admin: text removed from the library and moved to the forums. Here is the introduction which was given to the text when it was posted by Samotnaf. Below in the comments is the discussion with users which led us to read and remove this text.
The following text was originally published in 1977 by the French group "La Guerre Sociale" as "Misere du feminisme" by Dominique Karamazov (translated in 1998 by Elephant Editions, London). It analyses how feminism, despite its emancipatory airs, has become the guardian of traditional feminine alienation, how feminism became a falsified representation, accomplished by capital, of a real movement. Its real and positive role, like that of ecology, is that it brings problems to light, albeit in a disguised or inverted way. It is up to the revolutionary movement and to theoretical quest to discover their true dimension and resolution.
Endangered Phoenix republish the text here as it is the most intelligent discussion of feminism we have found; but obviously we do not endorse it uncritically. For example, it offers little in practical engagement with or solutions to the immediate real problems of women in this world; it is a little abstract and absolutist, too pure in its detachment. It remains the bearer of ultimate post-revolutionary solutions only. So, for instance, it rightly criticises the legalistic approach of much feminism in regard to rape, which mystifies the real root of the problem; it states its preference for the response of giving rapists a good kicking. But presumably the author would not condemn as ‘legalistic’ the legal defense of those who might be prosecuted for such an act. But the text does not really deal with these thorny contradictions of engagement with this world, or why reliance on legal methods are not a mere theoretical failure; they often seem the only practical, if partial, solution to fearful situations - although, in practice, very few rapes get taken to court, let alone successfully prosecuted, which shows the limitations of a legalistic approach even in its own terms. However, if recourse to the law seems to be the only solution, it's in part due to the fact that nowadays radical solutions are very rarely on people's minds. In the 70s, when this was written, women often thought of other ways of dealing with the problem: in Canada, for instance, there were groups of women who, if the rapist was known, would spray-paint their houses (an autonomous way of 'naming and shaming'), possibly thump them, or have the victim confront them backed by the group, often with the rapists' family and partners present. In Alexandra in South Africa in the mid-80s, community meetings would try the rapist and deal with him accordingly. One of the contradictions of the justification for imprisoning rapists not pointed out in this text is that imprisonment increases the chance of rape - on the prisoners by other prisoners, but probably most victims are understandably indifferent to such contradictions (whilst their silence about this contradiction is indicative of a moralistic hypocrisy).
The dialectic between necessary reformist demands, which appear in struggles and movements that have the potential to develop further, and ultimate revolutionary solutions remains largely unexplored. The text defines feminism in relation to capitalism, but does not deal adequately with its relation to the wider social movement of its times. The often brilliant discussion of desire and sexual relations is limited by its heterosexual angle – the gay perspective doesn’t get a look in (though obviously gay roles are determined by this society just as much as heterosexual ones). But it does deal well with many issues ignored or repressed by feminist ideology.
So I noticed that you removed
So I noticed that you removed the direct access to the recent PDF-file (although you didn't delete the file from the servers) of the above text because of my previous comment, but I would like to ask what motivation the admin originally had for posting a so-called brocialist propaganda writing full of mansplaining hate-speech from the 1970's of France. The author has obviously completely misunderstood what feminism is about and goes to the extremes of defending rape as a social phenomenon among miserable men - even characterizing it as an act of perversion, though it should be clear to everyone that rape is about power - not about sex.
Yes, it is indeed a controversial text - but that's only mildly spoken. I would definitely put a disclaimer on this to warn future readers, that the presence of the text is only for historical purposes, and that the LibCom team doesn't approve of the obscure and conservative, gender normative views, this author has or once had. The only thing to praise is how intelligently he wraps up his hatred against women in preassumed phrases about the passive and imagined 'nature' (what the fuck) of women of being house-keepers. That is misogynist as fuck!
Or else do we might as well expect texts on tribal anarchism and other bizarre 'perversions' of a pure working class ideology (as well as you clearly wouldn't post texts about other examples of fascism in disguise)? Just to make a comparison to how it feels reading this as an anarchist and feminist.
Hi Karmus, I'm one of the
Hi Karmus, I'm one of the admin team.
Libcom's content is largely user generated so this particular piece was uploaded by one of them (incidently, one who now hates us with all his being!). I haven't personally read the article and as it's really long I don't think I'll have time to; would you be willing to post up bits that you think are problematic/awful? That way the admins can discuss and decide what to do about it more quickly.
Thanks for flagging this up, either way..
