on the importance of thinking, transformation and metaphysics of liberation.

“Men have never dreaded anything more than women talking together, realising our condition and acting upon each of our realisations. “

235 thoughts on “on the importance of thinking, transformation and metaphysics of liberation.

  1. I love this. Just finished reading her post a few minutes before you blogged this. You and Witchwind are two of my favourite female thinkers.

  2. Feminist dialog salons, sounds great to me.
    The world of women is vast. Our power is oceanic. The tide is coming in. Women create with power, purpose and passion.
    Radical feminism fueled on the natural wind horse energy (buddhist term) that grows grass, helps flowers bloom and moves the tides each day is indomitable.
    The backlash was very effective at pitting women against women, and alphabet against alphabets.
    I think women should reserve their treachery, along with stealth and cunning, against patriarchy. Not each other.

  3. We can think, and talk, and yak all we like, but until we get off our butts and DO something, nothing will change. Not that I don’t admire how smart you all are.
    I recall consciousness raising back in the day. Maybe that’s why you’d have to put a gun to my head to get me back at it.

  4. Redbird,
    I’m a little singed by CR days myself. I took a “for-profit” trade show to a national women’s organization with P & L projections, sponsors and a vision for a massive national fundraiser. Shafted, too big, too “business-ey” and that was in 1977 and I’m still so very disappointed (but I trademarked and own the name of the conference and it’s clever name). I am a (post) breeder. I wore lipstick. Shudder. The power-over women sure shut me down back then, when I was tired of not addressing a business model to raise the money to help address the problems. Anyway, I still work in nonprofit fundraising. Any woman can! Even as a volunteer activity – guaranteed there are NGO’s in your community that benefits women and could use a House Party or other smaller scale contribution to their revenues efforts. Even a $100 can boost the morale of the recipients that earn your small House Party largesse.
    But, if women cannot come together and rebuild community, we are silo’d and we can’t build the tidal wave as fast as our planet needs us.
    There are many women-led nonprofits, my realm, international NGO’s for women’s health. Women leaders: Vandana Shiva. Malali Joya and our tremendous Western leaders who post here and to whose conferences we pay. Massive amounts of actions are now taken by women – international news as reported on ISP Genderwire:
    The subject of this blog – where did the thinking go? Now includes the next question – where did the talking go?
    I am nothing short of RAGEFUL at patriarchy. Treachery, stealth and cunning – plus radical joy in our female aliveness and creativity – is what’s on my mind. That’s The Conversation I’d like to have.
    Eve Enslers One Million Rising is a nice action, getting ready for next February 14th….in many communities around the world is something I see as a visible feminist action.
    Oh, I’m organizing a convening of successful female leaders and supporters of the environmental movement in my bio-region to talk about all these resources going to the boyz ngo’s and the paucity of female leadership driving the conversation in our region and how the patriarchal chemical industry poisons are causing an epidemic of cancer, learning disorders and autism, birth defects, “obesegens” driving our overweight/diabetes, and the third stage of diabetes = alzheimers.. I’m locally calling our women’s leadership meeting: The Conversation.
    I think any concerned woman can organize and host a salon to discuss her favorite topic and actions might flow from that group. Or, donations collected provided to a local action.
    Anyway, again, thanks gendertrender for hosting this talk.

    1. Yes, but it’s hard to sustain the thread of thought when you have to keep checking yourself becaue of WHO IS READING. Being part French, I wave my hands and shrug a lot. You all miss that.
      As I recall the Trots took over our conscious raising group, and we silly former houswives and middle class aspriing women were the cause of imminent world doom. It was during the time of the Cultureal Revolution, and some used it as their model. I recall bleeding for days.

    2. Yes it is GM and I for one am really grateful for all that you do and the insight and humor you bring to it. From what I can see young women today have it worse than their mothers–and that is possible. One thing is they see feminism as admitting defeat. As a kind of ideology of the loser or the ones that opted out of the game. They imagine the world is a fair place because their mothers told them they made it a fair place because they read Betty Friedan. Mommy had a big ego. And while I do not agree that women who live with men are supporting the enemy as Shelia says I do think we obscure the problem.

  5. It’s an important question to address, whether doing small good under the relentless control of the patriarchy is a better way to spend one’s time than devoting one’s self to refusing to cooperate with it as much as possible. I can’t answer this question for anyone, but it’s really about the validity of incrementalism. But since the whole thing is run primarily on our backs, it’s hard to believe we can leverage our way to freedom from within.

    1. When it’s women who need food for themselves and their children, women who need shelter when trying to escape a battering male, women who want off the street but have no job training or place to live, no idea what the next step will be. I’m not going to overthink it at that point. I’m there.

  6. Right on GM, this whole blog is a consciousness raising.
    Bless us all for the conditions we endure. Your comment is provocative. I believe I have refused to cooperate as much as possible, including the original rejection of male colonisation of my mind and body. Mistakes made, granted. So, wihtout incrementalism what do you act on to act from without?
    I have female doctor, dentist, all co-workers and board, mostly female donors, female children, female 85 year old roommate feminist, buy clothes from woman co-operative and have favorite american-made and designed by woman clothing line I source second hand and having rented my house to a lesbian family/grandmother/grandson when I no longer had use for many bedrooms….having sought living “without” and having through stealth, cunning and treachery survived….what more can I/we do?
    So, if we can’t leverage our way to freedom from within, what is the alternative to incrementalism? Female co-operatives? Worker owned co-operatives with living arrangements included? That’s a business model we could get going right now all the women my age need old age shelter. Are feminists active in the Transition Town movement in their communities which are planning for a long emergency?

  7. I don’t think you can leverage freedom from within. I think radical feminism provides the analysis. And we have to continue to pose very radical questions, to help break patriarchal mindbindings.
    Unfortunately for radical feminism (not all women in this category), but unfortunately, women often come to radical feminism after the whole thing has crashed down on them. The girls got raped, beated etc. married very bad husbands, had to flee with their children, barely escaped. Then you have young women full of brightness, they waste time in the funfem “dating” date rape scene, get worn down by it…. sidetracked by having sex with men… worn down, and then after all the disaster, radical feminism dawns on them.
    So we need to reach women sooner, and I don’t know the answer, because when women LIVE with men, and CHOOSE to do this, they are supporting the enemy, and having more enemy children…. so there is a sense of futility there.
    As a lesbian, I don’t get how they all can take it, but I am way outside that system, and don’t do things with men, and never really have. I’ve pretty much known they are monsters from the get go, but it was easier to see for me I think, again, because I had no sexual attraction to the pigs to begin with.

    1. Women need to be championed in a different way. The “fun feminists” are dilletants and their sexual preference has nothing to do with that. The message needs to be reframed and I think the bigest disaster for women across the globe was the divide between lesbians and striaght women and then when ethnic women are excluded–we have those babies. And like it or not, for us they are a power base. Not everyone lives in the same reality or has the same choices–Even the word choice is so outside many womens reality that I just shook my head when I read that. We can’t tell other women or anyone for that matter how to live but we can agree that if they are here on the planet they deserve all our support and protection. But what do I know.

      1. “I think the bigest disaster for women across the globe was the divide between lesbians and striaght women and then when ethnic women are excluded”
        The biggest disaster? You know what the biggest disaster for women is, Lesbian or straight? MEN. Not Lesbians. And do you think there are no “ethnic” Lesbians at all?
        Regarding choices: You are right. So many women don’t have any choice. They are out of the question, and my heart bleeds for them. For several reasons, forced and arranged marriage (I know the latter is treated as ‘different’ for pc reasons, but it is just a slippery slope) is a topic very close to my heart, and I fully agree that there are girls and women who indeed have no choice. I know that and I wonder if that isn’t actually the majority of women seen on a global scale.
        But this doesn’t change the fact that in particular in Western countries many women indeed get to choose. They choose to be with men for the most trivial reasons (e. g. because it makes them popular in school) and for more fundamental ones (e. g. social and economical privilege).
        I’m nowhere worshipping the mythical ‘choice’ and ‘agency’ of liberal feminism. But I have a very hard time to compare a neat middle-class privileged life with the background of a fairytale wedding to the sufferings of a woman forced into marriage or a Lesbian raped as a “corrective” measure. The force of conditioning is very weak compared to the force of violence, threat of violence, threat of social death etc. To me, it is frivolous to view the two as equal.

      2. Why would women’s reproductive ability–their babies–NOT be a power base? Those babies are, after all, the core reason men want to colonise us. They are.
        We lose power only when men can take them away and own them. Which is pretty much forever.

    2. “.. because when women LIVE with men, and CHOOSE to do this, they are supporting the enemy, and having more enemy children..”
      I know we keep coming back to this, and I think I know where you’re coming from. But I waver back and forth, and keep trying to reject the simple/simplistic answer. WHY do women stay with men, that’s it isn’t it?The central question of feminism, how does the system work that keeps them there where the menz want them? I understand the urge, from a lesbian perspective, to just shout in frustration — just STOP doing it, really, just STOP. I think it’s important we should be able to voice that frustration without being accused of victim-blaming, but I think we need to go beyond/deeper than the obvious simple answer. If it was SIMPLE after all, would the patriarchy have persisted for so long? DO we really think our fore-mothers were that stupid? I do think we need to keep ASKING the question again and again, WHY do you give your energy to men.The question is as valid and difficult as it was thirty or three hundred years ago. Thankfully we are still asking it, because the fun-fems and lib-fems certainly aren’t.

      1. That stat we are told is that 70% of the world marriages are arraigned and I suspect it may be close to accurate. I am from a culture that does arranged marriages my own included. They are not the horror shows that you might expect for girls at the higher end. The lower down the worse it gets. If a family cannot afford a decent husband for their daughter they are looking at the losers. I never had a boy friend we don’t socialize with males at all before marriage and only within the immediate family after. I have no idea why anyone would want a boy friend– but that maybe cultural. It never occurred to me. I was married at 17. Having been grown up in two very different worlds I can see both sides. I think the riff between lesbian and straight women is what allowed both gay men and straight men to render women invisible. You do notice that men have a unified front on this. You imagine that lesbians who threw themselves on the pyre that gay men set up for them are not less screwed than those of us that married men–I don’t. What do we get? Well I can only speak for myself. I get babies out of the deal. I like babies. And I see my ability to reproduce as a power base–like Rose Kennedy. Face it by and large the LBG movement is born out of a male focus and and is an elite urban upper middle class movement–so what if there are ethnic lesbians. The structure is white and upper middle class, just like fun fems. Adriann Rich–rich lady, on Daddy’s money. Same sex marriage was won because another really rich white lady did not want to pay 400K in taxes–The enemy is bullshit, talking it, and believing it. You think lesbians can change anything without us breeders–good luck with that you can’t. Contrary to popular imaginings we don’t hand over the keys to the kingdom in the bedroom. We need a united front. Women need to come together on certain core issues and who we partner with is not one of them. Men don’t care. And only in this culture of romance does we imagine it matters. –IMHO

      2. Bad Dyke,
        I’m confused you said– Get to root of the issue, and don’t accept the I’m just attracted to men line. . .” Who said that? I mean I am sure people have but it is not the brighest reason in the world. I hope very little in this life is based on attraction as the root of decisions. I think there maybe 3 or 4 main reasons that can explain–economic, reproductive, community, and yeah some people bought into the in love thing. Dumb asses.

      3. @BadDyke 9:33 ” … how does the system work that keeps them there where the menz want them? I think we need to go beyond/deeper than the obvious simple answer.”
        You’re right, of course; it’s not simple. It’s very complex, and for what it may be worth, I think it is inescapable–which certainly does not mean we shouldn’t fight it with every fiber of our being. But I am not an optimist.
        Downthread (?) you dismiss the notion that sexual attraction has anything to do with this lugubrious outcome. I am not so certain. I agree that to an extent our sexual appetites and the arrangements we make to satisfy them are deliberately chosen–but only to an extent. I’m not an optimist, and I’m not big on free will, either.
        We’re apes. Part of the human project is to be as un-apelike as possible. You win some, and you lose a lot more.

      4. ” and don’t accept the I’m just attracted to men line. . .” Who said that? I mean I am sure people have but it is not the brighest reason in the world. I hope very little in this life is based on attraction as…”
        A whole load of women, when you talk to them. I don’t understand why that comment is causing so much interest?

      1. You’re assuming that sexual attraction is ‘innate’………………
        And being attracted to doesn’t mean you have to do anything. And sleeping with men is a different thing from choosing to live with one or produce babies with one.
        Thing is, we are still stuck with lesbians supposed to explain why they are lesbian, but straight women — they never expect to have to justify their ‘natural’ urges. Get to root of the issue, and don’t accept the I’m just attracted to men line……………

      2. There is a really old weird book called The Art of Courtly Love. it traces the whole notion and the idea of putting women up on the pedestle for adoration–sexual mostly, by men. Men’s attraction figures into it in very veiled and old fashioned ways. What is interesting is that at the same time love of women and attraction was celebrated women were losing more and more legal rights in Europe. It was a kind of distraction to rip women off. And I personaly don’t see why attraction would be a reason for politicaly siding with men at the expense of other women or children. It happened so many people did see it differently. If you make a an ethical choice about how to deal with owing a debt for example based on sexual attracting you are not making an ethical choice you are making an ego choice. I BTW think the whole notion of attraction is male in many ways.

  8. I agree with a radfem in the blogosphere somewhere who posits that “trauma bonding” enforces females to bond with males. I was!
    (Please forgive me for forgetting your radfem blog name, and if someone here remembers her discourse on that subject speak up. I won’t forget again!)
    Why do women choose to become male-identified females and give energy to men? Violent oppression. Beatings. Rape. Molestation trauma bonding. Lack of female-power images in media. The patriarchal backlash against feminism and silencing was crushing. Gonzo porn. Ugh.
    Alpha males originally “sold patriarchy” in my imagination IMO, to other beta males by saying if they sold their women and families down the river to the alpha male, they’d be rewarded with what rich men had – access to women, greater wealth from the plundering, etc. So, the tribes were overrun with those aryan invaders with superior metal wheels and weapons, and promised more goodies if they’d join the patriarchy against their Goddess loving earth-based tribes. It’s taken 10,000 years to subjugate women, take away our weapons and land, our Goddess worship and our female-collectives that were our tribes.
    If women had enough economic alternatives they would not have to choose nor stay with men. And, sex education should include the right of any and all girls to say NO to PIV. That should not be proferred by sex education as “the” gold standard for sexuality. It ain’t.

      1. Thanks for the link to FCM and her good work there!
        Trauma bonding can also happen through Childhood Sexual Abuse that grooms/trains young female victims into hetero patriarchal PIV “sex” norms expected by males, before CSA victims even have had a chance to explore and even know IF they are attracted to males or females.

      2. Trauma bonding? No I think, survival. Until there are other options, women will do what they have to do for their and their children’s survival.
        Ice Mountain, I don’t see any Lesbian hate here, so I’m confused about what you’re referring to. But if you see it, take it on, as a het women I generally do the same, if I see it.
        But I try to remember, we’re just women, and we’re all we’ve got. Men are the enemy, gay, straight or trans.

  9. @Motherhood
    Our life experiences may be closer than you’d expect, but I don’t want to go into personal matters in such a public space. Let me just say I am very sorry that you were married with 17. That’s awfully young and just not right. I really hope you are fine today.
    As for what else yousaid – I have typed four versions of an answer. I have trashed four posts. The problem is: I can deal with blatant hate against Lesbians when it comes from men or women without any political conscience. I can’t deal with it when it comes at me in a feminist space. I’m sorry.

    1. I don’t hate lesbians I just think that after the 70’s when they got their asses kicked to the curb and they ran back to gay men they were fools. I also think that choice to ally with men was bad for women in general.Politicaly worse than women marrying men because marriage was not a political movement per se it has almost always been either a contract to consolidate wealth/power alliance or a situation in which to rear children. The divide in feminsim did not make it stronger.

      1. Excuse me, Motherhood, but saying “I don’t hate lesbians I just think that after the 70′s when they got their asses kicked to the curb and they ran back to gay men they were fools” is EXTREMELY Lesbian-hating.
        What the hell are you talking about? Who kicked me to the curb? I never was with gay men, and neither were any other Lesbian Feminists, so please explain. And when did we “run back to gay men?”
        Of course the “choice to ally with men was bad for women in general.” Which is why I never did it (you do know that many of us never allied with men?) But “politically worse than women marrying men???” Well, yes, if you’re counting the privileges married women get.

      2. Bev Jo hate is a personal feeling–I can say I love that movie. You don’t get to say I didn’t because you didn’t or because you percieved it differently. Nobody can tell me how I feel. That is a game I do not play. You can use the cap lock but it does not convice and feel like a bully to me .
        I can say how I feel–no hate, and no ass kissing either. I know as a lesbian you think you can tell me how I feel–but really you can’t. You can only say how you felt and that is your right. It does not affect how I feel or how I see what happened in the larger historical context. Gay men sucked women dry and they will throw bones to the dogs–men are men. I call ’em as I see ’em and I have zero hetero guilt. So forgive me if I do not bow or cow tow to being told me how I feel. Yes I think it was foolish. A bad tactical move that men gained from. I know all lesbians are more perfect and never ever have done anything wrong and the whole thing is the fault of breeder women–wrong to my mind but think it if you wish. Most of us only married one man and that is some huge crime. Lesbians supported men that use 3rd world women as reproductive slaves and their innocent. Come on,

      3. ” I know as a lesbian you think you can tell me how I feel..”
        WHAT in the everloving fuck?! What the fuck is this supposed to mean. Motherhood you are posting some weird-ass anti-lesbian shit here. Why.

      4. Motherhood you are an orthodox Jew who entered an arranged marriage at the age of 17 and began producing offspring. You believe love and romance are hokum.
        What becomes of lesbians that grew up in this way? Do you know? How do lesbians extract themselves from this arrangement. Have you ever seen any do so? What happened to them?

      5. “It can get pretty heavy with the het hate among some Lesbians, and I am feeling it.”
        Okay, so WHY do you think it is a GOOD THING for (some) women to partner with men? Because if you can’t answer that, then you obviously think it is either neutral, or a bad thing……….
        I just happen to think it’s not a great idea for women, that’s all. Labeling THAT as hate smacks of the trans labeling it transphobia when you disagree with them………………….
        Then I just get depressed that we’re STILL having this supposed ‘man-hating lesbians’ argument in the womens movement umpteen years on………………………When did we get ‘liberated’ cos I must have missed it…………………………

    2. GM, sorry I did not see this question or I would have responded sooner. What becomes of lesbians that grew up in this way? Do you know? How do lesbians extract themselves from this arrangement. Have you ever seen any do so? What happened to them?”
      I don’t think anyone in the system raised in it believes in either “in love” or “attraction” Yes I have seen. Things seem to come in waves. When I was a child a very few women left in the 70’s then all was very quiet and then there seemed to be a few that left in the past decade. Most I suspect stay in their marriages. Men and women are always very segragated–we go to a wedding and we are not with the men at all. This is true of all aspects of life. Intimacy is also very perscribed. It would be rather hard to make an argument that you want “love” because everybody else has it when in fact they don’t and it is not a criteria in the culture. There is no TV or movies, or secular books, music or magazines. I think the internet will make changes. Letter of the law–there is nothing even mentioned about lesbians–only acts between men. Modern Orthodox has open lesbian couples.

  10. I believe this question needs to be put out there constantly. Women who marry men and produce male children are living with the enemy and helping a new enemy get created. This is the core issue of feminism, because every other group, besides women can form liberation ideals and programs, because they are not living under the same roof as the enemy. This is key women.
    I don’t know why women marry men, I don’t know what it is they do. And I understand fully that women are poor or women are in cultures where they are owned as girls and controlled. I know this, but I’m living in a place where women have access, to computers, to jobs, etc., and they still date men, they still do this.
    Then they get all messed up, beaten up, divorced, children, single mothers, and then they want lesbians to do what? If you have sex with the pigs (excluding rape) voluntary willful sex with the oppressor, you will be bonded to that person.
    Sex is a bonding process, it’s a huge weapon of patriarchy, that and the love and romance industry men create, the rock love songs, the Bruno Mars love songs, all of this is heroine to the hetero mania that is the sexual slavery of heter-addiction.

