Females First

The last thing Females want to be called is “Feminist” – because that might mean “Man Hating.” That’s bad for Straight Ladies, because then someone might think them Lesbian.  Even though Lesbians don’t want to couple with Males, Lesbians are “supposed” to be socially available to them and not “Man Haters.” (I know I‘ve been called “Man Hater” before!) So heaven forfend if you’re Feminist!

Patriarchy socializes Females to distrust other Females. And we do. Females fall into other Identity Communities – away from – and often at odds with – each other. Goddess forbid Females actually used Feminism to advance rights for Females. What about the Males?

Because of our socialization, Females resist coming together, or even identifying, as a class.  Accordingly, Females are the most dissolved, invisible ingredient in the Great American Melting Pot. We hear of White, Gay, Black, or Poor People.  When discussing Poor People, nobody asks whether they are Male or Females (even though – as a class – the Poor are Female and the Rich are Male). Only when discussing Females do concern trolls come calling to ensure you discuss Poor Females, Brown Females, Vegan Females, Gay Females, (Fill In The Blank) Females. That’s no coincidence. Patriarchy places these filters in front of Females to prevent us from perceiving each other as members of the same oppressed class.  These obstacles destroy the need for further derails by Patriarchy because Females don’t talk to each other as members of the same class.  It divides Females.

Baltimore has no “Women’s Community.” We have the Choice Community, Domestic Violence Community, White Lesbian Community, Black Lesbian Community, and Peace Community, to name a few – but Females inhabiting these worlds don’t generally mix.  What would happen if Females talked to each other about what connects us – our Female-ness.

As a Lesbian, here’s a truth anathema to the Gay Community and one that does not reflect “the law.” Sexual orientation discrimination doesn’t exist. That’s right. Sexual orientation doesn’t exist anymore than “gender identity” discrimination exists. When I am treated badly because I “look Butch,” that’s sex discrimination. Heterosexual women lose promotions to less-qualified men because of sex discrimination.

Sex discrimination impacts Females.  All Females.  We might suffer in degrees, but the root is the same.  The root is our sex, and how society used and grooms Females.

Call it sexism or misogyny – sex discrimination is the air we breathe and the water we drink. It is so pervasive that Females (and Males) don’t see it. When we do see it, when all the filters are lifted, you might feel crazy. Your 20/20 vision will earn you contempt from the majority of Females (and Males) who ignore how much “being  Female” hurts.

Think about EVERY way in which “society” disadvantages Females. Laws dictate what we can do with our bodies.  We are sold a bill of goods on Femininity that makes us hate ourselves.  We must be Porn Sexy and Slutty. “Traditionally” Female occupations are low wage.

Once you’ve taken inventory, know, Females, that I love you. I don’t like to get mushy with you, but I feel like you need to know. Focus on Females. Yes, other forms of oppression exist. No doubt.

But what would happen if Females started to organize based on our Female-ness?  What if we organized around those agenda items that benefit Females?

We’d need to identify our agenda. Before we did that, we’d have to let go of whatever Identity to which we cling, as these Identities are obstacles to organizing as Females.  After that work, ask “what do Females need”?  Females have concerns related to pregnancy, childbirth and abortion because of biology.  Controlling our bodies is a key element of Female Liberation.  Females that have control over fertility have greater education, employment and political participation than Females who lack that control. Females must dictate our sexuality because sexuality has dire consequences for us.

I understand why Females do Identity Politics. It’s “easier” to localize the “problem” in a smaller Identity Group (wherein I might become a White Butch Dyke). But it does nothing for Females. Your little Identity Group might be safe for you, but it’s not enough.

Females need each other. Females should prioritize the good of Females. Feminism provides a new lens through which to analyze What Females Need.  What would happen if all Females were Feminist?

Maybe we’d have an Equal Rights Amendment – “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” The Equal Rights Amendment still hasn’t been adopted. The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly protect and extend rights equally without regard to sex (except the Right to Vote).  Really.

Females, we could do this.  What if we got together in 2012 and realized how much Power we have?

Females – we’re worth it.

Friday, 30 December 2011

http://www.baltimoreoutloud.com/k2-fetch-latest/ladybugs-political-smackdown/item/974-females-first

16 comments

  1. Mary Sunshine · ·

    Yes.

    And while we are living under these conditions of duress, we need large, secure, full time, permanent male-free spaces in which to live, produce all of our necessities, nurture our beings, become happy again (or maybe for the first time in our lives), and *only then* decide whether or not, and under what conditions, any one of us would want to go back to living in a heterosocial space.

  2. almostclever · ·

    I LOVE this. Yet, I feel like our niches and sub groups happen BECAUSE when they don’t, white heterosexual middle class feminism becomes the standard – and women who don’t fit that reject it, and so there we are, in our nice little sub groupings.

    I think diversity is a strength we can take advantage of, yet being a feminist of different race/ethnicity, culture, religion (or non), social class, etc.. is going to give each of us different priorities based on our self interests, in walks the in-fighting.

    What is a common ground we all have as women, regardless of our labels or politics? Patriarchy, right? So what is our next step from that understanding?

    I completely agree with your post, and I think our first obstacle is bridging the divisions. Sex positive and radical feminists refuse to even have a blogroll with a diversity of feminists on it – lest they have their identities or “feminism” questioned.

    It’s a long road.

  3. I think the answer to this question is interesting:
    ‘But what would happen if Females started to organize based on our Female-ness? What if we organized around those agenda items that benefit Females?’

    Since as you say, most women are very poor (in fact women are a majority of the poor), getting rid of capitalism is important for women.

    Most women aren’t of recently European descent, so organising against racism, national oppression and imperialist exploitation is vital to defending the interests of the majority of women.

