If someone says they’re a martian asexual monarcho-communist you can’t deny them that no matter how ridiculous you find it.
… do you understand anything about politics? like… is this all one big joke to you? or are you serious?
Some activists are interested in Community Accountability processes primarily as a rejection of the criminal legal system. “Not calling the cops” becomes a litmus test for radical realness. Community Accountability processes are rarely convened to address late rent payments, someone driving drunk, stealing or other such harms. Instead, these processes have been applied almost exclusively to “gendered” violence: sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, domestic violence. The mix of Community Accountability as a rejection of the criminal legal system and as a test of realness has at least two significant consequences: it creates the false idea that we can eliminate the harms of the criminal legal system through Community Accountability, and it requires women to bear the brunt of the Community Accountability learning curve.
Connie Burk, Think. Re-think: Accountable Communities. From The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities (2011), ed. by Ching-In Chen, Jai Dulani, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.
The early 1990s was a heyday of curiosity about masculinity and what makes males tick – and no one was more intrigued than the men themselves, at least the minority trying gently to nudge aside their macho chauvinist alter ego to find the egalitarian him inside.
In the autumn of 1991, for instance, Achilles Heel, “the radical men’s magazine”, asked: “Male strippers, who’s teasing who?”. There was also a piece entitled “Bettering batterers?” on counselling for violent men and a meditation on the “The Wild Man: gospel or gobshite?” (Achilles Heel published by the Changing Men Publishing Collective had a northern bluntness; new man in a flat cap). The wild man, you might remember, was the creation of Robert Bly. In the book Iron John, he advocated that men should take to the woods, bang drums, sweat and rediscover their primitive masculinity. It featured in the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year.
An alleged male identity crisis was explored in a stream of books such as The End of Manhood by John Stoltenberg, Adam Jukes’s Why Men Hate Women and Lynne Segal’s Slow Motion, Changing Masculinities, Changing Men. All asked what it means to be a man in a time of great change for women. (Instead of one burden they were taking on two – home and paid work). In the mid 1990s, Richard Olivier, son of Laurence, declared: “We can’t see where we need to be until we’ve acknowledged where we are – in the middle of a huge cultural shift.” Michael Roper and John Tosh decided: “Masculinity is something that is never fully possessed but must be perpetually achieved, asserted and renegotiated.” And then, silence fell.
I am not actually being (entirely) sarcastic here; one small patch of the earth has been found where men are not getting paid as much as women for equivalent work, and an employment tribunal will hopefully fix that, so equality and justice will be served.
Radical feminists are not actually against equality, we just recognise it as a limited concept that doesn’t cover most of the causes of women’s oppression, and that liberation is a far more useful focus for radical feminist analysis and activity.
For example, we will have achieved equality when just as many men have eating disorders as women, but nobody will have been liberated from body-tyranny.
Also the fact that women can’t be equal with men in any meaningful way when women are not free from male violence. We have equality on paper, and sometimes that results in justice, but liberation is bigger than that.
I had formed an image that this man was not human, that he existed as a singular force of pure evil who somehow emerged from the ether. Something about his ability to weave together nouns, verbs and pronouns to form real, intelligible sentences forced a re-focus, one that required a look at the spectrum of men’s violence against women, and its relation to Bayley and the society from which he came. By insulating myself with the intellectually evasive dismissal of violent men as psychotic or sociopathic aberrations, I self-comforted by avoiding the more terrifying concept that violent men are socialised by the ingrained sexism and entrenched masculinity that permeates everything from our daily interactions all the way up to our highest institutions. Bayley’s appeal was dismissed, but I left court that day in a perpetual trauma-loop, knowing I needed to re-imagine the social, institutional and cultural context in which a man like Adrian Bayley exists.
The monster myth allows us to see public infractions on women’s sovereignty as minor, because the man committing the infraction is not a monster like Bayley. We see instances of this occur in bars when men become furious and verbally abusive to, or about, women who decline their attention. We see it on the street as groups of men shout comments, grab, grope and intimidate women with friends either ignoring or getting involved in the activity. We see it in male peer groups where rape-jokes and disrespectful attitudes towards women go uncontested. The monster myth creates the illusion that this is simply banter, and sexist horseplay. While most of us would never abide racist comments among a male peer-group, the trivialisation of men’s violence against women often remains a staple, invidious, and rather boring subject of mirth. We can either examine this by setting our standards against the monster-rapist, or by accepting that this behaviour intrinsically contributes to a culture in which rape and violence are allowed to exist.
The monster myth perpetuates a comforting lack of self-awareness. When I heard Bayley forming sentences in court, I froze because I’d been socialised to believe that men who rape are jabbering madmen, who wear tracksuit bottoms with dress shoes and knee-high socks. The only thing more disturbing than that paradigm is the fact that most rapists are normal guys, guys we might work beside or socialise with, our neighbours or even members of our family. Where men’s violence against women is normalised in our society, we often we compartmentalise it to fit our view of the victim. If a prostitute is raped or beaten, we may consider it an awful occupational hazard ‘given her line of work.’ We rarely think ‘she didn’t get beaten – somebody (i.e a man) beat her’. Her line of work is dangerous, but mainly because there are men who want to hurt women. If a husband batters his wife, we often unthinkingly put it down to socio-economic factors or alcohol and drugs rather than how men and boys are taught and socialised to be men and view women.
From Tom Meagher at the White Ribbon blog (it was reposted at CiF, where I saw it first, but why give a big media group extra clicks?)
I can sum up that entire blog(and the entire kink community) with one quote.
In fact, tonight I plan to step up the training. I plan on pushing you lil1 a little past the limits you think you have. I want to keep you guessing and to help break down the barriers of your body that keeps you from fully giving yourself. Until now I have been patient with you and have not caused you humiliation. But I know if I don’t push you a little, you will stay where you are and I can’t accept that for either of us.
How is that anything other than coercion? Take away the kinks and bdsm and that is an experience that every woman has at some point in their life. Men pushing and pushing women to go out of their comfort zone to please them. To try something new, despite not wanting to, because ‘it’ll be better for you! I’m only thinking of you!!!’
This disgusting community hides behind this idea of ‘consent for all’ but how much does consent mean when you’re manipulating people to thinking that it is for their own benefit, that they deserve and need humiliation and pain?
I have had two disastrous relationships with women who swore up and down that they were “submissive”, that they wanted someone else to take control and to set the rules. However, the reality was that they wanted to determine the rules, and any decision that did not agree with what they wanted was summarily rejected. Any attempt to assert authority was met with not only open resistance but surreptitious disobedience, passive-aggressive behavior, “non-arguing”, and even attempted recruitment of “allies” from among friends and family (who, sadly enough, did not have the maturity to say “It’s between you two.”). A constant response was generally to deride and insult any approach that was not one they had already predetermined as the one true way to do anything.
I’m sorry that happened to you. From your description, it does indeed sound pretty disastrous. It’s still a little mind boggling that it happened to you twice. Have you had any positive experiences with submissives in a D/s relationship yet?
But the subs are supposed to be the one in control goes the saying, right? Hahaha. They’re such liars. Fuck those people.
QotD: “they will sit quietly and listen to us, then take our words, our fears, our pain, and use it against us, manipulate us, and break us”
I have completely lost count of how many rapists & abusers have been outed on tumblr who have used social justice or feminism to get access to their victims. I really need people to stop denying the fact that men will do whatever it takes to gain access to women’s spaces, like running blogs calling out rape apology, teaching women’s studies classes, writing books on feminism, ect, in order to abuse women. Men who feel threatened by feminism will often express their anger towards feminists, whether by sending anon hate, threatening messages, calling you slurs, harassment, ect, however some men will take it further. There are men who will spend all their waking hours trying not only to put women “back in their place” but also remind women that we are never safe, we must always live in fear, because these men will find ways to get in to our safe spaces, they will sit quietly and listen to us, then take our words, our fears, our pain, and use it against us, manipulate us, and break us.