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'Anarchism and sex' article

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Grace
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Nov 27 2006 13:58
James Woolley wrote:
Grace wrote:
I dunno, a power balance solely in favour of women seems to me just as bad as a power balance solely in favour of men. Reversing roles won't solve the problem.

I was not suggesting a matriarchal society. All I was suggesting is female autonomy to counteract the patriarchal coersion that has hitherto occurred in society, and very much continues to do so.

Do you not think that women rejecting and excluding men in the same way that men themselves have historically done would result in something of a backlash? Anti-women's-autonomy if you will? Thus exacerbating the current gender divide, potentially undoing what good has been done by the feminist movement thus far?

James Woolley
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Nov 27 2006 18:00
Grace wrote:
Do you not think that women rejecting and excluding men in the same way that men themselves have historically done would result in something of a backlash? Anti-women's-autonomy if you will? Thus exacerbating the current gender divide, potentially undoing what good has been done by the feminist movement thus far?

I suppose so, but then I would say the balance is so far the other way that this is not a worry at the moment!
This is where I like to think the anarchist element comes in - just that long-distance goal to make sure the vision and principles do not get skewed.

Pepe
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Nov 27 2006 19:30

While we're on the subject of sex work:

The anarchist dominatrix that Organise! interviewed wrote:
Sex work, in one form or another, will always be around, it always has been, and it’s certainly not in any danger of disappearing – whether we live in a capitalist society or even in a moneyless anarchist society.

:?

arf
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Nov 27 2006 21:38
Grace wrote:
Do you not think that women rejecting and excluding men in the same way that men themselves have historically done would result in something of a backlash? Anti-women's-autonomy if you will? Thus exacerbating the current gender divide, potentially undoing what good has been done by the feminist movement thus far?

That assumes that women are starting from point zero, but radical feminists don't believe that they are.

Women are in a man's world. Everything is default male, language, religion, politics, family, history, philosophy, medicine, law, education, science, psychology, biology, economics, work, every part of our culture and our lives is defined from the male perspective. Women have yet to get to zero - which I guess would be the point where women are at least equal with unequal men. Until that point, women need to organise seperately in order to try and understand how all the above might be if they were focused on from women's perspective. I realise I'm not explaining this very well and I apologise, but I hope you can sort of see what I mean.

It's interesting to me that leftist men put up such a fight with feminists, when the feminists themselves would in most cases be more than happy to work, live and fight alongside (not behind or indeed under) the men. Who is really being divisive?

There's a thread here on white supremacy and red twister has written some extremely good posts there, and I think they are relevant also to this discussion. There is a lot of focus here on individual positions and they miss the big picture.

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 21:59
arf wrote:
That assumes that women are starting from point zero, but radical feminists don't believe that they are.

I don't think it does really, women wouldn't have to be at zero to try and exclude men in the ways suggested, and one doesn't have to be at zero to be driven back further into negatives.

Quote:
Women are in a man's world. Everything is default male, language, religion, politics, family, history, philosophy, medicine, law, education, science, psychology, biology, economics, work, every part of our culture and our lives is defined from the male perspective. Women have yet to get to zero - which I guess would be the point where women are at least equal with unequal men. Until that point, women need to organise seperately in order to try and understand how all the above might be if they were focused on from women's perspective. I realise I'm not explaining this very well and I apologise, but I hope you can sort of see what I mean.

Well, yes I suppose so. I still don't see why this necessitates excluding men though. Perhaps I'm just never going to understand this.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 22:05
Grace wrote:
Well, yes I suppose so. I still don't see why this necessitates excluding men though. Perhaps I'm just never going to understand this.

just imagine that men can't spell. there you go, easy.

Grace
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Nov 27 2006 22:08
Joseph K. wrote:
Grace wrote:
Well, yes I suppose so. I still don't see why this necessitates excluding men though. Perhaps I'm just never going to understand this.

just imagine that men can't spell. there you go, easy.

Shut up, I hate you.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 22:17

i've found a scab cool

arf
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Nov 27 2006 23:16

I don't know whether to laugh or guffaw. Your grasp on this issue would have to improve by 1000% to even be considered basic.

"Pish"? Sort it out, your privilege (note spelling) is showing.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 27 2006 23:25

cue 8 pages of vitriol ...


"duck and cover kids!"

lem
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Nov 28 2006 00:43

James: I don't think that its a problem that rad fems spread guilt. It was an attack on your character, and that you seem to have missed tha point of your own argument.

How can you say that the rad fem movement to men is equivalnt to the working class movement to capitalists, but that you are not oppressing women? Simple question. I think your desire to make the point, you chose the wrong analogy grin

Perhpas you meant to say this

Quote:
However, i still think such autonomous organising should network with other emancipatory organising, including men, as part of 'the real movement to abolish human domination'

I would imagine that the alternative won't annoy many people as much as it annoys me. I don't understand what this has got to do with communism. I was lead to believe, that socialization happens because the workers are a universal class, acting together world wide. You sem to believe that this is nonsense, and that communism occurs through lots of isolated groups acting against one-another.

