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A quite comprehensive list. Female erasure is a serious problem in our society and we should move to ensure that the rights of Women are preserved.

“Here is a list of the Human Rights of Women that so-called Transgender Rights are eliminating. No one is saying Trans folk should not have rights, but what IS wrong is that trans activists are denying and destroying the Human Rights of women—and children who have no voice at all. Read this list—and wonder. And then, get angry . Here is the list , prepared by Gallus Mag, a blogger and writer in the women’s community…

Removing the legal right of women to organize politically against sex-based oppression by males
Removing the legal right of women to assemble outside the presence of men
Removing the legal right of women to educational programs created for women outside the presence of men
Eliminating data collection of sex-based inequalities in areas where females are underrepresented
Elimination of sex-based crime statistics
Eliminating athletic programs and sports competition for women and girls
Removing the legal right of women to be free from the presence of men in areas of public accommodation where nudity occurs
Elimination of grants, scholarships, board and trustee designations, representative positions, and affirmative programs for women
Removing the legal right of women to create reproductive clinics, rape crisis services, support groups, or any organizations for females
Eliminating media and all public discourse specific to females
Removal of the right of journalists to report the sex, and history, of subjects
Eliminating the legal right of lesbians to congregate publicly
Elimination of lesbian-specific organizations and advocacy groups
Removing the legal right of women to free speech related to sex roles and gender
Elimination of the legal right of women to protection from state-enforced sex-roles (appearance/behavior/thought)
Elimination of the legal right of girls to protection from state-enforced sex-roles in public education
Elimination of the patient right of dependent females to hospital/facility bed assignments separate from males
Elimination of the right of dependent females to prefer female providers for their intimate personal care requirements
Elimination of the human right of female prisoners under state confinement to be housed separately from male prisoners” (from here)”

This is a long post that starts with a woman discovering that the third wave liberal feminism (male pleasing) we have today is shit, and moving toward the tenets of radical feminism (female liberation from patriarchy).   Cue the dudes that react in horror to the truth ignis-divine-eleison is telling.  The grist of the post happens when Cordintal71 and altlibgay enter the conversation making bold pronouncements on feminism (thanks dudes) and how it should work.  I’ve been in these conversations and truth be told – it sucks –  dealing with people who are this far removed from reality is never pleasant.   Lion of Exarchia comes to the scene, also male, but at least one that has a fucking clue and dismantles the MRA bullshit as quickly as it spews forth.

More men, on a vast scale, need to be like Lion of Exarchia.  ( You heard it here first. :) )

This quote starkly lays out exactly what is at stake when it comes to the politics of gender and those who follow its dictates.

So no, feminism is not about being mean to the poor menz, it is fighting against the oppressive shit that hurts women.  Focusing on how the conception of gender is problematic for everyone involved isn’t ‘phobic’ –  it is an attempt to recognize, deconstruct, and tear down a bastion of sexism in our society that has been polluting our civilizations for hundreds of years.

Hmm.  Time to give some side eye to queer theory as it seems to go against much of what feminism is about.  Let’s examine a part of an essay by Susan Cox writing on the Feminist Current.

     “Feminists defied patriarchal ideology by declaring that we do not have “wandering uteruses” that make us prone to “hysteria” and inherently inferior to men. Feminists also argued that men are not biologically destined to be a bunch of rapist cavemen, and that we should therefore hold them to higher standards, in terms of their treatment of women. We showed that these ideas were were social constructions artificially imposed on males and females.

     Queer theory flipped that whole framework upside-down.

     In a textbook example of what is known as “patriarchal reversal,” queer theory embraced the idea that womanhood is defined by femininity (described as gender “performance”). In other words, the things feminists worked so hard to show were not essential to women — makeup, skirts, and coquettish mannerisms, for example — are now said to be the things that make a person a woman. This implies that if a woman rejects her oppressive gendered role, it probably means that she was never really a woman at all.

     Queer theory claims to have an interest in the feminist project, which has confused discourse on women’s issues. Recently, an email conversation I had with a male philosopher who has published on feminist theory revealed he didn’t actually understand the difference between sex and gender.

He wrote to me:

“I’m not a macho man. I don’t like violent sports, and I’ve undergone a lot of self-reflection and critique from feminist friends to get to a place where I don’t treat women in the brutish heteronormative way that patriarchy prescribes. So, in many ways, I’ve come to have an identity that reflects my gender and not my sex.”

