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Many Teared Soliloquy [07 Dec 2007|10:24pm]
Hmm... Why am I so crap at choosing titles? After a very LONG dry and unproductive inability to put words together into pretty patterns I have written two crappy poems in the last couple of weeks. This is one of them.


Many Teared Soliloquy

The way you bleed for
Them
Those boys
Those others
The way your words
Fall like rain into
Their darkness
And I was frozen
Until
The wind sought me out
What is it they say
Of loving
Of losing

I can see
Why you fear me
And this long
Ancient night

Then
As I waited
And the many teared
Soliloquy
Has turned to
Envy
Of those boys
Those boys
That have you
And will keep you
Treasured treasure
In their
Castles
Tallest towers
Wrapped in your
Long silken hair
Sunshine in the morning
All those boys
To keep you from the cold

I was your sister once
Upon a time
In greener meadows
Under shaded tree
What is it they say
Of loving
And losing

by dani
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Part II of the Rad Fem Wickedary [06 Dec 2007|10:37pm]
captainvanille kicked started this over on her journal and tagged me to do the second part. The purpose and rules are as follows:

The purpose: To define our own world and what we mean by what we say.
The rules: Four entries per part; no pro-pornography/prostitution/BDSM/etc. entries; you must tag someone when you post your part or the tag is chosen by the previous radfem; when you've been tagged, you must post an entry within a week or the tag goes to someone else; you must post the purpose and the rules along with your part; you may post acronym meanings and phrases; you may tag someone who is not on LJ; you may request words, but that doesn't mean you're gonna get 'em; you may repeat entries with your added definition; YOU MAY MAKE UP WORDS + MEANINGS AND BE ENTITLED TO HAVING NO ONE LAUGH AT YOU.

I also request that you comment in this LJ each time you tag someone with who was tagged so I can watch the fun.


Entry #1
Real: Mary Daly has the best conceptualisation of reality that I have yet come across. She conceptualises a division between the foreground of the fathers and the Background of women.

Wickedary definitions:

foreground elementary, plastic, contrived, possessed.
Related expositions:
elementary characterized by artificiality, lack of depth, aura, and interconnectedness with living be-ing; marked by a derivative and parasitic relationship to Elemental Reality
elementaries simulations of and planned replacements for the Elemental, the Wild; fabrications which distort experience and which are largely invisible by reason of being all-pervasive; incarnations of phallic myth that constitute the foreground; man-made phenomena lacking depth, radiance, resonance, harmonious interconnectedness with living be-ing.

Background the realm of Wild Reality; the Homeland of women’s Selves and of all Others; the Time/Space where auras of plants, planets, stars, animals and all Other animate beings connect.
Related expositions:
Be-ing 1: Ultimate/Intimate Reality, the constantly Unfolding Verb of Verbs which is intransitive, having no object its dynamism 2: the Final Cause, the Good who is Self-communicating, who is the Verb from whom, in whom, and with whom all true movements move
Memory, Elemental faculty that Re-members knowledge, emotions, and experiences beyond the fabricated elementary “recollections” of the foreground; Deep Memory, grounded in primal experience of the Elements; Memory of Archaic Time, where/when the commonplace brims with meaning, the trees and animals speak, and Crones know our connections with the moon and the stars.


The inhabitants of the foreground include:
bores, bullies, butchers, cardinals, cocks, cockalorums, consumers, coxcombs, dicks, dickspeakers, dummies, fakers, fixers, flashers, flunkies, fools, fops, frauds, fundamentalists, gaffers, gaggers, hacks, hackers, heros, hucksters, jerks, jocks, lackeys, leeches, lobs, Nothing-lovers, plugs, pricks, prickers, priests, prigs, rakes, rippers, she-males, sirs, sneaks, snools, snuffers, the/rapists, the-ologians, trickers, Uncle Sham, windbags.

The inhabitants of the Background include:
Amazons, Augurs, Banshees, Bitches, Crones, Dykes, Dragons, Dryads, Ethnics, Fairies, Familiars, Fates, Furies, Gnomes, Gorgons, Gorillas, Gossips, Grimalkins, Guides, Gyn/Ecologists, Hags, Harpies, Heathens, Journeyers, Lesbians, Lusters, Maenads, Mermaids, Muses, Nags, Nightmares, Norn, Nymphs, Ogres, Old Maids, Pixies, Positively Revolting Hags, Prudes, Salamanders, Searchers, Seers, Shrews, Sibyls, Sires, Soothsayers, Spell-Weavers, Spinsters, Sprites, Sylphs, Tigers, Toads, Undine, Viragos, Virgins, Vixens,Voyagers, Websters, Wicked/Wiccen Women, Witches

Entry #2
Intergrationism separatism; lesbian separatism; spinsterhood; radical feminism; sisterhood. A feminist commitment to personal and political integrity. A radical separation from the Phallic State. A feminist commitment to self and sisterhood.
Intergrationist a woman who refuses to participate in the Phallic, divisive, dis-membering politics of male supremacy. A woman who transcends the Phallic State, creating a biophillic, biodiverse, lesbian, gyn/affectionate, cyclical, spiralling journey into the Wild Background.

Entry #3
Lesbian a woman loving woman, a woman touching woman. A woman who transcends the toxic Phallic, male supremacist foreground, journeying into the Background, re-membering her matrifocal origins, re-membering herSelf and her women-centredness. A woman with a radical commitment to sisterhood. A gyn/affectionate woman. A women with an unwavering desire to live in the Background.
Lesbianism women’s original, Elemental state of Be-ing. A transformative personal and political allegiance to womankind. A radical sisterly connection between women in the collective process of re-membering ourSelves and our stories.

Wickedary Definition:
Lesbian: a Woman-Loving woman; a woman who has broken the Terrible Taboo against Woman-Touching women on all levels, Woman-identified woman: one who has rejected false loyalties to men in every sphere. NB: Websters point out that the terms gay or female homosexual more accurately describe women who, although they may relate genitally to women, give their alliance to men and male myths, ideologies, styles, practices, institutions and professions. Lesbian is capitalized to indicate woman identification. The word lesbian, when it is used to refer to degraded caricatures of Lesbian reality, actually means pseudo-Lesbian or sadolesbian. Such perverted portrayals are commonly disseminated in the popular media, and in pseudo-Lesbian books, magazines, graphics, films, and videos.

Entry #4
Broster 1: A male-bodied sister. A male-bodied person capable of journeying into the Background. A male-bodied person who re-members himself and his matrifocal origins. A male-bodied person with a radical gyn/affectionate commitment to womankind. A male-bodied person who refuses to be a man. A traitor to the Phallic State. 2: A unicorn.


There you go sisters. Not entirely original but I cannot help but advertise my love of Mary Daly. Besides she says it better than me anyway. Oh, and please go ahead and laugh at my fourth entry. I did. :)

I tag dis_senter to do Part III.
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Infuriating conversations and women who call themselves lesbians [04 Dec 2007|09:05pm]
Friday nights are the unofficial lesbian and gay nights at the local bar. So I went dancing ‘cause I was bored. I had fun dancing to shitty pop music. But some of the conversations I had were very depressing.

An acquaintance introduced me to all the lesbians and to one straight woman and her boyfriend. For some reason the boyfriend insisted on talking to me even though I made it pretty clear I wasn’t interested in him.

Our conversation:

Him: “What do you do?”

Me: “I’m a radical feminist and I write.”

Him: “Oh, should I be speaking to you then?”

Me: “That depends on whether you think women are human or not.”

Him: “Of course I do.”

Less than 10 minutes later:

Him: “I’m a dickhead.”

Me: “Most men are.”

Him: “Well, most women are bitches.”

Me: “I happen to like female dogs.”

Hmm… so he thinks women are human and ‘bitches’ at the same time. And this is the quality of man who is accepted by the lesbian community. The next time any man comes up to me and wants to talk I am just going to tell him that I don't talk to men. Full stop. Ever. I'm so fucking over my complicity in having pointless conversations with boring dickheads.

