Feminism

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lucy82
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Jan 13 2005 15:51
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I suppose Ive lost scene credibility now

but on the plus side, you've gained a certain amount of notority.

don't see how this particular famous incident was anything to do with 'proving your a man' though... thats just saying that all violent incidents between men are based on machismo which is bollocks. in the macho "traits" v drink or drugs as a major factor in violent incidents i'd back drink or drugs anytime. The majority of violent crime is related to drink/drugs and women are equally as capable of kicking the shit out of someone when rat-arsed.

i'm having problems trying to fit the whole masculinity equates with etc. etc concept with the fact that girls beat up girls even when sober. is that cause they've been warped and twisted into apeing masculinity by reading too much porn?

wink

3rdseason
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Jan 13 2005 15:59

Yeah it wasnt to do with proving myself to be a man. I think strving to be macho is lame to the extreme..

Let see there was the time I went along with revol thinking I as a girl..

And the time I wore fairy wings..

And the time I baked cupcakes for all my housemates..

God I'm so ------ macho!! Grrrr!!!! :wink:

Garner
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Jan 13 2005 16:09
lucy82 wrote:
don't see how this particular famous incident was anything to do with 'proving your a man' though... thats just saying that all violent incidents between men are based on machismo which is bollocks. in the macho "traits" v drink or drugs as a major factor in violent incidents i'd back drink or drugs anytime. The majority of violent crime is related to drink/drugs and women are equally as capable of kicking the shit out of someone when rat-arsed.

Yeah but most(?) of us can get rat-arsed without feeling the slightest desire to kick the shit out of anyone as a result. Like with pretty much any behaviour, there's always a combination of factors (in this case probably alcohol + machismo + testosterone + already being pissed off with the preachy christian).

Quote:
i'm having problems trying to fit the whole masculinity equates with etc. etc concept with the fact that girls beat up girls even when sober. is that cause they've been warped and twisted into apeing masculinity by reading too much porn?

Girls still beat up girls much less than guys beat up guys (or girls). It's not really useful to look at individual cases for this sort of thing (as with class) - it's all about general trends, i.e. statistics. You're always gonna get abberrations.

Mitch
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Jan 15 2005 16:09

I welcome this thread, as from my experience in Burnley with our anarchist group I think there is a real need to discuss sexism within anarchist networks, but also to define clearly what we mean by feminist as anarchists. My confrontation of this sexism in this Burnley group by the way was dismissed as petty and irrelevant.

I'd like to go back to Thora's comments about having mixed feelings about feminism, and about her and her friends not describing themselves as feminist. This isn't unusual among anarchist women I don't think now or in the past. Hardly surprising as the working class women of Mujeres Libres in Spain in the 1930s could see no connection between their everyday struggles and concerns with those of a middle class feminist movement, as now I see no connection between mine and my working class sisters experiences in Burnley and what I understand by feminism and a liberal/middle class feminist agenda which works within the system.

I would describe myself as an anarcho-feminist - but I'm clear on what I mean by feminist - there can be no free women within capitalism, I'm not free if my working class sister or brother round the corner is in chains, and feminism to me does not mean a replacement of male hierarchy with female hierarchy - the struggle is together and I would challenge all hierarchies as I have challenged separatist and liberal feminism and as I have challenged anarchist men in Burnley recently.

I would seize back the definition of feminism as this, and seen in this way is not anarchist feminist and vice versa?

As for practical tools moving forward I'd suggest this thread is a really useful start, but I would say to the anarchist men who have described themselves as feminist in this thread - where were you when a sexist comment appeared elsewhere in this forum. Where was your challenge and confrontation.

Also, I don't agree that we shouldn't discuss the personal as I see the personal as the everyday - and what people recognise as experience. One anarchist male said to me in Burnley, 'lets send Mitch in, she's got a pretty face'. Easy to challenge this ridiculous sexist comment, less easy to challenge the dismissal through irony (plenty of that on this forum), the refusal to engage in debate and the ignoring of our ideas or concerns by anarchist men. There is much work to do together!!

I'm fairly new to anarchism but what I have noticed amongst anarchist men who want to help me along my anarchist journey is a recommendation of reading around anarchist women like Lucy Parsons. Well, I have some issues around Lucy Parsons but that's another thread. I have found my own way and prefer to learn from working class anarchist women organising together, yet connected to a wider anarcho-syndicalist network.

Free Women of Spain by Marth Ackelsberg has given me much inspiration and many ideas recently, and the ideas of Mujeres Libres make sense to me and what I see in Burnley and Nelson.

I would welcome more personal experiences of my anarchist sisters in this thread, as is there not an urgency now to confront and be rid of sexism within the movement. This is what will 'appeal' to women, not irony and not talking shop theory. Theory disconnected from everyday experience will not lead to change.