  11. Now I am living under the exact same system, the exact same heterosexual nightmare dictatorship… the proms, the football jocks, the glamor of feminine this or that. In fact, I grew up in a time when it was all hetero all the time, there was no access to computers or lesbian worlds. Lesbian community was not there at all when I was young. But I did look out there, and I saw the simpering hetero girls, and the stupid boys, so the choice was pretty easy. Having babies is not a source of power, it is a source of male pleasing privilege, it will get you ooohhh ahhhh cookies in patriarchy, but it is producing soldiers and future rapists and little boy kings.

  12. You can’t say this stuff enough in my opinion. Sure it upsets the hetero women who sold their bodies to men, sure that is upsetting. Heck yeah. Get used to it, examine the sell out and what it got you. Examine why you might be a radfem today. I don’t know why hetero women do this stuff, it seems insane to me. Again, I’m speaking amongst American cultural settings. Hetero women will do all this porn with frat boys, but they will be horrified at the idea of loving a woman…. all of that male ownership abuse, but they’d rather have that because? Babies? Ok, that sounds like as good an answer as any, but still, do you want women’s freedom or not, and we must get to the bottom line. Sex with the oppressor class, marriage to the oppressors is the cornerstone of women’s oppression worldwide. It’s what keeps the male machine going, and all women need to look at this, and say what? Selling out to men for trinkets and social status…. there is a divide between hetero women and lesbians, there is a reason. I don’t want the damn boyfriends around, the creepy husbands, I know they are the bashers and the rapists, the bullies, I know this. Hetero women are actually a danger to me, and they stupidly don’t know this, or choose not to care. I’m not sure what is worse…

  13. It’s interesting to me that no matter how many of us longtime Radical Lesbian Feminists say we NEVER agreed to be part of the “LGBT” or “LGB” club and that we have only worked with Lesbians and women, we are again associated with that definition and told we are part of it. Men say it, and now het feminists?
    Why bring out Adrienne Rich and other class-privileged Lesbian Feminists as if some of us have not been fighting classism among feminists for decades? (My first article against classism in our movement was in Dykes and Gorgons forty years ago this summer)
    Lately, I have been seeing feminists who are currently choosing men, bonded with men, intimate with men, criticizing Lesbians by saying we are privileged, which is very much the kind of mindfuck reversal of reality that the trans cult does. That is Lesbian-hating. It invisibilizes the majority of Lesbian Feminists who are class-oppressed and the many others who are oppressed in other ways, by racism, ablelism ageism, etc. Lesbian Feminists are not a privileged people. If it seems that way because of the media or books you find, be aware that it’s the privileged who have money to get printed and not be censored. Remember how men claim that all feminists are privileged women? There is a very long history of Radical Lesbian Feminists oppressed by racism, classism, ableism, ageism, etc. who have written some of the best books of our movement.
    Of course we know that girls and women are prisoners and owned literally by males in many parts of the world. So wouldn’t it be even more important for women who DO have the power to make a choice to not choose men? Yet, there is a gaslighting from liberal feminists that is aimed at Radical Feminists, saying that no woman anywhere can possibly choose men. Those of us who disagree are reprimanded that we are “blaming the victims” but some of who is using trans style cult tactics to censor us, are careful to not say that they themselves have their own special men.
    Just be honest. Many women who say they are Radical Feminists are choosing men. Not prisoners, not trapped, but directly choosing men. Why deny it? Why act like those who choose women are freaks or don’t exist or are unbelievably privileged, as if we can’t see the difference in our lives in povery and the women with men who often have things we could never hope to have that are?
    Just be honest and stop gaslighting. The problem is that the contradiction continues to come up with the question “Aren’t feminists who are intimately bonded and invested in men helping keep patriarchy going? Isn’t it a case of ‘sleeping with the enemy'”? That is a valid question that has been asked since the beginning of Radical Feminism.
    If you don’t agree, say it. But don’t pretend it isn’t valid.
    I think many of the RFs with men DO think the question is true, and they can’t bear to think of themselves as collaborators. So they go after the women who are not choosing men — usually Lesbians who most hate anyway, but also celibate feminists, who they tend to ignore existing, just as they once did Lesbians until they couldn’t wipe us out.
    This mindfuck/gaslighting has become such a part of Radical Feminism that in one group I’m in where the line had been pushed (as hard as the men saying “cis women” oppress them, and woe to anyone who dare object) about women with men being only victims, that when one of the RFs who usually posts the most vehement comments about hating men, they should all be killed, etc. suddenly mentioned her boyfriend. There was a kind of confused silence. She told us how special and non-sexist her man was. When I then said, so you can’t possibly support those saying you are not really making a choice to be with your man and are a victim, she actually tried that on until it became clearly ridiculous.
    I know of only one Radical Feminist who says openly she is married to a man, choosing to be with a man, and is not an oppressed victim (though she is not a privileged woman and has a hard life). She also vehemently supports Lesbians and is one of our best allies.
    It would take a book to answer all the gaslighting. “Trauma bonding” theories and all the politics about women invested in men being complete victims does the usual erasure and invisiblizing of women who have been horrifically traumatized, raped, tortured, etc. since girlhood who never chose men. Remember when that was a main theory that pathologized Lesbians? Just follow all the part of this flawed theory as if you were examining the false theories the trans cult gives us.
    And then there is the ignoring of the many Lesbians who went back to men (and it’s always going back) once things became more difficult, more right wing, etc. They are often quite privileged women, not needing men for their careers or survival, but suddenly getting access to money, homes, status, etc. And so much is simply wanting to be accepted as “normal” by family and the the rest of the patriarchal world. (For those who never thought of it, imagine being despised, looked down on and hated when you go in public with the person you love, and then instead suddenly getting smiles of approval and even admiration, from women as well as men.)
    Please just be honest….

    1. one of the RFs who usually posts the most vehement comments about hating men, they should all be killed, etc. suddenly mentioned her boyfriend. There was a kind of confused silence. She told us how special and non-sexist her man was.

      I’m sure he’s every bit as special and nonsexist as she says he is – to her face. And behind her back, I bet he laughs his ass off over it.

      1. Aww Cutie thanks for bringing Branjor in.
        Yes I’m familiar with that kind of ‘feminism’ although I never did it. I’ve never loved any man. Dogs. Dogs are nice.

  14. I did not see a way to respond to “Motherhood” continuing insulting Lesbians, so I’m answering here.
    Motherhood, you said a series of insults about me, my people, my life. No, hate is a reality, not just a “feeling.” I don’t just “feel” that men who threaten us are hating us. It’s reality. Same with the men who make declarations about who and what we are that they have no right to do. And same with het women who play mindfuck games on Lesbians, insulting us as if you know who we are, as if we are all one “fool” entity who you must now lecture.
    You are being the bully and expecting the bowing. What are you so proudly “calling?” I never said Lesbians were “perfect.” You are playing the reverse oppression game as if I have power over you, but you said “I don’t hate lesbians I just think that after the 70′s when they got their asses kicked to the curb and they ran back to gay men they were fools.”
    So instead of mindfucking and gaslighting, why don’t you answer what you are insulting us about? Be specific.
    As I asked, why are you saying I and my people “got our asses kicked to the curb? By who? And who “ran back to gay men” and “were fools?”
    And “Lesbians supported men that use 3rd world women as reproductive slaves and their innocent.” WHAT are you talking about?
    Stereotyping a group of women you have power over as being one entity and then laying on a serious of insults is oppressive and offensive, and yes, hateful.
    But why? Nothing you are saying relates to any Lesbian I know. And I certainly doubt it relates to the Lesbian you directed it at. So is this for the benefit of the men and other het women reading?

    1. Whenever Bev Jo and Sheila come on here, hets take a bashing. Remember Het Woman Bashing Week, Bev Jo. My you sure had a good time there didn’t you.
      You have a lot of valuable things to say, and I and others het women can learn from you, but If I may guess, I would say Mothehood is reacting to het hate from you, right here. I know you got my attention.
      I don’t know if you will post this Gallus but you can read it. Every damn time Bev Jo shows up, the bashing on hets starts, and we (the two or three who are here) have to ignore it if we want to be part of this community.
      I’m asking for some mitigation of that. Motherhood did not start this. It’s her reaction to Bev Jo. If she hadn’t I would have.

      1. Thanks Red, I am tactless I know this and I did tried to be direct with Bev, and not wholesale rude. I do respect many of her ideas. I think she has drawn some lines that are faulty and problematic. And bashes with impunity. The whole claim–I am purple so will speak for all things purple is almost always wrong. A poor POC has more in common with a poor white person than a rich POC. Women have a shared interest above and beyond who they partner with. She imagines she knows poverty–and her whatever is a harder row to hoe than a women that has to feed three kids on what she makes working the counter at the 7/11. Those uninteresting women, who have never read a book, have no hobbies (those cost time and money) live over 100 miles from and urban center and have a baby daddy that knocks her around–but he did buy the bulk pack of diapers last month. She imagines she can judge them–well the king is the altogether. I am not a romantic and would and have never made a life choice based on anything like love or in love or attraction–those I see as male in the same way perhaps she sees women like me lives as just hetero and breeder. I look at my ability to reproduce as a power base. I look at family and that unit as a mini corporation and for poor women who did not get the quads and bell towers on Daddy’s money it can be.
        I did not respond to Bev a second time because honestly she sounded like a Trans argument and therein lies the danger of identity politics and the loser is women across the spectrum–it is like some kind of zombie thinking. It is that thinking and talking that bullshit that sent many hetero women running for the door or turned them into the cutie pie feminists. Those women are needed because right now they support men. Trans has all hands on deck most of the time. Women I think need to do the same. Bev can hate and loath me but she IMHO should be willing to work with us and cut the sad story shit out. Seriously I have not a full night sleep in 20 years and maybe I am permanently irritable but pointing out something and then being accused of gas lighting has to be either an involuntary reflex or just contempt because it isn’t a critical argument or an insight. We all have sad stories and could have an orgy of them. They only serve in limited ways and we may have reached that limit. From where I sit women are in deep trouble and moving deck chairs while the Titanic goes down. Bev Jo is invested in her position and maybe can’t see past it. It is like the person who is love soaked to a puppy but screams at a child.. But her reasons her life is just . . . whatever and everything else of women is trivial. Shelia, much of that is just nasty and absurd gibberish–women who have baby boys are creating the enemy–for real? Get a grip. And in fact that is misogyny, mother hate and some of the dumbest stuff I heard outside the Tea Party–it sounds unhinged. I really do have a couple of humble goals in this life one is to get the men out of women’s safe spaces, another is to get reproductive slavery in 3rd world countries stopped and the 3rd is to get the American OB community to stop contributing to incontinence in women under 35 who have had more than 7 births. And also to raise the kids to be better at everything than I was. I am here unless GM kicks me out.

      2. ” Every damn time Bev Jo shows up, the bashing on hets starts, and we (the two or three who are here) have to ignore it if we want ..” DISAGREEING (or even just questioning) your ‘choices’ ISN’T the same as bashing. Where have we heard that style of argument before?
        Why does your ‘identity’ as het matter so much to you? Why does it seem to annoy you so much (or feel like bashing) when I ask that question?…………………………………….
        WHY do feel it is helpful or acceptable to give your emotional energy to men? THAT’S the real question that no one yet has answered, just a whole load of whining that we are MEAN for asking it……………………………..

    2. I’m curious to know how you see heterosexual women as having power over lesbians. Not taking sides or trying to argue with you, I just don’t understand that comment.

  15. Okay, I try once more.
    Radical Lesbian Feminism doesn’t have to do anything with gay men. I personally have nothing to do with gay men whatsoever. My friends are exclusively female. Yesterday I even had difficulties to understand what you were talking about in regard of gay men, and I’m not sure I have understood it today. But I THINK you say that Lesbians don’t get to criticise marriage and motherhood (I think I don’t need add hetero- before either of that) because Lesbians in the past have joint forces with gay men in order to reach certain aims?
    Just to be clear: My country after WWII took over the pre-war legislation in regard of Lesbians and gay people and had the highest rate of convictions in all of Europe. 1971 (a few years before I was born) the total ban was lifted and replaced with a set of paragraphs that made a lot of relationships illegal, as well as – Hi, Russia today! – ″Advertisement for fornication with persons of the same sex″. During the 1980s and 1990s the law was changed towards the better, with 2002 (in effect abolishment of all the old laws except age-of-consent regulations) and 2010 (civil partnership).
    Yes, during these times Lesbians and gays sometimes organised and worked together, you know, to end up being sent to jail. Until today, there has been no amnesty for all the women and men convicted.
    As for feminism: 1990 my country had the first women’s minister. That’s her (in the front):
    (The woman in the background is an actress)
    This woman is the love of her life, whom she lived with from 1981 to 2010 (her death): http://www.google.at/imgres?client=firefox-a&hs=mhT&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:de:official&channel=rcs&biw=1366&bih=638&tbm=isch&tbnid=OBF3s5RNINf6OM:&imgrefurl=http://www.noen.at/lokales/noe-uebersicht/hollabrunn/aktuell/Keine-Diskussion-SP-Damen-zogen-aus%3Bart2563,416243&docid=piNJ8F_1xRh0PM&imgurl=http://www.noen.at/storage/pic/importe/dialog/hollabrunn/aktuell/729839_1_440_0008_5224508_hol39warum_aufreiter_1sp.jpg%253Fversion%253D1349115465&w=591&h=818&ei=n3xjUrv1PISf0QWIzICoDg&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:16,s:0,i:129&iact=rc&page=1&tbnh=183&tbnw=174&start=0&ndsp=17&tx=74&ty=102
    Johanna Dohnal, Lesbian, daughter of a single, dirt-poor, tuberculosis-suffering mother born 1939 (you are aware what being the child unmarried mother meant then, and what was going on in her earliest childhood years?), divorcee after 19 years of marriage, put out of work after the birth of her second child because it was legal to fire mothers in the 1960s, and finally social democrat, became a politician.
    Against the men in her own party and only through her work with the autonomous feminist movement in our country which was her true power base, she brought the following things into being (among a boatload of others):
    – The first women’s shelter in the country. After she finally had gotten this through in a monster session of our city government, this woman, hardened by poverty, war childhood, foster care, crippling work since her teenage years and coming out in a homophobic society, locked herself into her office and vomited her guts out, because the male politicians of all parties (including her own) had treated her so badly. But then there was a woman’s shelter, and it was full only days after opening. Full with heterosexual women fleeing from husbands and boyfriends. Further shelters mushroomed in the subsequent years.
    – Unmarried mothers got the guardianship for their own children instead of the state (my own unmarried, dirt-poor mother had officials coming to her flat regularly when my brother was born in 1974)
    – The perpetrator of domestic violence (fun fact: It’s mostly the man! Battering his wife and children!) could now be sent from the house or flat. Earlier, the battered woman had to leave, didn’t get child support and was the guilty party in the divorce, because she left her husband, interrupting marital harmony. So, no support later, although odds were good she was a housewife her whole life and had no income during her marriage (except the legal allowance of a tiny fraction of her husband which people on the street called ‘pocket money’ without the hint of irony).
    – The first (!) law against sexual harassment in our country ever. Heterosexual women from her own party wanted to prevent that, calling her a man-hater and attacking her in the media. One of these hetero women supporting sexual harassment is a well-known psychoanalyst today and still happily tours talkshows and writes self-help-books for het women.
    – Equality before the law between male and female employees of the state and a quota of women in ministries and universities. Until then, women were paid less than men just because they were women. Rationale: Men have to feed a family, therefore it is fair to give them more money.
    – Women get to be retired a few years earlier than men, as compensation for childcare and nursing of elderly family members. This is under fire recently.
    So, all in all, I have but one question: Is there anything you want to add about Lesbians being part of the problem instead of the solution?
    (Excuse me, I’m off. I feel the need to visit her grave and say thank you.)

    1. ICM, I never said and I would never say somebody does not get to criticize anything. In my mind any women can criticize anything that impacts that her position in the world. I just think that when lesbians politically aligned themselves with men in LBG it was an alliance that has and will serve men more than women. Does women’s marriage to men (which you’re welcome to criticize) cause women social, political and economic disadvantage. I am not sure it does always. If the marriage last long enough that the women inherits the money and the property–that is a big if she has a certain amount of power. Marriage has in fact protected many women. BTW I don’t consider or call myself a “radical” anything–and I still get to have an opinion–yep I don’t feel the need to be vetted or make my bones. The gay rights movement in America has been and is made up of and funded by rich white men. These men are well-positioned, well-educated and not single mothers, not by a long shot. To me the tactic of pathos does not hold much sway–hard times all around? Men are violent–this is not news.
      I have to admit I chuckled a bit when I looked at the link–your country–we could be sisters if history had not intervened–Kittse here, about an hour outside Vienna until the family was ordered out one night and driven to the wood in back of a horse trailer and left in a marsh by the boarder with no food or water and 30 children under 10. Then not allowed into Hungary because they had no papers. They tried to take refuge on an empty Barge in the Danube. Most did not make it through the winter. A few did sneak into Hungary, 12 drowned. And the rest we don’t know what happened. So odd by some insanity mother wanted to see home before she died and against my better judgment went back a couple of years ago–some people were not so happy to see us. The Burgmeister was very cordial and gave us a tour of our family home. But that has no more to do with you than Johanna Don. Gold Meir was a Prime Minister in 1969 and Mrs. Gandhi–such that she was. As far as Amnesty–no your country is not good with Amnesty or returning property or not murdering its own citizens—so my group and I trump you in the sad twisted tale of woe. But so what. Sad stories mean nothing in the future. Anyone that puts out those oh woe is us stuff is just getting off on pathos. The whole Trans thing is the monstrous off spring of the male mind, facilitated by women–perhaps unknowingly. Much of comes from the vile crap of Judith Butler, inspired by Foucault who was inspired and influenced by the Nazi De’mann. Men colonize, take over. Lend them a hand and you will lose your arm. Hetero women know this. PIV can happen so many ways. We are awake when it does. I will grant you when it comes to problems your country does have some history and the main victims were not gay. But the Prater was really something—really.
      Yes visit the grave–it is nice to know that some people were in fact buried there.

      1. First of all, I’m sorry I used sarcasm in my post about our minister. I was not aware you were orthodox Jewish when I wrote it. It was impossible for me to tell from your posts where your roots are.
        Also, I want to point out that it is not MY story of woe. I felt the need to illustrate Ms Dohnal’s shitty life circumstances in such a detailed manner to challenge the idea that feminism is an upper-or-middle-class project. She is miles away from that. At large, I don’t subscribe to the stupid, insulting and right-wing fairytale of Austria (or its people) being victims. Austria has earned what it signed up for when it followed Hitler, and frankly, got away way too easily after the war. I have very little patience for this kind of revisionist whining. It really was not my intention to whine about Austria’s oh-so hard misery, because this is something I debate wherever I find it. I just wanted to make sure that Ms Dohnal is not put in a box where she doesn’t belong to.
        Instinctually I would feel the need to apologise for what has been done to your family, but I’m very much aware I can’t. How can anyone say just sorry and expect that something so horrible just is fine and dandy then?
        All I can is OFFER my apology, useless as it is.
        The amazing thing is, that we actually agree on many things. We are on the very same side in trans matters, and with Judith Butler and Foucault (thanks to a catholic upbringing I’m unable to mouth the filthy words I would like to use in regard of him). We may even agree on romance. Romance (as defined by mainstream hetero Western culture) always has the flavour of ″insult on injury″ to me. Or maybe it is demerol on the wound, I don’t know. It also is unawareness of women’s history. It may be so very romantic to the average Western bride if she is led down the aisle by her father in a white gown, but they are completely unaware what they are doing in a historical context. And for goodness sake, let the poor roses become rosehips how it is meant to be instead of hacking them off.
        You say ″Men colonize, take over. Lend them a hand and you will lose your arm. Hetero women know this.”
        That EXACTLY what I’m saying, too. And because of this I can’t view living with/giving birth to men/boys as anything else but what you call so rightly ″lend them a hand″. And they do take the arm, I see it happen. But so many (not all!) women who have a choice still run into that open-eyed. There has to be room in Radical Feminism to say this, because it is the truth. I know a woman who is a teacher. If she doesn’t do something outrageously stupid, she can be reasonably sure to have a secure, well-paid job until she retires and a nice pension afterwards. There was no force or economical reason whatsoever for her to marry (and she used her baby times to build a new school which is thriving, so she has no intention to stop working). Women like her have all the choices in the world. There has to be room in Radical Feminism to say this, instead of throwing women like her in with women who never could choose.
        From where I stand, I can only wonder: Doesn’t it make you suspicious that married hetero women with children do right what patriarchy wants them to do?

