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Women's Bodies

Britney Debacle: Who’s the Hit Wh***?

What’s with feminists and others calling those of us blogging, as radical feminists, about the Britney debacle, “hit wh****”? Yeah, RIGHT. There is one “hit wh***,” and one ONLY,  and that is the male photographer who snapped and posted the relevant photos in the first place, in order to get everybody going to HIS places to check the photos out. That meant, though, that men, en masse, ended up at MY BLOG beginning some 8-9 days ago now, and why? Because of an ancient post I have here about the Britney Spears birthing statue. When misogynists come here looking for these photos, they have not come here at my bidding or invitation, obviously.  However, once they’re here and find that this is a radical feminist blog,  I then have to deal with all of their misogynist commentary, which I resent.   I never asked them to read here, I never shot photographs of Britney Spears, I never posted them, I never contacted news media to let them know what I’d done.  I was just here, blogging away about women’s issues.  I have neither the time nor the inclination to be reading misogynist commentary  posted by people searching for something I had nothing to do with.  And THAT’s why I got the bright idea to give them a DIFFERENT kind of eyefull.  If they’re going to come here stirring up some kind of a sand for nothing, well, they’re going to hear from me.

Also: the Britney Spears boondoggle is not about “pornography.”  I didn’t start blogging about this because I am anti-porn (although I am, and although Amananta’s good idea began with this boondoggle.)  The Britney Spears boondoggle is about a Peeping Tom shooting photos and posting them to the internet and more and more  Peeping Toms wanting an eyefull.

The Britney photos are NOT, in fact, pornographic, neither are they erotic, and why? Because they are of Britney, just being herself, not posing, not airbrushed. That’s why a bunch of you men say you were “disappointed” with what you found.  You were hoping for full nudal frontity and a come-hither look ala all the titles at your local Elmo’s XXX. That’s not what real women look like in the course of living their lives, even beautiful women like Britney Spears.   Why do men still not get this?

Heart

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Discussion

63 thoughts on “Britney Debacle: Who’s the Hit Wh***?

  1. I’ve been waiting for this.

    Posted by sparklematrix | December 9, 2006, 1:49 am
  2. I don’t know about whether or not it’s ‘pornography’, but ‘up-skirt’ shots are a staple genre of porn. It is however voyeurism – and thus, invasive.

    Posted by AradhanaD | December 9, 2006, 2:20 am
  3. Heart I think this is your BEST post, because this is ANY woman, not necesarily panty-less and getting out of car with as you say, a peeping tom learing and cashing in, but ANY woman, walking down the street, breasts noticeable (as they are won’t to be) going about our day, for ourselves and our families, and being considered pornographic. Subject to rude comments. Merely because we are women.

    Posted by Pony | December 9, 2006, 2:22 am
  4. AD I agree “up-skirt” shots are a staple genre of pornography, except many men do not view voyeurism as porn just ‘fair game’

    Posted by sparklematrix | December 9, 2006, 2:29 am
  5. It’s amazing how men’s entitlement over your space includes the internet. It’s like they are guests who come into your home uninvited and try to trash it. Then they blame you when you try to ruin their fun or complain when you don’t give them what they think you owe them, because they are men.

    Posted by Radfem | December 9, 2006, 6:19 am
  6. Amananta has a great rant on this. It’s rad art/activism when the lefty boyz do it, and just “NO FAIR” when feminist bloggers do it.

    Posted by Pony | December 9, 2006, 7:11 am
  7. Part of the voyeurism (like in the Britney case), is one-up-manship – getting it over on that particular woman as representative of women as a group.

    “…just being herself, not posing, not airbrushed. That’s why a bunch of you men say you were “disappointed” with what you found. You were hoping for full nudal frontity and a come-hither look ala all the titles at your local Elmo’s XXX. That’s not what real women look like in the course of living their lives, even beautiful women like Britney Spears. Why do men still not get this?”

    Surely men have now been brainwashed by the abundance of porn – and images of mainstream media and advertising – that women ‘look’ this way, that is, sexually alluring / available to men. Here it is a case of, albeit partially, of the joke being on men – patriarchy is churing out this propaganda about women, and the idiot drones (of patriarchy) believe it, hook line and sinker. (HAH HAH – Nelson Muntz, The Simpsons)

    Posted by stormcloud | December 9, 2006, 11:18 am
  8. Many little boys start looking up skirts by the time they’re 3 or 4. I’m sure those of us who had to wear skirts in grade school can remember the boys lining up by the stairs to grab a crotch shot. Considering I was in second when the dress code changed and girls were allowed to wear pants, it gives us an idea of just how young misogyny is drilled into litttle boys. Which apparently starts before they’re even out of diapers.