    And all of the above are factors which powerfully increase the dispossession of our sexual and reproductive autonomy.

    But
    (i) it won’t be obvious to many women that ‘patriarchy’ is the cause of all the various ways they experience oppression (it isn’t obvious to me),
    and
    (ii) a powerful feminist movement requires naming and addressing these dynamics that maintain women’s oppression (part of identifying our agenda, as you say).
    Opposing ‘patriarchy’, even if we agree to name the root cause as that, doesn’t help us enough in doing this.

    In any case, I agree with you that this turn inwards, to dividing ourselves into smaller and smaller ‘identities’, prevents us from looking outwards and uniting as we need to as the oppressed sex.

  4. almostclever · ·

    Good points, liberationislife.

  5. Love it. Spot on!

  6. rainsinger · ·

    I used to think the prefixes, or qualifiers etc before ‘feminist’, were like patronyms… they are male-defined groupings and definitions, that distinguish between groups of males… by putting a “patronym” before your femaleness… you are in effect, saying that you are owned by a specific male-dominant Group A or Group B etc.

    We lost “women’s liberation” – and now we can’t even keep the word “woman” thanks to trans… anything to split us up as a class.

    .

  7. Fucking. Brilliant. Post. That’s all I got to say!

  8. Wow, great post. But nonetheless as a Butch Dyke Female, it IS important I have a group representing who I am as a Butch Dyke FEMALE. And to have solidarity with other Butches who throw their lot in with all of womonkind, instead of escaping it as so many are pushing away the Female/woman label. Because when people talk of feminism and women’s rights, it always seems to be HETEROSEXUAL womens’ rights, abortion/prochoice, childraising, relationships to M E N, even though others may think they’re ‘Lesbians’ if they aren’t in their straitjacketed feminine roles and are advocating for other Females first and foremost. For us, as Lesbians it is necessary to do so for our survival. For us as Butch FEMALES it is even more necessary when literally Butches are being pushed out of the Female realm and identifying as male/genderqueer/ftm/trans but NOT as a woman, and where the word ‘woman’ in the queer community is seen as a dirtier and dirtier word, even though they are coming together in basically bio female to female sexual relationships. As Butches we are so often told by the straight world “you just want to be a man”, and now we are being told the same by the queer world: “you must be a man.”

    I could say, ‘abortion is not really MY issue, it certainly isn’t my primary issue” and that is totally true. Access to equal pay for equal work, equal opportunity, freedom from male violence and harassment and discrimination, as a Butch, as a woman and as a large woman are the biggest levels of discrimination I find in the outside world….first as a woman, but in that, other women are hired, and then I’m percieved as a large Butch woman….and they make an issue of my size, whereas with a guy they wouldn’t, and NEVER would they say because I’m a Butch Dyke, so which is it????It’s all three……sex, size, and sexual orientation/nonfeminine presentation…..the interplay of the three. Also I want the right to stay married to my Butch Dyke partner, and she works in an all female field and is hugely oppressed in opportunities, raises and advancement BECAUSE she is a Butch Dyke, BY OTHER HETEROSEXUAL FEMININE WOMEN!! We BOTH
    suffer in the workplace, access to work in the first place(getting hired, me), her in advancement, raises, being treated fairly and opportunities BECAUSE OF BEING BUTCH LESBIANS….

    So, for a feminism that works for me, I don’t want to be lumped in with straight women issues, except as pertains to ALL women/females moving ahead. I WANT MY issues taken as seriously as straight women have their issues taken. And it is one reason that Black Feminists and Black Lesbians started their own womanist movement to have their particular issues addressed as well. So if the personal is political and the political is personal, there has to be a two way flow with our commonalities AND our differences acknowledged and VALUED, because there are some of us as one kind or another as further minorities of womonhood that have the boot even harder on our necks, while other women who are more conventional and have more privilege do get the opportunities over us and get to move ahead, sometimes on our backs!
    -In Sisterhood,
    -FeistyAmazon

  9. I love this post.🙂

  10. […] We respect trans women as women, but they are not female. Females have a right to organize as females, apart from trans women. Females suffer because of our female biology, which is used to keep us […]

  11. […] version of this post was previously published on bugbrennan’s blog. Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  12. I like how you are basically saying that every male is an abusive power craving rapist. /sarcasm

    I also liked the point where you spoke about females being the poor class. Of course for the sake of the article you forgot to mention that men have the highest income jobs and the lowest income jobs where women are somewhere in the middle and you also forgot to mention that women usually work less. In the UK alone women work 34 hours a week where men work 5 more.

    I do agree on a few points, society is taking away a womans reproductive right and that is obviously wrong and any rational person would agree. You can thank the pro-life people for this issue that you are dealing with at the moment.

    And yes we, men and women, are forcing each other to act in a certain way to uphold the perceived rules of femininity and masculinity.

    ”Sexual orientation discrimination doesn’t exist.”

    Yes it does…

    Ohh and there is something else bothering. You are writing this as if every male out there is out to get you so I can only imagine that from your point of view the only use for a man are his reproductive function?

    Now isn’t that a little narrow.

    1. This piece actually isn’t about men. At all. You are projecting your own insecurities onto the piece. Please stop confusing male “as a class” with individual males.

      Discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity are variants of SEX discrimination – that is the point. Gay people and trans people are targeted for discrimination because they do not conform to expectations created by sexism. I am not talking about legal claims for discrimination here.

      I will leave your narrow comment to you paranoid imagination.

  13. […] ALLIES TO FEMALES, and then we’ll use Intersectionality the way it’s meant to work – for Females. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in […]

  14. […] Female is not an identity. […]

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