Not that the conversations I had with 'lesbian' women were all that much better. I got to talking to the only younger ‘lesbian’ there. I said I was a feminist and she immediately asked whether that meant I hated men. I said yes, pretty much. A little while later she started talking about promiscuous straight women, calling them sluts and saying they were easy.

I was shocked and of course I disagreed with her emphatically and explained why. After our fairly brief conversation she left to go to the toilet. When she came back she walked straight past me and went to talk to the dickhead who called women bitches. And she was all over him. Hugging and kissing him. It was really weird. She didn't talk to me for the rest of the night.

Lesbian is another one of those words that has lost its meaning. So many women who call themselves lesbians do not have the slightest clue what the word means. The incredibly life-changing, soul-altering history and politics of the concept is being forgotten, erasing potentially radical women from existence.

captainvanille has fatefully (and I use the word in its feminist sense, ie. with reference to the Fates) tagged me to write up some definitions for our very own online Wickedary. One of the words I do will most certainly be the word lesbian.

I'm also in the middle of writing a mess of a post on Joss Whedon and Firefly. I am so, so angry after forcing myself to watch the show. It confirms everything I believe about leftist men who call themselves feminists.
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Spinning Spinsters [17 Nov 2007|01:16am]
dis_senter and I have collaboratively produced a blog for radical feminist creativity. We created Spinning Spinsters because there are very few publishing outlets in the mainstream world for writing and other creative work that refuses to conform to the bounds of the male intelligentsia. This blog will be a place where feminist women can send their work in order to be published.

We believe that creative work is an integral part of the feminist process, through which we as women can share our thoughts, experiences, philosophies, ideas, emotions, dreams and sisterhood. We can expose the male world for what it is and create our own ways of Being and Becoming. We are the Spinners, the Weavers, the Websters and the Muses. We are the Fates, the Harpies and the Furies. In these pages, we reclaim ourSelves and our world.

You can contribute by sending your writing (or work in another medium) to: allectospoison@yahoo.com.au

In creative sisterhood, joy, rage and everything in between,

allecto and dis_senter
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NT Intervention Damages Sacred Site [13 Nov 2007|08:58pm]
***media release from Women for Wik***

The grassroots organisation Women for Wik, which has been monitoring the Federal intervention in the Northern Territory, expressed dismay at the revelation that a pit toilet has been built on a sacred site in the Aboriginal township of Numbulwar, one of the 73 communities directly affected by the intervention.

"This has occurred despite repeated assurances by Prime Minister Howard and his Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, that sacred sites would be protected", said Olga Havnen, CEO of the Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the NT. "This is an example of how the whole approach to the intervention is fundamentally flawed. The desecration of sacred sites is not something that can be repaired."

In his 25 June Address to the Sydney Institute, the Prime Minister stated that 'The permit system for common areas, road corridors and airstrips for prescribed communities on Aboriginal land will be scrapped. Private residences and sacred sites will continue to be protected.'

"What a mob of idiots! Where is the consultation process?" said Eileen Cummings, former Policy Advisor to the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory. "You don't just go in and build something without talking to people. How can people know what is sacred and what isn't if they don't ask?"

"I am not surprised that this could happen, given that the Federal government is employing a deliberate policy of not consulting with Aboriginal communities. Even Telecom wouldn't put a line down without talking to the traditional owners."

"The Northern Territory has some of the most important archaeological sites in the world, and this government has put in place a process that is damaging sites, when it should be protecting them. This government is not fulfilling its duty to the Australian people, or to the international community." said Claire Smith, President of the World Archaeological Congress.

"We are now in the bizarre situation whereby sites of global significance are under threat by the actions, and inattention, of an Australian government," said Associate Professor Smith. "Independent contractors are engaged to conduct work without being given any proper cultural training or supervision. This is due a failure in oversight."

"This blatant disregard for Aboriginal women's culture shows the flaws in the heavy handed and insensitive approach taken by this intervention. Mal Brough said that sacred sites would be protected. He lied." said Larissa Behrendt, Professor of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney.

"This shows that we were justified in our concern that the abolition of the permit system would result in damage to sacred areas." said Ms Cummings, "Warren Snowdon expressed concern about this some time ago, but Mal Brough assured us that this would not happen. Well, Snowden was right, and Brough was wrong."

This government is showing a complete lack of respect. They would not dare do this with any form of property owner ion the country", said Ms Havnen. "Try telling someone else in suburban Australia that you are going to erect a shed in their backyard, or rip down their carport, or remove their clothesline. They would not tolerate it. And these are hardly sites of significance."

CONTACTS:
Olga Havnen,
Mobile: 0488 107 060 Email: olga.havnen@gmail.com
Eileen Cummings
Mobile: 0412 463 218 Email: eileen.cummings@hotmail.com
Larissa Behrendt
Phone: 02 9514 9655 Email: Larissa.Behrendt@uts.edu.au
Claire Smith
Mobile: 0424 388 925 Email: claire.smith@flinders.edu.au


WEBSITE:
www.womenforwik.org
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The Power of Sisterhood [02 Nov 2007|11:51am]
I recently recieved this comment from a wonderful US feminist, JB Sproull. We subsequently had an inspiring email exchange which she has given me permission to publish here. It is emails from women like JB, The courage shown by women like demonista when faced with internet rapists, all you incredible, beautiful women online that keep me strong and sane. These emails are an indication of our power and our strength as sisters. We are the witches, the hags, the spinsters and the crones. We will spin and weave our dreamings until all women's hearts long for freedom as much as we do.


Hi JB,

Thank you for that incredible comment that you left on my livejournal (_allecto_).

I too have walked an interesting path to feminism and I also felt that finding radical feminism was like having the scales fall from my eyes. I too missed the second wave not having been born yet :(. I feel very lost in this post-modern, post-feminist era. Sometimes it is interesting being the only young face in a room full of rad fems or the only angry face in a room full of queer/post-modernists. It's funny, I don't think I've ever fully bought male liberalism. I used to have some faith in socialism but that has deteriorated. Now I really only have faith in women.

I am sorry about your daughter. Are you able to still connect to her despite her religion? My mother is a Christian and yet she is also my sister and my very dear friend.

I think I've read comments by you on the Women's Space blog. Heart is one of my favourite feminists. She has such an amazing capacity to attract a diverse range of women and get us talking together.

Rabbit-Proof Fence is an incredible movie. It was made by the blood, sweat and tears of the Aboriginal women of Australia. I find the connections between indigenous cultures world wide to be truly amazing. And the strength of indigenous women's courage and determination never fail to inspire me. In some ways my politics and feminism has been shaped by the fact that my grandmother is a native Papua New Guinean. She grew up during the second world war, while th Australian military were fighting the Japanese in New Guinea. She was taken by white nuns at the age of 6 and renamed Mary. While at the school they were not allowed to speak their native language. My grandmother was returned to her family at the age of 15, unable to speak to her parents, aunties, cousins. She married a white man and moved to Australia when she was twenty.

I don't feel I have the right to identify as a woman of colour but I do define myself as a descendant of a First Nations people. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone else but it does to me.

The collective didn't really take off as no one showed up to it. I'm not too disappointed. I'm going to try other ways of being active. Dedicate more time to my feminist writing and to helping organise conferences. I love Australian feminists but because Australia is such a large country with such a small population, there just aren't enough of us around.

I too honour all indigenous women, all around the world who put their lives and hearts on the line, day after day, to achieve justice. So often their voices and actions go unheard and unnoticed.

I don't doubt your commitment to women and girls. Your words resonate your passion. Thank you for sharing it with me. And I don't know about wisdom and vision. I think I'll leave that to the hags among us. I still feel like an apprentice hag, wishing she knew more, and staring up in wonder at the fully fledged hags with so much wisdom and experience.

