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Preview: Comments on burn the witches: Reply to Ladyfest discussion...

Comments on burn the witches: Reply to Ladyfest discussion...





Updated: 2017-10-29T00:52:45.870+01:00

 



I personally don't think fantasizing about an actu...

2007-04-29T04:13:00.000+01:00

I personally don't think fantasizing about an actual living or dead person and writing about it is inherently creepy. I don't personally see anything wrong with "And you know, if that guy were still breathing, I'd so shag him silly."

I do think the points about eroticizing innocence are interesting, though if all the people are innocent (I didn't read them carefully, as I find them really poorly written and "Nickly" as a nickname annoys me horribly) then I don't see a power dynamic there, I see an enjoyment of exploring together.



*raises hand* I'm also a Brit who missed the Manic...

2007-04-28T09:15:00.000+01:00

*raises hand* I'm also a Brit who missed the Manics reference, and god, I feel verrry squicked now. Squicked, and confused; eroticising-of-innocence aside, how can objectifying a dead man be classed as 'egalitarian'? I don't think I get how any real-person slash can be 'egalitarian', because it is just objectifying real, unconsenting (except, infamously, Franz Ferdinand) people; bringing dead people into it has a definite frisson of necrophilia. Where's the equality here? I guess there never is any equality between writer and character; I can maintain a 'whatever floats your boat' attitude to real-person slash, but if you're laying down rules about 'good' and 'bad' fantasies, I'm pretty confused about where it fits.



Verte, you're a Brit, how could you miss the Manic...

2007-04-28T08:28:00.000+01:00

Verte, you're a Brit, how could you miss the Manics reference!
I found the fact that she had them referring to each other as Teddy and Nickly particularly cringe-inducing. Anyone have a toothbrush handy?



"The way Heart freaked out over little light's "mo...

2007-04-28T07:48:00.000+01:00

"The way Heart freaked out over little light's "monstrous feminism" post made me think something very similar, about her and the people who were backing her up, anyway."
That was what started me on this train of thought, actually. The reaction was "this is our treehouse, you can't come in", but there was this underlying sense of feeling threatened and on the defensive. And then I started thinking, why are they so defensive? Why is opening the treehouse door and letting a few more people in such a scary thing?




2007-04-28T05:24:00.001+01:00

This comment has been removed by the author.



They thought that they had found a nice, comfy hom...

2007-04-28T05:24:00.000+01:00

They thought that they had found a nice, comfy home within feminism, within which nobody would ever disagree with or offend them again. They are realising that they were wrong, and they don't like it. I think that stuff like the workshop at Ladyfest is triggering a feeling that their place is being stolen from them.

The way Heart freaked out over little light's "monstrous feminism" post made me think something very similar, about her and the people who were backing her up, anyway.



Those stories are all about eroticising innocence....

2007-04-28T05:22:00.000+01:00

Those stories are all about eroticising innocence. Now, does anyone else here really think that eroticising sexual innocence/inexperience isn't all about power dynamics? Seriously?

yep. and frankly, it...squicks me out a tad.



The interesting thing is that I've never noticed t...

2007-04-27T17:30:00.000+01:00

The interesting thing is that I've never noticed this myself. I think that may be because I'm a woman, and the stereotype is that women are there to listen to people's minor emotional issues. So as soon as I say to a submissive guy "Boy, you seem annoyed/upset/whatever. Spill the beans. " it's like a sudden, relieved flood.



"Honestly sometimes i think that that is a key par...

2007-04-27T15:22:00.000+01:00

"Honestly sometimes i think that that is a key part of the rage some men have toward women: they feel cheated out of something they've been "promised." But it isn't just sex and it isn't even just status, although those get wrapped up in it as well."

YES. I think that's very much a part of it. They want that emotional support and don't realize that what many feminist women who critique that model *really* want is for everyone to give and get it.

It's interesting. I was at a MAsT meeting last night and the one gay male Master there mentioned that he found our group refreshing because the slaves (mostly straight women) expressed a serious willingness to tell their Masters if something minor was bothering them. He said that very often the gay male slaves he knew would think "I can't bother my Master with this silly thing, it's not my place" -- and of course create great drama by withholding their feelings. The guy who was telling us about it was saying "I tell these boys over and over 'Go talk to him! I guarantee he wants to know!' but they don't seem to get it."

It's interesting the various ways gender dynamics do get reflected in so much of our lives.



"Not that I disliked being in a situation where th...

2007-04-27T15:15:00.000+01:00

"Not that I disliked being in a situation where the numbers worked in my favor"

i know

mmm, popularity by default *grin*



"Those stories are all about eroticising innocence...

