Steve Biddulph, Conservative

Just for anyone unaware – Steve Biddulph is an extremely conservative, heterosexist good old fashioned family values men in the workplace women in the kitchen type. I would not advise him as an authority for raising either boys or girls. I read two of his earlier books, including Raising Boys, and it’s pretty much what one would expect – if men and women would just adhere to their proper spheres, and teach their children to do the same, then all the ills of the world would be solved. Specifically, there is a lot of focus on encouraging boys to express their ‘natural’ aggression – but in positive, manly ways like sports – and always with a male parent, since us timid wimmins is not up to the task of raising boys and do it wrong. He says outright that if boys are not taught to channel their aggression in ‘positive’ ways (whatever that means) then they will do it in ‘negative’ ways – ie they will abuse women. So, men abusing women is women’s fault for feminising boys too much. Thanks, Steve!

I agree that the sexualisation of girls is a huge problem, but I am absolutely sure, without even having seen this new book, that Biddulph’s solution is a return to the male headed nuclear family and Christian values, or some secular variation thereof. Keep our girls sweet and innocent as the good lord intended etc. Really, this quote from him tells you everything you need to know: “A girl who knows her own soul may be a gentle girl but with an iron in her that is not easily manipulated by careless boys or false friends. She will be loyal, tough, and protective of those around her. And of herself.” I’m sorry, did I hit my head and wake up in 1800? Gentle girls who guard their virtue with an iron will and love and care for all the (deserving) world around them. And no doubt marry Mr Darcy in due course, having figured out dastardly Wickam’s ways. And if they fail in this task then they are wanton and immoral and weak and it has nothing to do with a predatory male culture that victimises girls, oh no. A predatory male culture that thrives equally well in religious conservative female-sexuality-is-evil-and-must-be-suppressed-and-only-used-for-childbearing environments or bohemian libertarian porn-saturated women-belong-to-all-men environments. Like, those are the options as far as Biddulph is concerned, and he just happens to like no. 1 more than no. 2.

And I don’t get the impression Mr Biddulph is too keen on hairy dykes, but then he’s not that thrilled about gay boys either. As I recall, his advice to fathers of gay sons was something like – and I am paraphrasing here but this was the implication – oh well, you got a defective sissy boy instead of a strapping football-loving woman-fucking MAN, but try to love him anyway and make the best of it because that is what we magnanimous men do.

Seriously. This guy is toxic. Stay away from him and his creepy books.

Tell Me Again About Women’s Choices

In consequence of the Australian government’s decision to cut back on benefits, more single mothers are being pushed into stripping and prostitution in order to survive. This is what female subjugation looks like. This is what a world without feminism looks like.

Thanks to the friend who alerted me to this news article.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/01/20/13/01/single-mums-turn-to-brothels-and-stripping

The Last Feminism Standing

Wow. So things are getting fucking scary. It’s not surprising. This is happening because women are getting fucking powerful and fucking angry and are unwinding the mindbindings faster than male brainwashing can wind them up again. And we all know how men feel about that. Radical Feminism is the last feminism standing, and that is why, in the last few years, there have been more and more women coming to see its value as every other political movement is co-opted and overrun by men and misogyny.

Women are alarmed. On the one hand, we are being told that we have never had it better. On the other hand, we are being sexualised at younger and younger ages, we are encouraged as a matter of course to wear bizarre clothing and footwear in which we can’t move like normal human beings, carving up our bodies is almost a necessity for social survival, pornography is endemic, rape is endemic, child abuse is endemic and women are not allowed to question any of this, even within supposedly feminist and ‘supportive’ leftist spaces. And more and more women are realising this is bullshit. And more and more women are turning to radical feminism because of it.

The sex-positive bullshit has been going on since the 1980s. If it was going to have a political impact, don’t you think it would have by now? But have things for women gotten better? Has slutwalk had a political impact on men’s rape-saturated consciousness? The recent spate of highly publicised gang-rapes around the world would suggest not.

