Buried Alive

“Screaming Demon!!!!!” Commenter, RtgdfSmith@aol.com by pisaquaririse
July 23, 2008, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve just unapproved 4 comments with vile, vicious, disgusting threats made to commenters/bloggers Lara and Laurelin. There was also one generic one I’m guessing was addressed to me?

To my readers who were exposed to/possibly triggered by this hateful crap: I am so sorry.

I cannot understand how this person got through as I must moderate all new commenters. So far as I can tell this IP has never been here before.

I’ve looked up the IP and all the information I can get is that it’s Vermont State college.



If anyone wouldn’t mind reviewing their comment IP’s to see if this person is identifiable I would appreciate it.

I’ve still got the comments should anyone really be interested in reading them. I only ask that, if you are interested in reading them, you be of sound mind.

Again, I’m so sorry these got through.

Feminism and Choice, p.2 by pisaquaririse
July 23, 2008, 4:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

A choice only exists when there are at least two options for the given opportunity:

A. to do

B. not to do

It is a common assumption that most things we *do* are made (almost) entirely from our choice(s). We focus our attention on the “to do” option.

Where we seem slight in analysis (as I’ve said before and will continue to –let me count the ways) is on the “not to do” option. Taking that a step further, we are presumptuous in our own acceptance of having made a “choice” when the do has been done (<*I seriously could not think of a better way to say this!*).

Which is exactly what patriarchy wants: don’t worry about refusing because the system is designed so that the “to do” is built around so much pleasure, joy, and social acceptance that “not to do” never crosses our minds.

That is not nor will it ever be the conditions conducive to choice. Plain, simple, rinse, repeat.

Let’s say tomorrow, for example, women declared they didn’t feel like having sex with men for a year, or, instead, said “no sex” for 365 days straight–exactly what do we think would happen to rape numbers?

When our options are further complicated by having to depend on someone else’s options (like sex) we must be extra critical in stating a “choice” has been made (get that? That’s 4 options–several of which, combined, are mutually exclusive for choice).

The difficult part, of course, is knowing whether or not we had that “not to do” all along. This is because knowing the “to do” option does not automatically reveal the status of the “not to do.” Whereas if you find out you cannot do something then the “to do” is null immediately. You know the status of both options.

When women’s status remains as coerced and bribed and restricted as it is one would think the very concept of a feminist “choice” would be used so cautiously, if not rarely, that the occurrence would almost render us speechless.

However, we’ve instead made declaring our feminist “choices” so commonplace in feminist discussions that it would seem we were well on our way to becoming “free.” (The goal of any proper Women’s Backlash is to prematurely announce our status as “free.”) Of course, what is often at work in these declarations of choice is more a statement of privilege than choice.

I should have begun this post differently :

A choice only exists when there are at least two options for the given opportunity:

A. to do

B. not to do

addendum:based on our equal status as human beings.

To be in possession of your two options out of privilege and not because you are a human is not a choice. If without the privilege you would not be allowed your two options then, again, all you are exercising is privilege. Your equal human status is what should grant you the initial two options of to do or not to do.

If we allow “feminist choices” to be an extension of privilege we do women no good by feeding an artificial system that means only to short-circuit our efforts and declare a dangerously premature victory. This would be why, for example, women’s resistance is such an important, eye-opening experience:when we stop agreeing ” to do” the lack of “not to do” rears a much uglier, bigger thead than first thought.

This would also be why I cannot remember the last time I said I’ve made a feminist choice. And that I have such stringent rules for choice is neither defeatist nor women’s-experience-denying. It is, instead, an unwavering commitment to preserve the language of feminist achievements and never accept small ducats for this back and heart breaking work.

In fact, to do otherwise seems to me the more defeatist, women’s-experience-denying position.

Male Feminists, Kyle’s Payne’s Guilty Plea by pisaquaririse
July 9, 2008, 4:44 pm
Filed under: Antibodies, Grab a shovel, Interconnected!, PUKE, rape extinction

The blogger of A Road Less Traveled, a blog I have read at least a handful of times, has plead guilty to charges of sexual assault.

