Archive for the 'women/feminism' Category Page 2 of 2



how the Radical Feminists™ made me mad today

A brief change from writing about gentrification (just wrote a response to Paul Brady’s comment in my last post that is basically a post in itself, with how long it got.)

Lately, I tend to avoid the blogs of self-proclaimed “radical feminists” (in which “radical” apparently means “more feminist/less brainwashed than thou). While we probably agree on a great deal of feminist thought and philosophy, the frequent posts and subsequent debates about how all pornography and BDSM are inherently patriarchal and evil, well, they just give me headaches, so I’d rather not partake.

Yet today, I wound up reading a lengthy indictment of polyamory over on Angry for a Reason. (I got there by following an old Technorati link; seems that there used to be a link to my blog on the blogroll there, but it has since been removed, probably because of my rampant misogyny and all.)

Lost Clown’s article, which was published in off our backs, begins thusly (after the requisite Dworkin quote and a definition of the word polyamory):

I believe in polyamory, but only in a society where everyone is equal, where everyone is allowed to be human. Polyamory, therefore, cannot exist in our society.

I have been a polyamorist all my life, before I had knowledge of the word polyamory. I am still a polyamorist today, but I cannot bring myself to practice anymore, because polyamory as a mutually fulfilling practice cannot exist in a society that does not see me as human. The rise of polyamory as the preferred lifestyle in the radical leftist/anarchist circles parallels the “sexual revolution” of the late ‘60s movement. This supposed sexual freedom for women is done not for our benefit, but for the benefit of men. The ultimate goal for these “radical” men is still the fuck.

The article continues as such, with nary a mention of, you know, polyamory that maybe doesn’t involve men and is not all about “the fuck.” Despite the grand pronouncements of polyamory at the beginning of the article, it looks only at heterosexual relationships (in which, of course, polyamory only serves the interest of the men involved, and women are stripped of all possible power and agency because, hey, the patriarchy exists!)

In the comments, I criticize Lost Clown for this narrow, heterosexist dismissal of polyamory; she responds by saying that obviously she was only talking about heterosexual polyamory, despite never explictly saying that anywhere in the article. Funny, it seems like when you say things like “polyamory cannot exist in our society,” without any qualifications, you might be read as talking about polyamory in general. Unless, somehow, one is supposed to understand that by polyamory, she means heterosexual polyamory – heterosexuality being the default, which is a thoroughly heterosexist approach. If you’re going to completely disregard non-heterosexual relationships, please own that and say it outright, instead of assuming that everyone will just understand what you meant. Or, better yet – just don’t disregard them.

I suppose the whole thing hits a rather personal sore spot for me, since I am polyamorous. And, while I do not think that polyamory is some perfect philosophy, or that it is easy to navigate without fucking up or hurting people, or that it is inherently better than chosen and intentional monogamy, I also think that chosen, intentional polyamory that is pursued in an open, honest, equitable and kind way is far preferable to societally-enforced, by-default monogamy. Everyone always seems to think that polyamorous relationships are destined to blow up in people’s faces, but hey, monogamy doesn’t seem to have that good a success rate, either.

Edited to add: Some dialogue continued in the comments of Lost Clown’s post, in which she wrote that she sees my point and that, if or when she re-edits her article, she will try to make it clear that she’s talking specifically about leftist men’s practices of polyamory. I still disagree with her on many points, but I appreciated her seeing my point and planned efforts to make the article more clear; I also do think that, though I probably wouldn’t take the same approach as her, it is important to discuss the problematic aspects of polyamory. Though I haven’t experienced it myself, it seems like there is clearly a lot of sexism going on in certain polyamorous communities. And one problematic thing I have seen is this faulty view of polyamory as sort of “more radical” than any other relationship configuration, privileging polyamory as an inherently more enlightened practice than monogamy. Um, no.

is someone going to take away my feminist card?

I forgot to blog on Blog Against Sexism Day. Well, no, let me not front. I didn’t forget, I just didn’t. In part because yesterday was kind of a bad, distracting day for me overall, and I still don’t have internet access at my house (pinche Time Warner…) But also, because I’m never good about actually participating in most of these blog about this or that days, especially with topics that I feel I am or should be blogging about on the regular, anyhow. Of course, now I feel a bit slackerly and left out, reading all the good stuff that my daily reading blogs wrote yesterday (check them out over there in my blogroll for some good reads).

Ah, well. Hopefully no one will deem me a bad feminist and take away my card or something. Though I feel like I’ve been getting some points against me in some people’s books lately anyhow, what with my BDSM-lovin’ not-entirely-writing-off-porn-or-burlesque ways. There’s been a post brewing there for a little while, let’s see if it makes it out at some point.

Women of Color Blog Carnival

I’m reposting this here (from many sources) both because I think it’s great and that many women of color should participate, and because I need to remind myself to write something for this, too. You know, in between doing the twenty-gazillion other things on my to do list… sheesh!

ANNOUNCING: WOMEN OF COLOR BLOG CARNIVAL
~~~a call out for submissions~~~

Because Women of Color recognize that real world structural inequalities such as poverty, violence, imprisonment, and community neglect, have restricted our access to the resources the internet has to offer our communities,

Because Women of Color recognize that computer literacy is a right that has long been denied to our communities,

Because the internet has been used as a tool to further racist, sexist, and anti-queer fantasies/representations of Women of Color,

Because Women of Color recognize that these racist, sexist, and anti-queer fantasies/representations have very real world consequences for our communities and us,

Because Women of Color demand that the resources the internet has to offer be available to our communities,

Because Women of Color demand that computer literacy be restructured as to include those of us who must learn the computer in restricted settings (libraries, prisons, institutions, etc)

Because Women of Color demand a powerful, healthy, intelligent and WHOLE representation of themselves on the internet,

the Radical Woman of Color Blog Carnival has been created!!

**Centering the voices, opinions, issues, interests, demands, problems, and solutions of women of color, this blog carnival will be used to connect the real world issues such as poverty, violence, imprisonment, and community neglect to the blogosphere.

**Publication date will be the first (1rst) of every month.

**The first publication will be put out at Jenn’s blog; www.reappropriate.com

**TOPIC ONE:
What does the internet *mean* to a woman of color?

Although often touted as the “last frontier” and positioned as something which is essential to learn in the modern day world, the internet has often been used to further very scary and unrealistic resprentations and fantasies of women of color. Furthering this passive violence, it is often the sweat shop labor of women of color that creates computers to begin with.

At the same time, however, the interent can be and often is used as a tool to connect isolated young mothers to other mothers, survivors of sexual violence to advocacy groups, disabled women to resources and a whole generation of amazing teens to other teens. The blogosphere is also used specifically as a space to cover stories that mainstream press refuse to or is too scared to.

To harnass the good of the internet, it is essential for Women of Color to better define what the interent means to us, (the good and the bad) and then work together to figure out how we can use it for our communities purposes and needs.

As such, we will be accepting submissions which question, challenge, discuss, explore, and name what the internet has meant and what it *could mean* to women of color. Is it a site of sexualized violence? A site of sexualized freedom? An opportunity to make your voice heard where there was none before? A site of further marginilization and disappointment? Some examples of excellent critiques of the internet that might get your creative juices flowing:
Where Are My Asian Sisters? by Jenn

Why the Internet Hurts Women of Color by Nubian

But of course, these are just examples–creative writing, art, journal type entries, etc will all be accepted!

Send us your stories!!!

Because this is a Woman of Color Carnival for women of color and put together by women of color, this carnival will prioritize those submissions written by and that centralize women of color issues.

To nominate or submit posts, you may email them to Jenn at jenn@reappropriate.com.