Charlie Hebdo and other attacks in Paris

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commieprincess's picture
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Jan 21 2015 15:49

Ooo, lets hear more about what the men think! They haven't really had a chance to express themselves here. And guess what, they HAVE thought about intersectionality and decided any mention of it deserves groans and eye-rolling and 'oh fucking christ not this' etc.

Doesn't really sound like people who take issue with just some aspects of it, sounds to me like boys who feel threatened. Perhaps that's not it at all and there's some really nuanced critique there, but it doesn't really look that way right now.

Bring on the down votes!

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Jan 21 2015 16:02
commieprincess wrote:
Doesn't really sound like people who take issue with just some aspects of it, sounds to me like boys who feel threatened.

Hiya CP, I cannot speak for anyone elses take on this but personally why would I (as a 'boy' and 'white') feel threatened by intersectionality, why? I dont understand.

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Jan 21 2015 16:05

And that, as they say, is that.

No one's threatened. They disagree. Still, if it someone feels empowered by saying those they disagree with are threatened by them, then that's nice.

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Jan 21 2015 21:58

I know it's already in the tracker. But I'm going to plug it anyway. The formatting's a bit messed up and the language might be a little abstract-philosophical, but still worth persevering with imo.

Henri Simon's reactions on the Paris attacks and the reactions to it. - "About Charlie"

edit: D'oh! Roland Simon, not Henri Simon. h/t Spikeymikey

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Jan 21 2015 16:25

Wow.

Empowered is definitely not the word I would use.

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Jan 21 2015 16:41

Mr Jolly, if threatened isn’t the right word, what is?

I don’t know why you personally would feel threatened by intersectionality, or people discussing it, but it seems from your posts that you have a knee-jerk negative reaction.

Anyway, I probably have overstepped the derail line, so enough from me.

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Jan 21 2015 17:00
commieprincess wrote:
Mr Jolly, if threatened isn’t the right word, what is?

I don’t know why you personally would feel threatened by intersectionality, or people discussing it, but it seems from your posts that you have a knee-jerk negative reaction.

Anyway, I probably have overstepped the derail line, so enough from me.

I can be critical of something, without feeling threatened, no? I mean its not as if I have to hold onto anything power wise, I don't hold power, I have no real influence over people lives (except once when I had power of attorney) beyond one would guess the ebbs and flows of micro power dynamics of personal relationships. What do I have to lose?

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Jan 21 2015 17:03

ocelot,

Roland Simon's related text is not an easy read but certainly makes some interesting observations. It might read better in French and ring more bells with radical Pariseans than the rest of us I suspect. I note that some of the fleeting references to it's underlying theoretical foundations are the same as in their text here on the PKK and the Kurdish issue that I recomended but you did not comment on and I wonder/doubt if you actually agree with them on those 'foundations'.

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Jan 21 2015 17:03
Mr. Jolly wrote:
commieprincess wrote:
Mr Jolly, if threatened isn’t the right word, what is?

I don’t know why you personally would feel threatened by intersectionality, or people discussing it, but it seems from your posts that you have a knee-jerk negative reaction.

Anyway, I probably have overstepped the derail line, so enough from me.

I can be critical of something, without feeling threatened, no? I mean its not as if I have to hold onto anything power wise, I don't hold power, I have no real influence over people lives (except once when I had power of attorney) beyond one would guess the ebbs and flows of micro power dynamics of personal relationships. What do I have to lose?

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Jan 21 2015 17:21

Yes I seem to have gone a bit ranty.

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Jan 21 2015 17:49

Ranty? My go now grin

commieprincess wrote:
Anyway, I probably have overstepped the derail line, so enough from me.

Except you haven't derailed the thread. You've employed a poor argumentative technique, which attacks the person rather than what they are saying. Ocelot has argued similarly by suggesting that anyone disagreeing with him/her is possibly a misogynist, anti-muslim (with all the racist implications of such a throwaway comment). Maybe we should go back to just calling each other 'trot', 'petty bourgeois', or 'you massive cock' instead wink

Anyway, when challenged, Ocelot then tells us that we are derailing the thread and,

ocelot wrote:
By all means start a new thread on "Paris attacks and Intersectionality".