Peace, sister.

dani


Hi Dani:

"Now I really only have faith in women" ... I'd like to sing this truth among my global sisters in a chorus spontaneously, something like a Sheri Tepper fiction of off-world creatures who honor individuality without dividing the whole into argumentative factions ...

I love how you write, Dani, the clarity of your empowering rage (a good thing by Mary Daly's elemental analysis), and the courage you display. You give me hope as the torch bearer for young women who are radical feminists.

I also enjoy Heart's blog. Sometimes I post there. For some reason calling out to me spiritually, I feel moved to write to you directly tonight.

"I don't feel I have the right to identify as a woman of colour but I do define myself as a descendant of a First Nations people. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone else but it does to me." --- certainly, yes, I entirely understand, having indigenous blood in my veins, too. The race questions have been effectively mounted by patriarchs (Trojan-Horse progressive and liberal men influencing activist women already programmed for self-hatred and hatred of other women) to divide the cause of womankind --- so effectively that now --- to walk gingerly around race questions is common courtesy of the moment. Your strong truth-telling about your native Papua New Guinean grandmother moves me, because you tell a real story of the inherent strength we have as women against all obstacles designed to break everything about us but our ability to serve men and their institutions of classism and racism.

Post-modernism, yes, humbug: male-invented refuge of women who still hate themselves. Same for B&D, S&M, casual sexual phallicism in any of its forms: self-hatred. Sad, but not anything that can be effectively debated because the patriarchs have rigged the discourse by the inherent rot of the internal nonsense played by women who are trying to win points from patriarchs. The debate's designed to waste our time and energy.

If I had three things to suggest, it would be for every woman everywhere to, first, honor/embrace/find what she needs to do (connected to her context) so that she can really love herself without internalized guilt and, second, to decide what she can do to stop supporting, aiding and abetting men while, third, she loves women more and gives women (and girls) her attention. The third aspect requires every woman (given the shape-shifting of the internalized misogyny we have been taught) to be very loving in protecting herself while forgiving womankind when their, or her own, internalized misogyny rears up. Sometimes we can only hold close with open arms, detach with love, and still keep our eyes off the guys. (Janice Raymond's A Passion for Friends comes to mind.)

Maybe if we started in the 21st century with radical feminism as an inside job, we'd have a tidal wave of change to surpass the first, second and third waves. I'd love to see what you'd write about the internal activism of rooting out the social conditioning, the brainwashing, in ourselves and in our interactions with one another.

In 2005, in Santa Barbara (CA), I talked at length to Diana Alstad and Joel Kramer (life partners since she bailed out on teaching women's studies at Yale). They wrote The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power, mainly from the engine of her woman's genius, from what I saw. (He's unimpressive; she's amazing. She's also, sadly, from my perspective, deeply conditioned to believe she needs a man to make her life worth living. He candidly admits that he could "not live without her.") She was another practicing heterosexual woman I added to my list of aging het-women who take care to assure me that "the sex is great" (but that's about post-menopausal female assimilation to romantic rapism, from what I can tell). What is my main point? Their book (brilliant in spots where, I surmise, Diana had the ideas) can be used, Mary Daly-style, as a clue to male reversals and hypocrisy. For instance, there's great explanation about seeing in oneself the mental internal structures of culturally programmed "authoritarianism," but having and holding male privilege, Joel is an unabashed apologist for the claimed necessity of "hierarchy."

Whenever I sit down and try to write anything to add to the feminist philosophy of Andrea Dworkin, Mary Daly, Sonia Johnson, Sally Gearheart (Wanderground, "fiction"), Alice Walker, Bell Hooks, Kate Millet (who, in my opinion from reading her work, faltered as a feminist because she could not get her eyes off the guys, and because she could not dump the programmed guilt that made her want to forgive patriarchal "family" without honoring a natural rage), I sense that we may already have the words.

It's wonderful that you've also read Dworkin's fiction. She wanted to be a life-changing writer, and she is. I spent an entire day in the downtown LA Public Library (2006) inhaling every bit of fiction and all the essays by Dworkin on their shelves. Reading Scapegoat changed my world view. Although Dworkin might not have intended this, I've wondered since if at least some men mutated long ago for cruelty, and now try to teach other men to be like them. "Biological determinism" has been so misused against women, I have to wonder if it might not be just a reversal of the truth of male cruelty as having a biological base. Mitochondrial DNA passes only by mothers; this is biology, as were the now-suppressed biological studies indicating extra violence (but a lack of cunning) in xyy-chromosomal men who got caught for crimes. The behavior of patriarchal sadism is of course more significant to women than the cause. We would never prove biological bases for male cruelty, in any event (given mens' control of "scientific research"), and trying to do so could backfire and keep our eyes on the guys. It's just that if I might not in the same species with men who invented torture and enact terror, men who make pornography, rape and wars, then it's far easier somehow not to care for/about them any more than I would about deranged sharks.

Now, perhaps, ours is an inside job? And the work of quiet connections where we value women's (and girls') lives, and simply ignore men. Jesus cursed the hypocrites/patriarchal leaders with "woe," my favorite part of the "new testament." Let the strongholds be cast down by Spirit ... Let the men of good will, if indeed they exist, if indeed they are motivated to do so, sort out among themselves an end to their violence and the pain they claim to feel over society's ills.

If that's where we're intended to go in the metaphysics of our liberation --- something Sonia Johnson and Jade DeForest emphasized as their sense of forward movement when I spent time with them last summer --- then how do we write about that? Do we "live journal" as what we're feeling (as love of women) and doing today? Do we record the small kindnesses we extend to ourselves and to other women? Do we catalog the conversations about freedom, the small glimmers of contextual hope we share with our sisters --- in the neighborhood, at the grocery store, over the counter wherever --- who would never count themselves among the radical feminists or the lesbians?

I love my Quaker daughter, the "humanist" of the "light," and have agreed not to share my rad-fem thoughts or favorite authors with her. Interesting your comment about your Christian mom. I'm still an ordained interfaith minister, and find much to empower women from the more radical aspects to Jesus and his Mother; imagine liberation theology from South American Catholic priests who hold Sophia masses, but run by non-hierarchical rotating leadership of women touching women in the priestly mode. Churchmen don't teach or preach this, but one gospel reports an anonymous woman anointing Jesus on the head (in the priestly function performed as a woman). Jesus then stated that wherever the gospel was thereafter preached, what she had done was to be told in remembrance of her. I have studied extensively the feminism of Mother and Jesus, and keep tinkering with a manuscript to address the topic in a way less pedantic than biblical scholars might.

I'm not sure how it happened that my daughter's decided to try to trust men (date men, work with men) and make prevailing cult-ure work for her. She's especially attractive to men by personal appearance, so maybe their praise and affirmation (which she doesn't want to see as the hypocrisy of fu#$ability manipulation) in a culture so patriarchal has, at least for now, swayed her. Plus, she looks around and doesn't see any viable living alternatives as other community than what men have built as society and cult-ure (and I'm sad that there isn't a collective in which I'm living and self-sustaining and nourishing the growth of my sisters) --- but it's been hard enough just to stay alive, spiritually, mentally as well as bodily --- under the ravages of the world men have made. I don't fault the women who've retreated from experiments with land communities: taxes, easements, pollution, global-warming weather onslaughts, nearby over-farming and soil depletion, nasty woman-hating neighbors, so many forces of patriarchy have made too many women retreat into a faux lesbianism that wants to get "married" and live in the queer suburbs like sandwiches among the GLBTs. (At least the woman-centered communities don't exist to self-sustain us YET. I continue to have hope. Your hope gives me hope.)

My daughter's been told by men of the "family" that I'm an unworthy role model, having decided to live somewhat at the margins of the status quo. Ah well ... can you tell she's on my heart often? As are all of the young women everywhere who aren't yet radical feminists (and even those who are ^_^). Your wisdom and vision, Dani, thus truly gives me hope that not all of us have to be hags/crones before we can face what Sonia Johnson and others have so poignantly named: men hate us (even if we love them) or, at least, any man would sell out any woman to maintain his male privilege at women's expense.