And now, as more and more women fall victim to the translobby, where are the men of the left who pride themselves on being the greatest feminist allies EVER? Well, no surprise there, they’re supporting their dudelydudebros who identify as women and are selling the rest of us down the river. And I’ll bet this is going to be peak-trans moment for a lot of women who were not even really aware of these issues before.

As Gallus Mag said, it is a critical time, so no wonder a priority was made of silencing her. Her blog, after all, has been cataloguing all of the trans shenanigans for the last two years and on every single post there are many commenters who support what she says and add their own additional experiences, thoughts and analysis of the subjects she writes about.

The swiftness and violence of men’s reactions over the past several weeks – the most recent horrific death threats against Cathy Brennan, the stalking and censoring of Suzanne Moore and Julie Burchill, the silencing of Gallus Mag – tells us that we’re onto something. It tells us that men are scared. It tells us that they fear that a whole lotta women are about to wake up and look around and head straight for radical feminism because they can see very well it is the only feminism left that stands for the interests of women and girls.

However, I think there is something else going on here as well. Something deeper. I have been having many conversations with women lately who are deeply dissatisfied with their lives, who can feel the meaningless of life lived in men’s foreground, even though they don’t have the words to express their thoughts as such. They tell me they want to do something to make the world a better place; they tell me they feel disconnected and indifferent about their careers, even the ones who are ‘succeeding’ according to men’s standards. They opt out of living with men and reproducing because they can see that under the current patriarchal system it leads to Self-annihilation. And most of the women with whom I have these kinds of conversations don’t even see themselves as feminists, or know much about feminist politics.

And yet they have this feeling of dissatisfaction, this feeling of something not right, this yearning to live a more meaningful life. And that is what men are afraid of. That is the part of women they most want to suppress. Of course women all want to live lives where we are free of the threat of rape, where we don’t live in poverty, where we’re not married off at young ages or shot in the head for daring to go to school, but I think we also want more than that. We want a transformation of reality. And that is what radical feminism promises. And that is why it is so fucking dangerous. That is why it must be suppressed at all costs.

On a global scale, resources are running out, pollution is everywhere, climate change is wreaking havoc, the earth is dying and men’s answer, it seems, is to draw us all into a never-ending apocalyptic war. Will anything less than radical feminism be able to bring us back from the brink?

We have all been living in men’s reality forever, and to live here as a woman is to live in hell. More and more of us are starting to realise this. We want another way, and I do believe we can make it. All of us, together, can make this revolution happen. All of you inspire me with your courage, and for that I thank you. Let’s make 2013 the year that patriarchy falls.

Email to Matt Mullenweg about the Silencing of Lesbian and Feminist Activists

My email to Matt Mullenweg, owner of Automattic and Developer of WordPress:

Dear Matt,

I assume you are aware that popular blogger Gallus Mag of GenderTrender (http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/) has been locked out of her blog and no longer has access to her account after a concerted campaign by transgender activists and their supporters. This is deeply concerning to me. The tensions between transgender issues, feminist politics and lesbian concerns are fraught and seemingly increasing rather than decreasing. Debates are heated. Opinions vary widely. That does not make it okay to silence dissenting voices. GenderTrender is a blog that is dedicated to exploring transgender politics from a trans-critical perspective – from a questioning perspective. Not everyone likes this. Not everyone has to. The blog does not support or condone violence against transpeople. There are no threats made against transpeople, though there have been plenty of documented threats made against Gallus Mag and other trans-critical feminist and lesbian activists. Why has your company seen fit to silence her voice? Why are we not allowed to publically discuss controversial issues such as medical and surgical interventions carried out on gender-non conforming children who are labelled ‘trans’, the experiences of de-transitioners, the responses of lesbians who are told we have an obligation to consider sexual relationships with male-bodied persons who believe themselves to be women and lesbians? This is part of a growing trend towards censoring lesbian and feminist activists who speak out against the new cult of gender, and it is very frightening. I hope that you will look into the matter and think carefully about what sort of world your company is building through their actions. Because I can tell you now it is not a pretty one.