I would have been very interested in that anarcho-feminist conference Thora, but did not get to hear about it in Nelson? If I thought the subject matter not applicable to the everyday experiences of me and my working class sisters in Burnley and Nelson then I would have welcomed a debate about it. I'd welcome many more anarchist women gatherings to discuss some of the issues faced within the movement. violet black star

Caiman del Barrio
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Jan 15 2005 18:00
revol68 wrote:
Quote:
One anarchist male said to me in Burnley, 'lets send Mitch in, she's got a pretty face'. Easy to challenge this ridiculous sexist comment, less easy to challenge the dismissal through irony (plenty of that on this forum), the refusal to engage in debate and the ignoring of our ideas or concerns by anarchist men. There is much work to do together!!

Well firstly I don't necessarily think that the comment is sexist especially not if it was self ware, for example me and my best friend always have a nightmare getting served at the bar (cos we're short arses) and I often joke with her to stick her tits out so we get served quicker. It's a joke and it works because it is based on a truth, it doesn't mean i support it rather just that it's noted, its also funny cos she dresses like a boy and tends to hide her breasts.

Now maybe the comment was sexist (i don't know enough of the context) and it depends on how he said it it also could have been the truth tho, maybe u do have a pretty face and maybe the rest of them looked like a bag of spuds, one thing i do know is that if i had been there it would have been me being sent in wink

Anyways I really haven't seen much sexism dressed up in irony on these boards, generally it is people using sexist assumptions in self ware ways ways in which actually serve to undermine it.

I fucking hate it when you're right.

Maybe peopel should differentiate between someone reflecting on a sexist society and actually supporting its continued existence??

Bread_and_Rose's
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Jan 15 2005 19:22

This is what annoys me about revol he seems to think that he can get away with making all sorts of dodgy comments then make one sensible right on post and all is forgiven, god bless his cotton socks he realy is just a little impish school boy, oh and am i the only one who has noticed how lucy82 is as much part of this dynamic as revol is, she really does act like his mother. Okay psychoanalysis over grin

If truth be told im very much on the backlash from feminism, well atleast what passes for feminism. Alot of white middle class woman sitting around pontificating on the "personal being political" and therefore justifying inane discussions aimed at policing people's subjective desires. As a 20 year old woman I don't feel very empowered when some po faced feminist starts explaining to me how my clothes and make up are reinforcing patriarchy, or how my kinky sexual practices are objectively fufilling male rape fantasies (and no you perverts im not going to go into detail tongue ).

Thora
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Jan 15 2005 20:40
Bread_and_Rose's wrote:
...pontificating on the "personal being political" and therefore justifying inane discussions aimed at policing people's subjective desires...

...how my kinky sexual practices are objectively fufilling male rape fantasies

I think this is quite an interesting point - is the personal political? Rape fantasies are pretty common among women, as is adopting a submissive sexual role. But is this reproducing/reinforcing patriarchy? Surely it says something about men who get sexual kicks from dominating or abusing women, and about women who enjoy that domination (even if completely consensual), despite clearly recognising and challenging patriarchy in other aspects of their lives... Maybe its a symptom of how psychologically damaging living under current conditions is, or maybe its harmless fun that has no wider implications. I'm kind of torn on the issue.

And I'm NOT a paedononce or a hussy goddamn it angry

Bread_and_Rose's
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Jan 15 2005 21:14

Well I wasn't actually talking about rape fantasies, but yes plenty of woman do fantasise about rape (and not just unelightened ones who have internalised patriarchial values roll eyes ).

The sexual games im talking about are more like role playing, I mean just cos an actor plays a villian doesn't mean that latently they want to go around shooting innocent people and burning down villages, likewise I might like to be tied up durng sex but I don't ever want to be actually kidnapped and tortured. Interestingly many men enjoy being dominated in bed of course some feminists point out that this is a reflection on existing gender relations and how men revel in the oppurtunity to give up control but only in an area as safe as the bedroom.

The real problem is that all our desires are socially constructed or at the very least experianced through a social prism therefore all our desires will be bound up in the current social system, attempts to move beyond these desires means really the surrendering of our desires and becoming some sort of nuns. For myself personally I fell it is much better and worthwhile to instead examine which social relations are hierachial and exploitative and deal with them rather than to constantly worrry whether being handcuffed and took firmly is reproducing the misery inflicted upon womanhood. I'm almost certain that a single mother struggling on benefits is not kept awake at night because my bum is being spanked. embarrassed

in love and rage,

for bread and rose's! :red:

Wayne
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Jan 15 2005 21:32
Quote:
I'm almost certain that a single mother struggling on benefits is not kept awake at night because my bum is being spanked.