These are the thoughts I'm winging to you in Australia, Dani, with every blessing of Spiderwoman for being a woman who understands how to remember our future, weaving in this present moment,
JB


Heya JB,

I had to reread your email quite a few times to fully absorb what you were trying to say. I too think it is sad that women are divided into argumentative factions. In a recent email I recieved from a feminist mailing list a sister claimed that Western women are the most divided and women-hating women in the world. I think the success of patriarchal capitalism and neoliberal individualism have destroyed and eroded women's ability to connect in deep and organic ways. This saddens me more than anything as I interact with my non-feminist sisters who truly cannot see that their relationships with their female friends are the glue that holds this world together.

I think that the movement building, slowly but surely, online is the greatest hope for my sisters in the West. But even there we are consistently pursued and undermined by the internet rapists. Who try to silence us in all the ways they know how.

I fully agree with your three suggestions. Connecting with our sisters KEEPS our eyes off the guys. It is that first act of sisterhood and spiritual bonding that I believe starts that internal revolution. Certainly, it was true of myself. My first alliegience was always to my mother over my father and that kick started my radical commitment to women.

Internalised misigyny is of course something that I struggle with and continue to struggle with. Not usually in my relationships with other women but in my relationship to myself. I sometimes wonder how I developed from a shy, christian, anorexic, self-hating, violent (towards my younger siblings and my father), angry, screwed up, very, very heterosexual teen into a radical lesbian feminist. The short answer is, I don't know. I knew when I was starving myself that I was doing myself harm but I didn't know how to stop. I didn't know how to stop hating myself. I didn't know how to stop caring about what men thought about my body so much that sometimes I couldn't breath. I didn't know how to stop being angry and violent. I loved my siblings but I was just so angry.

I guess that part of my answer is that I have always been self-critical. Which has it's ups and downs. But I could always see when I was in denial about something. I could usually see that something I was doing was wrong. I had decided quite early that I hated men because they were all like my father. That didn't stop me from desperately wanting to be owned by a man but it also made me uneasy about being owned. Confused? Me too! So I guess I just decided to stop being confused. I was fairly successful and by my early 20s I had sorted myself out enough to pretty much reject male company and develop close relationships with my sisters, mother and female friends. Again I think that sisterhood saved me. It also has saved my mother, who despite being Christian has pretty much given up on men, and at least one of my sisters (another radical feminist lesbian).

Wow, JB, you have courage I don't have, sitting down to add to the work of our Positively Revolting Hags. Whenever I read anything by Dworkin, Daly, Lorde etc I am usually so overwhelmed by the scope and the portent of their works that I usually need to sit in a corner somewhere to process it. Although I love writing and I am proud of my skills with words, I always feel so inferior when I pick up Dworkin, Walker etc. I generally feel like I need to write a response, like I did with Mercy but often I just feel too ignorant and insignificant to even attempt it. I know that it is silly to feel that because it means that I'm not developing even more but it is truly how I feel. (more internalised issues I haven't yet dealt with).

I understand a little more about your daughter. Getting off the drug of male validation is something I still really struggle with. I was attractive to men when younger and making decisions which altered my appearance (ie to look more dykey and less attractive to men) was something that was really hard. When you grow up being admired for being pretty, being an ornament, and object it makes you feel like you are someone. Being without that male validation is almost unimaginable. To a certain extent, I can understand why your daughter can not comprehend an existence without male validation because women like you and me are invisible to men. We do not exist. And if we do not exist to men then we do not exist at all.

My sister (the other lesbian feminist) grew up chubby and so she did not have the same issues that I did in giving up male validation. She was ALWAYS invisible to men so she already had to develop a different way of existing in spite of her invisibility. Of course women like us are not really invisible because in doing away with the male gaze we become visible to each other. And that is truly revolutionary.

I agree about the lack of alternative, however, as I said before the community of radical women online is getting stronger. I think there is real hope in the international sisterhood forming online. No, it isn't strong enough. But I think it shows promise. Many of us are online because we feel lonely, abused, tired by the lack of radical feminist/women-centred communities in our real life. So the fact that these brilliant communities of angry women are forming is really impressive to me. If it hadn't have been for live-journal, other bloggers like Heart and Biting Beaver, comments and emails from women like you, etc, I would have given up on sisterhood long ago. I also would not have learnt anywhere near as much as I have. I had never heard of Andrea Dworkin until I read her eulogies online.

It so saddens me to hear that the male campaign of rendering female power invisible, has worked on your daughter. It is fairly unimaginable to me to lose a daughter in this way. I hate so much that this is the norm under patriarchy. We lose our mothers, we lose our sisters, we lose our daughters, we lose ourselves. I have one sister who is lost to me. She hates who and what I am. Although, I have noticed that her behaviour towards me changes significantly if we are not in the company of men. If we are in the company of men, my brothers, her boyfrend, then she is really bitchy towards me and says really nasty things. If we are alone together or with my other les fem sister, things between us are quite good and we can be ourselves without it deteriorating into fights.

And finally, thank you so much for your email. It means so much to me that there are other women out there, doing and saying what needs to be done. Coping as best we can with the insane world that men have delivered to us. I often feel sorry for the hags and crones as they have done so much and given so much of themselves to fight for the right to exist and now young women are coming along and declaring that feminism is dead. Or worse that feminism is post-modernist. I'm glad that I have given you some hope for us younger feminists but I fear that we are very few and far between. But yes, we exist. And that is a threat to patriarchy in itself.

In sisterhood,

dani


Heya Dani,

Your clarity, honesty, love for womankind mean so much among all the world's sisters sown wherever we've found ourselves, wherever we've moved to try to be more of our authentic selves, wherever, ever and ever ...

Thank you so very much for sharing about your own life. I'm glad you had your anger to light the way to change. And I'm sorry for the difficulty of your passages. I so wish we each could get to our joy without such struggles, but the anti-nature of patriarchy seems to snare us until we break free, however it happens, with our words of radical feminism being vital to validate what we're starting to feel and know.

Thank you, too, for your amazing caring about my daughter, Sarah. I called Sarah last night on Halloween, so that an 8-year-old costumed girl witch from the neighborhood and my one feminist friend in Corpus (handing out trick-or-treat candy with me) could howl a greeting to her. (Talk about something planned by Positively Revolting Hags ... Halloween used to be my daughter's favorite holiday, and she was a splendid witch.)

I understand what you mean about going through life, being patriarchally influenced in a major way, until for reasons we may not be able to pinpoint by limited logic, there's no turning back from the "aha" of radical feminism. It's the viewing filter through which global culture (misogyny and the hypocrisy about male manipulation of women) always makes sense. At some point, perhaps when enough has been named for us that connects to our own experience, we just know. And then, as you so carefully point out, it's an ongoing work to cast off the slave-brain men have tried to instill in us as a permanent fixture, and to find enough joy of natural/cosmological/womanly connection to be able to continue living and growing forward.

In reading what you write, everything you say rings so true. Please, please keep writing, because you name what so many of us, at all of our life stages and ages, have or will come to face, and you give courage that by not being alone in our thought and our hope, we will overcome. It may take spiritual help, nature's assistance, cosmological context and unpredictable elemental shifts beyond our logic about activism and "do-ing," however; or perhaps it's just the right stage of crones and hags to be more philosophical in wanting to work with consciousness (when the physical activism of a multi-decade adult lifetime seems --- as seems true to me from my own experience --- not to have advanced womankind's interconnected reality and freedom among the elements and other creatures).

I so appreciated your writing this: "I too think it is sad that women are divided into argumentative factions. In a recent email I received from a feminist mailing list a sister claimed that Western women are the most divided and women-hating women in the world. I think the success of patriarchal capitalism and neoliberal individualism have destroyed and eroded women's ability to connect in deep and organic ways. This saddens me more than anything as I interact with my non-feminist sisters who truly cannot see that their relationships with their female friends are the glue that holds this world together."