    1. I know I can’t take too much of it; it seems so pointless and wearisome. I’m heterosexual, but what do I have in common with an Orthodox woman who had an arranged marriage and likes having babies? What do I have in common with a woman, heterosexual or lesbian, who thinks women who live with men are consorting with the enemy? I find this all very sad.

  16. It is always hilarious to find out that the “kill all men” radfem keeps warm bumping butts with a nigel every night tho. I grant you that.

    1. You mean like FCM?
      “It is always hilarious to find out that the “kill all men” radfem keeps warm bumping butts with a nigel every night tho. I grant you that.:

    2. The ones I marry I like to keep alive. And I never cross paths with others except (and some of them say they are women–my life is a Kafka comedy). Women have their own beds couples are not supposed to sleep in the same bed.

  17. I have never read threads of rad fem het women bashing lesbians (fun fems, yes more likely). I have read the opposite and I would like to see the fire redirected, it’s dumb — out there to men.

  18. Red, where did I “het bash?” It helps to be specific, like with “Motherhood’s” trashing of Lesbians as if we all were one unit. Her description/trash of Lesbians wiped out everyone I know — our lives and our history. Say what it is you object to directly, and we can talk about it. Otherwise, what I’ve seen is het women swiping at Lesbians on blogs and in online Radical Feminist groups. The harassment ranges from saying “Lesbians are weird,” to pornographic descriptions of what they love their men to do to them and then flipping and saying they are not choosing the men they previously bragged about. Whatever the stereotype of Lesbians, whether from right wing men or leftist men, many het women repeat it.
    Where did I start anything? I saw her go after IceMountainFire for no reason at all, making up stories.
    If Lesbians say we exist, we get targeted. Talking about our lives brings hostility because our existence makes women who choose men uncomfortable. Classic reaction of the privileged who want to keep dominating. We are supposed to be the audience and caretakers of het feminists as well as be scapegoats for their men. I loved how Gallus described that whatever women give the trannies, it will never be enough. And that’s how many het feminists treat Lesbians. They take their rage at men out on us and then keep demanding. One even said how we should take care of their children, as our role in a future “women’s community” — Which was what I saw happening when I first found Lesbian Feminism — so many Lesbians lining up to do childcare, including to help het women have more time with their men.
    It’s interesting that “Motherhood” ignores the existence of Lesbian Separatists and the many Lesbian Feminists who have had nothing ever to do with gay men (and targeting me is very odd if she bothered to look at what we wrote in Dykes-Loving-Dykes, also at my blog, about how gay men are not our friends and why we should never work with them. Yet we are to ignore how many het women have treated us similarly to gay men — hating us while still trying to use us?
    Yet, as I said, there are het women, though very few, who are allies and friends with us. So it is possible.
    To answer Gallus, there are a lot of Orthodox Jewish women who have come out as Lesbian Feminists, and many have written publicly. Phyllis Chesler is from a Chassid community. Actually, it’s Jewish Lesbians, many from religious backgrounds and others from the secular old Leftist Jewish tradition, who helped create feminism, Lesbian Feminism, Radical Feminism, and Lesbian Separatism. They understood the strength of being an oppressed people who had suffered hatred and genocide and yet who had kept their identities and communities intact. They also created some of our most powerful Lesbian Feminist music.

    1. Please tell me who. BTW Phyllis Chesler was not from a Chassidic community. She was from what is called Modern Orthodox a far cry from Chassidic. Her backround is working class, spoke English at home and the women do go to college. They do not do arranged marriages and do not live in enclaves. They blend in better as far as dress goes and recieve a much more assimilated education than Chassidim. But she gets away passing herself off as that because people do not know the difference. Now she postions herself against the interests and desires of Ultra Orthodox women–but she knows better like white man bringing fire stick to natives in the junggle–Many secualr Jewish women no doubt are as Bev Jo notes–I only know of a couple who have left the communty and are far too young to have had anything to do with anything prior to 1990.

      1. I know literally hundreds of Lesbians and have met several in the Seventies and Eighties who were from Orthodox backgrounds, as well as another who said she had been Chassidic — Hada Weiss-Rivera. Tryna Hope who was lovers with Linda Shear in the Seventies and Eighties and read a story on Linda’s A Lesbian Portrait album was Orthodox. She had run off from her husband and daughter to be with Linda. Others I know were less famous.

      2. It’s possible to marry or partner with a male to escape being with males. That’s one of the things het women do, they take the best of the options they see available to them. There are incentives, yes, babies, children are often the only real love a women will ever know, so het women, we go through the door that opens. Sometimes.
        Re Chesler: I don’t think Chassidic women marry Muslims.

    2. You have to start differentiating between radical feminists and “feminists” Bev Jo and you can think on it and I’m sure you’ll remember the HWBW that you took part in. It makes me literally sick to my stomach to remember it or name it.

      1. Red,
        You’re correct Chassidic women don’t marry Muslims. They have not been educated in English and speak it poorly. They often don’t read and write English either. They do not have radio, movies or secular publications written in English either.Most times the schools do not provide a diploma that is recognize by the state. Non of those women came from either a Chassidic or Ultra-Orthodox community–they are/were what is called “traditional” but I suspect they culture shopped themselves a bit. Chesler has tried to do damage to Ultra Orthodox and Chassidic women. Much to her suprise their protest was matched 1st by 2000 Ultra women, then 4000, and then 10,000. She is still trying. The protest against her group was the 1st time in the past 150 years that Ultra Orthodox and Chassidic women came together in protest–really amazing. I think it shocked the rich New Jersey feminsits right out of their suburban minds. The lack of familarity is like that scene in Woody Allan at the table when the Halls look him and see a Chassid.

  19. Yeah GM, just hysterical go figure–re your comment below…
    “It is always hilarious to find out that the “kill all men” radfem keeps warm bumping butts with a nigel every night tho. I grant you that.”

  20. icemountain fire — great narrative, very interesting herstory, thanks for putting it all together. Now really, what about radical lesbian feminist do straight women not get? We did not work in gay male worlds, we had an autonomous movement. We were instrumental in abortion rights activism, and many 70s era radical lesbian feminists helped in the underground railroad of then illegal abortions. Rape crisis centers, sexual harassment law, women in the trades… etc.

    1. Thank you, Sheila!
      I just felt it is important to point out that Lesbians did and do work in the interest of all women. Maybe I’ll polish it up to a blog post on its own.
      I just don’t get where the problem with our positions (which we share, although I’m yet another generation) is.
      How is it bashing to state that many (not all, but many) women actively choose to be with men? Why is so hard to understand that there are many of women who can’t choose, but particularly in Western countries many do? Isn’t enough to just take a look around? Huffpost had the story about a groom who made the bride change the gown and shoes and about two thirds of the hundreds of comments below adviced to call the wedding off (the rest either assumed he was gay or that she just should suck it up). If a wedding can be called off in heteroland because of such a thing, why can’t women call their weddings off for more profound reasons (although I do agree that this wedding gown chap shows pre-abuse behaviour with his control-freakishness)?
      How is it het-bashing to state hetero women they put energy in men, i. e. birth, feed, raise, befriend, love and support the enemy? Marriage and children are exactly what every singly patriarchal society wants for women, historically or recently.
      How is it bashing to state that there are women who never were with men at all? We exist. We are here. That’s simply a fact. All the hate you and Bev Jo get, I can’t see where it coming from. Or rather, I do, but I still don’t get it.
      I really don’t get it.

      1. ICM is your blog private?. No prob if that’s the case but if it is open to all and based on your comments I’d be very interested in reading more of your writing. I can’t help but think how lucky your country was to have Johana Dohnal, someone who worked for women instead of using them as a base from which to launch themselves to power and privileges. Yes I mean women like you Hillary!

  21. Good comments Bev Jo especially your take on social class, so big an issue between radical lesbian feminists and het radical feminists. And I don’t know where critique of hetero marriage and family structure comes across as het bashing, in the imaginations of women who are not used to lesbian political commentary.
    Het marriage is a huge economic incentive and that is why it is so out there. The whole point is to shower women with privilege so that they will be well behaved within patriarchy.
    Het marriage is the very cornerstone of women’s oppression… in the home.
    Bev Jo and I have different points of view, different generations, really ever different class perspectives, so all radical lesbian feminists are not the same. But we are serious in our critique of why women don’t choose women as lovers, especially when het women settle for truly rotten men, not even a nigel or a unicorn, and it does come down to getting the goodies and the smiles and the big wedding presents etc., and the baby showers, don’t forget those.

  22. This is in north america, this is the land of middle class choices, and women know all about lesbian life now, or they should anyway. Het women aren’t a part of our separatist lesbian worlds naturally, or they are not a part of the house meeting system we’ve had to do all over again to avoid the trans invasion of LGBT– I am not LGBT, lesbian nation and critique of hetero-marriage and male access to women’s bodies, and why women who do have privilege choose to live with men. These are very serious concerns.

  23. Het women do insist on bringing men to events, they do insist on forcing dangerous men on us, and they DO bring men to lesbian bars. I’ve seen it, I know it, and they do it because they can. They also expect lesbians to work on THEIR issues of sex with men issues, but naturally, not doing the homework to really reflect on the contradiction…. if het male ownership of women occurs in the home, and women want to be free? What is the option. An entire generation of old lesbians, say over 68 now, almost all of them NOT ALL but a very large number married men because they HAD TO. But they came out later in life, that’s the thing, at some point in their lives they actually SHOCK — CHOSE to love women sexually.

  24. Bev can speak for herself. So don’t confuse the two of us. But really, why not be honest as a het privileged woman? If you are a radfem and are sleeping with men, just fess up to it. Be honest, deal with the political contradiction, be honest about the money, the house, the child support, whatever it is you get in material wealth because of living with men.
    It is a political issue with radical lesbians because these women give birth to boys, they often force boys into even Michigan and those boys grow up to be Tobi Hill creepo.
    Why is it het bashing to point out a political contradiction? Surely any group that gave aid and comfort to an enemy would be considered what? Radical feminists who are het, deal with, because some hetero women are solidly on the side of radical lesbians, they know us, our work, and they get it. Critique is not bashing, it is critique, just as trans critique is political. It is not comfortable for the privileged to be confronted by the working class, the poverty class, the women who did not gain economic advantage from men, and never drank the hetero forced cool aid. In a north american context, you have to ask these women, why do you choose men? Be honest, because you want a radical feminist world, but you want to go home to Mr. Unicorn… it is a contradiction that lesbians point out, and it seems to get you mad. You weren’t in radical lesbian communities back in the day, you really aren’t in them now. For good reason, we meet private so we don’t have to deal with potential male threats. Rambling a bit, thanks Bev for your input and really, what about males are the problem does everyone not get? What about choice when there is one? What is the threat of this? What is the horror of being fully a woman loving woman in every sense of the word? Women would rather men use them for sex? Beat them, force them to give birth, maybe they get a good house and social status? Ya think?
    Be honest, what is the attraction to men?

  25. Very hard for het women to be honest about their theft of lesbian labor, and their weak intentions within radical feminism. And having boy children, well, we need to really think this whole massive overpopulation thing. But it is het women who flaunt privilege and when this is pointed out this is viewed as het bashing. Of course lesbians are going to challenge the collaboration strategies so prevelant among straight women. It’s why patriarchy continues to exist, because het women continue to aid and abet it at close quarters. Again, collaboration needs to be addressed and I’ve met very very few het women who are honest about it. We created lesbian feminism, and it was a huge contribution of Jewish lesbian women. I’d say het women owe a huge debt to lesbian labor, which they keep wanting to steal and take, without really standing as allies to lesbian women. They simply want to wallow in het privilege all the more, continue to prostitute themselves to men, and then blame us for pointing out the political contradictions. Which they never seem to want to answer do they.

  26. icemountainfire— it is very hard for hetero women to ever really examine what it is they intend to bring to radical feminism, for they certainly can’t seem to fathom their part in heteropatriarchy. They want to avoid the very real issues of cooperation with men. Or the fact, that when given many many choices in north american, sweden, norway or even england, they continue over and over again to choose men to live with. Now this is a mystery, this first world behavior strange, because the most natural state in the world is for women and girls to deeply love each other. It is forced behavior to “fall in love” with boys who have nothing but contempt for girls.

  27. icemountainfire, you insights are right on target, and het women have a lot to answer for, and they should seriously examine their arguments, and the radical lesbian critique of hetero family structures, because like the critique of trans invasions, the choice het women make to marry men is a choice. It is based on social conformity, it is based on a desire to get more income and social position. It is what women do to survive oftentimes, but the excuse of this in light of lesbians who never choose men is an interesting theme I think. It is worth exploring what this difference might be and how all women and girls could be exposed to the option (when possible in first world contexts) to make a break with the oppressor class.
    One needs to take a hard look at the very hive of male supremacy, and it starts in the home, it starts when women choose men, but then when women wake up to radical feminism, it is more out of hatred of experiences with men then what lesbian feminists bring, which is a passionate love of women and girls, our true selves and natures, and we are about the celebration of this, as well as the overthrow of male supremacy.
    It’s a big difference, it needs to be very carefully examined and it is not het hating to question everything within male supremacy, including the women who “choose men.” Well yes, they choose privilege, that is what they are choosing, at the expense of massive liberation. And this is a very valid line of inquiry that is hard for the women who do CHOOSE men to handle. Naturally, the women who do this get angry at us for bringing up these uncomfortable truths.

    1. ” and it is not het hating to question everything within male supremacy, including the women who “choose men.” Well yes, they choose privilege, that is what they are choosing, at the expense of massive liberation. And this is a very valid line of inquiry that is hard for the women who do CHOOSE men to handle. Naturally, the women who do this get angry at us for bringing up these uncomfortable truths.”
      Whilst I might not agree with the ‘they choose privilege’ line, I agree with the questioning brings down the ‘het hate’ accusation.
      ” I’m heterosexual” — either you believe that is innate, or it’s then legitimate of me to ask how you got that way (and how could that situation possibly be changed?). If you don’t WANT to change, then I think it’s valid for me to ask WHY NOT? Why do you still want to support/give energy to men?
      And then you get to ask the same questions of me about my lesbianism. To which the answers would be : I don’t know, it’s a wonder to me how I did given the degree of heterosexual indoctrination — and I don’t want to change because being with women makes so much more sense given the current state of the world. And offers chance of real emotional and spiritual closeness that I don’t see that anyone can get with a man, however ‘nice’ they may be, they still have the massive impediment that they’ve been raised as a male amongst males.
      So, anyone care to answer from the het side?

      1. I am not sure what you are asking? If it is why partner with a man I can say my reason was to have a large family. I never dated, had no boyfriends and don’t much relate to in love or romance or spiritual connections. I like a few jokes and someone that does not lose their cool. Most days I think I have lived it well. Some not so much but so far I think I made the right choice for me and how I wanted to live. I wanted motherhood and family.

    2. Heterosexuality DOES NOT EXIST — it’s all a big con, the biggest confidence trick ever, designed by the ole patriarchy, to keep women exactly where they want them, AND claim they love being there.
      Part I: DIscuss.
      (Hint: those tempted to appeal to nature or evolutionary biology might find it useful first to contemplate how sex serves at least two purposes in humans, and only one of them is reproduction. Unlike other species, most human sexual acts are non-reproductive………………..).
      Part II: Does not or should not?
      Extra marks will be given for actually answering the question asked……………….
      Part III: Is this question heterophobic? Discuss……………….

      1. I don’t think it’s the question itself that bothers the heterosexual radical feminists here so much as the accusations (mostly by SheilaG) that het women are this different species with empty heads slathered in “slutty” makeup that are too stupid to know the truth about men. It’s a patriarchal and male mindset to label lesbians as predatory and “like a man,” but so is seeing all straight women as traitors that aren’t capable of lofty and intellectual ideas. I in no way mean to minimize the abuse of lesbians by straight women.
        Btw I think what red was referring to upthread was a post on We Won’t Submit called something like Het Women Bashing Week. The blog is password protected now though.

      2. If it doesn’t exist, then does that mean the human race owes its existence to the patriarchy? Some form of heterosexual contact is necessary for survival, regardless of whether it was ever desired. Kind of a depressing thought.

      3. ” Some form of heterosexual contact is necessary for survival, regardless of whether it was ever desired. Kind of a depressing thought.” Which is why I was trying to emphasize the difference between reproduction (you need some sperm), and heterosexuality. The former is ‘natural’ in the biological sense, but that doesn’t mean that latter has to be treated as if it is………….
        “so much as the accusations (mostly by SheilaG) that het women are this different species with empty heads slathered in “slutty” makeup that are too stupid to know the truth about men”
        So, why is no one answering the questions?

  28. Bad Dyke– great list of questions. Let’s see if het women can answer them from a radical feminist perspective. And the more we ask these questions, the more we will get at some truth. The heterosexual system is a structure and system, it is forced on all women worldwide, it is the law of many lands. Women are indoctrinated into male servicing and service since the day girls are born.
    Now, there are women who absolutely refused to drink the hetero cool aid, even when there was NO visible lesbian community at the time. These girls refused to go along with the entire system and were brutally attacked by other girls and het women for refusing to have anything to do with men and boys.
    I suspect that women do fall for the hetero goodies machine, the family, the kids, the social status, the male protection racket. But they are usually not honest about this, and of course blame lesbians for questioning this horrifying system to begin with, or the male ownership of female bodies and sexuality.
    Since the male system of individual female ownership (known as traditional marriage) had wracked havoc on the world and on women’s liberation, I think it is safe to say it needs to be examined in fine detail, and we do need to have the women who do collaborate with men explain why, because this is a lesbian feminist conversation, it is not the worship of the status quo, including the fake trans invasion of women’s lives and bodies.

    1. Society is structured around heterosexuality. And even admitting the existence of gay men and lesbians hasn’t altered that because (O, this is a CLEVER one!), we still have the main idea that sexual orientation is innate and unchangable. So, gays aren’t a threat, just a few percent. And by extension, heterosexuality is innate too, so you’re not ALLOWED to blame straight women for being straight they just ARE. And then you even get gays using this argument as well as a defence (don’t be mean to me, I can’t HELP it!). Despite what seems to be quite a bit of evidence that womens sexuality at least seems a lot more fluid than mens, even under the present social structure.
      So we end up with (most) women are just ‘naturally’ attracted towards men, and (most) men are just ‘naturally’ bigger and stronger than women, and women just ‘naturally’ are more vulnerable when pregnant, hence need a big strong hairy man to ‘protect’ them and their children. And so on and so on. All because you accepted the first step of the argument, that women are ‘naturally’ attracted towards men.

      1. And another thing. If we’re not supposed to ASK or blame straight women for making the ‘choice’ to be with men, then we’re saying they didn’t make a choice — in which case it’s even more valid to question how they ended up doing what they did. I understand the ‘don’t blame women’ line, and I try not to, I really do. But until straight women ANSWER THE QUESTION, or at least DARE to question their lives AS straight women, then I understand why myself and other lesbians – in frustration if nothing else – are still asking the SAME question.
        Or what are we left with? Poor dears, they’re unlucky enough to be born straight, those of us who weren’t must help them out and figure out how they can fine the exception to the rule, a NICE man, and sympathise with them when he doesn’t turn out to be so nice.
        If we believe (as I think most women on here do), that GENDER isn’t innate, but a set of learnt behaviours (for a reason, with social and physical punishments for those who transgress), then what is the huge step to saying — perhaps sexual attraction is another such concept? Not just the fine details, but perhaps (just perhaps), being ‘attracted’ to men or thinking you ‘need’ a man is just another part of the same confidence trick………………….
        Really it’s such a bloody obvious step to me. And just as disagreeing with gender-conforming would-be women isn’t trans bashing, so questioning the heterosexuality of straight women isn’t het bashing either.

