Queer Radical Feminism article

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Queer Radical Feminism article

Postby demonista » Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:55 pm

I was uber-excited to find it, esp after just being told queer and anti-bdsm are oxymorons, by someone pro-bdsm (what a surprise), and who had the gall to say it had no economic class or other than gender analysis. pfft. :brick:

I found out a fb friend of mine translated it and it was based in large part on a Swedish article by Madde Elgemyr called Lesbianism as a feminist strategy.

http://europe.pgaconference.org/en/greece_08/topics/ queer_radical_feminism_and_stuggles_against_patriarchy

first third of article follows:

Gender and love – Feminism – Patriarchy – Men hating women – Heterosexuality – Homosocial / Heterorelational – Sexliberalism – Women hating men – Separatism – Women’s solidarity – Solidarity with women: Power of definition / Partiality

GENDER AND LOVE ::: Gender is a role assigned to us at birth. “Is it a boy or a girl?” Female if you have a cunt, and male if you have a penis. The ones with something other or in between (intersexed) are forced into either category, sometimes with mutilation of their genitals in order to have a body fitting with the role given to them. ---- Most oppression work in the same way. Creating two different categories, and then assigning certain traits to one group who are valued higher than the traits who are supposed to be representative of the individuals belonging to the other group. In this case “male” values higher than “female”. ---- Male: Control, reason, culture, adult, intellectual, leader ---- Female: Sexual, emotional, nature, child, body, being lead ---- These same categories go for: white / non-white. Upper class / working class. Adult / child. Humans / other animals. ---- Love plays an important part in maintaining these structures. It’s there as a creating force, and also has the potential of being exploited. Love is the basics in all social relations. We all breathe the same air. We wake up to the same sun. Gaze at the same moon. We all have a deep need to feel love. All relations we have to all living things are based on love - seeing; listening; caring for - and how much we give and receive of it. ----- We are socialized into seeing certain categories as the norm (for instance: white, male) and certain as “other”, and relate to each other according to what position we have in relation to ethnicity, age, able-bodiedness etc. We make differences in how much love we give and feel according to how we are positioned in this web of discriminatory labeling. It’s an oppressive system and we as individuals maintain and recreate it daily. Out of habit. And out of fear. It’s not accepted to break the rules. We know this from early on. We have been taught well through a system of punishment and reward. “Good boy!” “Bad girl!” “Boys don’t cry!” “Girls don’t wrestle!”