Amongst his many posts one can find several on sexual violence against women, anti-pornography, and rape culture. The particular incident for which he has plead guilty reads more like an act he would have taken to task than committed.

For all feminists, this story is yet another reminder of how pervasive the problem is. My heart goes out to the young woman involved and all her loved ones in this time of support. Understanding and coming to grips with the effects of sexual violation will be a difficult journey.

Kyle’s actions are repugnant, indeed hypocritical. That he has come to be somewhat of a smaller but useful blog amongst those fighting sexual violence in pornography and prostitution feels a bit of a slap in the face. I would hope people would not take this opportunity to mock and draw conclusions about other women bloggers by aligning this person with their work against sexual violence–work for which many often go poor and hungry. (but alas I am not dumb!–more comments on that in a bit)

I no more pretend that Kyle Payne’s actions speak for the volumes of other males identifying as feminists than it does for radical feminists. There are legit people who do legit work and lead legit lives with respect to ending violence against women.

However, I would like to make a statement about “male feminists” as I never have officially and I do have such opinions. I believe that there are males honestly and with good intentions doing work for women, supporting women, and engaging in feminist discussions. But the ones I feel most comfortable with do not tell me they are feminists. The name means little to nothing to them, the work means the world. Men claiming to be “feminists” actually kind of annoy me. It doesn’t mean the work they do isn’t important but it does signal to me a need to be accepted at a level for which they cannot/should not. They cannot know what it’s like to be a woman fighting her own oppression. To me, that is exactly what a feminist is.

And to that end, I would also like to comment on the males who claim to at least be allies of some sort to feminists bloggers: the many male commenter’s. Several times and places I have seen it: feminists are having a debate/argument on something they feel passionately about and men show up to mock, celebrate or indulge the differences/arguments. That this often goes without comment and more often with allegiance to the men commenter’s is unbelievably damaging in my opinion. No matter how nuanced and real the differences amongst women are they are still movement-stifling. Women have made some of their biggest and best strides when they band together. Men/Privilege showing up to laugh with other women at other women , thus celebrating the divisions, makes me ill. I don’t support it on this blog and that it goes without a peep on feminist blogs across bloglandia rather *astonishes* me.

The only reason I know about Kyle’s case is because I can be more often found reading women blogs for whom I do not always agree with than male bloggers–feminist or not. I seek different perspectives. I got male opinions on feminist issues in college and what a bore. Had I known sooner about this case I would have blogged about it sooner as I, nor any other radical feminist I can think of, would ever support these actions.

To those who have used this news (and will continue to) as a sort of bridge to *a whole bunch of other reasons why radical feminists are X*: not only are you annoyingly predictable (mischaracterizations: It’s what’s for breakfast) but you are also going to detract from the point of this case. Right now, there is a young woman having to make sense of an ugly situation. And there is a male blogger who needs to be held accountable for those who he has hurt and lied to. Continuing to show women have it in them to agree on solidarity in the face of such charges sends much better messages than using other women’s troubles as a platform for a tangential debate. I would much prefer to come together to take a stand against these actions than have it feed yet another pointless radical feminists vs. everyone else debacle.

Thank you to Renegade Evolution, BelleDame and Eleanor’s Trousers for giving this story the attention it deserves.

***UPDATE***  The following information I received in e-mail from the journalist who covered Kyle’s story in the Iowa Independent:

Some individuals who have commented to the various postings on Payne have stated that he is scheduled to have an “open sentencing” on Aug. 11 at the Buena Vista County Courthouse, and that anyone who attends will have an opportunity to speak. This is not totally correct.

An “open sentencing” in the state of Iowa means that the public can attend, but not that the public can speak. While it always looks good to have people show up in support of the prosecution — and I’d personally really like to see some strong support in the courtroom — the fact is that not everyone is going to be able to speak.