      2. I absolutely agree that questioning heterosexuality as an institution isn’t het bashing. It’s when you write about straight women as a separate species that is completely devoid of an intellect or a conscience that the discussion veers into het bashing.
        As for your question of why women partner with men…..I have a feeling this may be why some WOC are reluctant to call themselves feminists. A straight black or Latina or Chinese woman living in the US, for example, would find comfort in the company of men in their own cultures as a source of pride and as solidarity. Do you know why there was a flood of marriages in Germany after the war? B/c we Jews wanted to celebrate our existence and say fuck you to all of those who Othered, tortured, and killed us. I have a feeling many straight WOC would rather be with a man of their own culture than allied with a white woman who has internalized racism.
        I am NOT arguing that heterosexuality is unharmful nor am I advocating erasing lesbians. As feminists it’s undoubtedly important to question things….but sometimes you want to just for once think uncritically and let yourself love. If a woman loves a man, I’m not going to hold it against her or accuse her of tearing down the foundations of feminism. So why do women choose men if it’s not biological but rather patriarchal conditioning? If you forget privileges and systems of oppression and academic terms for a minute, it’s obvious that sometimes people don’t want to think critically all the time and just want a fucking hug. I hope I expressed myself clearly and I welcome everyone else’s thoughts.

      3. I wasn’t asking why women of colour don’t associate with white women, but partnering with a man of colour is not the logical consequence of rejecting the former.
        I don’t think I EVER said het women were devoid of intellect or conscience or as a separate species………….
        “….but sometimes you want to just for once think uncritically and let yourself love.”
        BINGO! We have the ‘answer’ — I can’t HELP it I just feel in LURVE…………..Which is, you just accepted the (relatively recent) male invention of romance, and JUST falling in lurve. But I just LOVE him and would rather switch my little prink brain off (you said it not me) and just let myself LOVE………….
        Are you getting the contempt coming through here?
        Historically, and in other cultures, women didn’t/don’t have a choice, they were the property of their fathers. Then we have women who don’t have a choice, because they need a man to support them financially. Then finally, now that we are no longer legally property, and are allowed to have a job, we instead have the ‘I just fell in love’ and ‘I just love men’ line. Women being ‘encouraged’ to do what women supposedly want to do, to let go of their troubling intellect (their brains overheat anyway dontcherknow………..) and just FEEL and just FALL in LOVE with a big hairy male. The disney princess syndrome.
        Or now sounds to me like — how DARE you keep asking those pesky qiestions, I just want to turn my intellect off and just LURVE………………

      4. Um okay, so you never just want to shut the world out and have an intimate moment with your partner? I thought lesbianism was about love?
        Btw writing in all caps and speaking condescendingly doesn’t make you right. I would love to see you come into my neighborhood and say all this to the married Jewish women who founded women’s shelters, hospitals, and aid funds for immigrants. The world isn’t as black and white as “lesbians=enlightened and feminist” and “straight women=deluded and male identified.” And sorry but if you only see straight women in terms of whether they partner with a man, then you’ve drunk the same kool aid that you accuse het women of washing down.

  29. The cornerstone of the oppression of women, the cornerstone of the attacks on lesbian life and autonomy, and of course het women benefit from Michigan and other lesbian alternative community ventures, and bi women do exploit lesbians, and women who divorced men then decided they wanted into the lesbian community as well, but they brought pretty marginal het values with them.
    If the het family unit is the source of the male pleasing, male taking care of machine, this is problematic for women’s liberation. It will cause women’s liberation to fail as long as this system gets a free pass. So we aren’t giving it a free pass, we are saying that women willfully sell their bodies to men for goods, the protection racket. We know the world is overpopulated and yet women in the west continue to do the single male machine, traditional thing. It is the status quo and has nothing to do with the complete liberation of women. It is malestream but not visionary or liberating in any way. It is about living, it is not about the freedom of women as we know it.

  30. Not necessarily, LC. Parthenogenisis does happen in many species, including humans, and it could very well be that it might increase if the population decreased. It certainly looks like the y chromosome is a mutation and not of the beneficial kind. All kinds of things happen in nature. I recently discovered the the Dusky-Footed Woodrats control their population by making it so that the males do not mature, until they need to increase their numbers.

    1. True, Bev Jo, anything like that could have happened, but the fact that it didn’t- if it’s also true that heterosexuality is the result of patriarchy- does suggest that the way humans DID develop is the consequence of male power.
      But, that’s a lot of second-guessing of nature and evolution. I still think the more likely explanation is that there is some natural attraction to the opposite sex, even without social influence. It certainly seems to be the case for most women I know.
      Although @icemountainfire makes an interesting point about romance, which definitely is a social construct.

      1. “the more likely explanation is that there is some natural attraction to the opposite sex, even without social influence. It certainly seems to be the case for most women I know.”
        Which is, unfortunately, verging on saying that lesbians are unnatural……………….
        Look, humans are complicated. Humans without social influence is pretty much a basket case, so you can’t really talk about without social influence.
        More interesting question — how do we KNOW what male or female IS in order to be attracted to them (or not). Which sounds vaguely like phermones and all that nonsense. Chemicals aside (despite the usage of that simile in the romance stakes) , we LEARN to some extent how to identify male and female.
        Even a supposedly vague and possibly ‘innate’ attraction to those with squarer chins and stubble or whatever doesn’t quite work, because those are UNIVERSAL male human characteristics! Hence, what is this NATURAL attraction supposed to operate on? Unless you believe that males have innately different brains that you’re supposed to be able to detect and be attracted to, everything else is being atracted to what you have LEARNT to distinguish as male.
        Simpler for mammals who have greater olfactory powers, or BIG visual clues (like chimps), but humans in clothes are pretty useless in that regard………………

      2. “because those are UNIVERSAL male human characteristics”
        Should have been” AREN’T universal male human charactersitics” Else makes no sense.

  31. @ED: In theory my blog is public, is there a problem reaching it by clicking on my name? It is new, and I’m new to blogging, but as far as I can tell, it should be there: http://icemountainfire.wordpress.com/
    (I’m glancing suspiciously at the computer; shouldn’t it work, please tell me so.)
    You are right with your statements. I totally agree. It may be not unlike class privilege, I believe, with similar mechanisms of defensiveness.
    I also agree on the ‘forced’ part about falling in love. I was in an all girls’ school from 10 to 18. Boyfriends were a topic, but getting one never happened like it is portrayed in movies, with girls – struck by a higher force – loosing their head and mysteriously turning into romance-drunk airheads. This exactly never happened. I’m not saying we were somehow naturally feminist or that this school was a feminist utopia; the exact opposite is true. We were entirely normal average girls, and some had boyfriends. But not one ″fell for him″ in this movie-kind of way. Obtaining a boyfriend was always a process which involved more peer-action and peer-talk among girls than the boy in question.
    Sure, this is just my experience, but at least this is enough that I would love to look at the topic more closely.
    And this isn’t a question of intelligence or rational thinking, as suggested by you, @Choco. Hetero Radical Feminists are not stupid. Quite the contrary: I believe you see the problem with men, but STILL choose to be with them. It’s the ″still″ part that is so hard to understand. A woman who has never given any thought on feminism, or a liberal feminist whose only ″feminist″ desire is to justify her lifestyle, they don’t puzzle me. It is the exact intelligent hetero Radical Feminists whom I can’t understand. If the knowledge about our oppression is firmly rooted into your mind, how can you possibly stand to be longer around them?
    I can’t help but reading this as the desire to have the best of two worlds – the hetero privilege and the emotional support of a group of women.

  32. This has devolved to sound just like trans demanding that lesbians have sex with them.
    Bye now. Real work to do, for women.

    1. Want to explain what sounds like another Lesbian-hating comment, red? Are you really comparing Lesbians to men? You’re not thinking we would like women who so despise Lesbians to come out, I hope…

    2. “This has devolved to sound just like trans demanding that lesbians have sex with them. ”
      O dear.. a major fail! Learn the DIFFERENCE between being asked to answer a question or being disagreed with, and demands that you sleep with someone. Alhough given the coercive tactics that males seem to use to try and achieve the latter, maybe you can’t………………………….which is of course the problem.

    3. Read what Sheila is saying. Yes, I hear her demanding that het women explain themselves, to say why we don’t “love” Lesbians. To defend ourselves, and we are being called out on it. Shamed. Exactly what men are doing to Lesbians. Cotton Ceiling.
      I’m het, to answer your cowardly passive aggressive slur but if I was going to be a Lesbian (? why I can’t imagine) I would choose from among my friends.
      I think Gallus had an answer to this somewhere cannot remember exactly which thread, answering Sheila, but the context was something like, if you feel het women are backing away from you, maybe it’s because of ‘you’, personally.

      1. For those who don’t know, I’m 72 coming up. I am a political Lesbian, and a het separatist. Yup. There’s such a thing. A political choice.

      2. I’m with red on this one but I often disagree with ‘political’ lesbianism. I have many hetero and homo female and male friends & I like (biological!) girls romantically & am attracted to the villainized traditionally feminine… (age 40, nyc born & bred, would have been genderized if born 10 years later)

      3. ” Yes, I hear her demanding that het women explain themselves, to say why we don’t “love” Lesbians.”
        NO ONE said anything about demanding that straight women love lesbians. but loving other women to the extent of not sleeping with the enemy would be a start………….. Plus, it is NOT a valid comparison with males claiming they’re lesbians.
        I STILL want to know WHY straight women think it is okay to continue giving time and emotional energy to men. I’m not demanding they leap into bed with ME, just that they question why they want to leap into bed and partnering with HIM.
        Damn this is REALLY getting lesbian-hating,and if I didn’t know better getting perilously close to the ole lesbians are JUST LIKE nasty agressive men line.
        And STILL some het women won’t answer the question, but instead are getting all defensive about the fact we dare to keep asking…………….
        “why I can’t imagine” — such a failure of imagination here! I don’t understand how, given the state of the world, anyone could think that they had any prospect of a truely deep and meaningful connection with a member of the oppressor class. He may be the nicest person you’ve ever met, but at the least he is still crippled by being RAISED male and BEING male in this female-hating society. You can’t erase or save him from that.
        WHY would any women who’d seen the light as regards feminism do it?

      4. ” I like (biological!) girls romantically & am attracted to the villainized traditionally feminine…”
        Het women who refuse to question their supposedly ‘natural’ atraction to men, and lesbians who refuse to question their supposedly ‘natural’ attraction to the FEMININE.
        Both make me very sad, and frankly BOTH are deluded. Both part of the same system, cos who do you think invented the concept of feminine in the first place……………

  33. icemountainfire:
    “I can’t help but reading this as the desire to have the best of two worlds – the hetero privilege and the emotional support of a group of women.”
    I think you have really hit the nail on the head here. It is why straight radical feminists are perplexing. They seem to not be able to get that loving women is a choice, and that “falling” for men is a coerced activity heavily rewarded in hetero patriarchy.

  34. We have to question everything women do in relation to men and boys, because of the violence / coercion structure of it all. Why all the prom king and queens, the football heros, the school dances, the romance books and movies, all geared to indoctrinate women into believing they actually fall in love with men.
    But do women naturally fall in love with men? What is natural about this at all? Sure, you expect the liberal feminists and fun feminists and lifestyle justifying feminists to be all into this. Shakeville mentality is what I call it, and they support the trans too. But what of het women who come to radical feminism, and again, the shortfall is that they realize men are horrifying, but something prevents them from really loving women. The indoctrination like that of not wanting to be a heratic in the middle ages, it is all about the indoctrination.

  35. And since hetero feminists so dominate the universe and radical lesbian separatism and feminism is so hated, het women are unaccustomed to being asked to justify their collaboration with men. They aren’t used to this, they have probably never encountered it in organized ideological settings, because these women really are never near the lesbian feminist community. Only very rarely does a het woman show up in my territory, but I know their lives well. Het women will blab everything about their men, and go on and on and on about their exceptional boychildren. It’s why we know so much about this world.

  36. I think het women get coddled too much, and not held accountable for their collaboration with men. Why would they call critique bashing, that is exactly what the male to trans call radical feminist critiques of their gender wacko theories. It is the same, and yet as radical woman loving women, we are not allowed to comment on the institution that is at the very heart and center of the oppression of women worldwide? Because I believe all these women are married to men, and they want to hang with radical lesbians and have their men too. They often waste a lot of lesbian time, because they run to us when the chips are down, but have contempt for us in their ruling class status and het privilege which we naturally could care less about.

  37. @LC
    Regarding natural attraction towards the other sex: If you follow through with this thought, you’ll end up with the theories of Lesbians and gay men being biologically broken. I have heard this argument before, in the sceptic/atheist community. The ″best″ position Lesbians and gays have in this worldview is that of a co-parent who enhances group survival by being able to move about freely (think women who are not nursing) and defend the group against predators. I also have heard variations, like the assumption that Lesbians and hetero women had the same amount of children because Lesbians simply would have been raped into motherhood. On a more practical level: Every state or church law threatening us is ultimately based in this thought: Crime against nature. That’s about the oldest and most persistent ″argument″ against our existence there is.
    @ED – no need to apologise!! I’m glad everything works.
    It is not only justification of their lifestyle, I think. Liberal feminists just never get to any political analysis, all they do is creating an outlet for their rage when men once more have done something outrageous. Rush Limbaugh has said something outrageous? Write a post about it and vent the anger! This or that woman has been abused by this or that man? Write a post about it and vent the anger! But please never in a way to make men as a class responsible, that would hurt feelings! And here are some cat pictures!
    In short: There is no difference between feminism Shakesville-style and the plain old hetero women gatherings where they complain about their men’s shortcomings to each other. They both also have in common that they don’t look for solutions, the opportunity to blow of steam is enough (just try to suggest divorce as an option when you are in a group of hetero women complaining about their husbands – you’ll get looks blanker than new writing paper).
    But Radical Feminism should operate on a different level.

    1. I don’t agree that necessarily follows, @icemountainfire. The existence of a natural attraction to the opposite sex doesn’t imply that there isn’t also a natural attraction to the same sex. I’m not sure why you view co-parent theories or survival-based theories of homosexuality as not being desirable under “naturalism”? It seems reasonable enough. However, the naturalistic argument is logically flawed: That something does not exist in nature(which homosexuality appears to anyway) doesn’t make it bad, and things existing in nature doesn’t make them good, or preferable. The question is, if you think there isn’t a natural attraction to the opposite sex, then why does it appear to exist?
      I’m neither a skeptic nor atheist, so I’m not sure why I’d be following their arguments… all I’m saying is that most women I know claim to be naturally attracted to men. The counter-offer of it being caused by patriarchy is not terribly convincing and leads me to some rather unpleasant conclusions.
      Catholic doctrine is based on naturalism, as they see it, and most protestant denominations copy it to some degree. Challenging that would require demonstrating that homosexuality is natural, or challenging the naturalistic doctrine(which, imo, makes more sense). Either way, I don’t see much benefit to challenging heterosexuality.
      Just so I don’t give some other impression, I don’t consider myself lesbian or heterosexual, but celibate.

      1. (The sceptic/atheist perspective I threw in only to illustrate that it is not only the religious who operate with biologist arguments. We can leave that aside, it is not that interesting what they have to say.)
        I’m not a nature-designed servant to hetero people. Simple as.
        Also, it would be disconcerting to tout biologist arguments about survival of species and suchlike, while on the other hand putting every form of patriarchal society organisation through Radical feminist analysis. How can I analyse the oppressive nature of family structures and then go around and base my self-worth on my servant status in exact such a setting, just projected back into some mythical prehistory?
        Indeed I think that the most “Way back when we were still in the savannah” stuff is pseudo-science, since it is practically impossible to make such sweeping statements about THE (as if there was only one way) human lifestyle almost without sources. You yourself also pointed out the second big problem: Just because something seems to appear in nature, it is not justified.
        Below the line, I think we should leave nature out of it.

      2. It was just a touch of sarcasm anyway, I understand what you were saying.
        Never thought of it as being a servant to anyone, but maybe as a source of group unity- but who knows? I absolutely agree that it’s pseudo science, projecting back the way we THINK people behave today to how we think they must have evolved. Assumptions on assumptions. Nature doesn’t tell us much about human society.
        My preferred theory is more “given all the evidence, is this harmful?” Homosexuality passes by that rule, transgenderism does not.

  38. I’ve been following this thread with interest as well as confusion, because I hadn’t considered the idea that lesbians see lesbianism as a choice. I always assumed that the “born this way,” idea was fact, as homosexuality exists elsewhere in the animal kingdom. In fact, in the past I’ve considered the idea of “political lesbianism” by heterosexuals as appropriation of lesbian identity. Now I don’t know what to think.
    I have quite a few lesbian friends, and I have to admit that I envy them. Not the very real oppression they deal with, of course, but the fact that their political beliefs about feminism and men are in alignment with their sexuality. Their sexuality allows them to opt out of the bullshit women put up with and in many ways have promulgated. They are punished for this– absolutely, and again and again– but at least they know where they stand and are able to make a clean break. There is a small peace in this, I think, in not having to negotiate, again and again, your interaction with males.
    (Does this give them “privilege”? Of course not. Please don’t think I am suggesting that. I realize that instead of having to negotiate they are instead dismissed. And maybe the result of that is disconnection into self-sustaining, autonomous, women-focused communities.
    In our current patriarchal culture, I can’t be a part of such communities, although if we were following the Indonesian Minangkabau model, a woman-focused community that still allows heterosexuality would be possible)
    People in this thread have suggested that heterosexual women either don’t question patriarchy at all, or seek to enjoy the fruits of radical feminism while not taking on any of its burdens. But I’ve been questioning patriarchy for as long as I remember– since age four, at least, when I saw its effect on my family after the birth of my brother.
    The thing is, despite myself I am attracted to men. Not women, sadly. Despite what people have suggested above about sexuality being more fluid in women than men, I simply don’t feel an attraction to women’s bodies, although I do feel a very strong attraction to women’s ideas– the ideas being discussed in these pages.
    I’m attracted to men– despite myself– but that doesn’t mean I’ve succumbed to the patriarchal fantasies that women seem to. I’ve never tried to use “feminine wiles” to attract a man. The only men I’ve ever dated *I* asked out. (All three of them.) I don’t wear makeup, feminine clothes or any of the other trappings of stereotypical femininity. I speak up for myself and find that people are offended or intimidated when I behave like a human ought to (with assertiveness, not timidity, with confidence, not self-doubt or placation, etc.) I’ve struggled to define the parameters of an equal relationship with my husband. To his credit, he is usually secure enough in his personhood not to see equality as a threat. He’s more nurturing than I am. He cooks and does more than half the cleaning. This is a reasonable minimum expectation, I think. I’d be out the door otherwise. And I’m struggling hard to make sure my son (I didn’t have the physical choice of having more than one child) sees the gender BS and misogyny all around him.
    Does this really count as nothing? If so, is the only remedy to deny my sexual attraction and live as someone I am not? What else should I be doing?
    I know I am not the only heterosexual woman to be living in this way.

      1. I don’t think what’s described is homosexual behaviour. For example dogs mounting each other is not. It’s dominance behaviour.

  39. Responding here since I can’t above….
    If there’s a “cowardly passive aggressive slur,” it would be “red Says:
    October 22, 2013 at 6:24 pm This has devolved to sound just like trans demanding that lesbians have sex with them. Bye now. Real work to do, for women.”
    My response direct, to avoid confusion: “Are you really comparing Lesbians to men? You’re not thinking we would like women who so despise Lesbians to come out, I hope…”
    If you’re after Sheila, I would say to read her again. I don’t see her wanting het women to become Lesbians, but instead is questioning why feminists are allying and bonding with men, but then also wanting access to Lesbians and Lesbian support. The issue is not het women “backing away,” but why do they come so close and demand so much without wanting equality? This is where a comparison with the trans cult can be made. I’ve given many examples of this right here, including het feminists saying Lesbians could take care of their kids, which is what I saw happening when I first found a feminist community: Lesbian being unpaid servants for het women to have more time with their men, Lesbians being the majority of who created Radical Feminism, from the organizing, writing and inventing the politics etc. With very few exceptions, the differences between Lesbians and het women has been committment: Lesbians commit to women personally and politically, het women commit to men first.
    Do what you want, but please change the spoken and unspoken demand that Lesbians owe and somehow belong to het women. And for those who do want to ally with us, it would help to stop the pervasive Lesbian-hating and female-hating that most het women display. (And yes, Lesbians who have been longtime invested in men also often show Lesbian-hating also.)
    Feminism, not even Radical but regular feminism, used to be about questioning every con, lie, and “truth” taught.