    Boys learn their attitudes toward women through other men. Usually by those closest to them. So porn is merely a symptom of a much greater and deeper problem. I consider it pouring gas on an already raging fire. Doing away with porn is not going to put the fire out. We have got to get to the root of it all if we are ever going to succeed in achieving an egalitarian society.

    Throwing a glitch or two into a search engine, while amusing, is not going to make much of a dent. But it’s better than doing nothing so here’s a few tips. Use a simple picture or two and few words. Men are generally much too lazy read. They’re looking for pictures, not reading material. So most aren’t going to linger for longer than 5 seconds. If one wants to send a message, it’s got to come across in 5 seconds or less. And that is best achieved by a picture, which as they say, is worth 1,000 words. Which is why men use porn to begin with. They’re pictures. No need to waste time with words to express their sense of entitlement and hatred of women. It’s a fast power boost.

    If you want to frustrate the pornhounds, use the same picture over and over again. They’ll be cussing you before the day is through. If you want to get their attention, use different pictures. But keep it simple. Like I said, they’re not going to linger for longer than 5 seconds.

    Posted by Luckynkl | December 9, 2006, 11:33 am
  9. P.S. That should be “second grade” in that first paragraph. Sure wish they had an commenter’s editing feature in wordpress.

    Posted by Luckynkl | December 9, 2006, 12:03 pm
  10. See that? I couldn’t even do 2 sentences right. **grin**

    Posted by Luckynkl | December 9, 2006, 12:04 pm
  11. Luckynkl
    To a large extent I agree that it is pouring gas on an already raging fire. Certainly, wiping out porn is not the entire solution, and boys’ training in misogyny begins at a very early age (pre-school age).

    I don’t think that ending misogyny can begin in this level of pornification of society. I guess it’s a case of gotta start somewhere?

    Posted by stormcloud | December 9, 2006, 12:32 pm
  12. ***Surely men have now been brainwashed by the abundance of porn – and images of mainstream media and advertising – that women ‘look’ this way, that is, sexually alluring / available to men.***

    I don’t believe this for a second. Surely any man or boy with normal vision has noticed that women only “look” this way in porn/media/advertising, not in 3-D real life.

    As to skirts – I have become convinced that the real reason women and girls are supposed to wear skirts at all is so that men and boys *can* look up them.

    Posted by Branjor | December 9, 2006, 12:52 pm
  13. As to skirts – I have become convinced that the real reason women and girls are supposed to wear skirts at all is so that men and boys *can* look up them.

    Maybe it has evolved into that in the U.S., but I remember my late mother-in-law talking about her experiences in Moracco, Korea and other countries outside of the U.S. She mentioned how women would just squat in the field when they had to go to the bathroom or even when they were in labor. They’d birth children right there out in the open under their skirts. That’s when it began to dawn on me what the purpose of skirts were for. It was so that women didn’t have to expose themselves, undress or take anything off in order to perform normal bodily functions. It’s not like they had businesses and restaurants on every street corner they could run to when they had to go pee. And 911 and ambulances couldn’t wisk them off to a hospital maternity ward. I think we take a lot of that for granted here in the U.S.

    In lieu of this, I began to change my thinking about skirts. Originally I thought the purpose of skrts might be to provide men easy access to sex. Then I realized I was looking through the male lens instead of a female one. I think it was women who designed skirts to accomodate their bodily functions and needs and it had nothing to do with men. Men, however, think the whole world is about them. So they twist everything to make it all about them. In men’s view, women = sex, so women’s bodies and their clothing are sexualized.

    I think one way to discern between the two is by the length of the skirt. Short skirts obviously can’t hide much of anything. So short skirts are worn more to get the attention of males. Altho hot weather might also be another reason for women to wear shorter skirts. Long skirts fall right into place with what my mother-in-law was talking about. A type of clothing designed to accomodate women’s bodily functions without attracting the male gaze.

    Posted by Luckynkl | December 9, 2006, 1:58 pm
  14. Unreal. I added the links to all three of my blogs and the hits have already doubled in less than 30 minutes.

    Posted by breatheinspirit | December 9, 2006, 2:40 pm
  15. Dang, what ineresting thoughts about skirts, Lucky! I think you’re right. Another thing about short skirts– left to ourselves we wouldn’t wear them because we’d have to show our nether reasons to pee (if your theory is correct, and I think it is!). The other thing skirts offer is the potential for really huge, deep pockets which are not encumbering when you’re going about your work. I have always worn mostly skirts, and when I had lots of small kids at home, I didn’t buy or make any skirt that didn’t have gigantic pockets.