Your writing me is such a huge hope, the corrective to patriarchally brainwashed women I meet on a regular basis (given that girls and women of all types seem naturally drawn to me, as may occur for all radical feminists because we put women first --- or maybe it's their being drawn to the results of the deep studies in energy I've undertaken, from Christian faith healing to things like Shing-Yi and Reiki). It is so very difficult in the US to find women even among the GLBT-influenced lesbians here, even at places like Venice Beach, who put the cause of women first and find phallicism distasteful in their sexual practices with others of their own kind.

Yesterday while exercising along the bayfront I serendipitously met two young, unmarried women visiting the TX coastal bend from CA (and playing with their children, three boy toddlers among them, with no fathers around who care to put anything into the boys' lives, but the mothers still unapologetically in the male-apologist camp). The moms were quick to explain that the bad fathers of their boys are bad only because the grandmothers weren't good mothers, and that their boys "deserved" having their fathers' last names (proudly spoken like reading off the pomposity of naming on war memorials about generals) even though the fathers aren't specified on the birth certificates as fathers. It was an experience for me of the usual woman-hating seemingly appeased through the prideful rush of worshipping the phallus and what its physical-form holders even as little boys get from women --- worshipful service --- and the stealing of our lives as women. When I mentioned times of matri-focused child-rearing (from the ancient days of my Cherokee heritage) as being a healthier way for children, their eyes glazed over. When I suggested that women bond best without being concerned about the men who "can't step up," the immediate rejoinder was to talk about "mean" women in the world. When I rejoined with a sentence-summary of the global violence of men against women scaring some women into their own meanness, they spouted the moral nonsense (given their own sad experience of absentee fathers for their children) that "most women don't know what power they could really have to control men." I didn't argue, only stated that my own experience had suggested the wisdom of taking my eyes off the guys, to focus on women and our lives. I left feeling that a People-magazine male-identified propagandizing (on display in grocery store check-out aisles here) has infiltrated women's minds as if a virulent spore of misogyny. I redoubled my spiritual work to erase and replace the propaganda with the eternal courage of troupes of women, clans of women, women-identified women like the Australian aboriginals --- and the online network we're weaving with our words.

Dani, if you'd like to post our interchange from recent emails (in full or redacted, at your option), you'd be welcome to do so on your blog. There are days when I would like to have a blog of my own. However, I'm so much happier interacting face to face, voice to voice, I haven't yet undertaken to learn what would be necessary to know in order to enter the blog sphere. Meanwhile, you and others like Heart keep the portals open.

Again, my greatest thanks, in joy, Sister,
JB
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Will they come with guns? The military invasion of the Northern Territory Aboriginal communities [28 Oct 2007|01:04pm]
I went to hear Rachel Willika, Olga Havnen, Raelene and Aunty Eileen (Eileen Cummings) speak on the impact of the Howard government’s Northern Territory Emergency Intervention into Aboriginal communities. The government’s given reason for this emergency action was the release of “Little Children are Sacred” report which was an inquiry headed by Rex Wild and Pat Anderson (an Alwayarr woman and well known community activist). The “Little Children are Sacred” report did not find anything that Aboriginal women did not already know, which was that child sexual abuse was serious, widespread and grossly under reported. Aboriginal women have never been silent or passive about this problem. Throughout the Northern Territory region Aboriginal women have been setting up safe houses, forming night patrols, lobbying for alcohol bans etc. And they have received little or no money or recognition for their work.

Every time the government and the media draw attention to the social dysfunction of many disadvantaged Aboriginal communities, they fail to mention the amazing capacity of indigenous women in the face of the onslaught of poverty, degradation, alcohol and drug abuse, battery, sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Aboriginal women refuse to let any of this keep them down and they continue to work towards keeping their culture strong, keeping women strong and holding Women’s Law.

The “Little Children are Sacred” report came out with 97 recommendations and stressed that a long-term plan with community consultation was necessary in dealing with the extensive problems present in families in Aboriginal communities. The report concluded that the breakdown of traditional Aboriginal culture and society was largely responsible for the widespread abuse and identified alcohol abuse as the gravest and growing threat to the safety of children. It also identified the protection of women and children, lack of formal education and poor and overcrowded housing as key issues.

Six weeks after the release of the report the government introduced 600 pages of legislation ostensibly to deal with the problem of child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities. There is no possible way that 600 pages of legislation could be drafted in just six weeks. Most, if not all, of this legislation was drawn up before the report was released. And in all of the 600 pages of legislation there is not one single mention of children. The legislation in no way reflects the findings or the recommendations of the report. The government has had to suspend the Discrimination Act in order to do this.

When the legislation was passed Olga Havnen, an Aboriginal civil rights activist put together a slide show presentation of the impacts of the emergency act. I have now seen the slide show twice. Once in a room in Sydney crowded with 500 women (there were very few men) and presented by Olga, and again in the Blue Mountains presented by Sara Blazey, a white solicitor with a background in community legal services (particularly for women and children, dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse etc). Both times I was horrified by what the legislation means for remote Aboriginal communities. Sara called this legislation ‘apartheid’ and I agree. Most of the information in this post is quoted from Sara Blazey's summary of the legislation and its potential impact. Olga said that she was being asked by many Aboriginal people why the government was doing this and she had no other answer than the truth. Because you’re black, because you’re Aboriginal.

Essentially, the legislation involves:
- The immediate takeover of 60 communities in the Northern Territory
- Scrapping of the permit system
- Appointment of business managers to take over the running of communities
- More police to be sent in to the communities within the following 10 days
- Compulsory health checks
- Army to go in to support medical teams
- Wide spread alcohol restrictions
- Quarantining of 50% of welfare payments
- Scrapping of the CDEP (Community Development Employment Program)
- Enforcing school attendance
- Ban on pornography

Five Year Leases and the Lifting of Permit System

The Federal government has taken five year leases to take control over the prescribed communities. Native Title is suspended. Freehold remains with the traditional owners but control is with the minister who has the right to decide who lives in the community and has the discretion whether of not to pay rent. There has been a partial suspension of the permit system. Because you know the Aboriginal missions worked so well last time.
Justification
Control is needed to implement strategies to combat child sexual assault. Five year leases are needed to allow infrastructure improvements such as the building of schools, medical centres and housing. There needs to be unhindered access to the communities to enforce and implement the measures.
Comment
No where in the “Little Children are Sacred” or any other report has the take over of land or suspension of permits been recommended as a strategy for dealing with child abuse. There is a provision in existing legislation to grant leases and there is no evidence to suggest the provision of services or improvement of infrastructure is impeded by community control. Permits allow the community to control access and ban perpertrators and those who break alcohol bans. The lifting of restrictions allows easier access by those people. There is no evidence to suggest the permit scheme hinders police, Government personnel or other workers coming into the communities.

Appointment of Business Managers and Governance Powers

Managers appointed to run communities and programs. These managers are being paid $160 000 pa. They are from financial management backgrounds and will be largely recruited from the private sector. There are powers to alter funding agreements with no requirement of consent or consultation.
Justification
Control is needed to ensure rapid change.
Comment
This takeover undermines local community leadership that is essential to ensure the success of strategies to deal with child abuse. The importance of consulting and working with the local communities was considered to be essential in “Little Children are Sacred”.

Compulsory Income Management

The Government now takes 50% of welfare benefits from everyone who was living in the prescribed areas on the implementation date. The income is quarantined and can only be spent on items considered essential. There is no right of appeal. The measures apply even if people move out of prescribed areas.
Justification
This level of control is needed to stop money being spent on alcohol and ensure the needs of children are being met. It is based on the Cape York Project.
Comment
The measures apply across the community irrespective of whether there are child abuse concerns. There is no evidence these measures have any impact on child protection issues. The Cape York Project is run with community involvement and support and there is yet to be any assessment of its level of success. There are no supporting programs to help people with financial management. Nor programs to aid with drug and alcohol addiction etc.