*

If anyone else wants to try, you can contact Matt here: http://ma.tt/contact/

Objectification = Death

“After all, the best way to turn someone or something into an object is to kill it…But there are degrees of objectification. The process of mortification begins with how the other is seen, and supposedly known.”

I love this quote. It comes from a book called Exhausting Modernity: Grounds for a New Economy by Teresa Brennan. This isn’t a feminist text; it has a pretty male-centric Marxist and Freudian psychoanalytic approach. I mean, the author does have some good ideas, but there’s a lot of frustrating thought-stopping she imposes on herself by not considering the full implications of what she’s saying.

Anyway, this quote really is fantastic, and just because the author doesn’t want to consider its feminist implications, it doesn’t mean that we can’t.

Identity: That Most Troubled of Words

I wanted to write a short post about this in order to have a think about where the concept of identity politics actually came from, and where it is now, and how it got there. I’ll admit this is really just my own ruminations, however, it seems to me it won’t hurt to put my thoughts down about this, and maybe it will help us to consider just how much the concept of identity politics has been compromised, and why.

So okay. It pretty much seems to me that what we now understand to be ‘identity politics’ emerged from political movements – the civil rights movement, feminist movement and gay and lesbian rights movement. Before these movements, I guess anyone who wasn’t a white straight dude didn’t really exist. There was Class White Straight Dude, and everyone’s interests were assumed to lie with Class White Straight Dude, even when they didn’t, and if you had a life narrative or political reality that wasn’t that of Class White Straight Dude then you simply didn’t exist, and didn’t matter. And if you tried to speak up then people (meaning men) laughed at you, or got angry, or locked you up.

The various political movements that emerged to fight for the rights of those who belonged in other categories was about establishing identity as a political category, and also as a class identity. CLASS identity, not personal identity. And I don’t think the idea was to identify AS a member of a class; it was to identify WITH your class. That is, a woman (for example), instead of identifying with the interests of white men, would realise that she identified WITH other women because of their common elements of class based oppression, and subsequently join her class to create political organising strategies to overcome said oppression.

It is true that one common theme across all these movements was the use of personal narrative to identify common elements of CLASS experience, but again, I think this was about encouraging people to recognise themselves in the stories told (possibly for the first time ever) and develop a positive identity politics based on shared experience, shared reality, and the building of new communities through affirmative action as well as fighting class-based oppression.

Of course this was a complex undertaking and it certainly went off the rails often enough, and because life is messy, people couldn’t always just be slotted neatly into a single category and stay there. But nevertheless, it still seems to me that the salient feature of identity politics, as it was originally formulated, was about fighting class-based oppression through identifying WITH your class. (WITH your class. Not AS any damn class that you feel like).

What we have now, via the unholy unity of postmodernism with neo-liberalism (Gail Dines), is an identity politics that has become entirely personal and de-politicised, whilst still appropriating the language of political class action. And so we have private individuals who are obsessed with the idea of identifying AS a class of people, or identifying AS belonging to a particular intellectual or political camp, regardless of whether they have the right to do so, regardless of whether their beliefs, behaviours and actions are actually consistent with those people or ideas they claim affinity to. It also leads to the endless monologues where individuals are obsessed with positioning themselves exactly on spectrums of privilege or gender or sexuality, imperfectly parroting earlier narratives that were not about personal self-obsession, but political consciousness building.

Unfortunately, it has been an extremely successfully strategy. Class-based politics has become embarrassingly passé, whilst young ‘radicals’ run endlessly in circles picking and choosing in the vast capitalist shopping mall of potted and packaged political feel-good ideas. Everything can be political now, from what cereal you choose to how you get your orgasms, and, if you do this, so your professors say, you don’t need to do anything else. Just sit back and watch the revolution roll. It’s fun! Way more fun than being hated on by everyone and getting death threats and not being able to keep your job and having people always laughing at your ideas.

And that’s pretty much all I’ve got to say.