Now while this is not a thread about intersectionality, intersectionality has been central to the views of certain contributors. Throughout this discussion, Ocelot (and correct me if I'm wrong, Ocelot) has argued the position that while we might criticise 'islamism', we should not criticise islam as it would be seen as attacking an oppressed group (muslims), that it would play into the hands of the right/far-right, and that anyone who has a beef with islam is actually conflating islam with islamism and/or is possibly a bit racist.

All this intersectional juggling serves no purpose in terms of revolutionary politics, communism, furthering class struggle, etc. other than to obfuscate, demoralise and maybe engage in a spot of oppression olympics.

I don't have any answers to all this by the way, but if we are remotely interested in finding possible solutions to how we, as libertarian communists should respond to all this, then pussyfooting around oppressive aspects of religious belief, even if for the best intentions, does no good whatsoever.

By the way, Ocelot, if I've misrepresented your views, feel free to call me a massive cock, but please lay off the anti-muslim slurs.

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Jan 21 2015 18:34

Serge, it obviously is a derail, but if no-one's bothered by it, then I guess that's not a problem.

I'm not sure how I attacked you as a person? I actually had no beef with your response to JK and No1s posts - only thought you were a bit over-defensive by saying how deeply you've thought about intersectionality. Other than that, I had no big problem with the rest of it.

I'm sorry my arguing technique doesn't live up to your criteria.

Mr Jolly, I'm not saying you have special white-man-super-powers, but like you say, there are those low-level, every day things you don't have to worry about because of your white-man-ness. This is purely anecdotal, but when I've been in a situation where low level stuff occurs, like men interrupt women, dominate meetings etc and I or someone else has challenged it, 9/10 times, the reaction has been defensive and all the classics come out about how shit privilege politics/identity politics/intersectionality/blah blah are.

I certainly find lots of faults with these things, but basically it's just bloody exhausting and disheartening to have to deal with that stuff, and focus on the shit bits... My dinner is ready, so I'm gonna have to leave this a bit unfinished.

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Jan 21 2015 22:03

I think those who regard CH's selected and selective attacks as somehow expressing an emancipatory impulse are putting themselves, and us on.

I think it gets one into that famous trick bag where the French state, in banning a head scarf or a veil, is viewed as defending secular, republican values, rather than targeting a section of the population for.....further targeting.

Does anybody here remember Laura Bush, then first lady of the then US Bomber-In-Chief, defending the invasion of Afghanistan for the positive impact it has on women's rights?

Hell, there's a whole school of wing-nut "Marxist" formalists, who thing the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the threatened attacks on Iran represent the emergence of another great wave of the bourgeois republican revolution; designed to break the middle east free of "feudal chains."

There's a long and ignorant tradition of that-- of ignorance, and prejudice riding in under the guise of "progress;" of secular-ism; of "republican values."

Why old Fred Engels himself praised the US's attack on Mexico in 1846, convinced as he was that the Yankee capitalists would drag Mexico out of the swamp of the Spanish conquest, and into the republican value of bourgeois property.

Of course the fact that the war was fought for the benefit of the South and slavery-- that's a mere technicality

While CH may not have adapted everyone one of those positions, CH was most definitely in that tradition; that ignorant tradition that serves power under the pretense of emancipation.

The point being what was being attacked by CH is not the oppressiveness of all religion as religion; what's being attacked is not even a single religion on the basis of the oppressiveness it shares with all religion.

What is being attacked is a sector of the population that has already been "kettled" so to speak, separated, subjected to discriminatory treatment (Q: What portion of the French population is three generations or less removed from North Africa/Africa? Next Q: What portion of the prison population traces itself to North Africa/Africa?) through the proxy of religion.