Karmus wrote: So I noticed
hi, yes thanks for flagging this up, and on the other post. We unpublished the other one on seeing your comments but yes as Ed says, seeing how long it was we haven't had a chance to read through it yet. As for this post being here, I don't think any of us were even aware of it (if we were we would have deleted the repost as a duplicate immediately), as most of our content is user generated and we rely on other users to flag up any problematic texts in the comments or by email - so thanks again for doing this here! And yes if you could get us some key quotes or something to show the issues with it we will discuss internally and decide what to do
Thoughts from any other users who've read this would be appreciated too
Maybe this article can be
Maybe this article can be prefaced with a disclaimer that it is written by a rapey asshat who hates women and would rather we all just stayed in the kitchen...
For one thing, there's the victim blaming -
My bold, that rape expresses a fundamental need or that it's a response to female behaviour, something echoed elsewhere in the text -
Clearly this girl was asking for it.
Then there's the bit about women attracting the attention of men & being surprised about the consequences ie rape
To have access to a woman? Entitlement much. This man - and whoever thought this was a good piece to post needs to fuck right off, preferably to a cave all by himself.
TL: DR all this feminism getting uppity about rape is rooted in a deep and fundamental sexual repression. Women don't understand men. Boo hoo. After all, according to the author, it's on a par with getting your handbag snatched.
And then there's the anti-abortion stuff. This article is riddled with gender norms which belong in the nineteenth century. It must have been old fashioned even in the 70s.
Apparently if we all had optimum living conditions we'd be happy popping out as many babies as we can.
He doesn't want to touch a theological argument but then comes up with this
Sorry but I can't honestly be bothered to go through all of this and critique it. I don't want to waste my time re-reading something so awful. But it is awful and it either needs a strong disclaimer or just firing into the sun. And fwiw, I think angry, sexist men who think they have any worthy opinion to express about how women should react to rape or whether or not they have an abortion and feel the need to tone police women in any way about sexual assault or whether they should be happier and less sexually repressed fulfilling their lives according to this gender essentialist baloney, ought to take a trip to closely acquaint themselves with solar flares too.
I didn't read this as I
I didn't read this as I guessed it would be awful just from the title but Jesus fuck, the quotes highlighted by Fleur are just unbelievable. The dirty, sleazy yelpings of male failure to understand a single thing about misogyny. This stuff is bad enough from the knuckle headed dickwads I've had the misfortune to work on sites with over the years but to see it put in a properly written piece makes my toes curl.
Libcom is really in need of a
Libcom is really in need of a Worst of the Left section to put shit like this in.
Sike wrote: Libcom is really
one step ahead: https://libcom.org/tags/best-of-worst
this is an option we are currently discussing for this awful text
Have finally had some time to
Have finally had some time to read this article. Jesus it is absolutely appalling.
In addition to the terrible quotes pulled out by Fleur, this is another choice one:
Apart from the fact this is incredibly offensive, the maths are utterly stupid.
In the UK nowadays there are over 100,000 rapes every year. With life expectancy at around 80 years, you can see that over a lifetime a large number of people, overwhelmingly women, will be raped. In the US it's estimated that up to 20% of women have been raped at some point at least once. And if anything it is likely that the figures in France in the 70s would be even worse.
I do wonder why Samotnaf describes this as "the most intelligent discussion of feminism we have found"? Samotnaf still reads this site and sends people private messages so he is able to answer.
Edited to add, does anyone know who "Dominique Karamazov" really was? It's clearly a pseudonym, and doesn't seem to be credited with any other articles. I wonder if it is/was even a woman, or if a man just used a female pseudonym to cover for a misogynist article.
I think the intro text has a
I think the intro text has a misogynist feel to it as well, e.g. "feminism despite its emancipatory airs" - like it's about women who need to be put back in their place rather than have airs and graces. Was that written by samotnaf?
I don't know who the author
I don't know who the author is, but according to Amazon it was republished in English in 2003 by Elephant Editions (not sure who they are either). It's also cited approvingly in Lies Journal, and in Abolish Restaurants. Which is unexpected, given the quotes people are pulling out. Will try and make time to read it.
Apparently the supposed
Apparently the supposed writer (Dominique Karamazov = Dominique Blanc = Yann Berr Tillenon) is now a new-rightist Breton-nationalist druid... (see: http://www.vice.com/fr/read/extrmement--louest & http://www.kervreizh.eu/)
La Guerre Sociale included
La Guerre Sociale included Dauve, Guillaume, and some others.
Dominique Blanc wrote some well known texts
Dominique is a male name in
Dominique is a male name in French, so I'm guessing it's a man.