2007-04-27T13:46:00.000+01:00

"Those stories are all about eroticising innocence. Now, does anyone else here really think that eroticising sexual innocence/inexperience isn't all about power dynamics? Seriously?
There's also the fact that the one she has as the "innocent" is, y'know, probably dead (she's talking about Richey from the Manic Street Preachers, for anyone who isn't enough of a music geek to get the referece)."

Gaaah, I can't believe I missed the Richey reference

*makes plans to go home and listen to Gold Against The Soul*

The thing is, I tend to think sexual preference IS fetishism, whatever preference that might be, so you're completely right: it's just another fetish, and another admittance that power games and the fetishisation of power is pretty intrinsic to sex and relationships in general.



OK, I'm picking up Belle's multiple posting habit,...

2007-04-25T22:39:00.000+01:00

OK, I'm picking up Belle's multiple posting habit, I promise to stop in a minute but...
I took a more detailed look at the stories on that egalitarian sex page and there's something I couldn't help but point out.
Those stories are all about eroticising innocence. Now, does anyone else here really think that eroticising sexual innocence/inexperience isn't all about power dynamics? Seriously?
There's also the fact that the one she has as the "innocent" is, y'know, probably dead (she's talking about Richey from the Manic Street Preachers, for anyone who isn't enough of a music geek to get the referece).
Just thought it was worth pointing out that even on Egalitarian Sex Central they're STILL eroticising power dynamics. Kinda makes you wonder if doing so is inherent, doesn't it?



And about the serious stuff, snowdrop explodes sai...

2007-04-25T10:27:00.000+01:00

And about the serious stuff, snowdrop explodes said...
"All the ingredients for stroppy behaviour are in place: loss of perceived status, loss of clearly defined place in life, not understanding what's expected of them, or really what's changed. And when Man doesn't understand, he gets his Hammer and he Hits Things. To some extent I think male culture today can be summed up as a collective cry of, "but it's not FAAAAIIIIRRRRR!!!!!!!"
This is the core of the matter, I suspect. The thing is, I also suspect that a similar mechanism is what's triggering some radfems to act out the way they have been. They thought that they had found a nice, comfy home within feminism, within which nobody would ever disagree with or offend them again. They are realising that they were wrong, and they don't like it. I think that stuff like the workshop at Ladyfest is triggering a feeling that their place is being stolen from them.
A selfish reaction, to be sure, and politically short-sighted, but it does make a certain kind of sense.



Possible item of interest - I used to be a regular...

2007-04-25T10:16:00.000+01:00

Possible item of interest - I used to be a regular at the Torture Garden. Straight female subs were pretty thin on the ground. Lesbian subs there were more of, and plenty of switchy women. Male subs on the other hand...the place was crawling with them. Straight female doms - never enough of them to go around. Not that I disliked being in a situation where the numbers worked in my favor, I'm just saying.

"...srsly, doesn't reading that comm just make you want to go have a really filthy, domineering fuck? Or is that just me? ;_; "

No, it's not just you, and yep, me too. Time to wake up Mr Cassandra!



LM, I'm a man involved in this conversation... alt...

2007-04-23T14:11:00.000+01:00

LM, I'm a man involved in this conversation... although, I may be an atypical man in many respects! I have had an opportunity to observe others of my gender from "the same side of the fence", as it were.

I think it is a fair point that a small minority are prone to suicide, but I would say that it is because that minority are faced with the greatest extremes of stress. For example, it is well known that farmers have the highest rate of suicides, and farmers are at once under a great deal of economic stress, and also have a great deal of insecurity due to the nature of their work.

However, the stresses of the change in the economy and society do affect men in general, and I think belledame has identified one mechanism in which that is the case. There has been a general challenging, not by feminism but by economic and general social changes, of the male traditional roles, and there is actually a disparity between the way male roles are portrayed (often still harking back to the old forms in one way or another) and the new world, in which those forms are less stable or assured to men. Over the past 10-15 years at least (that is, all the time while I've been adult enough to be aware of these gender issues) there has been a continuous undercurrent amongst male culture of, "so what am I supposed to do NOW!?"

I think the loss of traditional working roles, and in some parts of culture, traditional social roles as well (although I would argue that the social changes are driven by the economic ones), has led to different responses. The increased suicide rate is one, but others who experience these stresses turn to other ways of dealing, and sometimes those are destructive. The "Lad culture" (typified by the aping of perceived attitudes supposedly held by our anglo-saxon forebears) is one such - I wouldn't describe it as a backlash against feminism per se, but rather a general "up yours" to a society that has largely done away with its use for men as they were brought up to be.