So it's Muslims in France. And in Greece and Spain it's immigrant labor. But what's hidden under the guise of attacking the oppressiveness of religion, or"preserving" the "national wage/living standard," are the capitalist attacks on the ability of the working class, as a class, to represent the interests of all the poor and oppressed in, and as, itself. That's precisely what CH did.

factvalue
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Jan 21 2015 23:11

I am not in a position to pronounce on PT etc. without going into my anecdotage but I can remember at least as many women interrupting men as I can men interrupting women, in or out of meetings so does anyone have any sources of hard data on things like this, or meta-studies on things like the methodology used to calculate stats on domestic violence or the gender pay gap etc.? I've been curious about this since finding out that the CIA funded Ms Magazine, which led me to wonder about why the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations fund so many departments of "Womens' Studies" like the institute that awarded Ursula Le Guin a prize a few years back?

I'm of course aware that this sounds like desperate words from a desperate privileged white man but is it really out of the question that misandry might be a tool for weakening class struggle? Can comrades suggest any well-documented material on this beyond anecdote and knee-jerk and/or conspiraloonery, on the sort of level of approach taken in this piece?

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Jan 21 2015 23:14

Now that's a derail! grin

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Jan 21 2015 23:19

factvalue
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Jan 21 2015 23:25

Nah, just a bit of contrapuntal - come on Sergey, get with the beat!

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Jan 22 2015 00:21
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And guess what, they HAVE thought about intersectionality and decided any mention of it deserves groans and eye-rolling and 'oh fucking christ not this' etc.

I don't think that Petey can at all be grouped in with what Serge and Jolly were saying, he was commenting on something No.1's (extreme) misinterpretation.

This is one of those situations where I would employ a down vote, rather than typing all this out. It isn't good manners at all ascribe things to people that they are not trying to say, I have spent enough time on this site to know that everyone has an adequate reading comprehension level, I have to assume it's dishonesty/rhetoric. The same goes for No.1's

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I'm sorry but criticising women for being educated and expressing political ideas sounds pretty bad and in tune with some very old traditions.

To which I can find no other reference to in the thread. Anyway, I hope these aren't seen as personal attacks or anything, I'm just trying to express myself without the ambiguity of the voting system (which I like).

While we're at it, can S. Artesian or Ocelot (I gather they are saying somewhat the same things) express whether they think that CH were trying, like conspiratorially, to do what you say they were doing with their cartoons, if it is an inescapable aspect of satirizing certain groups etc.

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Jan 22 2015 07:41
Spikymike wrote:
ocelot,

Roland Simon's related text is not an easy read but certainly makes some interesting observations. It might read better in French and ring more bells with radical Pariseans than the rest of us I suspect. I note that some of the fleeting references to it's underlying theoretical foundations are the same as in their text here on the PKK and the Kurdish issue that I recomended but you did not comment on and I wonder/doubt if you actually agree with them on those 'foundations'.

Spikymike, are you able to pass on a link to the Roland Simon/TC text on the PKK? I've clearly missed it what with all the mammoth threads on the topic of late!

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Jan 22 2015 10:00

Spass...

Well you have caught me out as on checking I realise my mistake was in confusing the 'End Notes' republished text from another source that you have already noted with the TC text, though if you read both do they not in fact have some clear similarities in their underlying theory?

So apologies also to ocelot though I might ask the same question.

Put it down to old age and tiredness - I should have double-checked before posting.

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Jan 22 2015 12:23
Spikymike wrote:
ocelot,

Roland Simon's related text is not an easy read but certainly makes some interesting observations. It might read better in French and ring more bells with radical Pariseans than the rest of us I suspect. I note that some of the fleeting references to it's underlying theoretical foundations are the same as in their text here on the PKK and the Kurdish issue that I recomended but you did not comment on and I wonder/doubt if you actually agree with them on those 'foundations'.

I missed the link when you last posted it. Which thread was it in?

edit: damn should have read the whole thread first - duplicate of Spassmachine's query. Anyway, whatever article it was, link please?

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Jan 22 2015 12:31

Factvalue

Quote:
does anyone have any sources of hard data on things like this, or meta-studies on things like the methodology used to calculate stats on domestic violence or the gender pay gap etc.? I

Yes. Dale Spender - Man Made Language (1980) and multiple subsequent studies, which i don't have time to google before going to work.
This guy pretty much nails the Rockerfeller-feminist connection -
http://www.savethemales.ca/001904.html

You know misandry isn't really a thing, don't you? However, if it makes the guys feel a little bit better for having to listen to women a bit more often, well go for it.