    The other thing about skirts is, they are healthier, especially if we don’t wear underwear. All of that fabric between our legs and so close to our nether regions can cause all sorts of problems.

    I wrote this post quickly, just before leaving work and didn’t really say all I wanted to say. What I wanted to say was, a woman’s nude body, depictions of women’s nude bodies, are not imo de facto pornographic. I have lots of art around my house which depicts women in various states of undress and it is very beautiful, inspiring and not in any way titillating or objectifying. I don’t think the shots of Britney Spears were pornographic or titillating in any way. She was just a beautiful young woman, out for a night on the town, ignoring paparazzi. They managed to get a shot under her skirt which they then used in, I believe, an attempt to humiliate her, and there are plenty of people happy to participate in that, but that still didn’t make the shots, themselves, in my view, pornographic– even though pornhounds were looking for them in the same way they look for pornography, esp. the “up skirt” fetish crowd as Aradhana mentioned.

    I think it is outrageous that this can happen. Someone can manage to take this shot and post it to the internet and nothing can be done about it because it’s Britney Spears. In Washington, we do have anti-up-skirt shots legislation and if you do what this photographer did, you can go to jail for up to a year, which isn’t long enough, but at least it recognizes that this is a sex crime. In fact, the legislation was the result of just this experience– a man at a local event getting a photograph of someone up her skirt, then posting it to the internet. When she realized there was nothing she could do about this, she organized and our good law is the result.

    To be titillating to men, in general, pornographic photos of women have to present women as submissive, either willingly submissive, with, again, a come-hither look, a big smile, and her body totally on display, or unwillingly submitted, as with violent pornography. (And yeah, there is SM porn featuring women as doms and some men have that fetish, but that will have to be a topic for another day; its existence doesn’t change anything I’ve said, though.)

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 9, 2006, 3:42 pm
  16. Yeah, lucky– I need to get this blog onto my own server so I can all the bells and whistle. Especially so I can get the comments listed on the sidebar more than five at a time. A lot of great comments get missed in here, argh.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 9, 2006, 4:04 pm
  17. I agree with you re: the skirts, Lucky. It was actually my anthropology professor, a feminist woman, that inspired my thinking a bit more broadly on some of these cultural issues and what you say there makes perfect sense. Especially when you consider that women, by and large, have been responsible for the creation of clothing. We’re the weavers of cloth, the spinners, the seamstresses of the world. VERY good point!

    Posted by Ginny | December 9, 2006, 4:47 pm
  18. Luckynkl, the reason you outline for skirts makes perfect sense, esp when viewed from a woman’s perspective.

    Although, I will be contrary(!) and disagree with the hot weather thing. The only skirts/dresses I own are full length to the ankle, and they are all for Summer. All are extremely loose-fitting (and a cool to wear fabric). In all other weather I wear trousers.

    It would (surely?) make sense for men to wear skirts, all of that mushing up the dangly bits and all?

    Heart, there is a setting to increase the comments in the sidebar, but only up to a maximum of 15. Under the Presentation tab, choose the Sidebar Widgets subtab. Select the little icon (‘configure’) and set and save changes.

    Posted by stormcloud | December 9, 2006, 5:08 pm
  19. Stormy! I love you! Thank you so much!!
    :)

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 9, 2006, 5:13 pm
  20. Yes, I also agree that long skirts offer women convenience and privacy while short skirts do not and I considered that before making my post, but then I thought that nobody wears skirts of such length anymore so it doesn’t seem to be relevant to today. The skirts of today certainly have a different purpose from the skirts of yesteryear. Anyway, that’s interesting, Lucky, about how women used their skirts in Korea and Morocco. We have nothing rivaling such convenience today!