  40. Lapsed het speaking. Lifelong friend of dykes, lesbians. Feminist. And, I’ve always looked down on women who abandoned women friends for men. I have the same women friends lifelong now, since gradeschool, very fortunate and I picked my wild and free thinker people early.
    I wonder about my lesbian neighbor/friend who raised boy now going to military. How he’s drug her down with his dependency. She’s a college professor, but, his failure to help around house and just being a pig and unappreciative is horrifying.
    I wonder about my dyke friend who partnered with former het grandmother. Het grandmother accustomed to sucking off men. I think she just got unattractive to most men, and yes, she finally learned how more fascinating women are. Yes, she got het priveldge and ent one stepe further, really made her ex the man impoverished in many ways. Het grandmother brags about teaching daughters and grandaughters to “hunt” for male providers. Brags how she hunted my dyke friend. Well, dyke friend has municipal pension, many carpentry and muscle skills and is loyal to her telomeres to her people. But, now that dyke is in a hetero-normative relationship with ex-het and intertwined with the son in laws and grandsons….she’s like a “honey dew” husband. And, yes, dyke friend now is much less available as former het grandmother relies on her for all the hen pecking type stuff het women do to their men. No, I did not do that. I did yard work, car maintenance, worked and truly had the feminist ideal of being all a woman could be as independent.
    I am familiar with the feminist process of questioning and much good was always revealed.
    I got het-devalued back in the day, but I know how lesbians are discriminated against. I know my privelege. But, I’ve paid my price of freedom and have earned my own right to perspective.
    I think it’s got to be a bridge of solidarity built with lesbians and feminiists, with woman-identifed women. No men should be brought into lesbian shared spaces, it’s repugnant. My dyke friend is awfully soft on her brothers, and one I almost married. I point out to her he’s a nigel, nice, maintainer of the status quo. As a dyke I’ve pointed out to her how he is the recipient of her mothers extra energy and is happiest as long as some het woman is making him feel like the darling baby boy his mother used to. That was tough for dyke to swallow. Even dykes sometimes love their baby brothers, and their baby brothers are males who did their utmost to enact the PIV on me an didn’t nurture my needs comparatively. So, I did leave him many years ago but she found it hard to hear the truth about her darling baby brother.
    I think it’s got to be about female solidarity. But, with ground rules. No men in the shared space and shut up the yap about the menz.
    Are hetero-normative styles of lesbian marriage also exclusive of “other females” in their life and kick other lesbians to the curb for the exclusivity of the female pair bond acting so hard like a “marriage”? Do lesbians dump their lesbians friends even a little bit for a new lesbian lover? Do lesbian communities have infidelity and turmoil as a result of some of the womenz being immature and dropping their lesbian friends and then come crawling back? Ever?
    Can female solidarity based on our mutually existing vulnerability as targets of patriarchy be enough to form united resistance?
    BTW, I was so disgusted with some of the feminist leaders who were so publicly infatuated with one rich white man after another. That was disillusioning as a feminist.
    So, I had a good nigel, but finally, just like all the rest, the god dam bore of a PIV fuck set in. Boring. So, I decided to live true to my own spirit and have lived a fairly hard existence living alone with my daughters for 20 years.
    I’m willing to listen and learn, and to take the medicine which radical lesbians deliver to the consensual culture of het priveledge. Doesn’t phase me, I think more of them ought to be woken up to the shared misery of today’s militarized patriarchy that is debasing, degrading, abusing, murdering, abusing, molesting, filming for profit and selling female and child slaves on an international scale unrpecedented in human history. That is the enemy. As fascism has risen so has the brutality towards females and children. That ought to be enough to get more women talking in women-only space about how are we going to resist.
    Oh, this is my idea. All baby boys ought to have a head tax at birth to pay off the molecules of nutrients from the earth transformed through their mothers own body into the very cellular flesh of their very existence. Only when they pay off their head tax, let’s say age 27 too old for military, shall they be able to go lead productive liives. That, or male infanticide. Stealthy, no big announcement to the world. What if all women one year smothered all baby boys. Until war stopped.

      1. yea well it was mostly a rhetorical comment. A PhD woman anthropologist told me about New Guinea women who threatened same thing to try to end their endless tribal warfare, and that brought down Cardinals from the catholic church and a UN committee male leader to quash the conversation.
        Yet, men do nothing with China and India infanticiding tens of millions of girls going on right now.
        What did women in the IRA struggle side with, the enemy, or the leaders of resistance and yes, women were instrumental in helping to win the IRA resistance against the Brits.
        Not advocating violence against males here! Oh no. But, at what point before the lights go out can women resist and how?

      2. I think the New Guinea women, who didn’t have access to abortion, did kill all boys born to them for about 25 yrs – and it worked. The tribes stopped waging war with each other.

  41. Just have to respond again to above, please be careful when explaining about the choices of Women of Color when you are not a Woman of Color. Saying that women oppressed by racism choose men who are oppressed by racism over other women puts those women into another category, as if they also will not have the same reasons to not want to be oppressed by men. It’s the old story of women privileged by racism again using and erasing Women of Color who say no to men, as well as erasing the Radical Lesbian Feminists of Color, who, as a group, have been consistently the most radical in defense of women only space and against the trans cult.
    Remember the classic book, “All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men, But Some of Us are Brave: Black Women’s Studies” by Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell-Scott, and Barbara Smith?
    The only group I know of in the area where I live who has met for decades in Lesbian only space are African-descent Lesbians.
    To answer again, about choices, many of us who are Lesbians are not making a “sex” choice, or choosing based on “attraction.” In spite of the media propaganda and projection that we are only about sex (to further other us, to make us alien to most women), we choose to love other Lesbians. It’s about love and always has been. That leads to becoming lovers with other Lesbians….
    The list of criticisms of Lesbians here is so long that it’s impossible to answer. Lesbians in couples abandon friends? More than women with men? Not from what I can see. Lesbians are the women most committed to friends and community, whether in relationships or not. It’s women with men who seem far more isolated and alone. I know my mother was afraid to even have an old dear friend she’d grown up with visit after not seeing her for decades because her husband would try to fuck the women. Horrifying. And nightmarishly lonely. More than any other women, I see Lesbians supporting friends who need help, who are dealing with serious illness, who are grieving, who are poor, etc. Patriarchy and all mainstream culture either pretends Lesbians don’t exist or make us into a dirty joke, so why is even this space not safe for us?

    1. Native women stand with native men believing it is racism that has caused their gneocide, not sexism or misogyny.

      1. Exactly red, frankly I would rather be with a Jewish man who shared my background then another woman who supported some of the things written here. Why is no one listening when we say that it’s not the questioning of heteronormaty that’s the problem, but rather the characterization of straight women as dick sucking traitors?

  42. Very thoughtful post here, some het women actually do know about the life of lesbians. I think het women need to be more respectful of lesbian communities and commitment to radical feminism. We don’t divide our time with the enemy, and we are committed radically to our politics, there is no contradiction. We want freedom from the male dominators, we want the love of women in our homes, no separation or contradiction.
    Almost all lesbians over the age of 68 were indoctrinated into the cult of heterosexuality, and all are now lesbians.

  43. So yes, at some point these women chose to be lesbians. How they realized this, how they found out is a complex question. The born that way ideology is so much Gay Capitalist nonsense. Women are forced to be with men, and het propaganda is everywhere. It’s why we want lesbian only space to begin with, because we aren’t interested in the het machine and all its woman draining, male pleasing nonsense.
    Het women are going to have to figure it out and commit to their own communities. There is some shared solidarity, but I find it very rare that het women stay the course, they tend to use up my energy then bail out to be with…husbands, grandchildren and on and on the blather about hetero normative life. Their sons, that’s big. Boredom.
    I think it comes down to what the system does, and I know for a fact that having sons, feeding men and using us lesbian energy is not the route to revolution. Like trying to converse with men….
    What is the solution? Well het women really need to get their act together and stop being so threatened by lesbian existence or our radical politics. No we don’t like the life of the hetero family, we don’t support that politically, and we want more energy into a consistent politics of resistence to all of that.
    And I would really question this whole idea of attraction to men being 100% immutible. This is what the culture dictates, and het women are afraid of social status loss, afraid all the time, and het women are conformists. That is the very definition of heterosexuality in women, conformity and go along to get along. This is obvious to lesbians as we observe the lives of het women, and as we read their constant attacks on radical lesbian feminists and butches and separatist ideology. The snide comments, the superiority, the arrogance…. we have a hard time reading the constant whining of het women over the wrongs men do to them inside their homes. We told you so, and yet you continue to give aid and comfort to the enemy, and you expect us to do what?

  44. Lesbians are accused of having all this social power, or we are told we are lucky… lesbians have almost zero social power, we don’t control that system, and we receive no benefit from that system. Het women get the benefits of the tax code, and the males they sell out to. But lesbians have our finely tuned political selves, our relentless passion for freedom, and we don’t ever compromise on this point. Lifelong lesbians are reviled, we are told we don’t exist all the time. Hetness is so all pervasive that het women want to assume all women have had sex with the enemy. Well no. There is great power in this never had sex with men life. It is a life of integrity, because we didn’t sell out our bodies, and this is a huge threat to the hetero all women do it with men machine.
    Het women do need to be aware of their divided loyalties. It is their problem, and they need to be respectful of lesbian space. The space we as radical feminists create, the alternative cultures het women take advantage of, especially when they fail with men. We stand solidly age after age in our love of women. We’d have the revolution tomorrow if het women would stop selling their bodies to men. It would all be over if half the human race said no more to men, but they won’t. Because they don’t want freedom that badly, they want to compromise the revolution and this is what they will always do.
    At least admit it.

    1. You’re not a radical feminist Sheila.I can say that with certainty, and everyone who reads you could too. A Gold Star Lesbian? I can’t comment. If you say so. I believe there must be Lesbians who’ve never been with men, out of choice. But I also believe some Lesbians are choosing to be, or at least that is what they say they did and I have no idea to dissuade them.
      Unlike saying animals are homosexual….

  45. Red, your arrogance in saying Sheila is not a Radical Feminist is revealing. Feminism extends from being so mainstream and no threat to patriarchy that it’s almost right wing — while on the other side, it’s the most radical politics imaginable. That is where I see Sheila and a few others who dare to say what used to be closer to the regular feminism of the Seventies, where women questioned EVERYTHING we are not allowed or supposed to question now.Then, I saw recently out Lesbians saying the same things, as well as Lifelong Lesbians, and celibate women who had left men. It was never popular, but there was an excitement and hope in exploring all these forbidden ideas women were daring to day. Instead, there is now a crazed desperation to silence, insult, and drive the most radical out of our movement.
    And this is from women who never even know what we once had and that some of us continue. Who is betraying feminism like this, and who does it serve that only the most liberal ideas are acceptable?
    As we used to say forty-plus years ago, it’s not enough to just hate men. Feminism is about really loving other females.
    What is the shock is that for too many women, feminism has become a scared and huddled cult, where there are learned lines which must never be questioned or disagreed with for fear that it all might fall apart — or that women will actually think and learn and continue transforming/saving females and the world.
    “Gold star” is a relatively new term to me, but it’s revealing how it’s used by het and ex-het women with such contempt. How dare any woman exist who has said no to men?
    Just as some of us never agreed to “LGBTQ” or “cis,” some of us never agreed to the cult lines of definition that to us are not only not Radical Feminism, but which are not even any kind of feminism. This reminds me of being yelled at “transphobic,” which is impossible to answer other than to say, “We’re not phobic, trans oppress us.” We are not even speaking the same language, but I will not let anyone re-define who we are.
    Just as I’m outraged that men are trying to appropriate our culture and identity, I’m also fed up with women who seem to have no idea of our long and rich history of Radical Feminism to pontificate that a more radical woman isn’t even a Radical Feminist. You might not agree with Sheila, but trying to wipe her and her more radical politics out is only hurting Radical Feminism.

    1. You have nothing to say about radical feminism Bev Jo, since you took part in Het Women Bashing Week. Say what you will about being a life-long Lesbian and I accept that and respect your authority on that, but no woman who took part in Het Woman Bashing Week is heard by me, ever again, on radical feminism.
      That’s all on this. I’m out again, to work for women. Lesbians, actually, most of them.

      1. “but no woman who took part in Het Woman Bashing Week is heard by me, ever again, on radical feminism. ”
        Hey, isn’t THIS exactly the sort of silencing that the trans crowd likes to use so much? DON’T actually read what someone is saying in THIS argument, because they said Y that I deeply objected to in a totally different argument. It’s the same ole you’re transphobic therefore I reject everything you have to say ever about anything line…………………
        So, okay, you deeply disagree with Bev on this line, but WHY should that mean you feel the need to label her as not a proper radical feminist, or that she has nothing interesting to say EVER AGAIN?
        God, this isn’t a RELIGION you know, and just because you disagree with some things someone says doesn’t mean you have to disagree with everything they say, and likewise because I agree with some things Andrea Dworkin had to say, for example, doesn’t mean I AGREE with everything she said and did (like ending up with a man).
        Refusing to LISTEN to (certain) women — yeah really good plan that one! Although the strongest image that occurs to me know, having written this, is someone sticking their fingers in their ears and chanting “I can’t HEAR you nyah, nyah, nyah…………”
        Deeper analysis needed. If you find what Bev is saying so distasteful (I don’t buy this not-proper rad fem line, sounds like just shouting heresy to be totally frank……..SILENCE the heretic!) — even if you don’t LIKE what she says, can’t you at least try and understand WHY she is saying it?
        Speaking for myself, can’t you try and understand the incredulity and frustration and sometimes plain ole RAGE that dykes feel towards (some) straight women, even the ones where you are just trying to get them to answer a simple question?

      2. I’d have to be an idiot to befriend abusers. If there’s one thing heterosexual women recognize, it’s an abuser.

    2. “What is the shock is that for too many women, feminism has become a scared and huddled cult, where there are learned lines which must never be questioned or disagreed with for fear that it all might fall apart………….”
      I agree. Rather than what I was used to which was question everything, that was the only way to get back to the root and the truth. Rather than a questioning quest, this style of ‘feminism’ seems to be — here are the RULES, here are the things you are allowed to think about, and here are the things you are NOT allowed to question, just keep to the rules. All the trans are trying to do is get ‘transwomen are real women’ added to the list, and the fun-fems are not that bothered because a list is ALL they have, rather than an actual method of analysis and thinking.

  46. Yes, it is true that black lesbians have had a much more powerful concept of lesbian only space Bev. I’ve definitely seen that in different parts of this country and in South Africa. When lesbians speak up, we do so with a very powerful voice, and we are very committed to community, to supporting other women, and far less likely to be locked up in male/female hetero units, which is always about the shut down of larger female space, because women’s energy is used up serving men.
    The truth is, lesbian do indeed choose to love other lesbians, because we do see freedom in each other.

    1. “we choose to love other Lesbians. It’s about love and always has been. That leads to becoming lovers with other Lesbians….”
      “The truth is, lesbian do indeed choose to love other lesbians, because we do see freedom in each other.”
      Yes, yes, and ecstatically YES!

      1. “Apparently only certain women are deserving of such love, and the rest are just sell outs.”
        They can’t love back whilst still loving the menz — simple.
        I don’t know WHY you have to comment on a statement about lesbians loving lesbians physically and spiritually, and COMPLAIN that we aren’t loving straight women? Did you really mean that, ‘cos it sounds like the sort of energy-vampirism from straight women that others were complaining about.

      2. That wasn’t what I meant at all. I have no idea why you think I’m complaining (do I really have to go into the loaded history of that word?), why would I have a problem with lesbians loving eachother? I think you’re reaching a bit with that assumption. My point was that if you claim to love women as a feminist, shouldn’t that include women who you don’t necessarily agree with, in this case straight women? There’s not much sisterly love going on in the comments here, although there is in just about every one of Gallus’ posts, which is one of the reasons I read them.
        So no, I’m not complaining about lesbians loving each other, just noticing that most of this discussion has dissolved into “I am more feminist than thou.” Like it or not, heterosexual women aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and at the end of the day, all of us are women. And no, I completely disagree that heterosexual women can’t love other women while loving men at the same time. Can we agree to disagree about that?
        Let me make it clear that I AM NOT trying to erase the sacrifices and contributions lesbians have made and are making to feminism. I just don’t think a woman’s allegiance to feminism should be discounted because she’s straight. Should Simone de Beauvoir’s work be thrown out because of her affair with Sartre?

      3. Seems fairly ridiculous that so many of these comments(SheilaG’s in particular) miss the huge flaw in the heterosexual “critique”: Childbirth. If you really believe that women sleeping with men(I.E. the essential process of human procreation) is a fault of women or even the choice for most of them… you’re saying that radical feminism can’t help women or human society, period. It doesn’t matter if heterosexuality is a natural among women or not, the fact is that it WILL continue. Claiming that that’s the fault of women(or that lesbians never defend male friends/family over other females) is laughable.

      4. We wouldn’t even have women’s shelters and similar women’s services if it wasn’t for Lesbians. They are the backbone. They work at these centres tirelessly. And for who? It’s heterosexual women who mostly use them.
        Lesbians like Noan and a few others are my rad fem role models.

  47. Those most striking thing is that het women are threatened by lifelong lesbians, by lesbians who did not choose to sell our bodies to men. All of hetero pair bonding is is about the sale of bodies to men… protectionism I call it. The isolation of the typical het woman with children is mind boggling, and we are talking about women of the middle class, women who had educations, women who willfully chose a system of oppression.
    I don’t know who they can be so out of it in this day and age, but really, lesbian nation continues, and it thrives because of the devotion of women’s love for each other.

  48. I think het women are in a constant state of denial, they choose to go their own way, they choose to serve the very people who rape, kill and destroy the world Bev. And they choose to do this for what? Because they want to choose privilege, because they actually hate women ultimately and would rather serve the male machine. And they attack lesbians for pointing out this collaboration and the mess it makes for women everywhere.
    It is an endless serving of the oppressor, and largely a white women’s issue. African American lesbians have stood solidly against the trans invasion of lesbian worlds, straight women welcome them in.

  49. It must be a massive dose of self hatred that causes het women to sell out the cause of radical feminism for what? For babies? For privilege? For good jobs? For what really? I am so thankful for the radical lesbians that for decades have stood the course, have stood up against the collaborators and have built a politics of love, of practicality, of substance. Even Michigan is the longest running women’s music festival in America, and guess what, it was built on lesbian land. We do let het women into the festival, but it is lesbian owned and operated and it has been going on for decades. I think around 37 years now, continually creating a space for politics to grow, for lesbians to find each other, for crafts and food to be shared. Lesbians had the vision to create the space as far away from male surveillance as possible. Het women? They still serve men.

  50. A radical lesbian is not by default a radical feminist. You’re not the latter and you proven that here, and for elsewhere in the rad fem community.
    I’m not interested in your confrontation Ice. Not everyone is a rad fem. It’s a lot more complex than just not partnering with men = radical lesbian, or water carrier for men = fun fem.
    There are lots of feminists and lesbians who are not rad fem. Bev Jo and Sheila are not radical feminists, they are women haters, in my book and I’m not alone in that assessment.
    I won’t go back and forth on this out of respect for their friendship with Gallus.

  51. I picked up the term “Gold Star” from other life-long Lesbians. I thought in fact, it came from you. If you think it’s pejorative I won’t use it.

  52. Yes it is interesting that there is so much show stopping feminism.. But this, I mean the great drive of radical feminism was to question everything in patriarchy. Now of course it has devolved into a kind of liberal feminist hetero defensiveness.
    The only reason I do write now and then about never having anything to do sexually with men, is because so many women believe lesbians like me don’t exist, or that we could figure out who we were back in the day when het women ruled the entire culture unchallenged. We are not supposed to exist in patriarchy, so therefore, I tell of our existence.
    Interestingly enough, I find it amazing that out in the world, I find women who are just like me in this respect. I almost always know on an energetic level–it is a very powerful connection, so there is something to this.
    Het women get defensive because they want things to be feminist that aren’t feminist. It is not feminist to be married to a man or go to church, for example. I would never call making coffee in the morning feminist, for example. It is something that I do, but it has little political significance.