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Jan 22 2015 13:24

Kimberly Crenshaw is in one of those elite yank secret societies though...

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Jan 22 2015 15:38

(*sigh*)

Serge Forward wrote:
Anyway, when challenged, Ocelot then tells us that we are derailing the thread and,

ocelot wrote:
By all means start a new thread on "Paris attacks and Intersectionality".

Now while this is not a thread about intersectionality, intersectionality has been central to the views of certain contributors.

Actually Serge, the first people to bring up intersectionality were yourself and Jolly doing your Waldorf and Statler act (although the muppets were funnier) back in comments 174 - 177 where you indulge in a good bit of mutual indignation frottage over the issue. Much to general indifference.

Then it pretty much went quiet until JK made his (imo) well crafted crack back there a bit ago. To which you responded with good humour (kudos) but Jolly took the opportunity to be, as usual, a complete dick. Which elicited my sarcastic response. For which I am guilty for feeding the troll, which is why I stopped myself going any further down this particular derail. However the derail continued anyway, so, seeing as you insist...

Serge Forward wrote:
Throughout this discussion, Ocelot (and correct me if I'm wrong, Ocelot) has argued the position that while we might criticise 'islamism', we should not criticise islam as it would be seen as attacking an oppressed group (muslims), that it would play into the hands of the right/far-right, and...

Well, that would be an approximation of what I said, once you filter out all of the associated theory that you either didn't understand or didn't like the look of (which appears to be ~90% of what I wrote, but whatever...)

Serge Forward wrote:
...that anyone who has a beef with islam is actually conflating islam with islamism and/or is possibly a bit racist.

And here I will correct you, because, even with the benefit of your restrictive ideological blinkers, I responded to a version of this question from Shorty above, quite explicitly.

It is not the case that anyone with a beef with Islam is conflating Islam with islamism. However, certain "beefs", like the regular twitter bollocks from Dawkins for e.g., does do this.

Some != all.

I also made the case that Mansoor Hekmat and his epigones in the WCPI (and various fractions) also put forwards a discourse that amalgamates the two*. Ditto the Manifeste des Douze (and the ever-obnoxious BHL, anyone associating themselves with that fumier is obviously a wrong-un, imo).

But let's get back to the intersectionality question, seeing as we must (apparently)

Serge Forward wrote:
All this intersectional juggling serves no purpose in terms of revolutionary politics, communism, furthering class struggle, etc. other than to obfuscate, demoralise and maybe engage in a spot of oppression olympics.

In addition to the "oppression olympics" reference, I'll also refer back to some of your previous comments about intersectionality being indistinguishable from "right on politics" of "identity politics 2.0" and (haven't found the reference) the association between intersectionality and privilege theory or PT.

I too am old enough to remember the "right on", "hierarchy of oppressions" politics of the 1980s. From your references I take it you see intersectionality as just a case of "old beer in new bottles". This is where I think you have fallen into the common bad habit of older activists of assuming that time is circular and that there's "nothing new under the sun". Thus, combined with the common problem of "pattern bias", new political tendencies tend to be examined one-sidedly for their similarities to previous ones. In itself there's nothing wrong with this. The problem is not also examining new movements for what is different to previous ones and then determining which differences are merely novelties of form, and which actual differences of content.

In your case this has lead to your conflating intersectionality with privilege theory, partly on the basis that there are already ignorant adherents that also do so, but mostly because privilege theory looks most like the hierarchical oppression identity politics of the 1980s that you're already familiar with.