    Anyway, another true “fashion” story in which I was suspicious of the purpose of a clothing feature: Once, years ago, I was shopping for a new bathing suit as summer was coming and my old one was wearing out. I went through a bunch of suits on the rack which I didn’t like and finally found a very nice one – conservative but attractive, and it fit me too. The only problem was that it had a big white zipper going down the front from the middle of the neckline to almost mid stomach. Now, the zipper looked very nice and could be considered “decorative” except that it was functional. It could also be considered as a convenience feature to make getting in and out of the suit easier, but I have never had any trouble getting in or out of a bathing suit without a zipper due to the stretchiness of the fabric. So what was the purpose of the thing? All of a sudden, the picture entered my mind – *anyone* could just walk up to me on the beach and yank the zipper down, leaving me exposed. Since there was a zipper there, the suit would not be ripped and thus the cretin would not even be liable for paying for a new suit for me. If that happened, all I could do would be to pull my stupid zipper back up and be totally mortified as bystanders looked at me, stifled their laughter and said to themselves “well why is she walking around with a big stupid zipper on the front of her suit in the first place, all ready to be yanked down?” Well, even if it is not likely that some total stranger would yank the zipper down on me, the sight of that big white and unprotected zipper could still give guys a buzz at the thought of what they COULD do if they wanted to. So, at this point I was really suspicious about the purpose of this damn zipper and considered not buying the suit. But there were no other suits that I liked and I couldn’t go anyplace else, at least not immediately, because I was a young college student and didn’t have a car at the time and this was the only place I could get to by walking. Besides, I really wanted a bathing suit. So, what I did was this: I bought the suit and a big conspicuous safety pin. I put the pin through the hole in the zipper pull and attached it to the fabric of my suit. That way, it was obvious that if anyone dared to try and yank the zipper down the suit would rip and they would have to pay for it. Anyway, I still have the suit to this day. Nobody ever tried to yank the zipper down and I have never used the zipper to get in or out of the suit as the suit is more than stretchy enough – the zipper feature was and is totally useless. The suit, however, is wearing out. It is time for a new one.

    Posted by Branjor | December 9, 2006, 5:58 pm
  21. *blush* @ Heart!

    Branjor, safety pin was my first thought (although hadn’t considered it highly visible on the outside!). It is even harder to find a decent bathing suit these days, the legs are cut so high on most of them. I’m actually thinking about a one-piece and wearing a pair of men’s swimmers (boxer style) over the top.

    Gimme the good ol’ days of bathing attire, the 1900s!

    (these are raunchy enough for stormy!)

    Posted by stormcloud | December 9, 2006, 6:09 pm
  22. One thing that has stuck me about this whole thing.

    There must be hundreds of opportunities for the paperazzi to get shots of male celebrities with their dicks out (e.g. after pissing up against walls) because, lets face it, loads of guys do that at some point in their lives especially after a few beers.

    But could you imagine women seriously searching the internet looking for them, let alone paying for them?

    -because we don’t objectify men the same way they do us.

    The long skirts/short skirts debate is interesting. However I think we should keep wearing short skirts if we choose to. In Victorian times it was customary for women to wear full skirts and all that happened was everything below the waist became eroticised to the extent where the upper classes covered table legs!

    If we all started wearing long skirts the the only result would be “Britney in ankle flash scandal”

    Posted by puddlejumper | December 9, 2006, 6:30 pm
  23. Yeah, puddlejumper (and everybody else)– I definitely am not suggesting anybody should alter what they wear for any reason. Yeesh! Let’s not get that rumor started, that will be hopeless!

    Interesting bathing suit with zipper insights, branjor! I’ve always thought a main reason for these otherwise-useless zippers is a sort of titillation factor, which is along the same idea you had but more like provocative for the sake of being provocative.

    As to long skirts, that’s kind of another way women in fundamentalist religion can sometimes be revolutionary in their own way, because many, many fundie women wear long skirts. I did, for all the years I was a fundie. Heck, Ginny in this thread made me a beautiful, beautiful dress (she’s an amazing seamstress) years ago which has the long, long skirt and the deep pockets I love so much. Anyway, the skirts pass muster because they are “modest” but they are also comfortable, practical, healthy, don’t have to wear underwear, etc. See, that’s what I mean about fundie women. Many times, they are crazy like a fox, which is why it doesn’t do to blow them off as brainwashed or whatever (which I don’t think anybody here is doing, but it happens other places).

    HA, puddlejumper, re “ankle flash scandal!”

    Here’s what I think about Britney Spears, kinda risky to be frank here, but what the hell, some of us crones have to speak up on behalf of young women. I just think, she’s a late bloomer in some ways. I was too. I have some theories about women who are late bloomers, but those are blog posts for some other day. True confessions: I have driven breastfeeding my babies, I just never got caught. I bet this is true of many, many, many women (who would never admit it, especially if they still have babies and know how the motherhood police would come down on them full force). I’ve gone out in public many times looking scandalous as the day is long. If someone had been around to take my picture, I’d be screwed. Those days are long gone and I can’t be hurt by these admissions anymore, but young women can be so they cower in fear when the media makes this huge fucking deal over Britney’s latest whatever. I don’t think she plans this stuff or is doing it to get attention. No matter WHAT she does, guaranteed, she’s going to get attention. No matter WHAT she does, she’s going to be wrong in a misogynist, woman-hating culture. So — what the hell. She lives her life. She does what she pleases. At some point, given the acrimony and hatred directed one’s way, if you’re healthy, you’re going to say “fuck it, I’m not going to worry about it.” Britney will continue to grow and learn and might have some really good things to say one of these days. Until then, misogynists can count me out of any sort of Britney bashing. I’m not going there.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 9, 2006, 8:16 pm
  24. Heart, I don’t think any of us have done any Britney bashing, it has all been focused (and rightly so), on the photographer and the pervs that seek the pics.

    Posted by stormcloud | December 9, 2006, 9:32 pm
  25. So some poor, pathetic, would-be porn perusers have accidentally found themselves at your site, only to have their prurient pursuits interrupted by exposure to a world-view for which they were completely unprepared (and likely without a free hand with which to shield their eyes.) “I’m sorry sir, this is the express elevator to the first floor.”

    Heart and Amananta, while I’m not in lock-step with everything you’ve written, my hat is off to you and waving over my head in wild support. Bucking the system is one thing, but there’s nothing I admire more than turning the system in on itself. Whether Amananta’s plan makes an impact or not, it’s the A for not just effort, but for style that we should salute.

    I see that this party is intended to be an exclusive one and those with my particular chromosomal combination are not on the guest list. But I wonder if I may inject my opinion anyway.

    As has been mentioned, it isn’t the titillation factor that is driving so many men to seek out these illicit pictures of Britney Spears’s, well, can we rightly use the phrase “private parts” anymore? Certainly one who enjoys looking at such anatomically specific photographs can find enough other samples on the internet to, uh, keep busy for the rest of his life. But I don’t think the reasons given here tell the full story either. Sure, you can talk about voyeurism and the “power over women” motive, but there are other issues.

    America has shucked off kings and lords and dictatorial religious leaders but replaced them with a ruling celebrity class. We need to have people who are “better than us,” but at the same time, we rebel against their power and need to bring them back to our level. Further, there’s a compulsion to maintain control over what we create, and make no mistake, we, collectively, created Britney Spears – stars don’t exist without fans. Even those who aren’t fans share the societal credit/blame for her ascendancy to superstar status. And so we seize upon the opportunity to keep her in her place by exposing that which she would prefer to keep secret.

    On the skirts issue: There is no question about why women wear short skirts – they wear them to look sexy. The question is: why do they want to look sexy? Only the dullest and dimmest of men believe that it is exclusively to attract mates. Women make themselves look appealing to feel good, to fit in, to exercise power over other women, and a million other reasons known only to the person who is actually pulling that small swath of fabric over her hips.

    Posted by swittersblog | December 9, 2006, 11:07 pm
  26. I haven’ t worn a skirt since 1968. I have never liked skirts because they hampered my ability to climb, clamber, scramble through and over bush, rock and creeks, run, race; and look tough (which is the first letter of “don’t fuck with me”.} when hiking alone. But also you’d freeze to death most of the year. My fav pants are those hiking pants with all the pockets down the legs, which I accessorize with one or two waist packs and hiking boots or deep tread running shoes, and various tops short long sleeved, with more pockets there too (the guys call this ‘tech’. I call it practical. } I have not “dressed up” since about 1970 either, since I buy clothes that suit what I want to do. And the only things I want to do indoors can be done in the rather substantial underwear I need as a second layer much of the year. That underwear costs a lot. So when it is no good out there its worn in here.

    But what you say about skirts is neat and true, Lucky. Just not for me.

    Posted by Pony | December 10, 2006, 12:50 am
  27. Oh. Well, I just thought the zipper on the swimsuit was to give it a sporty look, like a wetsuit. I didn’t think of any kind of titillation factor. Now, the bell-bottom jeans I wore in high school that had a zipper that ran all the way from the back of the no-waistband to the front, effectively slicing the pants in half when unzipped, yeah, now THOSE were meant to be suggestive.

    What made me sad was that women even have to think about stuff like this when choosing a bathing suit or any clothes for that matter. Does this zipper say something it shouldn’t say? :(

    Posted by Ginny | December 10, 2006, 1:04 am
  28. Okay, I have not read all this backlog, but I just HAVE to say, when are people going to stop being so childish and fascinated by naked bodies? Maybe it will happen when naked butts become so commonplace that it no longer warrants being front page news that some nosy jerk got a picture of a cutie pie celebrity flashing when she gets out of a car. I haven’t worn underwear for decades, and I can’t even imagine how many flashes I have given in my life, but no one ever published any of them. I probably wouldn’t have cared if they had. I just wasn’t famous enough to have a bunch of loony tunes following me around with telephoto lenses. Maybe if I had to put up with that I’d have a different attitude about the lack of privacy. but I’m sure this is probably off the point.