Quote:
Your grasp on this issue would have to improve by 1000% to even be considered basic.

Ime, all the issues that are talked about on libcom are pretty basic. Otherwise how do you expect massive chunks of the population to agree, witout just lecturing them.

James Woolley
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Nov 28 2006 01:00
lem wrote:
You sem to believe that this is nonsense, and that communism occurs through lots of isolated groups acting against one-another.

It's quite amusing how people misread or don't bother reading at all my posts.
There is no reason why (working class) women should not join men in the class struggle in the context of the class struggle. But specifically radical feminist activism should be undertaken by all women whatever class.
TBH women of whatever class experience patriarchal oppression albeit in different ways.
I do find reconciling the issue of class/unity of women a hard issue to reconcile... unless middle class women became radicalised as well as working class women.

Ahh yes... and I did not say all men oppress women. So it's quite easy to avoid it. I am sorry if I give the 'holier than thou' vibe but then again I consciously avoided and grew an aversion to anything like the sexism I saw happening at school, and am very conscious about it...

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madashell
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Nov 28 2006 01:07
arf wrote:
your privilege (note spelling) is showing.

As a part-Irish spack, I have to wonder exactly what this privilege is.

Am I high enough on the hiearchy of oppression to get an answer?

James Woolley
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Nov 28 2006 01:23
madashell wrote:
arf wrote:
your privilege (note spelling) is showing.

As a part-Irish spack, I have to wonder exactly what this privilege is.

Am I high enough on the hiearchy of oppression to get an answer?

Tsk... anarchism forum...

lem
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Nov 28 2006 02:14
Quote:
in the same way the working class can't be helped by capitalists

Quote:
Ahh yes... and I did not say all men oppress women

So you can see my confusion.

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But specifically radical feminist activism should be undertaken by all women whatever class.

Which is anti-communism, isn't it, in the same way as national liberation struggles etc?

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 28 2006 06:48
James Woolley wrote:
But specifically radical feminist activism should be undertaken by all women whatever class.

what's radical about sweatshop workers organising with paris hilton and maggie thatcher based on their vaginal sisterhood? sounds like reactionary essentialism tbh, but maybe i'm missing the point? :?

Like i say i don't think you can neatly separate feminism from class struggle like that, or one day women are meant to be united with their bosses and the next day fighting them (and the radical feminists i've read - dalla costa, james, federici - tend to agree, even where they advocate women-only organising, it is on class lines too e.g. wages for housework whatever you think of it as a demand/tactic). It's not a case of 'class struggle first, feminism later' or vice-versa, the two are necessarily contiguous, intertwined moments of the struggle for human liberation, sometimes feminist struggles will have to be against men, including working class men, sometimes they will be united with men in the struggle not to be be the equals of unfree men. But class struggle doesn't stop for an essentialist love-in any more than the struggle against patriarchy can wait until 'after the revolution'.

ticking_fool
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Nov 28 2006 10:50

James Woolley - read something that's not fucking Dworkin or Jeffries for christ's sake. The sort of feminism that you're expounding exploded in a mess of bile, government grants and bigotry in the early eighties. It is wholly inadequate for any kind of broad struggle and inevitably collapses into elitist bullshit of one kind or another, which it has proved time and time again. Its apparent revival at the moment, whilst initially attractive to someone not knowing the history and dissatisfied with the way gender is dealt with in the broader anarchist/left mileu (which was me a year ago - check my post record if you want), is a profoundly retrograde step and is repeating the same pattern of twenty years ago almost step by step.

I suggest that you talk to queer and trans activists about exactly how supportive the 'sisterhood' has been over the years. If you're feeling very strong try wandering around this site (http://www.questioningtransgender.org/) and watch how radfem and bigotry hit each other in an ugly, ugly but very tight embrace.

Read up on wages for housework and the real problem of the intersection of gender and class, and realise just why so many feminists felt they had to reject radfem in order to move forward.

Try dipping in to sex positive feminism and realise that, actually, we're not talking about 'pimpettes', we're dealing with a whole range of opinion, the best of which is trying to deal with the genuine complexity of sex and gender, seeing oppression and liberation as multifaceted and difficult, not a matter for an elite sisterhood that knows better.

When you come back, and actually know what you're talking about, then you can say 'tsk...'.

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madashell
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Nov 28 2006 11:17
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To the extent to which the transgender politics include the insistence that transgender individuals be served by human services designed by and for women, to the exclusion of women themselves, and the extent to which transgender politics question our ability to say that there are two socially created classes of human, male and female, and that there are social, economic, and power differentials between these two classes that amount to the oppression and domination of one over the other, we must stand opposed to trans politics.

Holy fuck, that has to be the first time I've ever seen somebody actually, directly say that they're attacking queers because they don't fit into the writer's analysis very well.

I don't know whether to feel impressed or slightly nauseous.

ticking_fool
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Nov 28 2006 11:49

The moment I started finding all the radfem transphobic stuff was the moment I went 'ah, this really isn't for me', despite all the useful stuff there is to pull out of it. Talking to trans people who were around and politically active in the seventies and eighties you come across this incredible well of anger. The radfems really fucked these people over and they're still at it.

arf
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Nov 28 2006 12:03
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As for spelling well i'm afraid it is your privilege is showing, does my use of non standardised english offend you? Does language as it is spoken upset your delicate derriere or "arse" as we say. Do you often correct the natives on their poor grammar?

I'm not in the habit of correcting people's spelling, as it happens. But when you consistently misspell a word despite it being pointed out, by someone else i would add, it seems obvious that the misspelling is deliberate, a show of contempt for the idea behind the word.

All the stuff here about radical feminism is the same old rubbish i've seen pulled out time after time by people who don't know anything about it. It's not even worth my time to argue, knowing that tomorrow you'd just carry on repeating what would be disproved today.

Quote:
Holy fuck, that has to be the first time I've ever seen somebody actually, directly say that they're attacking queers because they don't fit into the writer's analysis very well.

It's interesting that you say that, because part of the argument against trans politics is that it is percieved to be an attack on lesbians and gay men.

Edited to add: many of the authors of the articles on the linked to website are in fact by radical lesbian feminists, which is sort of a branch of radical feminists, but ones for whom their sexuality and their sex class is a core part of their politics. The questioning of trans politics as a political theory is not based in homophobia, and I would have thought that the serious questioning and exploration of any brand of politics would be considered a valid and useful exercise.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 28 2006 12:06
arf wrote:
All the stuff here about radical feminism is the same old rubbish i've seen pulled out time after time by people who don't know anything about it.

quite sweeping really, do you have some kind of anecdote to back it up?

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 28 2006 12:08

grin

don't dis da piss mo fo angry

arf
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Nov 28 2006 12:12

I was referring to the word "privilege", but you carry on.

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madashell
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Nov 28 2006 12:12
arf wrote:
It's interesting that you say that, because part of the argument against trans politics is that it is percieved to be an attack on lesbians and gay men.

It's even more interesting that you call it "trans politics". Feel free to go fuck yourself any time.

arf
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Nov 28 2006 12:14

Trans politics and queer politics may be linked but they are not the same, just as radical feminism and seperatist feminism are linked but not the same.

Thora
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Nov 28 2006 12:17
madashell wrote:
arf wrote:
It's interesting that you say that, because part of the argument against trans politics is that it is percieved to be an attack on lesbians and gay men.

It's even more interesting that you call it "trans politics". Feel free to go fuck yourself any time.

What's the problem with 'trans politics'?

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madashell
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Nov 28 2006 12:18
Thora wrote:
What's the problem with 'trans politics'?

You mean besides the fact that it's a phrase used by some rad feminists to imply that transgender is a political position?

arf
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Nov 28 2006 12:23

It's also a phrase used by trans activists when discussing their political position.

ticking_fool
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Nov 28 2006 12:23
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It's not even worth my time to argue, knowing that tomorrow you'd just carry on repeating what would be disproved today.

Which seems to sum up your arguing style because you haven't defended a single thing you've said on the whole thread.

Quote:
The questioning of trans politics as a political theory is not based in homophobia, and I would have thought that the serious questioning and exploration of any brand of politics would be considered a valid and useful exercise.

You're letting your twitch show - no one's accused radfem of homophobia, we've accused it specifically of transphobia. And given that you're prepared to defend this as an 'exploration of trans politicics' (have you read The Transsexual Empire for fuck's sake?) let's see what else you're prepared to defend.

The exclusion of transwomen and transmen from women only spaces on the grounds that neither are 'women' - even when the argument for exclusing transwomen is that they're not socialised in the same way as WBW.

The exclusion of transpeople from Reclaim the Night marches despite the fact that transpeople face a significantly higher chance of rape and murder that WBW.

The exclusion of transwomen from rape and domestic violence crisis centres on the grounds that they're not really women.

And while we're at it, we'll throw in an example of radfem 'solidarity' as well: would you defend a violent attack on a lesbian BDSM club?

ticking_fool
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Nov 28 2006 12:29
revol68 wrote:
Yeah, I mean you could see lesbian seperatism as a radical attempt to maintain the hegemony of a two sex thesis.

Hadn't thought of that, but yeah you're right. Historically separatism came first and then the transphobia rose out of the attacks on 'traitors' (like gay men and lesbians who defended cottaging or BDSM), but certainly you can see it all as an attempt to preserve a position which doesn't make sense. This is the thing I hate - there is really good stuff to be pulled out of radfem, but it's all so tainted by this essentialist pseudo-totalitarian bullshit that it's really difficult to actually use any of it.