Category Archives: Links

Some strips from Poorly Drawn Lines.


From Poorly Drawn Lines (1, 2).

Teena Brandon- the full story.

This entry details the real, full story of Teena Brandon, whose death has been used by the transgender community in a sick, depraved manner. She was a victim of incest and homophobia, and her suffering should not be exploited by transgender people for their own twisted woman-hating political agenda.

Is motherhood a privilege?

This is likely to be a disputed position, but Forest Green Feminism believes so, and argues her point. She is very careful to point out that she does not deny male privilege or the fact that motherhood is a form of compliance, but she argues that beyond that motherhood does confer privilege over non-mothers.

First, the aggrandizement of motherhood is really about the favoring of sons — their creation, their nurture, their ultimate elevation into the power structure as high as they can go based on other factors, like race, class, and their own level of conformity. It is the duty of mothers to raise acculturated sons. Rape and male violence (down the hierarchy) are culturally-accepted norms. Mothers are to defend their sons against charges of rape and other forms of violence against ‘lessers,’ usually women but also marginalized men. And mothers do!

When I suggest that women’s loyalties must be to females, foremost, and against their misogynist sons, I get resistance. When I suggest that if a son rapes, is known to have raped, loyalty has to be to his victim, the female being, and he needs disowned, I hear, “How can you say this — he was born from my body, he is my child!?!” I can say it because it is high time our loyalties are to female humans. And I can say it because women defending the outrages done by patriarchy, even in the forms of their own sons, is a significant part of the problem. Patriarchy is maintained by unquestioned allegiances by the many, including the terribly-oppressed. All systems of subjugation can be reinforced this way (and usually are).

Second motherhood is, itself, loyalty to the norms of heterosexuality. I was at the time actually a part of the Great Lesbian Con into Motherhood. Lesbians everywhere were having children, and I wanted in! I read everywhere of women’s biological clocks and discovered I, too, had one! Is there an internal urge to procreate? There may well be, although I’m not convinced there is. Still, any valid urge or instinct is easily manipulable by incessant cultural pressure. Even more so if it’s subtle and proffered by members of your own minority group. The fact is that Lesbian Motherhood was an act of assimilation, complicity by its very nature. And I was a part of it. (Damn me!)

Third, motherhood brings rewards and attention at the expense of childless or child-free women. Women who eschew childbearing are “selfish,” and more.

The false dichotomy between labor and will.

Given that workers are paid to obey, you really have to wonder which planet Murray Rothbard was on when he argued that a person’s “labour service is alienable, but his will is not” and that he “cannot alienate his will, more particularly his control over his own mind and body.” He contrasts private property and self-ownership by arguing that “[a]ll physical property owned by a person is alienable… I can give away or sell to another person my shoes, my house, my car, my money, etc. But there are certain vital things which, in natural fact and in the nature of man, are inalienable… [his] will and control over his own person are inalienable.” [The Ethics of Liberty, p. 40, p. 135 and pp. 134-5] Yet “labour services” are unlike the private possessions Rothbard lists as being alienable. As we argued in section B.1 a person’s “labour services” and “will” cannot be divided — if you sell your labour services, you also have to give control of your body and mind to another person. If a worker does not obey the commands of her employer, she is fired. That Rothbard denied this indicates a total lack of common-sense. Perhaps Rothbard would have argued that as the worker can quit at any time she does not really alienate their will (this seems to be his case against slave contracts — see section F.2.2). But this ignores the fact that between the signing and breaking of the contract and during work hours (and perhaps outside work hours, if the boss has mandatory drug testing or will fire workers who attend union or anarchist meetings or those who have an “unnatural” sexuality and so on) the worker does alienate his will and body. In the words of Rudolf Rocker, “under the realities of the capitalist economic form… there can… be no talk of a ‘right over one’s own person,’ for that ends when one is compelled to submit to the economic dictation of another if he does not want to starve.

Are BDSM clubs cultic in nature?

This may seem like a silly question at first glance, but the blog TW: BDSM makes an analysis from experienceof how they operate and comes to the conclusion that they may be similar.

Many clubs instate (non-legal) policies/club rules that sound very legal, very formal, very binding. The added assertion of strict privacy creates a hush-hush environment that subconsciously or consciously shows members that they are not to go to outside authorities. Everything is to be handled internally. At three clubs I have been to, I had to sign a formal-appearing “contract” (not legally binding, but appearing to be so) that stated I was not allowed to discuss ANYTHING that occurred in the club to ANYONE for ANY REASON, and again, all problems to be dealt with internally. It was always the number one rule, even above safety procedure, and I suspect this to be true in many clubs.

The Better Angels of Our Nature? Hardly.

I’ve posted refutations of Pinker’s terrible book The Better Angels of Our Nature before, especially from an anthropological standpoint. Here is a rebuttal from an animal rights activist.