    Posted by healingmagichands | December 10, 2006, 2:49 am
  29. But if Ginny made me a skirt like that, Heart, I’d def give it a try.

    Posted by Pony | December 10, 2006, 2:57 am
  30. Hey, healingmagichands, you and I have to be blood sisters! Dang. You even don’t wear underwear. :) What’s your sign? How about your Chinese sign? :)

    Hey, pony, Ginny sews like no other. You should go over to her blog and find her posts where she’s wearing the amazingly gorgeous medieval-y dresses she *sewed* for herself. I think she posted those in late August.

    As to my tolerating you or something like that– a hearty and resounding hogwash! I appreciate all of your contributions so much and miss you when you’re not around. We all, as women, have our part to play, you know? We all calls it like we sees it, all of us, and we all benefit from everyone else’s perspective. Some of the wims who post in here and on my boards, I have even had some fairly horrifying fallings out with in years past, actually, and yet they were and are still my wims. We just moved forward, got over it, got over ourselves ;), pressed on. Women are unique among subordinated people groups in that we find it hard to bond with one another (which has been men’s plan, strategy and agenda forevermore, keep us separated and alienated from one another and hence unable to mount an effective, organized resistance to male terrorism). I just think, the way past that is to intentionally value what women have to say, what their perspectives are.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 10, 2006, 4:20 am
  31. Pants are only good when it’s cool enough to wear them! And pants that actually fit me are usually too expensive, except when marked down! One thing a short, stretchy skirt or dress is good for: setting up camp on a tropical beach! You can wade, and move around, and drive in tent poles, and not deal with sweaty, bunchy shorts! Sarongs are very useful as well, and men look good in them (and even feel comfortable)! –the quirky Z

    Posted by Professor Zero | December 10, 2006, 6:28 am
  32. I believe I’ve been raised better than to repay someone’s hospitality by resting my dirty boots upon their coffee table, but I hope you will allow me to counter something your wrote above.

    It seems to me that your statement: “Women are unique among subordinated people groups in that we find it hard to bond with one another” is flawed on two accounts. First, one detects in it a whiff of collective self-pity and acquiescence to societal stereotypes – hardly in keeping with the overall theme of your blog.

    Second, keeping subordinate groups divided and alienated has always ranked in the top-five strategies on the oppressors’ hit parade – from physical separation of families in the slave holding south back to planting spies in non-Christian communities during the Spanish Inquisition and further back to restrictions on communication for Jewish slaves building the pyramids.

    Finally, words have power to shape and even to create their own reality, so I ask for you to be careful with phrases like “male terrorism.” Your enemies may be men, but men are not your enemies.

    Posted by swittersblog | December 10, 2006, 5:42 pm
  33. Swittersblog–

    Yes, indeed, subordinated groups have always been divided and alienated by their oppressors; that is, as you say, at the top of the list of weapons oppressors use. However, once historically oppressed people have organized to fight their own oppression, or once they were emancipated or liberated, or once they became aware of their own oppression, that began to change as they were able to remove themselves from their oppressors’ presence, or as the awareness was created, deepened or grew as to the facts of their own oppression. At that point they created their own communities, groups, nations, excluding their oppressors either temporarily or permanently. The slaves in the U.S. South were emancipated, then left the plantations and created their own communities and political organizations. Members of non-Roman Catholic communities in Europe during the reign of oppressive popes ultimately nailed their theses to the Wittenberg door, created communities of resistance, or their own entire communities, moved into areas where they could protect themselves or enjoy protection or solitude (i.e., Switzerland) as with the Protestants in all of their different forms and flavors to include Lutherans, the Calvinists/Reformed crowd, the Anabaptists, the Unitarian Universalists. The Jewish diaspora ultimately came to an end with the creation of the nation of Israel.

    That has not yet happened for women. For most of us, our situation is more akin to slaves living in the same houses with masters and oppressors, sometimes while attempting liberation on the downlow, other times unaware that there is any option but to live with our masters and oppressors (most of the world’s women). Our communities of resistance, our own woman-only communities, are tiny in size and number and have been and still are immediately threatened wherever they crop up. We have no women’s nation, comparable to the nation of Israel or any nation; we languish in our own diaspora, having been seized over millennia from our women folk, transported to foreign lands, continents, to marry and live among the families of the men who brought us there, who were often hostile to us, and yet we had no rights and could not escape, could not return to our women. When we attempt to gather in our own woman-only spaces, the outrage mounts to the seventh level of heaven and whatever woman or women presumed to create the space gets fired, threatened, sued, attacked, or violated in some other way. For information if you are not aware of these issues, google “Umoja Village,” “Greenham Common women’s community,” “Seneca Falls women’s community,” “Mary Daly/Boston College,” “Vancouver Rape Relief,” or the “Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.”

    As to male terrorism and who our enemies are or are not, just as white people are in no position to tell people of color who their enemies are or are not, however conscious those white people think they are, men are not in any position to tell women whether or not men are our enemies, collectively or individually. As women we, and we alone, will make that call, and men, again, however conscious they may feel that they are, will have to live with the call that we, as women, make.

    When you juxtapose “words have power to shape and even create their own reality,” with “I ask for you to be careful,” and you are a man, talking about male terrorism, a thinking and careful woman might interpret that as a threat, no? Well, I’ll let the reader decide whether men are terrorizing women by reading all of the blog posts here under the category heading “male terrorism,” following the links, reading the writing of women on my blog roll. Men do indeed terrorize women– in large numbers. Those who don’t directly engage in acts of terrorism (a minority) benefit from them and participate in them indirectly.

    Noting that women have more difficulty bonding than do members of other oppressed groups acquiesces to no social stereotypes. This is feminist analysis of the state of the world’s women. We have not had the benefit of our own spaces, communities, nations or heads of state of our own nations. By and large, we must grow up in the homes of, and live with, work with, our oppressors, who actively oppose our relationships and connections whenever they might threaten male hegemony (as I’ve already described). As to “self-pity” — I think that’s the kind of thing men say when they have never bothered to consider the situation of the world’s women, usually because they haven’t really cared to. That is the statement of a man who is not, in fact, “conscious.”

    I think not only are your feet on the coffee table, you neglected to remove your shoes. Please do if you visit again. This is women’s space. Here we do take our opportunity to put women first and to bond with one another. Anyone who gets in the way of that will be shown the door, without apology. This is not a space in which we are going to debate the basics of feminism. This is not a space in which we are going to waste time arguing with anybody about those basics, particularly not men. This is women’s space and radical feminist space. Respect it.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 10, 2006, 6:54 pm
  34. Yeah, Profacero, re the short stretchy skirts and sarongs. w00t! I love both of the above wherever it is very, very hot and always wear shortish or loose skirts when I go to Michigan each August. Men in really hot climates, just in general, wear clothing that is more like a skirt or dress than pants. Pants for American women were and are a political statement more than anything else– we weren’t allowed to wear them, so wearing them became an important statement for us. But clothes are supposed to be about comfort. The older I get, the more that is ALL they are about for me! The stuff I’ve worn for the sake of beauty, dear god. I just wish I had all the money I’ve spent on it!

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 10, 2006, 7:20 pm
  35. “Finally, words have power to shape and even to create their own reality, so I ask for you to be careful with phrases like “male terrorism.” Your enemies may be men, but men are not your enemies.”

    Good gravy.

    If it isn’t “male terrorism”, then what pray tell is it? Male violence against women is very much an act of terrorism.

    If men are not our enemy, than who the heck is our enemy? The freakin’ easter bunny? Or maybe it’s the tooth fairy. We all know that darn tooth fairy is overly oppressive and violent towards the female sex.

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but really, men constantly argue that women have no ability to reason and lack logic when men constantly throw around completely ridiculous arguments to try to appease the poor, confused women who just can’t understand that most men really just want to love and cherish women until death do they part. It gets really old after awhile.

    Posted by breatheinspirit | December 10, 2006, 7:22 pm
  36. And the problem with the new system shows its face; one acceptable, or ingratiating, post, and they’re free to divert our time and attention toward basic education.

    Posted by Pramiti | December 10, 2006, 7:36 pm
  37. Yep. I foresee registering and logging in in our future. :/

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 10, 2006, 8:03 pm
  38. I must admit I was very taken aback by the virulent response to my post. There is in implication that I have crashed a private party, but I might remind you that WWW stands for World Wide Web. I only know about your site because every time I logged into WordPress I saw the post “More Truth About Men: Britney Spears “Crotch” Photos, Poetic Justice, A Proposal” and wondered if your view on the subject was similar to mine (the subject of my first post).

    My post was not looking to debate the foundations of feminism or ask you to defend your point of view. I do feel a need to defend my point of view however and I hope that you at least read this before you delete it. In any case, I will not post again on this forum.

    You wrote “We have no women’s nation, comparable to the nation of Israel or any nation;”

    This is your goal? Perhaps I misunderstand your point. In my view, this is not a women’s rights struggle, it is a human rights struggle. I believe we should strive to get our society to a place where birth is not destiny – one where your gender, race, ethnic background, etc, are irrelevant to your chances for safety, security, and happiness. And yes, anyone who knows anything about early history knows that the only chance for such a society would be to return to the maternalistic society structure that existed before men managed to banish nurturing goddesses and replace them with vengeful male gods. I like my odds in a world ruled by women and have no doubt that men would once again fare far better in such a society than women do today.

