State of the Union

Ah, the pissing gallery:

Straw feminists (I am not a real feminist and I cater to men’s opinions of me)

Ide’s Place (I’m just a reactionary idiot)

It always makes me sad when I upset long-term posters I respect, like Ide Cyan, and likely many more who haven’t been vocal about how upset they are that I seem to have posted an opinion that that doesn’t appear to be hard feminist left.

Here’s my deal, though:

I believe people are inherently good. I believe people can have civil discussions. And I think we can do it all together. Maybe that’s old-school hippie talk.

Ide asked me if I’d gone nuts and burned my Joanna Russ books. Quite the contrary. The horror of Russ’s story, “When It Changed,” is that the only way women will ever be seen as fully independent human beings is if men are dead. And that when and if men ever come to a women-only world, that they’ll still see women as infantile, as objects, as children.

That’s pretty fucking horrible to think about.

And it’s offensive to both men and women.

It assumes men will never see women as people. And so it assumes feminism will fail.

Because it’s not only women’s minds we need to change, women we need to educate, but we need to engage with male friends, lovers, fathers, brothers, etc. and teach them what rape culture is, that sexist jokes aren’t OK, that sharing household work and looking after the kids is part of being an adult, not a woman. There’s already a general shift in men’s attitudes toward women. If you look at how men over 40 treat you and how men under 40 treat you, whoa boy, yea, there’s a differece. Try it out. I know I’ve noticed it.

We need to raise feminist women *and* men, because we can scream at the top of our lungs about how shitty it is to be oppressed, but until we start educating people – men and women – about what that means to us, we’re screaming in the dark.

So when I see a blog that was open for general discussion start talking about exclusion, about limiting its audience to “radical” female feminists only (who gets to decide who those women are?), I get pretty worried. And that’s OK for me to express that opinion. And it’s cool to be challenged on it.

For me, it’s not an issue of one thread on one blog. I took that idea and I ran with it. I’m a fantasy writer. That’s what I do. I take an idea and I see how it could possibly effect everything else. And the ramifications worried me.

I got through an abusive relationship with a man, and then I recreated myself and found a voice. And I’m all about encouraging other women to do the same. And educating men about how that shit just ain’t OK.

There was a fascinating question on one of the threads about whether or not I’m homophobic, which I found pretty funny, because I’m mistaken for a radical feminist lesbian boxer by people on the far right.

I think each side is going to paint you into a box of who they think you should be, who they see you as. And I’m not going to win that one. People see you how they want to see you.

Am I a feminist? Do I believe in the equal rights of women? Equal pay for equal work? The elimination of the rape culture? Do I believe in encouraging women to be strong and smart and speak in loud voices?

You fucking bet I do.

And if you think I don’t because I saw where limiting a general discussion blog to a small “in” group could lead, because I thought about all of the future reprecussions (this is what I do), then you don’t know much about me at all.

I think my fascination kicks in when I realize just how much this pissed people off. It was just another rant, for me.

What nerve did I hit with this one?

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