Joseph Kay wrote: I don't
That's really weird about Lies, as that's a Marxist feminist journal.
Where is it cited in Abolish Restaurants? Had a quick look through and couldn't find it.
Elephant Editions is an insurrectionist publishing outfit, involving Jean Weir, who translated the original. I thought that the main guy from Active Distribution was involved as well but this may be a mistake on my part.
Thanks for the clarification about the name Dominique, I should've realised that!
Steven. wrote: Where is it
The section 'coercion and competition' uses a quote from it as an epigraph (the quoted bit is fine out of context, but in the original context not so much).
Indeed a fine specimen of
Indeed a fine specimen of shitty French ultra-left "theory".
I received what is written
I received what is written below from Samotnaf about this text and spoke to him over the phone. He says that he wrote it yesterday and early today before some of the later posts were published. Apparently the bit in grey at the beginning was written by Elephant editions. This is a text I have not read properly yet so please do not shoot the messenger: I looked at the French original in a fairly haphazard way and should say that I found it more confusing than Samotnaf said it was and it is quite complex; personally I doubt if the people here who say they have read it have read it meticulously, because it is a great deal more ambiguous than they say it is.
By the way "Dominique" can be either masculine or feminine.
I have no interest in discussing this myself and told this to S . He suggested people send messages to him (SamFanto) if they wish to discuss it with him. But the text is no longer there. So now it seems nobody can even judge anything written about it from posters or from S. or from the introduction by Red Marriott and S because you have decided to take it off. And this is meant to be a “discussion”?
You can find the article, in
You can find the article, in its original form in La Guerre Sociale #2 (in French), here:
So I made the effort to read
So I made the effort to read the whole text and it was clearly included as a reference text in the libcom library with some justification subject to the 2 qualifying introductions with it's arguments for 'Communism as an attack on the roots of the family institution' and the harm inflicted on women, men and children, rather than it being limited to 'democratising that institution'. I would say that it is essentially a critique of a particular tendency in 1970's Feminism and in particular those leftist and reformist elements, rather than everything in feminism that is potentially subversive of capitalism. It suffers by way of exaggeration when trying to emphasise points and is certainly confused and confusing as it descends further into some questionable psychology but seems non-the-less to be an honest attempt to get to grips with some of the perceived contradictions in social and sexual relationships in modern capitalism and the often equally contradictory and limited efforts to respond to these. There are certainly some factual errors in it but I think some of the sentences that posters here have understandably objected to most are not so much expressions of the authors own personal views but taken in context are rather their understanding of common views of people at the time? Of course it may well be that the some of the authors own prejudices are also seeping through into the analysis but there is worthwhile material in there as well. Probably could have benefited from some detailed criticism back in 2009 though.
Basically, fuck off Samotnaf.
Basically, fuck off Samotnaf. I would suggest you go back to obsessing over the actions taken some years ago by little known academics and pursuing your guilt by association paranoia than defending this awful tripe. How belittling rape by comparing it to theft, whining about women putting the goods on show & then moaning about rape or writing all that anti-abortion shit is open to misreading is a little stretch. It's an appalling piece of writing and anyone who defends it is an appalling human being.
Nymphalis Antiopa wrote: I
Er not sure what you mean here. The introduction which was originally posted by Samotnaf is still included above, as is clearly explained. The rest of the text can be read easily elsewhere on the internet. So it looks like this is meant to be some sort of attack on us but I can't figure out what sort of evil scheme you're accusing us of.
Thanks to Samotnaf for responding with some explanation, although it does seem kind of pointless to send a post thread third-party rather than just posting it yourself, especially as you have done this on previous occasions as well, so it's not like you are maintaining principled nonparticipation on libcom…
I've got to go out but just wanted to quickly respond to a couple of things
you say it's a strange misreading, but can't you see how terrible those sections of the text are? I know you did put on an introduction which slightly criticised some elements of the text, but doesn't touch on the outright misogynist viewpoint of some of it.
That's very interesting, and what I wondered above.
On this, I don't know about "feminists", but I often see right-wingers, like anti-feminist Daily Mail types calling for this (it's true that some feminists may as well: feminism is such a broad term, much like "socialism", that you can find self-declared "feminists" calling for just about anything).
But regardless, rape isn't necessarily penetration by a penis, but is often by foreign objects.
It would be interesting to hear what Red thinks about the text.
