a subdued discussion on how some boyfriends had even refused to have sex with non-waxed girlfriends as they “looked gross.” One student told the group how her boyfriend bought her a waxing kit for Valentine’s Day, while yet another sent out an email to his friends joking about his girlfriend’s “hairy beaver.” No, she did not break up with him, she got waxed instead.

Two weeks after the waxing discussion, I was at an East Coast Ivy League school where some female students became increasingly angry. They accused me of denying them free choice in their embracing of our hypersexualized porn culture, and being the next generation’s elite women, this idea was especially repugnant because they saw no limits or constraints on them as women. Literally two minutes later, one of the students made a joke about the “trick” that many of them employ as a way to avoid hookup sex. What is this trick? These women purposely don’t shave or wax as they are getting ready to go out that night so they will feel too embarrassed to participate in hookup sex. As she spoke, I watched as others nodded their heads in agreement. When I asked why they couldn’t just say no to sex, they informed me that once you have a few drinks in you, and are at a party or a bar, it is too hard to say no. I was speechless, not least because they had just been arguing that I had denied them agency in my discussion of porn culture, and yet they saw no contradiction in telling me that they didn’t have the agency to say no to sex. The next day I flew to Utah to give a lecture in a small college, which although not a religious college, had a good percentage of Mormons and Catholics. I told them about the lecture the previous night and asked them if they knew what the trick was. It turns out that trick is everywhere, including Utah.

I tell this story because, on many levels, it neatly captures how the porn culture is affecting young women’s lives. The reality is that women don’t need to look at porn to be profoundly affected by it because images, representations, and messages of porn are now delivered to women via pop culture. Women today are still not major consumers of hard-core porn; they are, however, whether they know it or not, internalizing porn ideology, an ideology that often masquerades as advice on how to be hot, rebellious, and cool in order to attract (and hopefully keep) a man. An excellent example is genital waxing, which first became popular in porn (not least because it makes the women look pre-pubescent) and then filtered down into women’s media such as Cosmopolitan, a magazine that regularly features stories and tips on what “grooming” methods women should adopt to attract a man. Sex and the City, that hugely successful show with an almost cult following, also used waxing as a storyline. For instance, in the movie, Miranda is chastised by Samantha for “letting herself go” by having pubic hair.

socialismartnature

socialismartnature:

As we watch the horrifying slaughter unfold in Gaza, bear in mind the Israeli psychosis that fuels and justifies it. Here are comments from three rightwing Israelis – two leading politicians and a professor – who very much reflect a strain of mainstream thinking in Israel, one that the international media largely avoids noting.

Each, in their different ways, is advocating a genocide of the Palestinians.

Ayelet Shaked, of economics minister Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party, calls on her Facebook page for murdering the mothers of what she terms Palestinian “terrorists” (a very broad concept indeed in current Israeli thinking) so that they cannot give birth to more “little snakes”:

They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists. They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists. …

[The terrorists] are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.

Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer on Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University, believes the sisters and mothers of Palestinian “terrorists” should be raped:

A terrorist, like those who kidnapped the boys [in the West Bank on June 12] and killed them, the only thing that will deter them, is if they know that either their sister or mother will be raped if they are caught. What can we do? This is the culture that we live in.

Note that his university did not reprimand him. They defended his comments:

The purpose was to define the culture of death of the terrorist organizations. Dr Kedar illustrated in his words the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and law-abiding country to fight the terror of suicide bombers.

And finally we have Moshe Feiglin, a deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, urging the Israeli army to kill Palestinians in Gaza indiscriminately and use every means possible to get them to leave:

[Netanyahu] announces that Israel is about to attack military targets in their area and urges those who are not involved and do not wish to be harmed to leave immediately. Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel’s humanitarian efforts. … All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. …

The IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations. … The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.

This psychosis is not going to get better on its own. In fact, it’s going to get much worse. How much worse will depend entirely on the continuing inaction of western leaders.

Jonathan Cook is an award-winning British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel, since 2001. He is the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Blood and Religion, Israel and the Clash of Civilisations, and Disappearing Palestine. Jonathan was awarded the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism in 2011, for his outstanding analysis and being one of the reliable truth-tellers in the Middle East. His reports and commentaries have appeared in major newspapers, including the Guardian, Observer, New Statesman, International Herald Tribune and Le Monde diplomatique. He has also been a senior consultant with the International Crisis Group.

reverseracism

nitanahkohe:

lady-chevy85:

nitanahkohe:

A mini documentary on sex trafficking of Native women, with particular focus on Minnesota (Native women & girls are frequently sold on the shipping boats that travel around the Lakes, and have been for decades).

"People don’t see Native American women as humans. They see them as punching bags. Or something novel, like a new toy—it’s fun at first, but afterwards you throw it away." —Sarah El Fakahany, Sexual Assault Advocate at Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center

This is very sad, I didn’t know that the Native American women and girls were part of sex trade and prostitution.

it is a very big problem, much bigger than many people realize or want to admit, even among Native communities. if you go to a truck stop anywhere near tribal communities late at night, you will see young Native girls who have been trafficked. Minnesota, Arizona, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Oregon, & Washington are particularly bad. here’s some more resources on sex trafficking of Native women: