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Why feminists need fear

October 10, 2014

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Cathy Brennan:

This is a great post and took courage to write it.

Originally posted on glosswatch:

To be a feminist is to be brave, but it is also to be fearful. How could you not feel fear, given the power structure with which you’ve chosen to engage? This fear is not an irrational phobia, some deep-rooted disgust in response to sex or naked flesh or cultural transgression. It’s a perfectly rational fear: the fear of male violence. It justified and it is logical.

It is logical to be afraid of sexual assault, rape, beating, harassment and murder. It is logical to fear those who might do these things to you, and to fear those who keep the power structures which enable them in place.

It is not a question of reinforcing #notallmen. You know that not all men will do these things, but you also know that some might. You are reminded of this every day, by newspaper headlines, TV plots, nudges on street corners, gropes…

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OutLIARS (or menmenmenmenmen)

October 9, 2014

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Originally posted on phonaesthetica:

*This piece was a joint effort with the ever-genius Hypotaxis.

Unsurprisingly, Dana McCallum, a man who identifies as a woman, was given a little slap on the wrist after pleading guilty to spousal abuse and rape. Most males, like McCallum, do not receive sentences that are in any way proportionate to the trauma inflicted upon their victims.

Also unsurprisingly, LGBT media outlets have been clumsily and desperately trying to lionize poor Dana McCallum as a troubled soul with a drinking problem, instead of naming him, accurately, for the abusive man he is despite his lady presentation. “But she Tweeted in support of rape victims” one LGBT publication lamented. So? So that means what? He’s not a rapist? He’s not an abuser? Because he thumbed out 140 characters in support of abused women? The logic of the modern-day LGBT “movement” seldom approaches anything resembling a sane and rational thought.

Frankly, I am now…

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Riddle Scale adapted to separatism

October 1, 2014

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Originally posted on Feed the Fishes:

Today I decided to combine two of my favorite concepts: Women’s separatism and the Riddle Scale of Homophobia.  The Riddle scale offers a range of positive and negative attitudes along a spectrum, acknowledging that homophobia is not an ON/OFF switch, an either/or.  And, it contributes the complicating assertion that “tolerance,” quite the buzzword in workplaces and schools, is still a very negative approach, all things considered.

An important consideration: When I use the term “women’s separatism,” I’m not merely referring to Lesbian separatist land communities.  I’m using Marilyn Frye’s definition from “Some Reflections on Separatism and Power.”  She writes, “Feminist separation is, of course, separation of various sorts or modes from men and from institutions, relationships, roles and activities which are male-defined, male-dominated and operating for the benefit of males and the maintenance of male privilege–this separation being initiated or maintained, at will, by women.”  Since these male institutions…

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“He For She” or, “What About the Men?”

September 23, 2014

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Originally posted on Hypotaxis:

*This piece was a collaborative effort between myself and the amazingly brilliant Phonaesthetica. (If you’re not reading her blog, you should, because she’s an incredible writer.)

It’s review day. Let’s clarify, once more, the differences between radical and liberal feminism.

Liberal feminism asserts that women’s liberation comes through equality with men, and therefore positions men as a benchmark, the “best possible case,” the default setting, the gold standard, the brass ring – if only to be respected like a man, if only to be paid like a man, or to be free to “choose pornography” or fuck anything that moves like a man. In liberal feminism, male is aspirational.

In liberal feminism, society itself isn’t broken, we just need to learn how to better exist within it – like men.

Radical feminism, on the other hand, understands that if you polish a turd, it’s still a turd…

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Repeat a Lie Often Enough, It Becomes True

March 18, 2013

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In another lifetime, when I was young, I was very active in the effort to amend Maryland’s anti-discrimination law to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. I believed then, as I believe now, that sexual orientation discrimination is, in fact, sex discrimination. However, my feelings on this are irrelevant, as Maryland law made quite clear that sexual orientation discrimination and sex discrimination were two different things. So, many hundreds of people, over the course of many years, worked doggedly to change the law.

Looking back on this effort now, this History that is also “my life,” myths abound about what happened in Maryland during the mid-1990s to early 2000s.

One of the Great Myths about Gender Identity legislation in Maryland is that there was a secret Gay plot to strip Gender Identity protections from a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Secret Plot Myth gets repeated even today.

[...]

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A Driving Feminist Issue

February 27, 2013

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Del. Jolene Ivey

Del. Jolene Ivey is the lead sponsor of legislation to allow Marylanders to drive. Thank you Delegate Ivey!

Driving is a feminist issue.

Driving is necessary. It’s particularly necessary for Women. We need to move to get away from Men who abuse us, to relocate for Jobs or Education.

Driving is vital. Given the poor state of public transportation in many parts of the world (and Maryland in particular, with its emphasis on North-South routes, particularly in Baltimore), having a legal right to drive matters for Women.

Driving as a feminist issue has made international news in recent years, with brave Women in Saudi Arabia defying a ban on driving to take themselves for a drive.

Driving is no less a feminist issue in Maryland where, in 2009, in response to George W. Bush’s REAL ID law, Maryland announced that it would no longer renew driver’s licenses of Marylanders who have long held Maryland licenses if they could not prove their “legal” right to live in this country.

So, even though these folks had long held Maryland driver’s licenses without trouble or complaint, Maryland said “no more driving for you.”