Might have to read the text
Might have to read the text again. It certainly does ''belittle' rape in emphasising other of capitalism's brutalities, but not convinced it is 'anti-abortion', rather I think it was arguing for the material conditions that would allow women to make genuine choices as to whether or not to give birth or have an abortion - something debated in many feminist circles even if in terms of promoting other capitalist reforms in addition to access to 'free abortion on demand' rather than in favour of communism as a necessary solution.
I hadn't read it all the way
I hadn't read it all the way through by the time it was taken down, but I found it on line in about 5 seconds, so I don't think debate has really been stifled. I don't think anyone is making a deliberate or disingenuous misreading of it. I read it and I thought it was basically horrible.
My mum was involved in the
My mum was involved in the late seventies feminist campaigns for abortion on demand. They were constantly making demands for more nurseries, better housing, more money, more parks, better facilities for parents and children generally. Also, if you are unwillingly pregnant, full communism is unlikely to arrive before the due date.
fingers malone wrote: Also,
I think this is my favorite quote on libcom, ever
Steven. wrote: Thanks to
Does Samotnaf have his account blocked? I can't really tell.
Yes I think the 'Endangered
Yes I think the 'Endangered Phoenix' intro was particularly emphasising that it ''..offers little in practical engagement with or practical solutions to the immediate real problems of women in this world.'' (an understatement) or put another way the problem of communism being the best and only enduring solution to many of the interconnected problems we face in capitalism whilst seeming to recede into the distant future despite our everyday collective struggles to try and assert our human needs within the system. There is a connection between the two but this maybe only becomes apparent at the height of mass social struggles which surpass the sectional interests and movements that comprise reformist political campaigning?
Long, dull and crappy point
Long, dull and crappy point of view.
I was disappointed to see this on prole.info without even a disclaimer.
I think the nearest thing to a reasonable critique of feminism seems to be that feminism cannot be accomplished via bourgeois means.(I think in general we can agree that this is incorrect. capitalism can provide equality for women, it won't but it technically could. ) and that trying to do so discourages people from being radical. But the article in general is awful.
I've taken a long quotation (some of which was quoted above.)
So we have a complaint about the use of the courts, I can see the point but I do wonder if they'd say the same about workers accepting money, or signing contracts etc.
"anti-male hysteria" well already I think the actual problem is rearing its head.
This is about women doing feminism wrong ("Not all feminists share such understanding") and targeting men.
Then we have the so-called bullying of a judge who refused to sentence a rapist (possibly a statutory rapist, but if you're writing the onus is on you to express things) and in this case again, would he complain that workers who picketed for unpaid wages were "enriching" the system?
Rape expressed as extreme physical violence involving strangers, another problematic view.
It's not quoted here but looking for a full version I saw the first page in French, accusing feminists of trying to use rape to repress natural male desire 'just like society'.
This is such a completely awful approach that can only see feminism as targeting men and as someting not to be entrusted to women. I hope no one else bothers to read this rubbish. There's a bunch more awful stuff in the quotation but I really feel that this is enough. To be honest I didn't need to weigh in, this was such an obviously poor text.
Samotnaf's account is not how
Samotnaf's account is not how I remember the text was dealt with - I don't even remember reading this text. According to him it was put on Endangered Pheonix towards the end of that site when there were a lot of 'communication problems' between us. It's tempting to say 'it's shit and I had zilch to do with it' and I've had a look at my files and e-mails and haven't found any reference to it; but I can't factually say for sure that he's playing similar games with the history of this text as he still does with his various libcom alter-egos, claimed 3rd parties etc for his expressions on here. All I can say is I don't find his version of events always reliable. But the intro doesn't look to me like my style of writing and I don't recognise it. Regardless, although I didn't post it here and the criticisms appear valid, in general I don't have a problem with putting online or publishing articles that one doesn't wholly agree with if they have some interesting points - as we've seen, people are free to criticise.
Thanks for that, Red. TBH it
Thanks for that, Red. TBH it didn't seem like your writing style or your perspective, although it did look like Samotnaf was trying to put the responsibility for hosting it entirely on you essentially. And yes I agree that there can be good justification for hosting texts you disagree with (we do quite a lot)
No he doesn't. He asked us to ban him but we did not (although we were subsequently attacked by some other people claiming that we ban and censor all of our critics). As Red hints, I suspect that the account/s which post comments saying they are indirectly from Samotnaf may be posted directly by him. There is also at least one other user account which occasionally pops up on threads related to Samotnaf and his pet peeves who also has the exact same writing style as Samotnaf…
Quote: I suspect that the
If this is about me I must set you straight: I am not Samotnaf. But you will believe what you want to believe.