Incidentally, one side of this has been an exaggerated desire by the male to find himself a partner (again, the mechanism identified by belledame seems to be active there), and many of the male cultural "movements" of the past decade or two have actually been about trying to figure out what it is women want. "New man" was supposed to be the caring, sensitive man that women said they wanted, but that didn't seem to work. To some extent, when women then turned around and said, "but I want my man to be a MAN", men adopted the Lad attitude as their interpretation of what that meant. And apparently, it still isn't right. So "post-industrial man" throws up his hands, "What do you want of me!? What am I supposed to do NOW!?"

All the ingredients for stroppy behaviour are in place: loss of perceived status, loss of clearly defined place in life, not understanding what's expected of them, or really what's changed. And when Man doesn't understand, he gets his Hammer and he Hits Things. To some extent I think male culture today can be summed up as a collective cry of, "but it's not FAAAAIIIIRRRRR!!!!!!!"



Belledame, I agree with you, but at the same time ...

2007-04-23T10:41:00.000+01:00

Belledame, I agree with you, but at the same time I don't think we should overstate the problem. Suicide might be on the rise, but it still only affects a tiny minority; the typical male is quite capable of getting on with his life, isolated or no. It's a small atypical minority who react to modern life by becoming suicidal. I guess it's better to say that there's a tiny group who are somehow prone to suicide, and that of this group, fewer have the social support to protect them from suicide than in former times.

(There's a lovely PWOT piece about isolation - entirely polemical, but lovely - that has it that most people have about two close confidant/es; the linked articles aren't available any more, but such surveys typically involve at least as many men as women).

I could wish that there were men taking part in this conversation about men, tbh; I'm finding myself wanting to turn round and ask 'are our assumptions about your gender reasonable?' My male friends have no problem with making friends with women (duh), which doubtless gives me a skewed faith in heterosociality.



right.but also consider: the code of masculinity t...

2007-04-23T02:14:00.000+01:00

right.

but also consider: the code of masculinity that leads to the "stoic" thing in the first place, which is in fact connected to the "depend on wife /mother for emotional sustenance."

That is: a culture which is both homophobic and homosocial means that outside of the socially prescribed pair-bonding, it's likely that any given "typical male" will not be all that close to anyone. It's not "masculine" to have too many female friends, as in friends, emotional confidantes, you know; and it's also not "masculine" to get too intimate with one's male buddies. So.

Honestly sometimes i think that that is a key part of the rage some men have toward women: they feel cheated out of something they've been "promised." But it isn't just sex and it isn't even just status, although those get wrapped up in it as well.

"You were supposed to love me. SOMEONE was supposed to love me unconditionally. That's your JOB. Now what do I do?"



I'd suggest that the connection is real, but more ...

2007-04-22T09:26:00.000+01:00

I'd suggest that the connection is real, but more practical than emotional; when a huge number of women quit being dependent on men and joined the workforce, families and communities lost the backbone of trapped, unempowered women that kept them sustained and connected. That could've had a knock-on effect on many factors that influence suicide. I don't think it's male stoicism that makes men more likely to feel isolated and suicidal than once they did, I think it's no longer having devoted mothers/wives who have their care as a primary focus in their lives. Somehow I can't fault feminism for that.



...actually Susan Faludi's "Stiffed" was as good a...

2007-04-22T01:38:00.000+01:00

...actually Susan Faludi's "Stiffed" was as good a book as any on that phenomenon, i'd say. it's about the ever widening gap between the myth of what men (white, Americans, what have you, the "winners") are supposed to be and what's actually available for the vast vast majority; people have a sense that the deck is stacked, but not really by whom or why or how to resolve it...



yeah, SDE, i'd make that argument as well.a note i...

2007-04-22T01:35:00.000+01:00

yeah, SDE, i'd make that argument as well.

a note i keep hearing from the men who aren't exactly MRA's but--well, there's this whole site called "feminist critics" for example--anyway, what i keep hearing is a kind of hurt; it does seem to boil down to "what about the mens," and the thing is, yes, it's a legitimate question; just, not at the expense of stopping everything that's important to -us- (feminists)...there seems to be a combination of that sort of expectation as well as a catalogue of nastiness and ignorant shit at the hands of some of the more truculent online feminists, which, well that part, i am more familiar with.

but it really didn't say anything about "feminism" as a whole, more, "maybe best do some of that same work y'selves, mates: some of us will ally if you do, but constantly fingerpointing at "feminism" and how Bad it is is not sufficient."



On the "male suicide" issue, I think the answer ha...

2007-04-21T23:43:00.000+01:00

On the "male suicide" issue, I think the answer has more to do with the increasing stresses brought about by the post-industrial age. Traditionally, it has always been expected that women should talk about their problems, while men are supposed to be stoical, and bear their loads without complaint.

Through the seventies and eighties particularly, the economy has shifted away from the practical manufacturing and production industries that were dominated by a male workforce, into a service industry economy; that shift over several decades has placed new concerns on the workforce (both male and female) but a corresponding shift in attitudes towards problems has been slow in coming about. To me, it is not surprising that male suicide rates have climbed since 1960, but I do not think that there is any link with the rise of feminism.

In fact, it could be argued that this effect is because feminism did not achieve enough!



I'm totally engrossed by all of this. I never woul...

2007-04-21T22:29:00.000+01:00

I'm totally engrossed by all of this. I never would've considered that ANY of this would ever be a big deal to anyone! I'm obviously completely immune to everything ever, but feminists being anti-sexual-liberation (in whatever form that may take)? Women feeling shame for NOT being repressed enough to enjoy the kind of sex they really want?! My goodness.

Having said that, I don't think feminism has ever been inclusive of all women, and maybe post-modernism has a point in that ideology can only remain ideology, but I do agree that I certainly don't see why women should have to stop taking this crap from men only to get it from women. What is a 'good feminist'? A lot of my friends (myself included) had this problem at university with the lesbian feminists... If you didn't agree with The Word of Janie (the leader of the lezfems), you were a Bad Feminist and didn't Get It and basically got the pleasure of being bullied and outcast by a group of catty girls who apparently wanted to create a 'safe space for all women'.

And that was very little to do with anything.



and feminism being responsible for male suicide is...

2007-04-21T21:58:00.000+01:00

and feminism being responsible for male suicide is, i'm sorry, a load of crap.

that doesn't mean i don't think that individual cases of abuse by women, maybe even some who call themselves feminists, of men/boys happens, and as with any other kind of abuse, yeah, that could contribute. and tbh i have often thought that the men who seem most full of rage at "feminists"--a lot, not all, but a lot of 'em do seem to be extrapolating from personal experience, albeit not in ways that most of us would find terribly compelling as "explanations for how the world works;" then again one could also say that for a number of the more extremist feminists...

anyway.

but, a sweeping statement like that, feminism responsible for male suicide--that to me reads like the same sort of, oh whoah, boys aren't doing well in school, must be feminism's fault, or--

if anything i'd say that the cult of enforced masculinity is probably responsible for more male suicides--hell, it did Hemingway in. and that is something that is not really talked about enough, is not covered particularly well by radical feminism or most feminisms, it is true;

and that is the sort of thing that i -would- like to see more examination of, yes.



as for "shoving it in peoples' face"--well you kno...

2007-04-21T21:53:00.000+01:00

as for "shoving it in peoples' face"--well you know, i'm pretty sensitive to that, and can't understand why any self-defined lesbian doesn't see the irony in this; but then, staggering myopia is not limited to any one demographic.

but, i fail to see how holding a participation-voluntary workshop at a festival which apparently these people weren't even going to attend anyway is "shoving anything in anyone's faces."

sometimes, simply EXISTING is "shoving it in our faces," for some people.

which, well, so sorry, but--not sorry.



that said, i don't really hold radical feminism re...

2007-04-21T21:50:00.000+01:00

that said, i don't really hold radical feminism responsible for lad culture any more than i do the more militant wing of the civil rights movement for the greater "politically incorrect" bollocks; or for that matter the Maoists for the John Birchers. i mean, yes, that might be part of why people in the Great Middle are turned off, but as for the reactionary fuckheads...they've never really needed an excuse. if they did, the militant shit wouldn't have happened to begin with. and so on. chicken, egg, lather, rinse...and yes, whatever else, male power, like white power, is not a "myth," whatever the eejit Warren Farrell says. doesn't mean it's particularly helpful to lump them all into a monolithic Class and otherwise oversimplify the matter, though; and it's true that a number of self-ID'd feminists online at least do this, i have seen it.

and then again, and then again, and then again: MRA's just seem like social maladjusts who are only too eager to blame the excesses of a handful of loonies on the "other side" for their own hateful looniness...and on it goes.

"if ___ didn't exist, ___ would've had to invent 'em."

lucky for all of us, we can always find a concrete form of our scarecrows to battle if we're persistent enough.