Of course, this impacted all undocumented people, and the people who love them.

And it impacted Women.

Women like Karen. Karen is a mother who lives in Maryland’s 11th District in Baltimore County. She has a grandfathered drivers license that she will lose in 2015 under Maryland’s decision to follow Bush’s REAL ID. So even though she’s had a driver’s license for many, many years, because of the War on Undocumented Folks, she will lose it.

Women like Amalia. Amalia is a domestic worker in Montgomery County, working as a nanny. She will also lose her license in 2015. With it, she will lose her ability to travel for work. She will lose time and money. She will lose freedom.

Women like Andrea. Andrea is a U.S. citizen married to an undocumented man. Because he husband is undocumented, he cannot get a license, and must rely on Andrea to transport him.

Women like Jenniver. Jenniver is a single mom who lives in Essex, Maryland. She was in an abusive relationship with a man, and had to rely on strangers to drive her to doctors and lawyers appointments because she could not obtain a license.

Denying driver’s licenses to a person because of immigration status is a Feminist issue. Depriving Women of the ability to get from here to there is a Feminist issue.

House Bill 789 and Senate Bill 715 would fix this. The proposed legislation would allow the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to issue or renew a driver’s license, identification card, or moped operator’s permit to an individual who does not have a Social Security number or lawful status by repealing a current limitation that the individual must have held one of those documents on April 18, 2009. The bill also repeals the termination date of July 1, 2015, for the authority for MVA to issue or renew one of these documents to an applicant without lawful status or a Social Security number.

That means, if you had a grandfathered license, like Karen and Amalia, you can still drive. It also means that Women like Jenniver can get a license, and Women like Amalia wouldn’t have to drive their partners around anymore, thus freeing their energies towards other tasks.

If the legislation passes, Maryland would join a handful of states that allow licenses for undocumented immigrants. The Senate heard testimony of the legislation last week. The House hearing is March 13.

Call your legislators and ask them to support House Bill 789 and Senate Bill 715.

SB 715.

SB 715 Fiscal and Policy Note.

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Toxic Sludge is Good for You

February 22, 2013

5 Comments

The most important book I have read about use of media and public relations to manipulate public opinion is Toxic Sludge Is Good for You.  If you are not familiar with this book, trust me, it is worth the read.  Essentially, the book details how powerful interests manipulate the media to get you to smoke cigarettes even though they kill you, get unhealthy cosmetic surgery, and support fracking. It’s about how to Jedi Mind Trick a populace into thinking porn is awesome, women are objects, and Real Women have penises.

The Transgender Movement has done a remarkable job to convincing you that Toxic Sludge is Good for You.  They’ve done an amazing job in 20 years, by coattailing on the movement for gay and lesbian rights and spinning a woman’s reticence to share private intimate space like a locker room with a man with a penis as bigoted and hateful. In Maryland, the latest Toxic Sludge we are being force-fed comes in the form of Senate Bill 449, the Fairness for All Marylanders (Except Women) Act.

"It's My Time to Fuck Over Women so it won't be Dana Beyer's Time to Run Against Me" - Rich Madaleno

“It’s my time to fuck over women so it won’t be Dana Beyer’s time to run against me,” Montgomery County Senator Rich Madaleno

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If you repeat a lie often enough, does it become true?

January 24, 2013

3 Comments

Americans gave up the idea-or tried to, or pretended to-that there are certain characteristics and qualities that are essentially black and essentially white a long time ago. At the very least we can say that it would be considered wildly offensive and thoroughly idiotic to articulate ideas like that now. Yet somehow we don’t think twice about wanting to be ‘like a man’ or unlike a ‘girly-girl.’ As if those ideas even mean anything. Like which man? Iggy Pop? Nathan Lane? Jesse Jackson? Jesse Helms? It is a staggeringly unsophisticated way to think about being a human being, but smart people do it all the time.

Ariel Levy, Female Chauvinist Pigs, p. 108

I received an email from Equality Maryland today!

images

Can you find the typo?

It asked me to sign up for its Lobby Day in Annapolis in February.

Now, I like a good lobby day as well as the next person. I read on.

“While 2012 was an incredible year for Maryland’s LGBT communities and our allies our work is not done. Transgender Marylanders remain unprotected in state law from discrimination in employment, housing, places of public accomondation (sic) and credit.”

Um.

Well.

No, that’s not entirely true. [...]

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Show Up, Pariahs

December 30, 2012

4 Comments

Tonight in Baltimore, about 40 people gathered at the foot of the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon, Baltimore’s Gayborhood. Activist Meredith Moise and the Baltimore Guardian Angels organized  the gathering to condemn anti-gay violence in response to the beating of Kenni Shaw, a gay man,  in East Baltimore on Christmas Day.

This is what the men who attacked Kenni did to him:

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“Marriage sucked all the air out of the room”

November 28, 2012

7 Comments

”Marriage sucked all the air out of the room.”

If I had to guess, I would think that making comments that challenge Gays and Lesbians for daring to attend to their own needs wouldn’t endear Sharon Brackett, a Trans Woman and board chair for Gender Rights Maryland, to the Gays and Lesbians who finally gained some measure of equality after a decades-long struggle.

Some free advice – maybe don’t piss off the people you are counting on to advance your flawed legislative agenda.

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