Dispensing with this error can be done via the example of this thread. Given that racism is at the core of the discussion - where did privilege theory come from? From a liberal bastardisation and extension of the (already fatally flawed) US Maoist theory of "white skin privilege". White skin privilege remains, then, the centre of privilege theory's attempt to get to grips with racism. From which all other aspects must be formulated as extensions of this central concept. We've already talked about the inherent US-centric (even colonial, to use the "c-word") conceit behind trying to extend the particularities of US racism to the status of globalised explainer of racism everywhere. But, in relation to this thread, the concepts I have been putting forwards here re racism - the distinction between biological and ethno-cultural racism, the parallels with the Marx-Bauer debate around the antisemitism of the 1840s, the specifically liberal form of ethno-cultural racism, the attendant liberal prejudice that only biological racism is "real racism" - can only be seen (especially the last point) as being diametrically opposed to privilege theory's approach to racism in particular, and by extension the whole framework generally.

So, if I accept, with caveats (i.e. that we obviously understand entirely different things by the term) that, even without explicit mention, that my approach, implicitly founded as it is in considering racism in the context of its interactions with class, state power, nationalism and liberal ideology, can be described as intersectional. Yet it is fundamentally opposed to privilege theory on racism, and therefore your identification of the two, brought upon by false analogy with the politics of the 1980s, is clearly wrong in this case.

There's more that I could say, but best not prolong an already long post.

---
* They also curiously, follow Iranian mullahs in dealing with the Sunni/Shia sectarian divide by basically trying to pretend that it doesn't exist. Given the appalling sectarian slaughter in Syria and tensions elsewhere, it would be great if this fantasy were true, but wishing it were so does not really confront the concrete problems of competing islamisms by subsuming it under the myth of a non-existing united Islamic abstraction. But that's another story...

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Jan 22 2015 16:38

That's a long post, Ocelot, which I've only had a quick skim through but I'll read it properly in a bit. But prima facie (er, excuse my latin):

Quote:
(*sigh*)

Bad sign, that.

Quote:
doing your Waldorf and Statler act

Like grin

Quote:
you indulge in a good bit of mutual indignation frottage

Really like and I'm now left wondering if that means I've scored with Mr Jolly wink

Anyway, the rest looks interesting and I really appreciate you taking the time to write all that, you have far more patience (or attention span) than I will ever have. I'll respond to it later.

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Jan 22 2015 17:05

Okay, I've read it in more detail now, Ocelot. Aside from your occasional sneaky digs (no hard feelings over that, though, because I'm prone to giving out the odd sneaky dig myself) I don't disagree with a fair number of the things you say. You make some really interesting points about the history of PT and clearly separate it off from intersectionality, something that I don't always do, often tending to clump them both together as one bad joblot. Fair play, although I am still not convinced about intersectionality.

I don't honestly know enough about Hekmat and the WCPI so can't really say owt else.

More on topic, on the criticising islam (or not) discussion:

Quote:
Well, that would be an approximation of what I said, once you filter out all of the associated theory that you either didn't understand or didn't like the look of (which appears to be ~90% of what I wrote, but whatever...)

Fair fucks, then. Like I said, I wasn't aiming to misrepresent and you have quite rightly corrected me. And though I understand your position, and fair doos to you for trying, I still have to disagree with you.

Right then, can we be friends now? smile

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Jan 22 2015 18:36
Quote:
In your case this has lead to your conflating intersectionality with privilege theory, partly on the basis that there are already ignorant adherents that also do so, but mostly because privilege theory looks most like the hierarchical oppression identity politics of the 1980s that you're already familiar with.

I for one would not have a problem if Intersectionality was understood and practiced in terms you outline. But thats the problem, practitioners are all over the place, they conflate intersectionality, privilege theory and identity politics, they do behave like the maoists you mention, indulging in a kneejerk hierarchy of oppression and victimhood rhetoric. Its not that intersectionality that is wrong per se, as a theory, its an exercise in stating the bleeding obvious. Its how its applied by the laity, how it functions that is significant. Which on the ground is indistinguishable from privilege theory in my experience.

factvalue
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Jan 22 2015 19:37

Fleur

Thanks Fleur but I was hoping for some data if you have time and can be bothered, I’m interested in forming my own opinions and I don’t like the feeling of being confined to a dogmatic regulatory system of acceptable thought and behaviour when it comes to important issues of liberation. The Dale Spender book looks interesting though so I’ll give it a go, thanks for that. This quotation from its introduction seems apt:

“This is a perfectly understandable reaction, for when a society has developed a particular pattern for meaning, those who do not abide by it are being unreasonable - in its terms. But unless that pattern for meaning is infallible (and there is considerable evidence that it is not, given that meaning changes not just from one society to another, but within one society over time) then the flaw may be in the pattern itself, and not in those who protest. If patriarchal order can be shown to be unreasonable, then those who are attempting to dismantle it are behaving in an eminently reasonable fashion.”