CDEP (Community Development Employment Program) Reforms

The CDEP scheme provides jobs for 8000 Aboriginal people in the town comps and remote communities across the Northern Territory. The Government has decided to make some of these jobs full or part-time council positions, some jobs are hoped to be transferred to the private sector but the overwhelming majority of these jobs will disappear and Aboriginal people will be forced into Work for the Dole programs.

The CDEP scheme is to be phased out by June 2008. Participants will be transferred to income support. Some community programs will be funded through other sources.
Justification
The Government received legal advice that the income management proposals could not be applied to CDEP income.
Comment
The CDEP scheme has never been a preferable model in place of permanently funded employment. Some jobs have been converted to permanent positions which has been welcomed as a step in the right direction. However the Government has not announced a comprehensive plan to deal with the very high levels of unemployment. Some community programs will fold if they are not provided with alternative funding.

Alcohol and Pornography Ban

There is now a ban on alcohol and the possession of pornography in prescribed communities. Large fines, up to $74,000 and sentences of imprisonment can be imposed.
Justification
Alcohol abuse is identified as one of the main contributing factors to child sexual abuse and family violence. The widespread availability and use of pornography creates a culture of ‘normality’ for abusive acts.
Comment
Many, especially women, welcome measures to restrict alcohol and pornography in Aboriginal communities. However Olga believes that penalizing users is not as productive as dealing with supply. She argues that police target the source of illegal drugs in order to deal with use and that this was a more sensible approach. Women in Aboriginal communities have been at the forefront of campaigning for alcohol bans for decades. They have set up night patrols and won battles that saw the pubs close on payment day. Although many women see the alcohol bans as a good thing there are serious concerns about imposing ridiculous $74,000 fines for possession. And the casual imprisonment of Aboriginal peoples is a contributing factor of the widespread social dysfunction. There is no funding for treatment and rehabilitation programs which have been identified time and time again as essential to deal with chronic alcohol and drug abuse in the communities.

Increase Police Presence

There was an immediate increase in police using interstate and Federal police to supplement NT police.
Justification
Police resources need to be increased to control levels of violence and investigate child sexual assault.
Comment
Many in the community, especially women, have welcomed an increased police presence. However, there has been little by the way of backup resources to ensure the protection and safety of those who disclose abuse or violence to the police. There needs to be a permanent police presence not a temporary presence of drafted in officers. There needs to be specialised training in domestic violence and sexual assault.

Education

100% of social security benefits can be withheld from parents of children who do not attend school.
Justification
There are very high truancy rates amongst Aboriginal children. Keeping children in school has been identified as one of the essential strategies in combating the cycle of disadvantage and poverty that contributes to child sexual assault.
Comment
The withholding of benefits from parents is a very simplistic, culturally inappropriate response to truancy. This scheme fails to recognise children are cared for by a wide circle of family. There are no proposals to deal with major issues of lack of teachers – some schools stand empty for lack of staff. It has been estimated that an extra $79 million per year is required to expand teacher numbers and a further $295 million is required for infrastructure. It has been clearly identified that many children in the communities find school off putting and have little incentive to attend. Innovative programs to encourage school attendance have been very successful. No funding has been made available to expand these programs. How can Aboriginal women send their kids to school when there are no schools to send them to???

Health

A major part of the intervention involve mass medical checks, using the army (that’s right- the army- a bunch of murdering rapists are going to help prevent child abuse) to support medical teams.
Justification
Initially the intervention was to examine for signs of abuse. This changed and it was announced there would only be non-intimate checks.
Comment
There was little thought given as to how the health checks would assist disclosures of sexual abuse. Child protection experts pointed out that any evidence found may well be inadmissible in court for failing to follow forensic protocols. There were no procedures in place for ensuring the safety of anyone making a disclosure. There was no clarity as to how alleged perpetrators would be dealt with, just an assumption they would be handed over to be dealt with by the NT jurisdiction. This means virtually nothing as conviction rates for child sexual abuse in Australia is between 3 and 5%. Sick but true. The use of the army caused fear in the community with rumours that they were there to remove children. Health and lack of services was identified as a major issue in the report. 99% of Aboriginal communities have no substance abuse services. 99% of communities have no dental services. The cost of bringing essential services such as housing, water, and sewerage up to standard in NT is $700 million. Life expectancy of an Aboriginal person is 17 less years than other Australians. The initial intervention plan contained no proposals for comprehensive funding of these services and needs.

What has been the outcome of the intervention?

The cost of the intervention will be $587 million in the first year.
Over half of this money pays the wages of the white business managers and the public service positions!!!!!!!!!!!
The cost of administering the income management scheme is $88 million.
There have been over 2000 medical checks on children.
Medical checks found multiple health problems so the Federal Government announced $100 million to be provided to deal with this.
There have been only a handful if disclosures of sexual abuse.
No one has bee arrested in respect of child sexual assault offences.
There has been difficulty in recruiting enough doctors to carry out medical checks. These ‘volunteer’ doctors are getting paid $600 a day. They want $1200 per day.
Many people have moved out of their communities and left the Territory in fear that their children will be removed.

What community action now?

It is vital a response to the urgent problem of child sexual assault should not fail. The intervention in its current form will, for the reasons outlined above. The Aboriginal communities, leaders and community workers of the NT have asked for support in lobbying for an appropriate response. This can involve:
- Educating our communities about the real implications of the intervention. Please distribute this information via blog/email/in person. DON'T BE SILENT.
- Lobbying Federal politicians of all parties: Contact details here
- Continually consulting with NT communities about the most appropriate support
- Acknowledging child sexual assault is not an Aboriginal problem but merely increases in disadvantaged communities and exacerbated by the breakdown of the traditional culture and society
- Call for the implementation of the 97 recommendations of “Little Children are Sacred”
- Call for the implementation of the Emergency Response and Development Plan proposed by the Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the Northern Territory
- Call for the implementation of the 12 point action plan proposed by the Australia Childhood Foundation to develop a national response to child abuse

If you live in Australia and you do nothing about what the government is doing in the Northern Territory, then I consider you to be an active racist. Doing nothing IS AN ACTION of agreement. Don't be silent. Refuse to allow the government to destroy the Northern Territory communites and steal their land again. Write letters, blog, protest, call politicians. Please do what it takes to stop the government from killing more kids.

Further Information
Women for Wik: http://www.womenforwik.org
Australians for Native Title and Reconcilliation: http://www.antar.org.au
Little Children are Sacred Report: http://womenforwik.org/pdfs/bipacsa_final_report.pdf
Emergency Response and Development – Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the Northern Territory: http://womenforwik.org/pdfs/CAO_report_8_july.pdf
“Aboriginal Women have Answers Themselves” Report of the Balgo Women’s Law Camp: http://womenforwik.org/pdfs/BalgoWomensLawCamp100907.pdf
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The First Act is Saying Sorry [13 Oct 2007|09:38pm]
To the Next Prime Minister of Australia, Australians demand a better future for Indigenous Australians. This begins with an act of recognition. We call upon you to make the first act of the new parliament on its first sitting day be the act of saying ‘sorry’ for past wrongs committed against Indigenous Australians.

Sign the Petition to tell the next government to say sorry to the indigenous peoples of Australia. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal Land.
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Thank you Joss Whedon [08 Oct 2007|02:52pm]
I would just like to take the time to thank Joss Whedon for his kind post about how terrible the world is. Joss is obviously so very well equipped to speak out against violence against women as his TV shows and movies are just so woman-loving and full of female empowerment.