Pinker gave a TED talk just before his book was published, and this is what he says in the very first paragraph:

“In sixteenth-century Paris, a popular form of entertainment was cat-burning, in which a cat was hoisted in a sling on a stage and slowly lowered into a fire. According to historian Norman Davies, ‘the spectators, including kings and queens, shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized.’ Today, such sadism would be unthinkable in most of the world. This change in sensibilities is just one example of perhaps the most important and most underappreciated trend in the human saga: Violence has been in decline over long stretches of history, and today we are probably living in the most peaceful moment of our species’ time on earth.”

This is obtuse. Because it is simply not true that such sadism is unthinkable in most of the world. All you have to do is keep abreast of the news. Never mind humans (I take that for a given), but since Pinker has chosen to talk about cats, i.e., animals, just think of what happened YESTERDAY in Australia: the Government has banned live-export of cattle because an animal rights group bravely found their way into the slaughterhouses of Indonesia, and filmed what goes on there. I read accounts, and declined to watch the actual video footage, but let me tell you, it makes Pinker’s description of cat-burning sound like kindergarten play. The last animal in line was “quivering with terror” at what she had seen happen to her companions. This is not some barbarous practice in one bad slaughterhouse. It is routine. I have seen videos of pigs, cows, chickens, and sheep and all suffer the same exquisite horrifying torture. Dogs? Think Michael Vick. Cats? Go to the website of the Korean and Vietnamese animal rights groups to see or read about the horrors inflicted on them NOW, not in sixteenth-century Paris.

I wanted to point out how badly argued these passages are, because it should alert us to the rest of the book’s implausibility. I have not read it all yet, but as I read, I am struck over and over by how skewed the data is. In a book which argues that violence is decreasing all over the world, there is no mention of Srebrenica, the Rwanda genocide, Pinochet in Chile, the Junta in Argentina (or Brazil or Greece), no entry under colonialism, no former Yugoslavia, no Haiti, no Dominican Republic, no Mugabe and only one mention of Mussolini, two of apartheid, and three of Pol Pot. This is a book about violence!

Gender as performance makes no sense in the context of rape.

Huff Yup discusses the three main conceptions of gender and how they align with the fact of rape.

A philosophical argument starts with premises. Here’s one:

Men rape women because women are women; existing as a woman is the common denominator between the vast majority of rapes in the world…

When you plug in the traditional understanding of gender, you get: Men rape women because God made them as women; being made by God as a woman is the common denominator between the vast majority of rapes in the world. Hopefully we’d all agree that this fatalistic essentialism is profoundly misogynistic and obviously designed to block any challenge to the male supremacist structure.

When you plug in the radical understanding of gender, you get: Men rape women because a concrete system of social power has placed females into the sex-caste ‘woman’; being placed by a concrete system of social power into the sex-caste ‘woman’ is the common denominator between the vast majority of rapes in the world. This approach, the exact opposite of the traditional understanding, offers both a reasonable explanation for the existence of sexual terrorism and a clear method for challenging the structure of male supremacy; if placement into a sex-caste system facilitates rape, abolish the sex-caste system.

So what happens when you plug in the queer understanding of gender? As far as I can tell, you get this:

Men rape women because women feel a certain way about themselves and perform that feeling through specific culturally-mandated channels; feeling a certain way about yourself and performing that feeling through specific culturally-mandated channels is the common denominator between the vast majority of rapes in the world.

Do you disagree? I hope you do.

BDSM Logic Makes No Sense Applied to Anything Else

I never do this out of respect for the original writers and to get people to read their material, but this entry from lonesomeyogurt is so great that I am compelled to post it in its entirety. But do check out Gender Detective as well.

***

Imagine you’re at a party. You’re tired out after a night of dancing, or maybe you’re equally exhausted after a night of sipping on your drink while white guys with gauged ears tell you repeatedly about their new bands, their philosophy degrees, or how veganism has really helped them to feel more in tune with nature. Or maybe you’re having a combination wine tasting/Dr. Who viewing. I don’t know what kind of parties you go to, nerd.

Anyway, in between songs, episodes, or ill-informed discussions of Dostoyevsky, you strike up a conversation with someone standing next to you. He seems nice, even charming. You’re just now meeting and you try to make small talk. “So, um…what’s your favorite movie?” you ask.

“Oh, probably Birth of a Nation,” he responds.

You’re taken aback for a moment. There’s no way he means that movie about Ku Klux Klan defending white women from rapacious black men, right? Couldn’t be. So you press for more information. But he responds, “Yeah, that one. It’s really great, a good one to put on and just relax to.”

Now you’re confused, but not quite upset yet. You tell yourself that maybe he’s a film geek (albeit with quite the blind spot for racial politics), or maybe another hipster trying to out-irony everyone else. So you ask him why he likes it, what his favorite scene is, hoping he’ll have a good explanation for why a white supremacist propaganda is so interesting to him.