On the subject of misandry I’m not sure what you mean by misandry not being a ‘thing’. For example, when introducing and defining ‘patriarchy’ in this same introductory chapter, Spender writes “With Mary Daly, I agree that 'patriarchy appears to be everywhere'.” Daly was once interviewed about her book Quintessence by Catherine Madsen. In her book, Daly describes a utopian future world without patriarchy. Madsen said to Daly, "The convenient disappearance of the patriarchs, and of males generally, just doesn't strike me as sufficiently credible to give hope." The interview next touches on Madsen's use of the word "convenient" and continues:

MD: But -- but why not? I mean, what it does is examine possibilities and new avenues of thought.

CM: Well, why not is because of so many attempts at conveniently disappearing other populations in the twentieth century.

MD: Well, I'm not disappearing them. It's just a possibility. It would be a wonderful one to me. Let it happen. Do you see any other way that patriarchy will disappear?

Perhaps it doesn’t qualify as misandry - I await your clarification on that - but if Daly sees the elimination of "males generally" as "wonderful" and the only way to end "patriarchy," is this not at least a “thing”? In the introduction to the interview, Madsen writes, "She [Mary Daly] is a proponent of parthenogenesis [reproduction from an ovum without fertilization by a male], in both its physical and intellectual forms -- the creation of 'unfathered works.'" When she was sacked for refusing to admit men to her class at Boston College, was her reason unconnected with her views?

Daly was also interviewed in 2010:

WIE: Which brings us to another question I wanted to ask you. Sally Miller Gearhart, in her article "The Future—If There Is One—Is Female" writes: "At least three further requirements supplement the strategies of environmentalists if we were to create and preserve a less violent world. 1) Every culture must begin to affirm the female future. 2) Species responsibility must be returned to women in every culture. 3) The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately ten percent of the human race." What do you think about this statement?

MD: I think it's not a bad idea at all. If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males. People are afraid to say that kind of stuff anymore.

WIE: Yes. I find myself now thinking that's a bit shocking.

MD: Well, it's shocking that it would be shocking.

WIE: So it doesn't sound like your vision of a separate nation for women is something you see as an interim stage that would eventually lead to men and women living together in true equality.

MD: No. That's a very old question. I answered that to audiences twenty-five, thirty years ago. I just don't think that way.

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Jan 22 2015 20:12

But Mary Daly is a completely different writer to Dale Spender, I don't think you can discredit Dale Spender's research just by a short mention of agreeing with the statement "patriarchy appears to be everywhere" which is something loads of feminists would agree with, just talking about the pervasiveness of sexism really. I've read loads of Dale Spender's work and I've never seen anything suggesting she thinks anything remotely like what you are quoting Mary Daly saying.

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Jan 23 2015 07:08

factvalue, seconding fingers malone and also if you're that interested in stats on women being interrupted, you can do your own googling rather than making Fleur do all the legwork. Neither they nor anyone else is responsible to prove to you something that I can pretty confidently guarantee that 90% of women here have experienced. (Though Fleur's such a badass that it wouldn't surprise me if they do go off and find them and be like 'bam! Stats in your face!'.)

And while statistics are useful, maybe a less dick way to deal with this is to believe women when they say they're interrupted disproportionately, unless you have some strong evidence not to. And given you clearly haven't, then yeah, I'm telling you, women get interrupted more than men!

Also, finding quotes from a woman who'd prefer a world without men doesn't really tell us anything about anything. It definitely doesn't mean that 'misandry' is something that's worth worrying about - you can google some stats on violence against women, pay inequality etc and then decide if this woman's comments are really a major problem in the grand scheme of things.