No, though I may well be embarrassed

Seriously, can people stop making intelligent comments about gender and sexuality- it's breaking a long enrager tradition angry

Thora
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Jan 15 2005 21:32
Bread_and_Rose's wrote:
(and not just unelightened ones who have internalised patriarchial values roll eyes ).

Thanks for the patronising eye-rolling.

I wasn't suggesting that only "unenlightened" women enjoy submissive sex - in fact many women who are confident in their sexuality, aware of patriarchy etc are into roleplaying, S&M or whatever. It was more of a musing on whether people who politically reject patriarchy have to some extend internalised those values - can the personal really be separated from the political? I have no strong view either way, but its something I've often wondered about.

Bread_and_Rose's wrote:
The sexual games im talking about are more like role playing, I mean just cos an actor plays a villian doesn't mean that latently they want to go around shooting innocent people and burning down villages, likewise I might like to be tied up durng sex but I don't ever want to be actually kidnapped and tortured.

Obviously. I didn't realise I'd suggested otherwise.

lucy82
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Jan 16 2005 00:41

i admit immediatley i haven't read this thread cause ive just got back and i'm got to go to bed so i'm not addressing any other issues discussed but ....

Quote:
oh and am i the only one who has noticed how lucy82 is as much part of this dynamic as revol is, she really does act like his mother. Okay psychoanalysis over

Thanks for that, bread and roses.

is the dynamic between revol and myself actually that different from what happens betwen the men posting on this board? yes i do tell him to shut the fuck up and if you read any other old posts you'll find other people saying that too. and you'll also find that some people, including me sometimes think hes funny. so how does that make me, specifically, part of this dynamic rather than any other poster? its me, is it, that perpetuates the dynamic of blessing his impish irish cotton socks?

use your cod psychoanalysis on men and men relationships on this board and then tell me why how i speak to revol and he speaks to me is that different except that maybe i tell him to shut up more often. does that make me his mum?

I am older than most people on this board which is part of the joke. but i am interested in why you've picked on the lucy82 and revol68 for your analysis rather than any other relationship on this board. cause most of the other relationships are male/male maybe?

i really love being patronised. green manic face cause it makes it alright grin

and stop rolling your eyes at Thora cause i'm her mum

johno
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Jan 16 2005 01:44
Thora wrote:
Bread_and_Rose's wrote:
(and not just unelightened ones who have internalised patriarchial values roll eyes ).

Thanks for the patronising eye-rolling.

Yeah she’s like the female equivalent of sexer…sorry revol68…

Thora wrote:

It was more of a musing on whether people who politically reject patriarchy have to some extend internalised those values - can the personal really be separated from the political? I have no strong view either way, but its something I've often wondered about.

Yeah I think that’s really interesting. The contents of every thought, or belief etc etc that we can ever have must ultimately be shaped (or constructed) by our social environment. It is this context that gives meaning to (and directs) our predetermined drives (I’m trying to avoid saying natural urges…). These predetermined predispositions can therefore only be understood in terms of our abstract symbolic representations (primarily communicated via verbal meanings), which are not predetermined, but learnt (via cultural transmission), and superimposed upon innate tendencies. Anyhoooooows…..given that patriarchal values permeate every corner of society, these values must be internalised (or blindly accepted) to some degree. This does not preclude an appreciation and rejection of such values…but merely suggests that as our (western) world is so ingrained by these culturally shared (or prevailing) values it would be impossible to escape them completely… so i guess our behaviour might subtlety ( & unconsciously) conform to prevailing societal standards without a commitment to the belief...

Guess I’m not saying anything new here, but hey that’s my thoughts on the matter…..without actually saying anything concrete and lapsing into the abstract meaningless psychobabble that I’m prone to do… - see I’m even posting my thoughts on my thoughts on posting…and my thoughts on that too….and on and on…make it stop ….please…!

Mitch
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Jan 27 2005 13:10

Bloody hell, this thread seems to have burnt out, and it's gonna take me two days to take all these pages in and look up the big words in the dictionary! And suss whether I've had any urr Rape Fantasies recently - can't say I've had time.

For the moment, Mr Revolting, unfortunately my face is developing a rather yellow 'Burnley' palor, with a mottled effect due to the large number of fags I smoke. The incident I spoke about occurred in an anarchist meeting, in a context generally of my ideas and proposals being ignored by a bunch of talking shop fuckwit anarchist men, who come up with ideas but do and did bugger all to follow through.

And, you cheeky buggers, the generation thing about not getting the irony etc. is a well worn tactic. I would have burnt me biscuit long ago in Burnley had I not a thriving sense of humour, and a sense of irony - you idiot. But I'm interested in change and action as well - and as this thread seems to prove you can talk till the cows come home, with little change.