Like in Buffy the vampire slayer, season 1 episode 3, where there is this really cool witch that steals her own daughter’s body and starts killing cheerleaders so that she herself can be a cheerleader. Because you know, it is every witch’s dream to become a cheerleader. Actually, it is every woman’s dream to become a cheerleader and of course every witch-mother would sell their daughter to the devil to accomplish this dream. I’m glad you showed the witch-mother in a caring and considerate light and didn’t participate in the demonising of witches or mothers or anything. So empowering. Thanks, Joss.

And another episode I love is season 1 episode 4 (you didn’t waste much time in getting to the really hard-core feminism of your show, did you?), where there is a praying mantis woman, who needs young virgin men to fertilise her eggs (before she bites off their heads). Again, I’d like to thank you for refusing to participate in the demonising of women, because you know you could have really gone overboard with the whole dangerous, sexual, older woman predator stereotype in this episode and well, you just didn’t. So empowering. Thanks Joss.

I’d like to thank you for the show in general for not playing into the older man, younger girl romance thing. You know it would have just been terrible if you had had Buffy, a 16 year old, dating a 241 year old vampire or something. Or maybe Giles, the librarian, dating a woman half his age, perhaps? It could have happened, but no. You are far too principled to have that kind of thing happening in your show. So feminist, so empowering. Thanks Joss. Your overt messages of feminist empowerment were not lost on this viewer.

And getting back to what I really wanted to thank you for, that compassionate post about how terrible you think the world is. You write so movingly about how desensitised to violence ‘we’ have become in this day and age. About how awful it is that women are stoned to death and that this is filmed as entertainment. Oh, and while we are on the topic of violence, let me just tell you how glad I am that you never, ever sexualised violence in Buffy the vampire slayer. I’m so glad you consistently put men and women, who were roughly the same physical builds and height together, so there wasn’t that whole domination/submission ideology in the images. I’m so glad Angel doesn’t grab and shake a 16 year old Buffy in season 2 episode 5. I’m so glad Spike and Buffy don’t bash the shit out of each other before fucking in season 6 episode 9. Thank you, thank you, Joss, for being such a feminist.

Again, you write so movingly about how terrible it is that torture-porn is created and consumed by the desensitised public. Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. Because, you know, what porn isn’t torture for the sexually abused, raped women who are forced to perform it? You can imagine my confusion when in season 1 of Buffy episode 8 you had Xander wearing a t-shirt with the words ‘porn-star’ written on it. Now, someone who didn’t know you might think that you were using your show as an advertisement for the pornographers or something, but not me. No. I know that you were doing a sweet and noble thing by putting a ‘porn-star’ t-shirt on the sex-obsessed, pervert Xander Harris. But, you know, Joss, sometimes you are like God to me and I just can’t understand what you do. But you can do no wrong in my eyes because you say you are a feminist and your word is law, right?

Anyway, moving right along, I have to say that the words of this most compassionate post still linger in my ears.

A few of you may know that I took public exception to the billboard campaign for this film, which showed a concise narrative of the kidnapping, torture and murder of a sexy young woman. I wanted to see if the film was perhaps more substantial (especially given the fact that it was directed by “The Killing Fields” Roland Joffe) than the exploitive ad campaign had painted it. The trailer resembles nothing so much as the CNN story on Dua Khalil. Pretty much all you learn is that Elisha Cuthbert is beautiful, then kidnapped, inventively, repeatedly and horrifically tortured, and that the first thing she screams is “I’m sorry”.

“I’m sorry.”

What is wrong with women?

I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly?


Ah, the love. Can’t you feel it, women? What’s wrong with women? This wonderful man wants to know. A woman was stoned to death by men while men filmed it. What is wrong with women? A woman was tortured by men in a porn movie. What is wrong with women?

You know, Joss, is so right. Women control the media. Women force men to stone them to death and more women force men to film the action. By and large, women write and direct porn movies and force men to commit atrocious acts of violence against us. Why are we so fucked up? Why are women so wrong? Physically, Spiritually, Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

Joss, I confess. I am a woman that is wrong, I 'came out incorrectly' and I need your help. I trust you, Joss. I trust all men to help me, especially the ‘fairly evolved’ men who watch that wonderful feminist activism called: Buffy the vampire slayer. I need to be corrected, Joss. All women do. We need men to stop us from falling victim to our own desires to be raped, beaten, killed. After reading this post, Joss, I understand where I have been going wrong. I need to stop blaming men and start blaming myself.

The next time I see that black lesbians are being locked up by men for defending themselves against men the question on my lips will not be: What’s wrong with men? It will be: What is wrong with women? Physically, Spiritually, Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

The next time I see that a woman has been slaughtered by her husband and dumped into the boot of a car. I will ask: What is wrong with women? Physically, Spiritually, Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

I suggest that all my sisters reading this do the same. We all need to take a good, hard look at ourselves and ask (in the words of the supreme feminist Joss Whedon): What is wrong with women? What’s wrong with us?

Men aren’t the problem. We are.

Thanks, Joss.
19 comments|post comment

Women in Burma [04 Oct 2007|09:48pm]

Free Burma!


"Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and leader of the legitimately elected government of Burma has been under house arrest for nearly 11 years and recently transferred to Insein Prison, called by one former prisoner "the darkest hell-hole in Burma". This courageous human rights defender, the more than 1000 political prisoners detained, and the hundreds of thousands of people in Burma engaged in peaceful protests against an oppressive military regime, deserve the freedom and democracy they have struggled for since the 1988 uprising, which ended in the slaughter of 3000 people. Women have suffered in terrible and specific ways. Media coverage of the brave saffron protest currently raging in Burma tends to pay scant attention to the courageous Buddhist nuns rallying alongside the monks, or to the bravery of Burma's women activists who have long been at the forefront of their people's struggle against the military junta. Women played a central role during the initiation of the protests and led many of the first marches against fuel prices. Several high-profile women activists have been forced into hiding as authorities have raided their homes and distributed "wanted persons" leaflets to checkpoints throughout Burma."

I received this email on a feminist email list and I am so worried for my sisters in Burma.

To participate in a world wide blogging action today go here.



Free Burma! Petition Widget


Name: (required)


Email:


Web:


Country:

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The size of the world [03 Oct 2007|11:08pm]
My world seems to be getting larger. I've just made three friends on lj (waves and smiles to the new comers), an old friend has returned to lj and I went to a the second conference meeting for the Women's Conference in the Blue Mountains and every time I opened my mouth, women respectfully listened and then... women agreed with me. I think I need to repeat that. Other women agreed with the things I was saying. I'm sorry it is just such a foreign thing for me to have happen in real life that I think I'm still reeling from the shock.

Women are incredible. I love them. Thank you to all the women who read my journal. Thank you to all the women who have the courage to create their own journals/blogs/websites. You, every single one of you, are brilliant. You are are all creating the light that is necessary to cut through the dark that men have dragged our world into. Love and peace to you all. You have rekindled my hope.
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More great feminist blogging [02 Oct 2007|05:45pm]
Might I also recommend Mr. Morgan's blog The Big News. Especially this post. I have to admit his blog made me laugh a lot. Sometimes, very, very rarely, but sometimes men can surprise me. Thank goodness.
2 comments|post comment

The Sixth Carnival of the Radical Feminists [02 Oct 2007|05:12pm]
The Sixth Carnival is here!!!!

I wonder if there is anyone else out there who looks forward to this carnival as much as I do. This months is really good. My particular favourites are Maggie's entry on being a 'third generation lesbian' and Phemisaurus.

Great feminist writing and creating.
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Australian Feminists [30 Sep 2007|02:34pm]
I'm compiling a list of all Australian Feminist bloggers for an Australian Feminist website. The underlying philosophy of the website will be Radical Feminism. For a good introduction to what Radical Feminism is and what we do go here. If you would like to be included on the blog roll as an Australian Feminist blogger please comment on this post and give the address of your blog (if your feminist blog is not your lj blog).
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Straight Men + Football [29 Sep 2007|09:05pm]
I've just been watching the 'highlights' of the latest football grand final thingie and this is what I have to wonder. Why do men need porn?? Or, more specifically why do men want porn?? After watching the football highlights it is pretty clear to me that what turns straight men on is not women. What does turn straight men on?