For those who have a unique interest in the case… for instance, have served as advocates or can somehow speak with authority as to how horrible Payne’s actions were… get in touch with me.

If you want to share your (civil) thoughts about this incident prior to sentencing, your best bet is to write to the judge that will preside over the sentencing:
District Court Judge Don E. Courtney
Buena Vista County Courthouse
215 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588

As a final note, there has been some discussion about Payne being charged with child pornography. This is not a charge he faces from the state of Iowa.

– Lynda Waddington

Reassinging, Looks (p.1’s) by pisaquaririse
July 6, 2008, 5:19 pm
Filed under: Antibodies, gender pimps, Interconnected!, PUKE, WhatAboutMEEEE

In my laziest move to date*, I am starting two new series with the same post.

“Reassigning” will be a series on the ways we reassign different feelings upon coming to feminism, how the transition process works to redefine and change our behaviors. And when I say “we” I’m speaking theoretically, distantly (you don’t speak for my individualisticness pisaquari!–I know knob, I know). If I feel up to it I may chronicle a bit of my own journey.

The second, which I self-debated doing, is on Looks or Physical Appearance, as I have called it. Thinking I’ve sort of covered my feelings on this I still feel feminism has not addressed this problem for the widespread, self-esteem-crippling issue it is. That bothers me.

A question (or possibly just venting statement stamped with a rhetorical question mark) was posed in the “Physical Appearance” thread by Buggle–one I feel appropriately introduces both new series:

I am guilty of “not wanting to see” that physical attraction is just bullshit. I don’t want to lose that feeling of being attracted to my boyfriend- so I don’t want to really “go there.” I was noticing that this weekend, that is the inevitable conclusion, but I’m scared to go there. What will I lose out on? And what if he realizes that his attraction to me is based on bullshit?

Well, first of all, me too Buggle! Seeing physical attraction for the media-frenzied, constructed, cruel bull shit it is has some far-reaching implications. Re-worded: it changes the way we see everyone. For women, it changes a great deal of how we view ourselves. I’ll get into that with later posts but right now, for anticipation purposes, I am making this post an overview.

To go along with the Looks series you will have to accept the undeniable truth that there is no scientific proof our brains take innate pleasure in certain human physical features (sexist science studies omitted—Ultra Darwinists run along now). We construct that. This, perhaps, wouldn’t be such a problem except that we then dish out preferential treatment to those in possession of certain characteristics. And no, btw, having your own standards seemingly different from everyone else’s (puh!) does not negate your discriminatory behavior. That’s too close to Nice Guy syndrome for my tastes anyway.

(Oh, and dontchaknow, *individuals* tastes often look quite similar to media representations of “beauty”! Logic-Lobotomied-Lou sez…. “Must be true!!”)

As I have known it, those not wanting to admit to social constructs err on the side of privilege. The construct benefits them, gives them an extra boost by society whether it be acceptance, admiration, financial power, respect, pleasure (many times a combination)–all unfairly and all the while perpetuating a standard wherein other people not meeting the standard continue to be oppressed for it.

Luckily feminism is not (supposed to be!) a game of selfish indulgences in privilege. Once you find out/accept that some idea is fake it becomes devalued immediately. And then one can begin reassigning different emotional and intellectual weights to certain actions/beliefs. Thereby making us more aware which better gives us the tools for prevention which allows us to circumvent the problem (to the best of our abilities) which removes that much more power from the privilege/oppression system which means that much more harm is not being done.

My unsolicited advice then, to more specifically respond to Buggle’s quote, would be to say: there is nothing really to lose. Rather than looking at someone and saying “I don’t want to lose this physical attraction feeling” you simply do not register the physical characteristics with any emotional preference. You cannot lose what you do not believe exists.

But that is a process of education, perspective and time. (Oh and guts.) And like most aspect of feminism, dare I say, becomes a point of never looking back.

* I know: you waited over a week and all you got was a stinkin’ overview! The next couple posts are practically written, tho, promises.