  53. Women want to justify everything done as liberal feminism, but many of us are talking about radical feminism. Feminism always starts out as very radical and then gets co-opted, just as the trans are trying to co-opt female selves now. It is a similar trajectory of devolving self serving ideologies.
    Radical feminism is about radical questions, and het women do need to examine their lives. Just why did I marry a man? Why do I want boys? What is it that I am getting out of this deal? When I awaken to radical feminist consciousness, why am I starting from an “I hate men” perspective rather than from an “I love women” perspective.
    It’s why het women and maybe former het women get so angry at me. They get angry at Bev and others too. We are starting from the premise that women and girls deeply love each other. We are ecstatic in each other’s company, we have had best girlfriends, we love girls night out, we cry on each other’s shoulders, we are midwives etc. This is women’s culture or sisterhood. This is the true state of women, to love women. But something happens along the way, and we need to really think this out.
    So that is the job of radical feminism. To find out what this is about. Not to justify the status quo, not to defend nigels or whatever, but to get at what feminism could be and is. Radical feminism is the norm, and then it gets co-opted later. You can see this in 19th century feminism, for example. Women chained themselves to the White House fence, this was considered radical in the day. Women risked everything for the cause in 1915, for example. Radical feminists like Alice Paul started a women’s party.

    1. I know i’m getting a shit deal from Hetero-men. Also I seem to be getting a shit deal (have been hacked by TW) from posting womans stuff on a supposedly woman-friendly board! Here’s the thing.
      When does the “good, female friendly thing” happen???

  54. Radical feminist critique is not about nigels, it is about questioning why het women can come to radical feminist through hate but not through love.
    Now don’t get all defensive about this. Het women are celibate, have formed these communities for centuries, have resisted marriage in China, have been deeply platonically connected to women. That is a given.
    But there are women who love women sexually, that this is a source of great ecstacy and power, and even women who thought themselves hetero fall in love with women. We know patriarchy does everything in its power to make women fear loving women, to make women fixate on the male body. It is about political indoctrination, and it works.
    This is not about lesbians wanting to have sex with hetero women. Don’t flatter yourselves, you’ve learned too many bad habits having sex with men, and newly out het women have a lot to learn about lesbian communities. You are often arrogant, entitled and have not recovered from male sexual indoctrination of your bodies.
    But that still is not completely the point I am making. Radical feminism is about trying to get at a global system that is horrifying. Every country of the world has a theme and variation on hating lesbians, hating separatists and hating radical feminists, just plain hating women.
    If we aren’t willing to question this, we will have a dull male approved nigel approved world. That is not something I am intested in, because I know liberalism and het life don’t work. Nigels aren’t revolutionary, they are just men who use up women’s time. They might be nice, but they do detract from sisterhood. And it is not radical feminism, it is life. It is not a political position.

  55. I think het women or formerly het women want to justify their existence. It’s why they use derisive terms like gold star lesbian, which was invented by that terrible TV show “The L-Word.” That was not real lesbian life, it was a exploitation male pleasing TV show.
    Women who never had sex with men are some of the most brilliant women of their age. You’d have to go back to medieval times to see what nuns did, what monastics did, what women in community did. They were scholars and musicians and thealogians, the were suffragists, activists, writers, poets, gender non-conforming women. They were all over the 19th century in greatness. They were Susan B. Anthony, they were Mary Daly, they did not die in childbirth, did not have children, but they were creative powerhouses because of this.
    Never het, celibate, free of male domination in the home. I am not new on the scene, but my group of freedom loving butch women have been around for a very long time. We celebrate the women of the past, and the women of today who have said no to men. It means something. If you are living with men, well fine, but it is not a radical feminist position, it is simply malestream patriarchally approved life, that’s all it ever was.

  56. How did Red get to be our leader, pompously and arrogantly declaring who is Radical Feminist and who isn’t? We don’t even know who she is.
    Isn’t it bad enough men are telling us who is and who isn’t a woman, feminist, Lesbian?
    The infamous “Het women bashing week” was SATIRE that was posted by a recently out woman who had just left her husband and was horrified by the level of Lesbian-hating coming from het women who declared themselves Radical Feminists. “Het women bashing” was a direct quote from women who were making that accusation after some women (not all Lesbians) were daring to talk about divided loyalties of women who were choosing men. She was trying to be a good ally, which I appreciated. You would have thought that she would have gotten more support, but I guess once she said she was a Lesbian, that was it for her. The level of Lesbian-hating from het women can never be underestimated.
    Red continues to erase Radical Feminists and Separatists who do not fit into or agree with her analysis of racism. Of course racism is a major part of genocide, but not all “Native women stand with native men.” Just deny the existence of Indigenous women who are fighting against rape and oppression by men, all men.
    I’ve heard the same outrageous comments over the decades that purport to speak for class-oppressed women “standing with” our men. Sorry, I don’t have any men. I stand with the women, but do question those who undermine feminism and have divided loyalties.
    From the beginning, more right wing/liberal het women have tried to drive out those pesky radicals, usually Lesbians, from feminism. That stopped for a while when they came out in droves and radicalized, or went back to men and careers.
    But now that somehow being Radical Feminist is so trendy now that even some men claim to be, we are again having our movement gutted and re-defined. Just get rid of those pesky true Radical Feminists are asking uncomfortable questions and saying too-radical things.
    Yet how often do you see any of the more liberal women who claim the name of Radical Feministm, but who are threatened by the questions and exploration of real Radical Feminism, back off and re-define themselves as liberal or another version? I’ve never seen it happen. I’ve seen women literally go right wing or join the trans cult, declaring that yes those men are truly women and even Lesbians, clinging to the Radical Feminist label until the last moment of cross-over to the other side. Some even still keep it and support the men who say they are Radical Feminists too, defining us out of existence.
    Who the fuck is Red to patronizingly redefine Radical Feminists against our will? “Woman-hating,” as if Lesbians are women? She deigns to announce that she “accepts” my writing about being a lifelong Lesbian,
    but that’s all I’m allowed to comment on?
    My history of helping create Radical Feminism since 1972 is well-documented and in print. (Yes, there were others, but how many are still defined as Radical Feminist and activists?) I helped the change of feminism from mainstream/liberal into radical by writing some of the early Radical Lesbian Feminist work that was not academic as well as working on conferences, newspapers, anthologies, etc.
    I was the first I know of who is still around who personally and publicly protested the first lauding and promoting of men as Lesbian Feminists, at the West Coast Lesbian Feminist Conference in 1973 to the our Dykes and Gorgons. So why am I and others supposed to obey Red and leave our movement? I don’t even want to ask who she actually is and what she has done or is doing.
    Why not just lay off the policing of the most Radical Feminists and go after some men?

  57. Just got to add that those who deplore the apparent lack of young Radical Feminists, do notice how they are being pushed out of Radical Feminism. If you are isolated, step into this community, and dare to ask for clarification, being reprimanded with “I’m not interested in your confrontation Ice,” can be enough to make young women not feel welcome.
    They are as clear and strong as those of us who are older, so are they to be treated with respect or ignored and made to feel unwelcome? I guess on the plus side, the policing and insults are not ageist, but apply to all who are too Radical Feminist.

  58. Radical feminists dare to question trans and their ideology and get called transphobes and haters. Some lesbians dare to question heterosexual women and their choices and get called woman haters.

    1. Branjor, you don’t know what the background is on this. Maybe you should abstain. Because for starters, it’s rad fems speaking up about the abuse from some Lesbians, and being called haters for naming it. That’s the analogy you were searching for.
      (It’s good to see you back commenting.)

      1. I don’t need to abstain, red. I am a radical feminist and have been so since the late 60s when I was in high school. I assume that the background is what has been said on this blog by Bev Jo, SheilaG and Bad Dyke, which I have been following.
        I certainly try not to abuse anybody as I have both straight and lesbian friends whom I love dearly. As this debate has unfolded I have tried to put myself emotionally in the shoes of both straight and lesbian women who are of opposing views in this, feel what they feel, have empathy for all involved.
        I myself am a lesbian who has some of the same feelings and questions that Bad Dyke, Icemountainfire, Bev Jo and Sheila G have and I have been hugely abused at times when I’ve tried to approach these questions, however gently.

      2. I meant to say “some of the same feelings about the divided loyalties of women.” I saw part 1 of “het women bashing week”, but not parts 2 or 3. I’m sorry to say now that I don’t remember it well. Maybe I *will* abstain until I know more.

  59. P.S. “Het Women Bashing Week” was their name for it Branjor. So you should trust them to know what they were doing. It actually ran for three weeks. Parts 1, 2, and 3.
    You all will have to continue this convo without me. I want to read the important thread Gallus is working right now. I want to take it in, even if I can’t participate. And I’m very tired and find this natter to be enervating. so I have to take on one thing only and I choose that.

  60. @red, I’m not sure I understand you – are you saying you don’t want to talk to me?
    In case I misunderstand, here is my statement: I’m still waiting for any argument in re posts.
    Your point is clear – we are not Radical Feminists. That much I understand.
    But I don’t understand what makes you say that, because you don’t give any explanations or arguments, just this statement over and over. It is hard to discuss something without being able to see the arguments that led to your conclusion.
    (It’s telling you thought Bev created ″gold star lesbian″. Everything bad comes from her, eh? Talk about bashing.)

    1. Sorry no, that’s not my point. Where did you read that you (universal) were not radical feminists? I don’t know you or your politics. I was not referring to you, unless, this is you saying you took part in Het Woman Bashing Week?
      And I will talk to you but I will not be challenged on this by someone who wasn’t there.
      I’m tired of this stupid topic. Criticism of heterosexuality is fine. Bashing/trashng of other women is not, Ever. By anyone.
      And, I repeat, it was THEY who named it Het Bashing.

  61. Bev, I think the het women are having a hard time understanding parody lesbian style or the het bashing week as comic, especially since it was a former het woman who came out as a lesbian created it. Het women are not accustomed to being put on the spot, because they have lived in default privilege land all of their lives. When minorities make fun of majorities, it is something they want to erase or shut down the discussion. But ex-het women who do come out as lesbians often have explosive horror of the past they tolerated and can’t stand. I don’t think het women have much of a clue about the origins of radical feminism or what the early writings were about or how massive numbers of women in the 70s during the rise of radical feminism completely rejected het married life.
    Liberal feminism is what most het women support, not radical feminism. Radical feminism comes from a completely different place, and radical lesbian feminism also comes from a different cultural position. It is very confusing to women who have not done the homework and really haven’t done the reading. Even popular culture and the origin of words is alien to the straight female ear a lot of the time. It’s because you are stuck in liberal feminism. Radical feminism is a lived practical experience, it comes out of a strong working class white and black woman’s culture. It was about activism not the internet

    1. Straight women find “even popular culture and the origin of words” difficult? Do you seriously think all straight women are bimbos, even het radical feminists? Do you actually talk to women in real life?
      I can’t even with your last line……it’s a complete erasure of women who are neither black nor white. I bet you think Chinese women are just submisse subhumans right?
      Your comment is so unbelievably woman hating. I don’t care if I don’t have the “authority” to say this-no radical feminist would ever write what you have. Woman hating troll.

      1. Choco,
        I think you are on to something—it all seems very white, very western (American) and very much seeped in all the arrogance and contempt of the other. No wonder why ethnic women are not by and large on board. All blathering about women that bring men places—who in the world is she talking to or about? And good grief “the prom” WTF is that? Yes the assumption is everyone is from her little vision of The Donna Reed Show. Well America has been fertile soil for narrow minds and here that is what constitutes radical. Any other time or place it is called clichéd thinking, “Didn’t do the reading” and “Didn’t do the work.” It is some kind of faux elitism based on how much free time a woman has had over the course of her life. All I can think is that reading must have taken a pretty good chunk of time—uhm, free time. While I 100% support something like MWF. Lets get real—political work? I call a music and cultural festive a vacation. Doing exactly what you want and then claiming it is for the greater good? That’s a jump I can’t make. And then it goes from the self-serving to the nearly outlandish. The claim that women sleep with enemy is fairly absurd and pales in comparison to the fact that LBG created Trans and will show their support for Trans formerly het men and still het men and gay men by supporting third world women being turned into breed stock for Gay men. That’s not the enemy I am sleeping with. That is my husband, the father of both sons and daughters. The enemy is those rich white guys that have had years of lesbian support—the ones that use women as breeding stock because they actually use women like slaves and animals. Yes, life long lesbians—are used to critique? Well then please explain how LBG (The L part, life long) thinks it is okay to turn 3rd world women into breeding stock? Political support L has provided in the past 30 years will prove to be socially and morally more horrific for poor women than 5000 years of marriage. And the L was complicite in the creation Trans—which is pretty ironic because lesbians now have a bunch of hetero dudes breaking bread with thier lesbian sisters. If a lesbian partners with a trans women (man) isn’t that a het relationship–more irony. And anyone want to guess who is going to be clearing the table and doing the dishes. And they have the chutzpah to spew shit about us—bullshit. Someone should have called that out a long time ago—full of shit The bottom line is radical or not lesbians have culturally and political been a much bigger help to Trans (who are out to destroy women because these guys misogyny is linked to a anti-social sexual compulsion). But they are innocent—they did the work.
        They did the reading—sounds a bit school marmish no? Maybe they will correct my spelling and punctuation—all the work and reading should not go to waste. They sound drunk or stupid or both—I mean look at the obsessive posts, on and on and on does not bode well—the work, they did it. And we are the “sell outs”

      2. ” The claim that women sleep with enemy is fairly absurd and pales in comparison to the fact that LBG created Trans..”
        O dearie me! We have males oppressing women, for thousands of years (absurd) but men are supposedly NOT the enemy,versus the latest, fairly small-scale manifestation of the gender nonsense (trans), which even if it was facilitated/incubated by the gay community, is somehow not just worse, but causes the other to pale into insignificance?
        The trans cult is a perfectly PREDICTABLE outcome of the patriarchy and their creation of gender. It’s getting the belief in innate gender embedded into the seemingly-challenging non-straight community, hence disarming that challenge. Which is a rather different kettle of fish to the straight community (and straight women), who refuse to be that much of a challenge in the first place, by staying with the menz. They didn’t NEED to aim something new at you.

      3. Bad Dyke,
        You are correct they did not aim something new except the legal dimension of not existing any longer has ramifications– women have no protections. And that is direct result of the L and the G politcal desire–now whos going down on the patricarchy? Uhm how did that happen, oh yeah LBG created the monster with the added dimension that women do not legally exist anymore. That my friend was a product of L and G–all that white man money. And what’s up next, owning women as slaves in developed countries too. So quick don’t notice that despite all the posturing and rhetoric the political movement has ensured that women are not even a legal reality because men say so. L and G sold all women out and why? Under what delusion did lebians imagine that gay men are not part of the patriarchy? Oh they said so, okay. Kinda like, “you can’t get pregnant if we do it like this?” Yeah I fell for that one once too. But only once. The crumbs from their table is what’s for dinner–Judith Butler, Foucault–charming lovely thinkers. Whatever you imagine you can throw at me–save it. I did not politicaly align myself with totaliarnism, based in SM and philosophies. No that is product of L and G. Yes it is worse it will destroy childrens lives for the next 10 years and in the end there isn’t going to be any LBG left–you guys are passe you invented Trans, nutured and fostered it and they ate you for lunch. And since all the money is man money and all the interest vested and otherwise is male I am betting the L keeps on keeping their mouths shut, like good girls. BTW we at least got really cute babies from sleeping with the “enemy” L sold women out and got nothing. After the bottom falls out because these guys are wacked do you imagine anything that comes out the L or G community will be taken seriously. Backing these guys(G and T and anyone that supports gender) and being politicaly aligned with them will resonate like having been in the SS.

      4. Motherhood, I think you’re making the mistake of confusing all lesbians with the lesbian and gay (and usually subscribing to queer theory) political grouping. Rather than lesbian feminists.

  62. icemountainfire— I really think red and others here aren’t very familiar with radical lesbian feminism. I know where I’m coming from and my political work over the past decades. I get Bev’s politics and positions. There is a huge divide today between lesbian feminists and liberal het feminists, and they haven’t done the work or the reading. They are not accustomed to ideological self examination. They are probably a lot of the time still married to men, and maybe even questioning what this got them who knows.
    We are a mystery to them because they’ve never really wanted us in their movement ever.

  63. Hey an ex-het woman created a parody of her former het self. It was not a creation of lifelong lesbians. And radical lesbian feminists have a very strong critique of women who collaborate with men, and try to shut down radical lesbian existence, which is what we deal with all the time in the world.
    So you’ll have to take up your anger at parody with the woman who created the het bashing week comedy blog. When she first came on the scene she still identified as het, so there you have it. Ex-het women tend to be the most angry, because after selling your body to men for years, and then realizing the cost of this…
    Lifelong lesbians have never slept with the enemy, don’t understand the need of women to do this really…. I know of no other oppressed group in the history of the world that is required to live with, eat with and serve the oppressor class 24/7. That is the crux of it all.
    Anyway, stop blaming lifelong lesbians for the work of ex-het newly out lesbians. Take a hard look at yourself, and the level of sell out you engage in. We just speak the truth about what we see, and since het women dominate socially, they believe they have the final word, or they are unused to critique. Radical lesbian politics has a very strong critique of the heterosexual family unit, of women who insist on bringing men into women only events, who insist that we have to deal with their rapist sons or bullies.
    I’ve never met a het mother who ever owned up to her lesbian bashing son, for example. Boyism at the expense of lesbian safety, wow, I could tell stories. Anyway, I’ve never had a blog, but I do love lesbian parody and making fun of the oppressor class as is my right within the tradition of political satire.

  64. What about hetero woman who creates a blog don’t you get red, now really? Oh I know, all lesbians are alike and we all write the same blogs, and we all do parody exactly the same way. Kind of like all blacks look alike I guess. Now go do some studying and stop wasting our time with your ignorance really.

  65. Who is the troll here, Choco, with the lying, misrepresenting, and then ordering who is allowed to speak and who must be silent?
    Red keeps saying she will stop, but doesn’t. No, it wasn’t “their name for it” or “THEY who named it.” (Is she deliberately, desperately trying to find some way to “bash” Lesbians who disagree with her?) As I already explained, the blog and satirical post name was from a recently out, recently married woman who was trying to be a good ally to Lesbians and was answering Lesbian-bashing she was experiencing and witnessing from het women. (Thanks, Sheila, I forgot that Val was still het when beginning her blog.)
    “Het bashing” was not dissimilar to how some Radical Feminists say they ARE “twansphobic.” SATIRE. So now are all Lesbians who object to Red’s Lesbian-hating are implicated in a post from several years ago? Or only those who commented at the time? Must we find that post? Why not quote the parts she objects to, which would be very revealing? Too revealing, I’m thinking.
    Red’s weariness with all of this, which is actually her continuing to harass us and make things up is more than annoying. As if WE aren’t “tired of this stupid topic” (how stupid for Lesbians to object to Lesbian-hating) and would not rather support Gallus’ other posts if we could just not feel compelled to answer more lies and misrepresentations.
    Red: “Bashing/trashng of other women is not, Ever. By anyone.” — unless it’s Lesbians being bashed and trashed since we clearly do not count as women by Red.
    Sheila can answer Choco’s trashing, but I can’t believe Red patronizing Branjor and basically telling her she isn’t qualified to participate here. WTF? Only the het women are called “radfems,” while those of us who object to Lesbian-hating are just “some Lesbians?” Can it be clearer than that?
    Perhaps Red is pretending to ignore the satire so she doesn’t have to actually quote the parts she objects to. Not so clever way to eliminate Branjor. But this is not Red’s blog (or I sure wouldn’t waste my time), and there is certainly not] reason for Branjor to be patronized, reprimanded, and censored.
    Please don’t feel like you have to find the blog before you can participate, Branjor, and thank you for being so clear and fair and brilliant.

    1. “Branjor, you don’t know what the background is on this. Maybe you should abstain. ”
      I don’t know either. But I won’t abstain because what I keep seeing is what has been said here:
      “I myself am a lesbian who has some of the same feelings and questions that Bad Dyke, Icemountainfire, Bev Jo and Sheila G have and I have been hugely abused at times when I’ve tried to approach these questions, however gently.”
      Can’t we just focus on that, NOT what was supposedly said way back when on some blog I can’t access/find/care about.
      There IS a deep issue here, because if there wasn’t why would so many women be hurling such comments at others, and accusing them of not being proper radfems, being out-voted and so on and so on……….
      Calling each other misogynists and woman-haters doesn’t actually progress anything, it just draws dividing lines or makes clear what should not be talked about (beware the heretic!).

