Daly just died, many say they had no idea she promoted bigotry and hate. They say she’s done much good for “women” – they say at least she was not a “publicity hound”. She called herself a radical feminist and if you ask anyone in-the-know who are some other Radical Feminists they will tell you two names: MacKinnon and Dworkin.
MacKinnon is a lawyer and has a political science Ph.D . She has no degree in “feminism” of any kind. MacKinnon is “not a liberal” and she is quite derisive of liberalism, and the “left” in general. She has argued for years against the right to privacy, asserting that it is a male-centric rape and abuse enabling “right” that hurts women.
If the “acceptableness” of woman has been defined by patriarchy largely by her willingness to not demand attention - If patriarchy doesn’t approve of attention seeking women – whether they get attention by sex or smarts – how can approving of attention seeking women support Patriarchy? It doesn’t, no matter who says it does.Two groups have fought like hell for 30 years to keep that status quo. Conservative Patriarchy upholders and ‘Radical’ Feminism. We never turned the status quo into “women who use sex are the best!” – although many radical feminists today seem to think that we did. Since the very first woman’s studies programs began, feminism has split into a war over whether or not getting “attention by sex” is good or bad. One side says it’s bad, one side says it’s good. One side upholds the status quo, one side doesn’t.
Almost all of feminist energy, only 3 or 4 years after roe v. wade, was focused exclusively on fighting “pornography” which – not coincidentally was the go-to industry for women who wanted “attention for sex” or who used sex to attain power. It’s not a coincidence that feminists such as Betty Friedan, who literally started ’2nd wave feminism’ with The Feminine Mystique,aligned themselves against the anti-pornography crusaders. Those early “pro-sex” feminists recognized that women who use sex for gain were not the enemy that ”radical feminism” painted them as.
It’s interesting if you look at the start of things, of 2nd wave feminism, if you look at it with a skeptical eye, I have and no it doesn’t make me an anti-feminist, but it’s interesting that there were groups of feminists, and then there were women who were powerful in other areas, but didn’t actually seem to be saying very feminist sorts of things. They were lawyers and doctors and writers who were of the opinion that even though women deserve to be ‘equal’ – sluts were still bad (nevermind the question of what makes a slut). They justify that wrong-headed belief that sluts are bad with a lot of theories, which when you break them down they are all basically: hate the sin, not the sinner. Slutty Sinners are only tempted by the Devil of Patriachy with empty promises and lies.
As feminism advances, the fight against it changes, and the most hotly debated area of feminism is still all about women who use sex for attention. A sex positive feminist will say that a woman who poses in playboy is being a feminist because she earns money using sex/sexuality/her body, Not-so-sex-positive feminists will say that she is using sex/sexuality/her body to get attention. Then the quesiton is ‘what’s wrong with attention’ and the reply is that it depends on the kind of attention – right back to the belief that sex to get attention is wrong – right back to the status quo.
If you ask what’s wrong with liking attention by sex, you get a whirlwind of justification for why it’s wrong like she’s advancing ‘rape-culture’, which relies on the theories that say men are just natural born brutes and liars and sex fiends who’ll do anything to keep a woman under his control. They rationalize and justify the dislike of women who use sex with examples of what the most violent and disturbed men have done to women. If someone doubts the assertion that so many men are that violent, and if they say that some women just like sex, they are painted as an apologetic and an anti-feminist. I doubt the assertion, not because I care that men get a bad rep, but because it is clear to me that they use this image of Man as Beast to justify their own discomfort about these women who use sex. No woman would choose it, no woman would like, they must have been forced. They must have been tricked, coerced, trained to perform.
There is nothing wrong with disliking women who use sex, but it’s not feminist to try to sway everyone else to your way of thinking when you have to use lies and distortions to rationalize your questionable theories.
Being so dedicated to that feminism because that’s what you’ve been taught, to the point where you can’t step away and take a look with a critical eye, isn’t a good thing. You can’t tell that the back of the house is on fire unless you look or you have a smoke alarm. Pro-Sex feminism is the smoke alarm. At this point, we’re very very very alarmed. Not many people seem to be listening. A lot of people would like us to shut up and go away, and we will, but you have to put out the fire first.
Seriously – Here’s a discussion from BBC radio I think (do they even have radios over there? : P ) and it says it’s only available online for a few more days, so listen while you can.
1) They have a panel discussion of 3 anti-prostitution moral crusader types – (who say things like it’s good to stigmatize prostitution, so good girls won’t stray) – and just one “former prostitute”/journalist/mother of 6 kids who also -kicker!: went to jail for making false rape allegations -which of COURSE bothers the hell out of me and that shit ought to bother the hell out of everyone but here’s the thing that all y’all haters better understand – really fucking understand – that’s why they chose her – to discredit the prostitute’s rights movement. If you think they did the right thing by trying to discredit the prostitution rights movement you’re an asshole. It’s fair and balanced don’t ya know, because they have the sacrificial lying dirty whore there to represent all the rest of us lying dirty whores. Wonderful.
- Someone at the forum I found this on, which I will endeavor to find the link to in a moment (ah-ha) observed something about one of the moral crusaders that was really key -
But yeah, unfortunately, as much as I truly believe the “too much war” part of that, guess I’m a soldier in this bullshit and can’t just retreat from it. None of us can – whatever side a person is on – they are on that side in that fight because it’s important to them, and the cause is a righteous one from where they sit. It’s a terrible thing for people who are so often allied on so many issues to find themselves on either side of a divide within the larger ideology they believe in. It’s the greatest weakness of the political left – we encourage free thinking and being true to ones self – and well, sure enough – heartily encouraged, people go off and start thinking freely and being true to themselves all over the place like they can’t get enough of it :) - and so we have a bunch of groups – all good folks – but groups who have their own areas of concern or issue or agenda to work. I don’t mean to criticize – all that seems a great way to live life – but in real life we also have a bunch of weirdos who unquestioningly follow lessons from thousand year old moralistic fables and worry about whether or not god will take them to cloud-town after they are dead - and they believe damn near anything anybody tells them - tell ‘em god sent you, praise him, stick around for a while and next thing you know they’ll give you the deed to their house - just tell ’em the baby jesus said so. If it weren’t for those weirdos we’d probably all be ok.
So the feminist sex wars – yeah, totally not sexy, but quite passionate. And not really so much about sex as it’s about social constructionism and evolutionary psychology. When you hear a feminist bad-mouthing evolutionary psychology as anti-feminist nonsense – she’s probably NOT a sex positive feminist.
“Feminist social constructionist evolutionary psychology wars” would maybe be a better name for it because then at least people would know how unsexy it really is.
Feminist SCEP Wars – almost has the same ring to it as “sex wars”, but even better because SCEP sounds like some horrible disease, hard C on that btw. And Feminists DO hate horrible diseases, I think we can all agree on that.
The video isn’t embeddable you can watch it here (update: maybe you can watch it, the page is giving me trouble now, says it has errors) It’s 51:24 in duration, including introduction and question and answer portion. I’ve transcribed only Ms. Dworkin’s prepared speech, beginning at 3:30, below, and my thoughts on what she said follow: