Posted on | August 23, 2014 | 124 Comments
. . . so you don’t have to!
Shulamith Firestone, circa 1970
“Women are an oppressed class. Our oppression is total, affecting every facet of our lives. We are exploited as sex objects, breeders, domestic servants, and cheap labor. We are considered inferior beings, whose only purpose is to enhance men’s lives. . . . Our prescribed behavior is enforced by the threat of physical violence. . . .
“We identify the agents of our oppression as men. . . .
“We regard our personal experience, and our feelings about that experience, as the basis for an analysis of our common situation. We cannot rely on existing ideologies as they are all products of male supremacist culture. We question every generalization and accept none that are not confirmed by our experience.”
– Redstockings, “Manifesto,” July 7, 1969
There was a nice boost of tip-jar hitters last week, mostly in response to the complete triumph over Brett Kimberlin in the Maryland state lawsuit. Somewhere, there is online audio of the trial testimony, including me reading from “How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog.” Readers have also been both patient and generously encouraging with my “Sex Trouble” series about radical feminism. Putting together these long articles (some of them over 2,000 words in length) is time-consuming, because of the amount of research involved. Ultimately, I plan to compile and edit this series into an ebook, but for now, I’m getting so deep into the research that I’m sure I’ve already read more of this stuff than the average Women’s Studies major.
Today, I ordered $108 worth of feminist books from Amazon, including two early classics, Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics and Shulamith Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex. I’d previously read extensive excerpts of these, but I want to have them both in their dead-tree entirety, simply because that’s how I work best. I’ve also ordered books by lesbian feminists Jill Johnston, Marilyn Frye, Sue Wilkinson and Dana Heller, as well as Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men’s Violence, and Women’s Lives by radical feminist psychologist Dee Graham.
That last title is important, in terms of the theme of my series, because Graham’s ideas about male “Sexual Terror” provided much of theory behind Radical Wind’s anti-heterosexual rant, “PIV is always rape, OK?” She expanded on Graham’s theory in August 2013:
No woman is heterosexual. What men call heterosexuality is an institution where men make women captive for PIV, to control our reproductive functions and steal our labour. Heterosexuality, or sexuality with men does not exist, because the only relationship to men that exists is men’s violence, physical and mental invasion — one that men have so well crafted and disguised for so long that we can mistake it for attraction, sexual urges or love. All women’s “attraction” to men is 100% eroticised trauma bonding / stockholm syndrome. There is no other form of attraction to men possible than that. None.
This is a categorical claim; one must either agree or disagree. Radical Wind cites Dee Graham by name four times in this single post, elaborating on the esoteric meaning of Graham’s theory:
All women are prisoners and hostages to men’s world. Men’s world is like a vast prison or concentration camp for women. This isn’t a metaphor, it’s reality. Each man is a threat. We can’t escape men. We are forced to depend on men and male infrastructures for our survival.
Radical Wind says women “are programmed and groomed to react in this way to male threat since birth,” part of what she calls her “female child-grooming theory,” which leads (by the inherent logic of the crazy premises she establishes along the way) to the conclusion that women’s feeling of attraction and emotional bonds to men are actually symptomatic of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Now, there are two things immediately obvious from her claims:
- She is comparing the development of heterosexual orientation in women to the way in which pedophiles “groom” their child-victims. Does anyone believe this insulting comparison is accidental? No, of course not. She clearly means to suggest that male sexual interest in women is morally analogous to a pedophile’s interest in children, and that women are victimized by men in the same way that children are victimized by sex offenders.
- Any woman who does not reject heterosexuality, who thinks of her own sexual and romantic interest in males as natural and healthy, is suffering from a sort of psychiatric delusion. If a woman believes she genuinely enjoys sex with men, if she is “in love” with her male partner, this simply shows that she is a victim of PTSD — “trauma bonding” — and childhood “grooming.”
Radical Wind makes these arguments with such fanatical certainty that, as I say, we must either agree or disagree. Compromise is impossible.
There is an undeniably totalitarian quality to her ideological rigidity; she declares her doctrines in the manner of a dictator issuing an ultimatum. And if you disagree — as I think every sane person must – you might say to yourself, “Well, that’s just one kook on the Internet.”
Except you’re wrong. She’s not alone in believing this. In 2011, a radical feminist known as CherryBlossomLife cited Dee Graham in asking, “Can Women Escape From Men?” The answer was no, and you can go check the comments to see whether any of her feminist readers disagreed with her radical analysis. She was enthusiastically praised:
Are there feminists who disagree with this extreme anti-male doctrine? Where are they? Where are the harsh denunciations of radical feminism from “moderate” feminists? And if they don’t denounce such extremism, aren’t they tacitly endorsing it?
Moderate feminism is a myth. One might as well believe in unicorns or leprechauns as to believe in moderate feminism. What feminists believe today, what they will believe tomorrow and forever, is the same thing that Shulamith Firestone’s group Redstockings declared in 1969: “Women are an oppressed class. . . . We identify the agents of our oppression as men.” The minute a woman says that she does not believe this — if she rejects the claim that men (collectively) oppress women (collectively) under the system of male domination known as patriarchy — then she is not actually a feminist, no matter what she may call herself.
If there are, however, women who call themselves “feminist” who wish to argue against the anti-male/anti-heterosexual doctrines of radical feminism, how would they go about making such arguments? With facts? With logic? With empirical data? Impossible!
If each woman’s own “personal experiences” and her “feelings about that experience” are the only possible basis for analysis, there can be no objectivity, no neutral facts, no empirical method.
If it is her experience that 2 + 2 = 5, if a woman feels that 2 + 2 = 5, then anyone who says 2 + 2 = 4 is obviously trying to enslave her to the oppressive mathematics of male supremacy.
Feminism tells women that if they feel oppressed, they are oppressed. If a woman doesn’t feel oppressed, feminism tells her she’s wrong.
Flip a coin: Heads, feminists win. Tails, you’re a victim of the patriarchy.
+ – + – + – + – +
At any rate, the folks at Amazon — greedy capitalist exploiters! — demanded that I pay actual money for those feminist books, refusing to accept my Patriarchal Express Platinum Card. Therefore, in order to continue my campaign of male supremacist oppression, I must remind you of the Five Most Important Words in the English Language:
- July 14: Radical Feminism and the Long Shadow of the ‘Lavender Menace’
- July 26: Feminists Worry That Disney Movies Are Making Girls Heterosexual
- July 28: Feminists Against ‘The Unnatural, Yet Universal Roles Patriarchy Has Assigned’
- Aug. 2: How to Become a Lesbian, Step One: Watch Cable TV While Depressed
- Aug. 3: #DearFeministMen Illustrates a Fundamental Problem
- Aug. 6: Hey, Moms: Feminists Think They Know What’s Wrong With Your Children
- Aug. 10: ‘Hi, We’re Lesbian Feminists and We’re Here to Talk to Your Daughter About Sex’
- Aug. 15: ‘Wacky Conservative Hit Piece About Raging Lesbian Feminist Carmen Rios’
- Aug. 19: A Lesbian Feminist Horror Movie
- Aug. 21: The Madness of ‘Gender Theory’