  66. I stand firmly with red, Choco, and Motherhood in this discussion. I’m a radical feminist lesbian and I fully agree that the stuff that Bev Jo and SheilaG spout is misogynist, woman-hating, and very often nonsensical in political terms. There isn’t anything more nonsensical and women-hating than hosting and participating in “Het Bashing” Weeks 1-3. (Many of us have screencaps of the whole hate fest. It was a hateful orgy of wallowing in women blaming.) Many radical feminists have pointed this out on blogs, FB groups, and elsewhere and it’s not because we don’t understand their claims of radical lesbian feminism (we do) or that we hate them as individuals (we really couldn’t care less about them as individuals) or any of the other lying BS they throw at all of us. We are in the majority on this issue.

    1. Okay, I know nowt about the ‘Het Bashing’. I’ll concentrate on what has been posted here.
      “We are in the majority on this issue.” Since when was it a popularity contest? Just labelling it as misogynist, nonsensical and woman-hating, and saying ‘and lots of others say so too’ isn’t arguing, nor illuminating, nor anything really. Just an attempt perhaps to get others to ignore it because if you don’t, you’ll be on the unpopular side………….
      It’s heresy because lots of women say so? Just annoys the heck out of me if the best we can do is come out with stuff like that……………

      1. Of course it’s illuminating to point out that many women have been talking about this exact same thing and where. Someone who has only been reading this thread could imagine that this discussion has never happened other than here and they would be wrong. If you can’t be bothered to go look, that’s on you, I’m not going to do the work of pointing out all the many places it’s been discussed.
        Further, your framing this as about “popularity” is deeply disingenuous. We’re not talking about “unpopular” opinions, we’re talking about blatantly and consistently BASHING women, to the degree that someone thought it was ironically funny to name their blog posts with that term. We’re not laughing and we’re not buying that being a lesbian gives someone a pass to be that shitty toward other women.
        The claims that Bev Jo and SheilaG make under the banner that lesbians “love women” is a sickening form of reversal. They show no love for the women they bash, but claim that it is heterosexual women who can’t possibly love other women.
        If you can’t see what is wrong with the continual hate-filled screeds aimed at other women, that is a deep and sorry failing on your part, BadDyke. Lesbians do not get a pass for being ignorant, abusive, or creating a miserable environment for other women.

      2. “Of course it’s illuminating to point out that many women have been talking about this exact same thing and where. Someone who has only been reading this thread could imagine that this discussion has never happened other than here and they would be wrong.” I wasn’t born yesterday, I know this argument has been doing the rounds for the last thirty years (at least).
        I don’t care what people may have said in the past, opinions change, so I’m concentrating on what is being said now.
        And frankly, I’m not getting any better answers (or reactions) than I did thirty years ago…………

    1. Pointing out abuses in a “community” is vital for a community’s long term viability. Standing silently by while some women say hateful things about other women is not acceptable, period. Women have every right to talk about abusers without being told that it’s about a “firing squad” — that is a silencing tactic and all the more egregious when talking to women who are on the leading edge of recognizing all the many ways women are kept from exposing abuse and eliminating it from our spaces. This has gone on with these two women for *years* and many women have tried to talk about it and get something done. That it’s still going on tells us that something more needs to be done.

      1. I have no wish to silence anyone, and agree that thinking and mutual questioning are appropriate here as elsewhere. It’s my opinion, though, that this conversation has gone well beyond that and into firing squad territory.

      2. “It’s my opinion, though, that this conversation has gone well beyond that and into firing squad territory.”
        It certainly seems to have become almost totally PERSONAL, in that it’s about Bev and Sheila and the (claimed) history, NOT about what they and others have been saying here, here and now.
        “This has gone on with these two women for *years* and many women have tried to talk about it and get something done.” Get something done in what sense? Try to get them to shut up? Sounds like silencing to me!
        What this is certainly not is an actual discussion of the issues, about WHAT is supposedly bashing women, and perhaps more interesting and more necessary, WHY this is happening (and a better answer please than just cos Bev and Sheila are evil misogynists………..).

  67. I guess hetero women who start blogs to be allies to lesbians, and then discover a lesbian self along the way are confusing to most hetero women commenting here. This small point is never addressed, but one thing most have in common is that they are trying to silence lesbian speech, or they are ordering other lesbians off this site. It’s what they do.
    I’m not all that interested in heterosexual life, or what women do with men, or really what their inner problems are. Radical feminism to them is not about the love of women, it is about the anger over their circumstances.
    Failed heterosexuality is like buying a lottery ticket, they get the ticket, marry men, drop out of the work force, whatever they do. Then they get mad at lesbians for wanting to create a world where we don’t have to deal with this stuff. lesbians had a completely different vision.
    But when het women become lesbians, this is a grave threat to hetero existence, or even when some hetero women are genuine allies to lesbians or at least have done the radical reading. Since there are no citations or understanding of different literary forms–satire, rant, polemic etc., all they can think of doing is calling us names or accusing us of being trolls. I’d say a better description of me is het-bored, or having no sympathy for women who bought the wrong lottery ticket at the hetero booth at the fair. A bit of satire there, just in case you are a little challenged —- 🙂 put in a smiley face too for good measure. This is kind of fun to read. The wounded feelings of women who married the wrong man…. to be continued at a theater near you.

    1. You keep playing that projection game, it seems to work really well for you. Not everyone who disagrees with you is an uneducated broodmare with a husband and 15 kids. I called you a troll b/c what you said-the part I quoted above-was plain contemptuous.
      It bears repeating: disagreeing with some statements made by radical lesbian feminists that are rooted in misogyny IS NOT the same as erasing lesbian voices, calling lesbians men, accusing lesbians of being sexual predators, or trying to take away anyone’s radical feminist card. Questioning heterosexuality isn’t the problem here, it’s the characterization of straight women as antifeminists by default.

  68. I fell in love with a woman. And I really wanted to pleasure her. I wanted to express my feelings body to body. In fact, I felt an imperative to do so, should she be willing, regardless of all the social consequences of “being a homosexual”. Adore her. Skin on skin. Stroke her. I wanted to taste her. Fuck her. Feel her come in my mouth. I came to discover that I only felt this way for women.
    Men- even those I loved deeply- never activated a desire for sexual touch. Just not there! I have never been sexual with a man. But if I felt that way for a man I would go for it. Hell, I’d be sucking his balls right now. And loving it! I don’t think there was ever a feminist imperative for me wanting to sink my tongue into a lover’s sensitive places. I value sexuality. Truth be told, old Gallus was not always an enlightened feminist woman! I don’t think my sexual drives had anything to do with men or my oppression by them. Certainly I’ve known some incredibly sexist male-identified lifelong dyke bulldaggers.
    If a woman feels the same way about some guy’s balls (sorry to be so blunt) as I feel about being with a woman: I say go for it. How could I not? I can’t imagine telling her she should reel that desire in for any reason. Certainly not as a guilt-induced lifestylism strategy to forward global liberation for women. For me as an outsider to heterosexuality: it seems like a yucky thing. No offense. I’m sure some heteros feel the same way about me. When I was a kid I thought women were just lying about being heterosexual because I assumed my gay feelings were the natural state of things. And there was so much pressure to NOT feel the way I did it all seemed so coerced, like shaving legs, acting dumb, and smiling on command.
    As an outsider it has always been shocking to me that hetero women needed incredibly toxic medication to have sex with their partners. Or that their partners would willingly risk making their lovers have abortions or babies. If it came to that I think I would not have sex with women. I can’t imagine putting a woman through that no matter how much I wanted to have sex with her. How many straight women would put their male partners through going on heavy meds and risking abortion to have sex with them? Probably not many? So as an outsider it seems very strange to us. Even shocking. I hope that makes sense. I don’t judge it because it is outside my experience but I can’t imagine doing that to someone as a consequence of my sexuality (which I value!). If being with women meant they had to take meds and might need an abortion I would not do it no matter how much desire I had.
    I also would not take meds to have sex and would not risk abortions to have sex with a lover. No fucking way. It seems shocking to me.
    At the same time, when I was a teen I chose to pay an incredible social penalty to express my natural sexual and romantic feelings for other women, a decision that still effects my life decades later, every day.
    (I’m ignoring all the derails and personal attacks in this thread and not acting as moderator).

    1. I’ve only had sex with men and only while on drugs and/or alcohol. I got groomed into it early. It all sucked and/or had a violent element. I stopped 20 years ago except for a couple of one night stands ten-fifteen years ago. And before that not so much either.
      I didn’t have sex with my first serious girlfriend. We were only about twelve, and she was being raped by her older sibling’s friends and my mother was divorcing my porno stepfather, so sex was not something I even wanted to think about.
      She betrayed me terribly. Of course I entirely forgive her, poor child, I had no idea. It was extremely hard at the time.
      I looked her up later, when she was around eighteen maybe? She was a mess. She told me she was a lesbian and a heroin addict. She told me to stay away from her, for my own good.
      And I did. I don’t know what I could have done, after that, though I do remember details of our visit, how she showed me with pride the camouflaged marijuana plants in her alcoholic mother’s back yard.
      I must have come back, because I remember learning she OD’d not long afterwards. She haunts me to this day.

        1. Thanks, kill your enemies. It took me a long time to understand what happened to her. She didn’t describe herself as being raped, but she was way too young and all her much older siblings were dealing and the mother was passed out in front of the TV all the time. Of course it was rape, it may have been trafficking.
          And meanwhile my stepfather had remarried a woman with a child who was born out of wedlock and raised as her mother’s sister. My dear departed stepfather was the last person in the world *she* needed in her life. She was my new best friend, although my mother and her children had moved across the country and we only came out for visits. It didn’t take her much time to start getting raped by a much older dude, totally illegal, none of the grownups had a problem with this. We were both 13 when my stepfather first gave us LSD. He didn’t rape me, might have raped her.
          I was quite devoted to her, she ripped me off periodically. She got into heroin and eventually into prison. I think she may still be alive. She had a number of children. The last time I saw her was decades ago, when I remember her oldest daughter, barely more than a toddler, handing Mommy an imaginary valium.
          This is what happens to girls who are seen as disposable. This is what happens to children who fall into the hands of those who would have one believe children can give consent. Like that dude who crashed the radfem conference in Toronto. This is what they create with their “freedoms.”

        1. Talking to radical feminists online has been getting me thinking about Robbie a lot. She was kickass. She went around in a butch haircut, a peacoat, and nylons, in sixth grade. The peacoat had a hole in the lining and she used it as a wraparound kit pack.
          She kept notebooks in it. I imitated her. We had bonded over loving “Harriet the Spy.”
          The other kids in school tried to fuck with her no end. She started up this kind of personal writing project where she’d decide to pronounce each of them some particular species of animal, such as giraffes, llamas, rhinocerouses. And then she’d get up in each individual’s face and proclaim them such. Scared the hell out of them.
          I thought she was just wonderful. But unfortunately I did not express things physically, perhaps because in my literary experience at the time, expressing things physically results in one’s getting electrodes attached to one’s nipples. I was a kind of cold girl. I don’t blame myself, I just wish she had found someone to express herself to. She needed rescuing much worse than I did at the time.
          Eventually Robbie jimmied a window latch in my bedroom while my mother was at work and I was…at the library? At band practice?
          And she invited some other neighborhood girls in, and when I showed up, my best friend was perched crosslegged on the floor, notebook in hand, and read out, staring at me with what I know was pain and self-hatred:
          “I like Robbie, but I find her a little queer sometimes.”
          Major relationship fuckup. I thought it meant “odd.” Maybe “peculiar.”
          I had no idea. And there wasn’t anyone around pointing out that sixth graders should not be fucked by their ten-year-older-brother’s buddies. My stepfather, who fucked up my entire immediate family (he’s dead) would have perhaps found this mildly interesting. A bit young for his tastes.
          So, here’s a story for the cache of how budding young awesome butch lesbians are lost.

    2. GM, thank you–your candor, your smarts. Yes, the risk zone and a consequences zone. Those risks and consequences namely children–real live humans have social, economic and physical impact on their mothers–forever and always. Even in the best situation you are only as happy as your saddest child. And best is not common.
      The political or ideological or even the romance (don’t get it in either direction–not him and not her, stone cold disinterested) aside. Trashing het women is a woman trashing her mother, her grandmother, her sisters. Kinda shitty no matter how you slice it. Not to mention dysfunctional. Is someone supposed to be interested in a line of thought that at the core presents as dysfunctional? Oh I did think of one who was modern orthodox–Shulamit Firestone–ever read her? Kinda brilliant and whole lota crazy. But she was raised in English with a decent education and went to college.

      1. “Trashing het women is a woman trashing her mother, her grandmother, her sisters.”
        Except I seem to recall, what was said elsewhere was specifically aimed at feminists who were heterosexual — the simple, straightforward question — now that you’ve come to REALISE what the patriarchy has done to women over the centuries, don’t you think that your continued willingness to partner with men might be seen as a little problematic?
        Okay, bashing het women is BAD, we all agree on that, just that we seem to disagree exactly what bashing constitutes, and what sub-group of het women were being referred to at the time…………….My mother, my grandmothers, never realised there was an alternative. My heterosexual feminist sisters DO KNOW, so I WILL keep asking them why they keep doing the heterosexuality thing………………….
        And maybe one day, someone will answer, rather than this kneejerk let’s denounce het bashing yet again, which is getting no one anywhere – and sometimes feels like an excuse, a way to avoid actually addressing the issue which ISN’T why do some lesbians supposedly hate straight women……………….

    3. “If a woman feels the same way about some guy’s balls (sorry to be so blunt) as I feel about being with a woman: I say go for it. How could I not? I can’t imagine telling her she should reel that desire in for any reason.”
      There’s the point I think we disagree on. I think we need to question our desires as we do everything else. Because I’m not convinced that our desires, like so many other aspects of who we think we are, hasn’t been totally fucked-up by the patriarchy.
      And the point remains that acting on your desires involves TWO people, and when one of those people is a man, then the choice to act or not to act becomes political, given the patriarchy.
      I can understand not wanting to police womens desires, given that that is something men have been doing for centuries, but then again, given what has been going on for centuries, I don’t think we can just assume that our (or anyones elses) desires are ‘natural’, untainted by our conditioning or whatever.

      1. My goodness. Somehow you extrapolated from my comment the statement “women should refrain from reflecting on our conditioning under patriarchy” and you cherry-picked a part of my comment that seemed to re-frame my thoughts into that absurd, dismissible gem for you. Unfortunately I said no such ridiculous thing. But thanks for “disagreeing” with something I never stated and do not believe. Too much.

      2. GM, I thought I made it abundantly clear WHAT was the point that we disagreed on — I quoted it.
        “seemed to re-frame my thoughts ” I didn’t. I didn’t claim that those musings were YOUR thoughts. I don’t think I assigned ANY of them to you, even by implication.
        You said: “I can’t imagine telling her she should reel that desire in for any reason.””
        But I can imagine a reason for arguing that she should. Clear now?
        I don’t know why you don’t imagine what I do — I was going to wait for you to tell me!
        ” absurd, dismissible gem” Meaning what? If I’m being absurd, please explain exactly what you find absurd and why? I’m confused — or is the animosity sloshing around this discussion now from various sides just getting too much!
        Damn, and there I was feeling all grateful that someone had posted something clear and straightforward so that we could at least see WHAT we disagreed on, and perhaps inquire as to why………….

      3. The absurdity is you taking from my post which examines desire- including my mystification of the dangerous damaging aspects for women of heterosexual coupling- and reverse it into the opposite: an expression stating I believe such things should remain unexamined. Bizarre reversal.

      4. Instead of parsing women’s comments seeking points of disagreement which you can then query the women about, why not post something generous and open-ended yourself, for women to read and reflect upon? Give. Something giving, generous, creative. Not reductive, critical, demanding. Can you see the difference? Just a suggestion.

      5. “an expression stating I believe such things should remain unexamined. ” GM, I really didn’t mean to say that, and I don’t think I did.
        “I can’t imagine telling her she should reel that desire in for any reason.” So, I must have misunderstood what you meant here — that you think it is valid to examine it? But that you don’t think it is okay based on that examination to tell/suggest/inquire why she doesn’t stop doing it?
        I’m not trying to be awkward, I’m just obviously not understanding precisely what you were saying.

      6. “The distinction is between sharing, learning, asking, wondering, and TELLING SHAMING BLAMING WOMEN.”
        Okay, I get it a bit better now. A very clear, pithy statement.
        Maybe just the strange nature of desire itself, it’s so deep and seemingly ingrained and just too damn personal, that to have anyone seeming to query or criticise is just too close to the quick……….
        I don’t know how to address this issue, this tension that is still there between (some) lesbian radical feminists, and straight radical feminists, over sexuality.
        “Not reductive, critical, demanding……….” Yep, that’s me. But then being critical and reductive is so much easier given the anonymity of the web. Perhaps this just isn’t the right medium for such heated topics, that those sort of questions, to get anywhere, needs the sort of deep trust and willingness to share that I used to get from CR groups. Where I could feel safe, and trusted and respected and listened to (and loved) by other women as a woman, even if they disagreed with me.
        Goodness, that’s something I haven’t thought about for many years! But I MISS it!

    4. I love your post. I’m an oddball heterosexual woman who has NEVER put down women, sucked up to men, thought I needed a man, etc. That said, I suspect I’m a rarity, as most heterosexual women I’ve known have intense issues with men which they have a hard time dealing with, and issues around competing with other women. I totally identified with my mother and was a mama’s girl, and sometimes wonder why I am not a lesbian.
      What I don’t understand is what our sexuality has to do with our embrace of radical feminism. To me, radical feminism means desiring a world without hierarchy, a world of community and cooperation, a world pretty much diametrically opposed to the one we’ve got. Radical feminism means rejecting the ways in which we’re taught to view others, beginning with other women, as somehow flawed and lesser than ourselves. I understand the need for marginalized groups to sometimes crow about their superiority — a very human response! — but crowing about one’s superiority is not the same as belittling others.

  69. You are not a derail at all, Gallus.
    I just wanted to let this all go, but then the liar who speaks for a pretend majority elsewhere appears (ignoring the majority present.) Oh, she says, we are gossiped about by so many? Well, anyone who has read No Anodyne sure talks about her history of mindfuck/gaslighting women in an obvious attempt to turn our Radical Feminism into her right wing version of liberal feminism. Erase our over forty year Radical Feminist history of working towards an equal and diverse community. Just ban or ridicule any feminist who dares to bring up racism or classism or Lesbian-hating.
    As she says, “Lesbians do not get a pass for being ignorant, abusive, or creating a miserable environment for other women.” Just look in the mirror, No Anodyne (or No Integrity, as I call her) =and think about the hatred and contempt you project onto on other women.
    No Anodyne is more controlled here — her usual tactic is to never really argue any issue except vaguely, and, instead, name-call, ridicule, insult, try to humiliate, and use oppression against women, hoping she will wound deeply yet another new or longtime Radical Feminist. The truth a problem? She just lies.
    If women in a “feminist” group question “Why are there no Black feminists?” — and you dare to make a list of the classic and brilliant books by African-descent Radical Feminists and other Radical Feminists of Color in our movement that every feminist should read, to show them that it was exactly those women who helped CREATE our Radical Feminist movement, be prepared for No Anodyne to yell in caps to ban you immediately. (This really did happen in a “feminist” facebook group.) How dare any woman try to fight racism?
    That’s just one true story, but there are many where No Anodyne harasses and bullies and lies to harm Radical Feminists in her quest to drive us out of the movement we also helped create.
    As we say, it’s not enough to hate men or even men who pretend to be women. We also have to love women, and that includes Lesbians. No Anodyne seems to hate Lesbians, but she also goes after any het woman who dares to disagree with her. Only submission is acceptable. She sets herself up as executioner of any woman who dares to talk about what used to be common feminist discussion in the Seventies — how het women collaborate with men against themselves and other women, and how that could be understood and changed. When het women ally with Lesbians, No Anodyne tries to wipe them out. All I see of her politics is hating some men, and hating some women a bit less, and trying to erase Radical Feminism for her right wing/liberal version that I’m guessing she is trying to be the leader of.