FEMINISM and PATRIARCHY – MEN HATING WOMEN ::: Every political movement must start by identifying their oppressor and adversary and the strategies used by their opponent in order to make strategies of their own. ---- Apart from the cruel ways of separating children into boys and girls, and breaking boys into men. Patriarchy is a system mainly oppressing women. And if women is the oppressed group there’s only one group left doing the oppressing: men. In a lot of languages the violence that women face by men is not called ‘men’s violence against women’, but usually the doer is left out and it’s called: ‘violence against women’. Which is a way of obscuring the power relations, that should by now be obvious to us all. ---- A mainstream opinion is that men and women are equally oppressed in this system. And it’s also very common to hear that “men are more oppressed than women” because they can’t cry or something such. It’s also fairly often said that “men are oppressed by women”. Looking at it through a historical lens, very few could argue that men as a group have been facing the same prejudice and bias as women as a group. ---- Patriarchy means the systematic power men have over women. Women and men constitute two groups that are at a constant conflict. This conflict is present in all aspects of society. Men as a group and individuals oppress women as a group and individuals, by for instance exerting an enormous amount of sexualized violence on women, most women are at some point in their lives exposed to some form of sexualized violence by a man known to them, which means that most men exert some form of oppression towards one or more women close to them (since a person can only have close relations with a limited amount of individuals.) ---- This means that men have power over women in a hierarchy, not only that men and women have a different amount of power and are “unequal” in “the system”. Men’s power lies in every single relation between men and women, not primarily in the state or by owning the means of production. It’s important to have a perspective that sees both the structure at large and at the same time see the individuals and actors creating it – there is no male power without the men exercising it; men’s violence against women is also not an isolated phenomenon but a part of the structural violence that men as a group use against women as a group. ---- Very often when speaking of the realities of this oppression, “exceptions” and the “good men” are mentioned, making a theoretical difference between individual / group / system. Creating a difference between men as individuals and the acts and institutions of men, does not make a lot of sense. ---- Men as a group hate women, and express this hatred through rape, murder, sexual harassment, and other sexualized behaviors. A lot of women do not experience these behaviors as expressions of hatred, since men’s violence against women have been so culturally mystified that we have been fooled into believing these are expressions of guilt free insanity, misunderstandings, natural sex drive or even: love. ---- Even for feminists, aware of the power relations, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the men around her are “different” an “exception to the rule”. And thereby seeing the men in her surrounding as separate from men as a social group. And most women living / associating with men do the same. This leads to most men having some woman convinced he’s an atypical man, different from the rest, even if this is mathematically impossible (a majority can not be atypical of itself). This is a situation that men benefit from and feminists and women in general are disadvantaged by. ---- It is not only that men treat women badly, although often they do, but that it is their choice whether or not to do so. All men have power over all women: over all women as a group and specifically over a few that they are in close relation to. Each man can then choose to exercise this power through oppression, or he may choose not to, but since men are not isolated from the patriarchal society at large they have always this socially supported power and can always choose to use it, at which point it’s then up to the woman in question to stop him. ---- Any feminism not having the strategy of constantly criticizing men as a group and individuals, and holding them accountable to the women hating acts they perform on a daily basis, recreating patriarchy. Any feminism not speaking of men and their actions being the first most reason to keeping this system going. Any feminism not doing that is not really challenging status quo. ---- The relation between men and women is a war, a war done by men on women. A war that’s currently not meeting any resistance to speak of. ---- Often when speaking of men as responsible for the violence and harm done to women – identifying a certain political group in a determined and general manner, in this case “men” and “women” – this is seen as “essentializing” this group. Radical feminists would not agree on using this word, since we see essentialism as some form of biological reductionism, where something is described by its nature to be unchangeable and unaffected by political means. ---- When feminism loses its analysis of men as responsible for men’s oppression of women but instead start speaking of liberating both women and men from “patriarchy” with no visible actors, a male power without accountable men, it also loses its potential to create a radical change. ---- Radical feminism could be said to be the absolute opposite of postmodernism. Radical feminism’s strategy is for women to bond together in solidarity and organize against men as a social group. ---- The postmodern way to fight patriarchy is to simply stop talking of “men” and “women” and by deconstructing these two categories in that way somehow get rid of the problem. ---- As if these categories are completely detached from individuals and the social groups in the context defined by power. No group of people is seen as responsible for maintaining the social structure and no material problems are discussed. The deconstruction of men and women is supposed to be done without challenging men’s power over women in society, without stopping men as a group and individuals from harming women. ---- Which is a very unrealistic way of getting anywhere. As if I as a white person could just stop calling myself “white” and in that way there would be no more racism. Or by not identifying as a “woman” I could then escape oppression. Not a very potent strategy. ---- We have to go deeper than that. Look at structures and the individuals maintaining it. As in: Who’s on top and who’s on the bottom.
"The mass term meat accomplishes something besides euphemizing the process of destruction that enables corpse consumption...Those most oppressed because of race, sex, and class are those who become the mediators, the transformers of animals into food. Here we can see the interlocking system of domination at work, as it intersects sex, class, race, and species oppression." - Carol Adams

"That strutting cock-of-the-walk: is he the pimp or the john? Judging by the hearts fluttering above the hen's head, he's no john. Prostifowl have been known to develop unhealthy fixations on their pimps, fixations born of fear, desperation, and subterranean self-esteem.
"So the Yard Pimps identify with the rooster who services the chickens in his brood, thereby creating more chickens to subject to the ol' barbecue treatment. It's a ruthlessly efficient system." - Suicide Food (suicidefood.blogspot.com/2008/12/yard-pimps-bbq.html)

"Meat is like pornography: before it was someone's fun, it was someone's life." - Melinda Vadas

"As we talked of freedom and justice one day for all, we sat down to steaks. I am eating misery, I thought, as I took the first bite. And spit it out." - Alice Walker
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