He thinks for a second. “I don’t know, I’d say probably the one where all the Reconstruction-era black senators get drunk and eat watermelon together. Or maybe that one scene where a Klansman lynches the slobbering black rapist after a white woman leaps to her death in order to escape him.” He pauses. “Actually, no, I think it’s probably that classic wide-angle shot where all the black people show up to vote but get turned away by armed white militia. The speech the guy gives there about ‘the former enemies of North and South united again in defense of their Aryan birthright,’ man, that’s awesome.”

He nods and turns back to you. He’s about to move on with the questions – favorite band, favorite food, all that – when he sees your face contorted with disgust. Immediately he puts on his best condescending white guy voice: “Oh no,” he says, “Don’t worry. I’m not a racist. None of it was real! All the black people – you know, the one who gets lynched, the rapist, the fried chicken-eating drunks, all of them – most weren’t even really black people! Mostly it was white guys in blackface. And the black guys who were in it actually got paid really well, and they loved being in the movie. Don’t worry!”

At this point, you’ve moved from confused to offended to furious. “What the fuck does it matter?! How could you enjoy The Birth of a Nation?!”

He shakes his head. “Look, you just don’t understand. When a lynching happens in real life, it’s terrible. But when an actor does it, and gets paid to do it, and really likes it, it’s totally okay, and there’s nothing weird about white people enjoying it. They even gave the black actors special words they could use at any time to stop the scene!”

“That analysis completely ignores the fact that all black people, especially black people in the incredibly racist film industry of the early 1900’s, don’t have the institutional, economic, social, or political power to set up boundaries when allowing white folks to violate them is the best chance at success and safety! Besides, even if all the actors really were happy – and they weren’t – it doesn’t change the fact that the white people who watch it are simulating their violence and domination for fun!”

He shakes his head. “Actually, I think you’re the racist one! By telling black people that they can’t be in movies where they play rapists, idiots, and drunks, you’re doing the same thing as the Ku Klux Klan did; you’re telling black people what they can and can’t do! I think if a black actor wants to play a slobbering rapist who is lynched by Klansmen, then that’s an expression of his agency and it has nothing to do with racism.”

“That’s fucking crazy,” you respond. “This has nothing to do with what black actors ‘can and can’t do’ – it’s about why white guys enjoy watching those black actors portray stereotypes that were constructed specifically to aid in black people’s oppression, and why anyone who claims to hate racism would find a story about it to be pleasant or enjoyable!”

“Hey,” he says, putting his hands up, “Sometimes people just want what they want. If you don’t enjoy dramas about the creation of the Ku Klux Klan, that’s fine, but you don’t get to hate on people who don’t have such a narrow view of what black people’s roles in film can be! It’s not like I would ever lynch, intimidate, or harass a person of color, after all. And as long as I’m fulfilling my interest in watching blacks lynched, intimidated, and harassed by white supremacists in a healthy way that doesn’t hurt anybody else, then you don’t have any right to criticize me!”

You open your mouth to respond, but before you can speak a bearded man in a v-neck sweater walks up and taps you on the shoulder. “Hey,” he says, “Sorry to interrupt, but the new single from my acoustic solo project is coming up. Would you like to hear me talk about it for the next forty minutes, using terms like ‘sonic experience’ and ‘soundscape?’”

“Oh, Jesus, thank you,” you say to yourself, and follow him off.

***
I think the vast majority of those in the social justice world would agree that the man in the above scenario is definitely a racist and almost certainly an idiot. And yet every single line of dialogue was taken directly from arguments pro-BDSM apologists have used against a radical analysis of sexual sadism. The reference to specific situational conditions, to agency, to a deterministic view of desire, to a false equivalence between oppressive and revolutionary prescriptions of behavior – all of these rebuttals that appear so patently absurd when applied to race are the central defense of BDSM. That a white person enjoying a filmed reenactment of white racial violence is actually significantly less terrible than a man enjoying the actual performance of male sexual violence makes the entire double standard even more incomprehensible. I must be missing something, right? If so, please help me out! Seriously.

I issue a serious question to any advocates of BDSM who read this post: Do you agree with the man in the above scenario? If not, tell me where the two situations diverge. Tell me what the difference is. Tell me what possible belief system you could hold that makes one okay and not the other. I’ve been asking these questions for a long time now and I have not encountered even a single attempt at an answer. The reason, of course, is obvious: There isn’t one.

Both cases are fundamentally identical. Both are members of an oppressor class using simulations of their oppressive violence to achieve physical and emotional satisfaction. It is a seriously held tenet of many male Leftists that a commitment to women’s liberation can coexist with the practice of eroticizing rape. This is, as a concept, fucking crazy, and such nonsense would never be tolerated among anti-racist whites. It would never be tolerated among allies to gays and lesbians. It would never be tolerated among Marxists in solidarity with the proletariat. And yet the right of men to utilize our terrorism as a sex aid is actively celebrated by many who honestly claim to support feminism. A belief that BDSM is compatible with women’s liberation requires a belief that there are thousands of men out there who truly hate sexual violence and support women’s freedom, but also find it arousing to pretend to tie them up and pretend to rape them. Call me crazy, but I really doubt it.

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