  70. I went to see how bad Val’s post had been, but it’s not reachable. As I said, it was satire in response to false accusations of “het bashing.” What I remember of it was her describing how badly she was being treated by her het best friend and her family after daring to become a Lesbian. She seemed in shock at the glaring difference, from those she trusted, when she went from acceptable married het mother to new Lesbian, and so she posted about that. What a crime.
    Since neither I or Sheila or Bad Dyke or Branjor or IceMountainFire or anyone here who was objecting to the Lesbian-hating here made Val’s post or owned her blog, why are we all being attacked over it? it looks like the usual smoke screen to try to stop and eliminate the most Radical of Feminists from our own movement. Lie enough and throw enough crap and hope it sticks.
    I say to look directly at what is being said and ignore slander. If anyone has questions about anything anyone has said past or present, then just ask. Any criticisms? Just say them specifically, honestly and directly, so they can be responded to. Throwing out vague insults and accusations with no substance is just bullying.
    For those who complain about why there are no “young Radical Feminists,” do know they certainly exist, but ignoring their Radical Feminist politics and them, as is happening here, and as No Anodyne is doing, is a way to eliminate them from our movement and will certainly drive some away. So when that question comes up, remember how at least one courageous young Radical Feminist was ignored and told to be quiet here. (I think young woman are welcome by the right wing/liberal bullies only if they are submissive and obedient.)

  71. Another aspect of No Anodyne is to see who she trashes and slanders — and who she defends.
    A year ago, Gallus Mag posted about the disgusting man, “Colleen Francis” who won legal right to be naked in a school girls’ sports locker room and sauna.
    (From GenderTrender: Colleen Francis is a 45 year old man who retired from the US Army after 20 years as a supply sergeant. Married three times, he has three adult children and two daughters aged 7 and 5. His cross-sex hormones are provided by VA Medical, as well as a cocktail of psychiatric meds, lithium and antabuse prescribed for a troubling history that he details at length on a blog at the “Transgender Lesbian Space”of the puddygirl dating site for women. He says he is known as “Fae Raven” (not to be confused with the UK fetish model of the same name) in the “BDSM Community” and describes himself as:
    “I am polyamorous, bisexual (I very much favor women though, and my therapist calls me a lesbian…makes me smile) and kinky.”
    October 11, 2012 at 8:45 am
    Lesley Smith/Ruth Greenberg, well known troll in the “Radical Feminist” community who uses multiple aliases, posted this in his defense:
    Celine Moritz Says:
    October 11, 2012 at 8:45 am
    Colleen has the right, both legally and morally, to use the same facilities as any other woman. Your hate and bigotry can never erase that simple fact.
    Lesley/Ruth/Celine also posted as Ashley Wilkes at GenderTrender, pretending to have a transgender child.
    (She ALSO trolled a mothers’ group called Mumsnet, pretending to have four children, when she has none.)
    Before I knew this, I became suspicious of “Lesley” because of her private emailing trolling comments to me and her trolling every group I saw her in. She tried to get me to talk all Radical Feminists into leaving our RF facebook groups, which had thousands of members.
    So I asked Gallus about her and she sent me info showing that all three IPs were the same as the woman we knew as Lesley Smith on pro-trans cult comments made at GenderTrender, including the Celine Moritz and Ashley Wilkes’ comments.
    I warned everyone in the Radical Feminist facebook groups I was in and was immediately threatened to be banned from facebook, sent a virus attached to an email about Lesley, and then was banned from a number of Radical Feminist groups.
    What surprised me is the support Lesley/Ruth/Celine/Ashley got from women claiming to be Radical Feminists. They made up excuses she herself never made, including saying she apologized when she didn’t. (All I ever saw was anger at being discovered.) And no matter what bizarre reason they gave for her criticizing Gallus Mag in defense of that disgusting man, no one ever explained why she trolled a mother’s group and why she continues to post trolling comments that undermine feminism.
    One explanation for the support she gets is a comment I saw in an “RF” thread saying that Lesley Smith/Ruth Greenberg was “useful” to them.
    In the post last year, No Anodyne joined in the criticism of “Colleen Francis,” but since then adamantly supports Lesley Smith/Ruth Greenberg, and uses her usual name-calling and insults to do so. For some reason I was surprised at that, but was called “silly” for objecting.
    Why would any “Radical Feminist” support such a troll, including against Gallus Mag and all of us? Isn’t that more relevant in questioning politics, motives and female-hating than objecting to a post another woman made several years ago? (In the past, No Anodyne also joined with Cathy Brennan in trying to eliminate/ban Radical Feminists who warned women about Cathy’s double dealing with men/trannies while pretending to be the leader of the anti-trans movement.)
    There are a number of trolls in our Radical Feminist movement. One giveaway is their support for men in the trans cult in spite of their pretense at rage towards these men. Another giveaway is support for other trolls who support these men. No Anodyne is in no position to criticize Radical Feminists or lecture about who is and who isn’t a Radical Feminist. If she wants to use “woman-hating” to slander women, she should look in the mirror and think about how there is nothing more woman-hating than supporting the trolls who support the trans cult.

  72. Apparently what I do when I come home from work is spend my time providing a space for women to re-hash their personal battles that have probably been reiterated in every facebook group for years ad NAUSEA WITHOUT END SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL.
    I don’t give A FLYING FUCK what some blogger posted years ago on a deleted blog and I DON”T GIVE A FUCK what Noan did to Bev and what Bev did to Red and WHATEVER THE FUCK.
    JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I REALLLLYYYYYY wanted to let this festering boil ooze unmoderated BUT YOU KNOW WHAT???????????
    I MEAN IT!
    Thank you.

      GM — the lancet that we need. It might hurt at the time (especially when she shouts!), but we’ll all feel better afterwards……. 🙂

  73. I had a really interesting discussion with a friend last night on the way home from a dinner party (oh how fancy!) As far as I am aware, she’s not too aware of feminism (especially not the online variety,) or of the whole trans issues thing but anyway.
    We had a few mutual acquaintances and apparently a guy I knew years ago has moved over here as well and is in a relationship with a “lesbian” female because he has “female energy” or something such bullshit.
    She expressed her frustration at their attitudes and refusal to acknowledge the obvious, that they were in fact, a run-of-the-mill heterosexual couple. She also expressed frustration at the fact that she was not in fact a lesbian as she was having regular PIV sex with the dude (of course, none of these are her exact words, but ya’know 😛 ) and that there were constant fights due to the polyamorous nature of the relationship. They’re both “allowed” to sleep with other women (jesus fuck,) and we both just wondered what the point of this elaborate ruse was.
    So I shared some of the my thoughts on the issue about how on his behalf it was probably autogynophilic and on she wasn’t actually a lesbian at all and how it was the most ridiculous fucked up excuse for a “relationship” that I have ever heard of.
    It turns out that we also had a mutual acquaintance who was born female but has now decided that they are a transman. My friend expressed great frustration at how everything on their facebook was all about being called a girl, being asked to leave the men’s toilets, that they were really a gay man and that gay men who refused to sleep with her were transphobic etc etc. All the classic trans sooky-la-las.
    So again, I shared my thoughts that she was actually just a run-of-the-mill-heterosexual and that it was quite childish and narcissistic and how at the end of the day, you cannot change biology and that despite what this person may think, she is and always will be a female human being.
    My friend was really happy to hear this perspective and that she’d never considered it that way before but that it made way more sense than her uni-student-cool-queer-hipster-type mates saying that it was just their identity and that she should just suck it up and accept it. She asked where I had learned/developed these perspectives and of course, I told her, radical feminism!
    She lives up the road from me and we are going to have some reading sessions together about radical feminst/women’s issues. Pretty nifty, and then I thought of this post and witchwind’s and how important it is that women actually talk to each other, in real life and online about the things that are affecting their lives or pleasing them or pissing them off or whatever.
    I think the cool thing is that this material written by Gallus and WW just happened IRL. This woman, my friend, had previously had no exposure to feminist ideas, and now she has, and it made sense to her, and that gets the ball rolling so to speak.
    Long post is long! Sorry, I was just really amazed that this conversation happened and that it’s partially inspired by the conversations that go on here.

    1. kill your enemies: Thanks for sharing your fine story of introducing your friend to radical feminism. It is indeed helpful to discover a way of looking at the whole cultural mess that has so much to offer, so much internal strength. Something that withstands critiquing. That epiphany when you realize what a lot of crap you’ve been buying into is huge, and that’s only the beginning.

      1. It was an amazing conversation, I could see the “Aha!” moment on her face. I remember that first moment when I too made that realisation – reading Dworkin. It’s a powerful feeling makes you feel like you’re not so powerless in your own life and that there’s a broader social context all the bullshit females get fed fits in to.
        My best friend is also asking to borrow my copy of Beauty and Misogyny (Jeffreys,) because her interest has been peaked by my pointing out that females aren’t so equal in Western Society at all.
        I guess my point is, we have the power to change lives, and getting people to ask a lot of questions + offer some good solid theory to frame those questions is a genuinely empowering act. Not empowering like choose my choice to collaborate with consumerism, but genuine feeling of control + sense of life.

    2. “…….but that it made way more sense than her uni-student-cool-queer-hipster-type mates saying that it was just their identity and that she should just suck it up and accept it”
      I loved that line! I know exactly what you mean. Here in uni land, we have the student union reps of various types campaigning for gender-neutral loos or somesuch nonsense, so the trans crowd don’t have to be embarrassed. Never mind the fact that in most buildings, even when the disabled loos have been sorted, you’ve still got probably twice as many male facilities as female. O no, WOMEN not being able to piss don’t matter, that’s not SEXY enough. Everydays womens problems, as always, are seen as unimportant, and you can’t get much more everyday than all the female students desperately queuing for a single-cubicle womens loo before a test.
      I dunno, when I was younger, women wanted the world, now we just want a few more loos! 🙂 Although a good way to get women thinking, just ask WHY don’t women ever have enough loos? We have the technology, architects you think could manage it in new buildings, but somehow they never do………………..

      1. Guh, it’s so frustrating isn’t it? Only a small handful of toilets on my campus are offering pads + tampons but I’m starting to notice a few uni sex toilets pop up. I mean, what in the fuck is this bullshit?
        On the whole architecture aspect on it, my folks got me a really nifty book for my birthday called “Discrimination through Design” about how the way we physically structure our society and living arrangements as being detrimental to women and girls’s lives. Should be interesting.
        You can see this even in the way that footpaths/sidewalks are designed – narrow, not meant for more than two or three across. It’s designed for men going to and from their destination, not designed for women who tend to be negotiating these spaces with small children, elderly, groups or w/e. I read
        These conversations are so important to be having. I did see an article a while ago about how a country in Scandinavian Europe ( I think,) was encouraging streets to be redesigned by women – there were some serious social benefits, I’ll see if I can dig it up 🙂

      2. Goddess, so few loos offer tampons or pads that I’d kind of forgotten that loos used to!
        The problem is, on paper we have (almost) as many female loos. Except on the ground (i.e. when I snuck into the gents late one evening), you have womens loo with ONE cubicle (count one urinary facility), verses a gents loo with three urinals and three cubicles (count SIX). And so on.
        “how the way we physically structure our society and living arrangements as being detrimental to women and girls’s lives.”
        That DOES sound interesting! Let me know how it goes, i’d be interested to hear.
        We all know about the cities designed for cars stuff (which excludes the young and public transport users who tend to be either poor, old, or female). Those horrible pedestrian underpasses and modern road designs that are not safe for women to walk through.

  74. GM: Instead of parsing women’s comments seeking points of disagreement which you can then query the women about, why not post something generous and open-ended yourself, for women to read and reflect upon? Give. Something giving, generous, creative. Not reductive, critical, demanding. Can you see the difference? Just a suggestion.
    Superb! I hope it was clear in my comment above that I was saying I loved your post, GM, about your desire for women.
    I’m sure I’ll get some shit for this, but I want to say that patriarchy damages every person who comes into contact with it, i.e., all of us. I do not find it personally useful to demonize men though many of them behave monstrously nor do I find it useful to denigrate women. I wanted so much to believe when I was young that women were better than men, but all my life experiences have taught me that women are terribly damaged and often not very pleasant people. I think if I had ever found a lesbian community filled with wonderful loving women, I would have drowned any desire for men and joined up! But the lesbians I have known have been the same flawed people as the men and straight women I’ve known, just people after all, subjected to the same messed-up families we were all raised in, subjected to the same societal garbage we were all subjected to.
    It takes a lot of work to shed our self-hatred which we often express as hatred of those we perceive as other and sometimes as hatred of those like us. I wish women could just learn to stop competing with one another (it has depressed me to see lesbians cuddling up to my husband [oh, I wish you were a woman!] while treating me as invisible [believe me, I’m not], to see the pain other women have experienced, and to love and care for other women. I’m too old to be an idealist, but I do dream of a better world.

    1. Thanks Toby’sGirl for liking my comment! By the way, who is Toby’s girl? Is that your child?
      I appreciated reading your thoughts. From my perspective, when a woman (I assume you are female?) says the oppression of women hurts those who benefit from that oppression (men) too, I’m not sure how to respond. It’s like hearing a black man say that racism hurts white men too. Does it? Does racism hurt whites? Does oppressing women hurt men? I mean, being punched in the face is bad, but surely the hand doing the punching can get sore from the impact. Is that what you mean?
      I get that you don’t think rich people should be demonized re: class and that whites shouldn’t be demonized re: racism and that men shouldn’t be demonized re: patriarchy. At least that is what I assume you mean. Am I right? That poor people, black people, female people, should be concerned with not “demonizing” those who benefit from their oppression? Honestly, I don’t consider avoiding hurting the feelings of those who benefit from oppression to be a big priority for those suffering from their oppression. And I wonder why you consider it important that those who suffer oppression to “avoid demonizing” those benefiting from that degradation. That makes no sense to me.
      And where are these “demonized” men? Are they being talked over by women in boardrooms and laboratories occupied by female power-brokers who female-bond by hiring male strippers and prostitutes as entertainment during work conferences? Are the men afraid to walk alone on the streets at night for fear of being raped and murdered by gangs of roving violent women? Are they afraid to wind their window down for the good Samaritan who approaches when their car is disabled on an isolated road because there is a decent chance the woman may use the opportunity to sexually assault them? Are the men being raped to death by elderly women who procure them as child-grooms? Are men trained to keep their eyes downcast in the presence of their female overlords, smile on command, and groomed from birth to perform elaborate perpetual rituals displaying submission to any asshole born with a uterus?
      No? Hmm.
      You say: “I wanted so much to believe when I was young that women were better than men, but all my life experiences have taught me that women are terribly damaged and often not very pleasant people.”
      I hear that you experience men as healthy and pleasant, and women as damaged and unpleasant. You attribute your perception of males as pleasant and undamaged to their membership in the oppressor class. Do you think oppressing women actually makes men pleasant and undamaged, or do you think men are innately pleasant and undamaged compared to women? Are women in your opinion inherently unpleasant and frail (prone to damage from oppression)? Or do you believe male subjugation has made us so? (I disagree with your claims either way and find them shocking: dripping with toxic female-hatred, victim-blaming and Stockholm syndrome.)
      Your comment about “I think if I had ever found a lesbian community filled with wonderful loving women, I would have drowned any desire for men and joined up! But the lesbians I have known have been the same flawed people as the men and straight women I’ve known, just people after all” is interesting to me. Women are just people, Lesbians are just people, the same as men, yet men are preferable to us. You “would be lesbian” if women were superior to men, but all things being equal, men are superior, so you are straight. This is very illuminating to me about the straight woman perspective. All things being equal, men are preferred, but if women were superior, hetero women would become gay. Very interesting! If lesbians were more than “just people” we would become equivalent to men.
      Thank you for your comment.

      1. This is fantastic Gallus. A primer for those who don’t get it.
        Presently, I am pursuing a sexual harassment case against my landlord. I should just not do that because po’ diddums? You can’t believe the reactions and responses I’m getting. Oh well I guess yes, you could. Contextually, just like above.

      2. . This is very illuminating to me about the straight woman perspective. All things being equal, men are preferred, but if women were superior, hetero women would become gay. Very interesting! If lesbians were more than “just people” we would become equivalent to men.
        I don’t understand what Tobysgirl means, but for me I think maybe grooming is what is going on, but I don’t speak for all het women. I don’t think you\we should understand it as explaining all het women. But TG has opened this up talking about it, if that’s what you wanted.
        I think if we are lifelong het (and if one is lifelong Lesbian are we saying one cannot be lifelong het, confused and confusing…) it amounts to grooming, maybe, or just knowing how to do it, how to be. I never know where I am with Lebian women. You trust, you get slammed. With men, I never give any of me. Ever. I’m never disappointed. I know what to expect. With women? Lesbian women who say they love women? It’s an exercise in something else to keep walking into it with trust: masochism. Maybe.

      3. If you are reading Noan, I wish you would come back into this discussion. Noan said things to me that helped me come back in, when I felt really battered by some Lesbian women (online). Noan and I have had our differences too, but by and large, I look up to her as a leader for us all. Surely, she is understanding of het women in a way only a few others are: Dav, Delphyne some who don’t post here, keep me in, and engaged, when I feel really bruised and oftne just “wrong’.

      4. Clarifying re Noan. Our convo where she helped me happened long ago. I wrote as though I was referring to here, or could be understood that way. No. Some years ago.

      5. GM, not demonizing does not mean I find men pleasant or even very likable. You’re extrapolating something I did not say. It means I refuse to see anyone as the enemy, though I admit to opening a bottle of champagne every time some royal motherfucker kicks the bucket. Yes, racism does hurt white people. Do you think it would be a wonderful experience growing up in a white supremacist family? Do you think a white supremacist family would be a loving, nurturing family? Many black people are very aware of how racism damages everyone; see, e.g., James Baldwin. Of course, women bear the brunt of patriarchy and black people bear the brunt of racism, but that doesn’t mean it’s all jolly good fun being the oppressive monster. I am too old to play the us and them game, I just would like women to stop putting down other women and join together to create a better world. If men want to come along, fine, if not, leave them in the dust.
        Toby is my horse. He thinks I belong to him but fully recognizes that I am Boss Mare, which is a good thing because he outweighs me by more than 1400 pounds.

    2. “It takes a lot of work to shed our self-hatred which we often express as hatred of those we perceive as other and sometimes as hatred of those like us.”
      Um exactly HOW does SELF-hatred manage to come out as hating those who are OTHER? This is just nonsense and/or pure doublespeak.
      “it has depressed me to see lesbians cuddling up to my husband”
      And MORE nonsense. In what strange warped little world does a straight woman supposedly worry about LESBIANS trying to steal her husband?
      The only people damaged by patriarchy that are getting a hard time and being BLAMED here are the women.
      It is, after all, HARD to be PLEASANT when you’re at the bottom of whatever heap is going. Hard to be PLEASANT when you see your lesbian sisters being accused of setting their sights on straight womens husbands…………..
      Damn, enough nonsense — this particular dyke ain’t being PLEASANT and never was because telling it for what it is, saying that it is crystal clear who is benefitting from patriarchy (hint, they’re not female) is often seen as UNpleasant to those trying to please and keep the menz.
      Here’s to unpleasant, stroppy dykes!

      1. Hating people because their skin color is different is not an expression of self-love. Hating people because they are lesbian or gay is not an expression of self-love. People who HATE other people hate themselves, sorry to say, and lash out at otherness because they have been taught that to do so is totally acceptable. Don’t get angry at the people — parents or whoever — who make you feel like shit, scream about immigrants, people on welfare, whatever group you feel superior to.
        I have never been worried about lesbians stealing my husband, how absurd. I don’t care if another woman steals my husband, if he wants to go he is welcome to do so. But it has been a bit surprising to watch lesbians fawn over men. I know it’s because they’ve been conditioned to do so even though they have no sexual interest in men, which speaks to how deep women’s conditioning goes.

  75. “I think if I had ever found a lesbian community filled with wonderful loving women, I would have drowned any desire for men and joined up! ” Hmmm. Guess the lesbian communities out there probably didn’t want straight women like you hanging around. Hey, I’m not very impressed with the vapidness of hetero women’s groups a lot of the time either, and certainly don’t want to deal with their husbands, boyfriends or sons. Nope, we’ll keep the good community stuff for lesbians who love women. Pretty lesbian denegrating stuff this….

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