“You cannot give informed consent when you don’t know who your partner actually is.”
The “E” Means Non-Compliant
Safe spaces are not just physical entities. They can, and should, exist inside your own mind. The most intimate safe spaces — the physical boundaries of your own body, the theoretical boundaries of your own self-definition — should be the most inviolable ones of all.
Most women know that this is not how things work in practice. They have known it all their lives. Taught to be accessible and passive from birth — not hard, boisterous and demanding — they learn that their safety is partial and contingent on a lack of resistance. Do what the nice man says and no one will get hurt.
Feminism has fought against this, arguing that women deserve the space to be whoever they are, freely, as complete entities rather than as adjuncts to the male ego. There have been political outcomes to this (the creation of women’s refuges and family planning clinics, for…
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Women are not the problem. Women are the oldest, most oppressed class in known history. Men know this, and they like it.
In “Gender as a Hate Crime” (Dianne Post, Rain and Thunder #41 ) it was noted that “When I was lobbying for the inclusion of gender in the Arizona hate crimes statute many years ago, the man who spoke before me said that crimes against women are so common that if they were included in hate crimes, it would overwhelm the system and no one else would get any attention.”
Indeed. I guess this is why transgender folks can achieve human rights, civil rights and hate crimes legislative protections but females can’t. Female-hatred can continue unabated without consequence or even being questioned. It is so ‘normal’ and so widespread, that it is not seen as systemic structural oppression in its own right.
One of the most common socially approved expressions of this universal Hate, is the continuing metaphor of women as animals, (ie not-human animals), chicks, cows, dogs, bunnies, and often presented…
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Powerful words. Hear them. Hold them close.
Below is a link to a powerful testimony on this woman’s first Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival experience.
Here is small sample…
…I can start to glimpse for the first time, flashes of an answer to questions like, “Who would I be if I had been raised with perfect love and support?” “Who would I be if I had not been harmed and twisted?” “Who would I be if I had never been measured against a toxic standard?” “Who would I be if I had not grown up fearing rape?” “Who would I be if I had not had to spend so many years on simply trying to survive, heal, and recover?” Those questions start to get a lot less rhetorical, in light of Fest. The nourishment seems to be unbound by space/time limitations—it seems to reach back to all of my past selves who most need to be fed.
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So, so pretty.
Yes, this is gender. This is the patriarchal control system which demeans, denigrates and demoralizes women, for the enhancement and pleasure of men.
Reminds me of this http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0
I wish I wasn’t pear-shaped.
My nose is too fat.
Laxatives are definitely the answer.
Why can’t I be thinner?
Does all this sound familiar? If you’re a woman, it should. While these statements were taken from the walls of the ladies’ loos in a burger bar, they’re meant to represent what all of us are really thinking. Go on, admit it. We hate ourselves. We’re women; it’s what women do. If you’re not drowning in self-loathing, you’re not in the club.
Staff at Almost Famous, Leeds, have now painted over their fresco of female insecurity, in response to a blog by food writer Helen Graves. The wall was a shitty idea, poorly executed. Nonetheless, you can’t blame the owners for trying. Why not cast an ironic eye on female self-hatred? It’s what all the cool kids are doing. Twenty-five years after the publication of Naomi Wolf’s The…
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Female-only spaces are integral to the physical, emotional and political protection of women. It is a violation of women’s human rights to be told we do not exist as a separate, historically oppressed class of people, distinct from our oppressors. It erases us. It hides our oppression. It will eventually eliminate us. Completely.