He seemed to be referring to his “sex” as synonymous with masculinity and using “gender” to mean “personality.”  I replied:

“Your sex (male) doesn’t automatically make you a rapey, macho asshole. That is actually the gender role you’ve been assigned under patriarchy. You rejecting the norms of masculinity is you rejecting gender — not identifying with it.”

     You know we’re in desperate times when a young scholar has to explain basic feminist theory to someone who’s supposedly been studying it for decades.

     Right now, it’s crucial that we remember the feminist critique of biological determinism. We don’t need to pretend as though biological sex doesn’t exist or isn’t important, because sexual difference doesn’t naturally cause male supremacy or female subordination. Acknowledging biological difference is, in fact, very important — we need to know who and what we are talking about, in order to address and remedy the unjust power relationship between males and females.

    Patriarchy claims that male supremacy is encoded in the sexed biology of maleness and femaleness. And perhaps it’s an indication of something significant when queer theory says exactly the same.”

So much confusion surround the ideas of sex and gender, I wonder who that could be benefiting…

 

Articles like this highlight the systemic, societal based normative attitudes that we are bathed in.  Male violence is looked on in a sympathetic light and the narratives spun around them serve as a justification for their actions.

Lying in wait with a shotgun under your family’s car and then dispatching your wife and daughter with a shotgun is not a fucking act to by sympathized with.  This sort of violence and abuse is the hidden backdrop of our society and needs to brought to light in a most unsympathetic and biased toward the victim way.  Laying low at the root of situations like these is the male patterned socialization that states that using violence is an acceptable way to solve problems – coupled with the notion that women somehow are property and less than human leads directly to shit like this murder suicide.

We need to change the programming for our men and despite the insidious backlash of from the patriarchy about letting ‘boys be boys’ we need to get them early and counter these messages that glamorize violence and dehumanize women.

   This is what radical feminists mean when we say that feminism isn’t about equality, but is about the liberation of female people from male people. We don’t want to be as violent as men are.

Such a simple concept, yet so many seem not able to grasp the idea.  Equality in itself isn’t a bad goal, but obtaining equality requires changing the groundwork of society that currently make it biased toward men and concomitantly disadvantageous toward women.

This bias, know in radical feminist literature and praxis is called Patriarchy.  No version of equality achieved under patriarchy is particularly valid, since the ground rules and societal expectations are still fundamentally skewed.  Thus, what radical feminists seek to do is discover, critique, and move toward the dissolution of patriarchal structures and products in society.

For example, the move toward the Nordic Model to help women exit prostitution because the majority of women involved in prostitution are there unwillingly and want to get out of the forced rape trade given the option.  Prostitution is a corrosive force in society, as it is often paired with the human trafficking reinforcing the idea that women are second class citizens whose objectification is more important than their humanity.

It is the systemic dismantling of the structures of patriarchal male privilege that make radical feminism so threatening to some members of the class of men.  It is also the best way to get a feel for how effective your feminism is – no pushback from the dudes means their privileged status isn’t being threatened – so what exactly are you doing (see most of liberal feminism)?

Pushback from the dudes usually means you’re on to something and should be impetus to hold to your criticisms and deconstructions.  Nine times out of ten, you will be battling a social patriarchal construct or ‘that’s just how things are here’  type of situation.  It’s a long haul, but even laying one brick for the next woman to stand on to carry on the fight just a little further is a laudable action, and sadly must often be the only notion that keeps a feminist going.

I know which minor superpower I’d like to have, I’d like the ability to switch minds of other people, or increase the amount of empathy others feel toward each other.  So much of the problem (other than the dudely shit-stains that actually harass women) is that people just can’t relate or believe women when they say they have been harassed.  This shouldn’t be rocked science – the social norms surrounding the harassment of women – need to be rightly moved over into the category of ‘unacceptable all the time’ and left their for perpetuity.  We don’t condone physical violence on the streets, why are we allowing this psychological (and often physical) torment to continue?  So a big thank you to the Gradient Lair for compiling this survey of street harassment responses.

 

“I recently mentioned a street harassment incident (they occur often, 10-75 times a week for over 20 years now) on Twitter, and I received a plethora of ignorant responses. I realized that these responses are common, so I documented them here.

1) “Gosh, where do YOU live?” This is asked for two reasons, besides the person being ignorant, of course. One is that they want to find a way to “contain” the negative behavior and associate it with a place where they don’t live, kind of like how people are currently pretending that racism is only in Florida and sexism is only in Texas. The second reason is that they want to be able to associate street harassment happening to a woman with some awful place that she “chose” to live in. This disregards class, race, culture and other factors that determine where people live.

2) “That NEVER happens to me!” Saying this is not empathetic, especially as a reply to someone explaining an awful street harassment incident. When cis hetero men say this, they are being ignorant of their male privilege. Of course they aren’t street harassed. (I am talking about street harassment here, which is highly gendered, not police harassment, for example, of Black men.) When White women (some of them are never street harassed or rarely street harassed compared to Black women) or women of a high social class (as street harassment does have some race/class factors at play) say this, they mean to infer the inferiority of the woman it has happened to. Because we live in a victim-blaming rape culture, if street harassment is deemed the fault of the person it happens to and it doesn’t happen to “some” women, it then implies that they aren’t as “low” as the women who experienced it.

3) “Just ignore it!” This is the lazy response from people who think they HAVE TO reply versus listening, understanding and empathizing with a woman who experiences street harassment. They are actually implying that the harassment is her fault for noticing it occurred. And at times, ignoring street harassment can have dangerous effects for a woman if that man is of the type who cannot handle being ignored and escalates the harassment to physical violence. “Ignoring” is a difficult thing to do anyway when speaking of something that happens with the frequency that I experience street harassment. How can I “ignore” up to 75 insults a week?

4) “Take it as a compliment; if you weren’t beautiful it wouldn’t happen!” This usually comes from patriarchal men who also street harass. They view anything they do, no matter how aggressive and dehumanizing as “flattering” for a woman. Further, this stance does not work. No matter how a woman looks, whether she is considered “beautiful” or “ugly,” men will justify harassment.

5) “Just move somewhere else!” This is the classist argument. Because street harassment tends to occur in cities (especially with public transportation) more than suburbs and in communities with higher male unemployment and poverty than ones that don’t have that, people assume that you can just pack up your S-Class Mercedes and buy a new mansion in a new city where though misogyny will still be present, naturally, it may not be in the form of street harassment. This also ignores the fact that no matter where I go, for example, I am a Black woman there. People decide to disrespect me based on who I am, not just based on what city I am in.

6) “You’re just saying that because the guy was ugly!” People who genuinely believe that street harassment is “flirting” think that disrespectful and aggressive men who are “attractive” are tolerable. After dealing with street harassment for over 20 years now, I know how utterly ridiculous this assumption is. I promise if the guy looks like Idris Elba and street harasses me, I am still angry. Plenty of physically attractive men street harass me (though most are ashy irritant pissants) and I am angry when it occurs. I don’t want to be harassed. I genuinely delight in a day where not a single man speaks to me. It’s peaceful and I am happy when I go home.

7)“Well say something smart back to him; that’ll fix him!” This response usually comes from those who have never experienced street harassment or it never became physical. While some men can be cursed out well (and I have done that) some cannot. Knowing which ones can and can’t is a guessing game that I don’t want to play in most cases. Just like ignoring one can escalate to violence, so can cursing one out.

8) “Go different places then!” So, women should not go to work, their coffee shoppes, their supermarkets, their bookstores, their laundromats, their gyms, etc. because men will be there and will harass them? Again, this is a location-associated response that ignores the fact that some women (like me and most Black women) are PROFILED and TARGETED for street harassment. It is about US, not the location.

9) “Well, a lot worse could happen!” This reeks of rape culture. Who is to determine what is better or worse? Only the person who experiences the wrath of misogyny, misogynoir, transmisogyny or homophobia (as some gay men are street harassed as well) knows what the experience is like. Even more legally serious violence like domestic violence and rape itself are brushed off as jokes or blamed on the victim. So the idea that I should be “thankful” for street harassment because it isn’t rape ignores the fact that no matter what happens to a Black woman, people will respond with victim blaming.

10) “What were you wearing; what did YOU do to cause it?” I addressed this response before in my post 6 Common Derailment Tactics Used In Conversations About Street Harassment and Sexual Assault and in Rape “Prevention” Advice That Doesn’t Include Tips For Men’s Behavior = Rape Culture. While the wardrobe comments are refuted over and over and why the street harasser or rapist is at fault is explained, people continually retreat to this ignorant argument. Girls are raped by their fathers wearing the clothing their fathers bought them. Women are raped fully clothed and in work clothes/uniform. Women are street harassed no matter what they wear. And regardless of clothing, the harasser or the rapist IS THE ONE AT FAULT.

Notice that in all of these examples ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY is applied to the men who street harass. None. Also, notice the lack of genuine concern and empathy for me or other women who are street harassed. Street harassment is a part of rape culture.

Related Posts: all posts tagged with “street harassment” on Gradient Lair”

As always, IBTP.

 

 

 

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