Let's see if you can guess.

Highlight #1: group cuddle betwen three men.

Highlight #2: man jumps onto other man, bear hugs him till they both fall to the ground, men lie on ground together writhing in each other's arms.

Highlight #3: large group of men jumping ecstatically over each other, lots of rubbing against each other and hands running through each other's hair.

Highlight #4: one of the football trophies is a sculpture depicting two men twined in each other's arms and looking deep into each other's eyes (it's so beautiful and loving it brings a tear to my eye).

...well I'm sure you get the picture. So why do straight men want porn of women when they have football??? I just don't get it.
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Free Burma [27 Sep 2007|10:05pm]
Sign the petition to stand with the Burmese people.
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MISTAKE [27 Sep 2007|08:25pm]
It seems I made a rather large mistake in my earlier entry. Thanks to eskarne for pointing it out. The Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs is now the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The Indigenous Affairs portfolio has passed onto the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. So, DIC is responsible for locking up asylum seekers, including women and children, and FaCSIA is responsible for the military invasion onto indigenous land. The reason that I did not know this is because I stopped watching TV for most of last year and I had little to no involvement in leftist politics. I spent most of last year buried in rad fem texts. Time well spent methinks. The mistake doesn't matter in the context of what I was talking about since both departments are responsible for perpetuating atrocious acts of white supremacy and damaging the lives of women, children and men of colour.
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Support the Lesbian Seven [27 Sep 2007|03:23am]
Please, please, please click on this link read about the lesbian seven and support them by signing the petition for their release. There is only just over 600 signatures which is pitiful considering the circumstances of their political imprisonment. These women are black and lesbian and the have had the full weight of the white male supremacist 'justice' system thrown at them just because they had the guts to stand up for themselves when they were being harassed. These women do not deserve to be in jail. The male fucker who harassed them should be locked up. Please Sign the Petition.
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Angry Rant [27 Sep 2007|12:53am]
At the International Feminist Summit (well technically just after the Summit) a well-respected radical lesbian feminist called me critical, judgmental and negative. While I was quite hurt by this on further reflection she is absolutely right about me. I am absolutely critical, judgmental and negative, and proudly so. I won’t deny it. More recently, I was called negative by a post-modernist who works for DIMIA (Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs), they are the department responsible for locking up hundreds of asylum seekers and most recently for the military invasion onto indigenous land in the Northern Territory. I can see how a woman who works for the government in that capacity would absolutely have grounds to call me negative.

Anyways this is the run down for women this week in Australia. (Actually that is bullshit, a quick look at the news on the net shows that it would take a much longer entry than this to cover all of the violence that has been done by men to women in this week. This entry only covers those murders, rapes and other injustices that I had heard about without searching the net.)

A man in New Zealand slaughters his wife after years of wife-battering, puts her body in the boot of his car which he leaves outside his house, flys to Australia with his daughter (she looks about three from the photos), abandons his daughter at a train station in Melbourne then flies to America. link

An 'apparently loving family man' shot his wife then shot himself in Townsville.

I blogged a while ago about how one of my sister’s friends had an eighteen month old child that started screaming for no reason. When she took him to the doctors they found that the child had been raped. Although the child was covered in sperm that was DNA matched to the mother’s then partner, the defense argued that there was reasonable doubt that he was the culprit and of course the rapist of this eighteen month old baby walked free.

Another man raped a two year old to death. link

Our wonderful prime minister wants a state funded funeral for a child molester friend of his. After public opposition he has withdrawn the offer of the state funded funeral. link

This is the world that we live in. We live in a world where it is perfectly acceptable a man to bash his wife. And if death results well… that is only really sad if she leaves young kids behind. We live in a world where men rape kids. We live in a world where men rape kids then walk free because the male judges and the male lawyers are probably rapists too and if they are female then they have been taught to think like rapists, just like the post-modernist who works for DIMIA. We live in a world that is run by rapists just like Johnny who surrounds himself with like-minded men and distances himself if they get caught. Not that getting caught means anything. A child can be covered in sperm and there is still ‘reasonable doubt’.

This is going to prove that I am negative, critical and judgmental when I say this: if you think it is ok to live in a world like this and not be critical, judgmental and negative then, quite frankly, I think you are sick. You have been poisoned by the bread and water of male supremacy, women-hatred. I am not going to sit back and let people call me negative without responding that anyone who lives in this world is fucking sick if they are not absolutely negative about the violence that is perpetuated against women and children by men day in and day out.

I really have to wonder sometimes whether words actually mean anything anymore. A woman like me, who voices her opposition to marriage, prostitution, fisting and intercourse, is branded negative by a woman who defends men’s right to purchase women for sex, and works for the government locking up people who don’t have the right coloured skin.

I really want to say a big fuck you to post-modernism. I want to know how ‘multiple subject positions’ and ‘transgressing gender’ will stop men from raping babies. I want to know how ‘gender fucking’ and ‘transgressive performativity’ will stop men from bashing and slaughtering women. I want to know how the ‘lesbian phallus’ and ‘drag’ will stop the sexualisation of women, will stop women from starving themselves, will stop girls from cutting themselves, will stop men buying women for sex, will stop men from raping us, will stop men from viewing us as sex, will stop men from viewing us as whores. I want to know how post-modernism will stop men. Right now.

I want to wake up tomorrow knowing that there are absolutely no women being bashed in any given second in the whole world. I want to wake up tomorrow knowing that every single sex-trafficked woman currently enslaved by men, to men, for men, has been released. I want to wake up knowing that every man in the world would be absolutely horrified and repulsed by the idea of doing anything to a woman that she did not wholly desire. I want to wake up knowing that no man or woman would do anything harmful (this includes fisting, BDSM, subordination, domination etc.) to any other man or woman and call it love. I want to wake up knowing that every single one of our political prisoners have been freed, the lesbian seven, Aung Sun Suu Kyi. I want to wake up in a world where men don’t kill us or each other, where women are free to define what words like love, peace and freedom actually mean because we are the ones that have the power to make them happen.

If this makes me negative then so be it. I’d rather be negative than sick enough to call fisting a legitimate act of love. I’d rather be negative than sick enough to defend men’s right to use economic means to force women into sexual slavery. I’d rather be negative.

Post-modernism is neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism is post-modernism. Neo-liberalism/post-modernism is a male conspired disease that has robbed me of so many of my sisters. I grieve for them. I yearn for them.

I still hope. I still refuse to participate in the male politics of either/or. I am not positive or negative, I am Radically Other. I will not let the politics of fear keep me from speaking my truths. Let them call me critical, judgmental, negative, intimidating. I am all of those things but one thing I will not be is silent. Being silent about men raping babies, about men bashing their wives, about men screwing with women in every way imaginable, that is truly unforgivable.

I will not accept the male-apologists. I will not accept the neo-liberal postmodernists. I will not accept silence.
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[13 Sep 2007|12:52am]
Just popping in to mention demonista's excellent entry on post-modernism which is here and very worth reading. I actually feel much more opposed to post-modernism and queer theory after this weekend than I did before this weekend. I hadn't realised how thoroughly it screws women up. Especially young 'queer' women. I'm actually very angry at a lot of things after this weekend and I am trying to make sense of it all through writing a post. I'm having trouble writing it without being 'judgemental' though. But often I think 'judgementalism' is just an accusation hurled at feminists when they step out of patriarchal thinking. So I'm not going to let that deter me.

This weekend I also went to see The Jammed which I urge everyone to see. It is an Australian movie about sex trafficking in women. This movie made me cry so much and it still hasn't left me. It is really worth seeing if you can. Go here for an interview with the director and the lead actress. It is really annoying that they keep referring to sex trafficking as human trafficking but there are some extracts from the film.
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