I've got better things to do than trawl through these forums looking for sexist comments, self-wanking or otherwise. You find um.

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Choccy
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Feb 2 2005 16:03
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
The whole document can be viewed at:

http://flag.blackened.net/infohub/organise/content.php?article.554

cheers that will actually come in reaqlly handy for my women's studies module!

sublimembject
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Feb 2 2005 17:08
Garner wrote:
I agree that we need to be careful about extrapolating from animals to humans, but we also need to bear in mind that humans are animals, and that we're a product of biological as well as cultural evolution.

But our biology is always expressed in a cultural context. There is no pure 'pre-social' human nature on the basis of which we can form generalisations such as 'men are more naturally prone to violence than women.'

Garner
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Feb 2 2005 17:48
sublimeobject wrote:
But our biology is always expressed in a cultural context. There is no pure 'pre-social' human nature on the basis of which we can form generalisations such as 'men are more naturally prone to violence than women.'

True.

But we can tentatively extrapolate certain things from our evolutionary history and from the obvious biological differences.

For example, the biological fact that if a woman gets pregnant she invests 9 months of gestation, plus breast-feeding, before she has a chance to get pregnant again. If a man gets a woman pregnant, he's invested some sperm. He can get another woman pregnant ten minutes later (obviously it's not quite that simple, but you get the idea - there's a huge asymmetry in resources invested). This has been the case for a couple of hundred million years of our evolutionary history. Does anyone seriously believe this wouldn't lead to the evolution of behavioural differences between men and women?

Obviously the cultural context has a massively important effect on how these differences are expressed, but I think it's very dangerous to assume we're blank slates that are entirely moulded by our socialisation. Just as dangerous as it is to assume that our biological predispositions are fixed and can't be affected at all by our socialisation.

Pepe
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Feb 2 2005 18:09
Garner wrote:
sublimeobject wrote:
Does anyone seriously believe this wouldn't lead to the evolution of behavioural differences between men and women?

Well..... yeah. It leads to different behaviour but why would that affect biological make up? Have I misunderstood?

Garner
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Feb 2 2005 18:18

Over long periods of evolutionary history, any genetic predispositions to those behavioural differences would be selected for and become part of our biological make-up.

AnarchoAl
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Feb 2 2005 19:00

But genes are enablers not limiters. You can have a genetic predisposition to something but that really means fuck all by the time you've been socialised, otherwise surely anthropology would easily identify genetic trends across disparate cultures.

The heart of the feminist critique has never been that nature is all, just that we can choose our behaviours and we should be choosing certain behaviours. Even Richard Dawkins' "Selfish Gene", which my philosophy tutors at uni seemed to regard as some monster of genetic determinism, postulates 'meme' theory, pointing out that social and personal factors can override what's best for our selfish genes- otherwise how would anyone ever use a condom?

Genes enable us to express behaviours but htey do not limit us to gender roles. They may predispose the sexes to different behaviours in some areas, but genetic predisposition is meaningless on a social scale. What scientists regard as the areas of predisposition seems to change with the social climate.

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Choccy
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Feb 2 2005 19:14
AnarchoAl wrote:
Even Richard Dawkins' "Selfish Gene", which my philosophy tutors at uni seemed to regard as some monster of genetic determinism, postulates 'meme' theory, pointing out that social and personal factors can override what's best for our selfish genes- otherwise how would anyone ever use a condom?

your tutors are full of shite. Dawkins often emphasizes that our dominant system of inheritance is cultural and social not biological, actually he talked about it in a recent BBC4 docu on him.

AnarchoAl
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Feb 2 2005 19:17

Yeah I know, the entire philosophy department at Glasgow Uni is off in a dream world. One of the reasons why I left )

Roll on college in autumn!

Garner
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Feb 3 2005 11:52
AnarchoAl wrote:
But genes are enablers not limiters. You can have a genetic predisposition to something but that really means fuck all by the time you've been socialised, otherwise surely anthropology would easily identify genetic trends across disparate cultures.

The heart of the feminist critique has never been that nature is all, just that we can choose our behaviours and we should be choosing certain behaviours. Even Richard Dawkins' "Selfish Gene", which my philosophy tutors at uni seemed to regard as some monster of genetic determinism, postulates 'meme' theory, pointing out that social and personal factors can override what's best for our selfish genes- otherwise how would anyone ever use a condom?

Genes enable us to express behaviours but htey do not limit us to gender roles. They may predispose the sexes to different behaviours in some areas, but genetic predisposition is meaningless on a social scale. What scientists regard as the areas of predisposition seems to change with the social climate.

Yup, that's about right. The only point I'd disagree on is where you write genetic predisposition off as meaningless. I think we need to have some of which directions those predispositions are pushing us in, because if we just ignore them they're liable to come back and bite us on the arse.