    “men are not in any position to tell women whether or not men are our enemies,”

    That depends. If you choose to make me your enemy regardless of my feelings or intentions, they you are correct. If, on the other hand, you define an enemy as one who harbors ill intent, then only I, via my actions or words, am in a position to tell you if I’m your enemy or not. Without question your enemies are men – men who hold power and use that power to subordinate, mistreat, or abuse women. But it is not just women, it is all groups over which these men hold power. And I look at these men as my enemy too in the cause of creating a more just world.

    “When you juxtapose “words have power to shape and even create their own reality,” with “I ask for you to be careful,” and you are a man, talking about male terrorism, a thinking and careful woman might interpret that as a threat, no?”

    I never thought of it that way and I can see your point. But to be clear, all I meant was that, as implied above, I don’t believe that all men are your enemies and that using a phrase like “male terrorists” is equivalent to “islamo-facists” in that while it presumably seeks to distinguish between between a broad group and a violent subset, what it actually does is reinforce notions that the term actually applies to the whole group. My admonition to be careful was completely benign.

    “Those who don’t directly engage in acts of terrorism (a minority) benefit from them and participate in them indirectly.”

    Agreed. I have, unwillingly and unknowingly, benefited from past and present subjugation of women. But if you are white and live in America, you have benefited even more from the enslavement of blacks and their continued subjugation. There is no easy answer to this – its just something we should all be aware of.

    It seems that you object to my linking women’s rights to the struggles of others:

    “However, once historically oppressed people have organized to fight their own oppression, [and] were able to remove themselves from their oppressors’ presence…”

    But again, I take issue with some of your logic.

    “The slaves in the U.S. South were emancipated, then left the plantations and created their own communities and political organizations.”

    Yes, and today blacks enjoy the same opportunities for financial success and social growth that whites do.

    “Members of non-Roman Catholic communities in Europe during the reign of oppressive popes ultimately nailed their theses to the Wittenberg door […] moved into areas where they could protect themselves or enjoy protection or solitude (i.e., Switzerland).”

    Having to flee your homeland is not quite the same things as shaking off the yoke of bondage

    “The Jewish diaspora ultimately came to an end with the creation of the nation of Israel.”

    Right, and today they all live happily in comfort and security.

    Anyway, I do honestly wish you luck and success with both your short-term and broader goals.

    Switters

    Posted by swittersblog | December 10, 2006, 9:22 pm
  39. You wrote “We have no women’s nation, comparable to the nation of Israel or any nation.” This is your goal?

    This might be my goal, if I thought it were attainable. If we had a women’s nation, there would be male citizens, but women would be in charge, though a little differently from the way men are in charge in pretty much all of the nations throughout the world.

    I don’t think this is attainable, so it isn’t my goal. But I wasn’t speaking directly to the issue of a women’s nation being a goal. I was explaining why the situation of women as a people group is different from the situation of subordinated groups which include both men and women, i .e., the ones you mentioned. More specifically I was explaining why it is that women have difficulty bonding. Other groups have been able to carve out spaces specifically for the purpose of healing, bonding, strategizing, planning, etc., outside of the presence of the subordinating group.

    I like my odds in a world ruled by women and have no doubt that men would once again fare far better in such a society than women do today.

    I think so, too, though again, I want to make a caveat that I don’t think women would rule in the sense that men do. I think a society ordered by women would look much different than the one we now have.

    But to be clear, all I meant was that, as implied above, I don’t believe that all men are your enemies and that using a phrase like “male terrorists” is equivalent to “islamo-facists” in that while it presumably seeks to distinguish between between a broad group and a violent subset, what it actually does is reinforce notions that the term actually applies to the whole group. My admonition to be careful was completely benign.

    Thanks for that clarification. I agree that the term “male terrorism” is loaded and likely hurtful to men of good intentions (and I fully believe such men exist; I am privileged to know such men). At the same time, if we consider the acts which men commit in the world, no other term really suffices. One reason I use the term “male terrorism” is that it gets at this very issue of intent which you raise. I don’t think whether or not men intend to terrorize women is really the issue, so far as women are concerned. The issue, for us, is that, in fact, we are terrorized, to the point that we have to watch our backs all the time, in our homes, in the street, wherever we go. That is what it is to be a terrorized people. If it’s only about intent, then many, many men can and will absolve themselves of responsibility for the fact that women *are* terrorized by men by thinking, or saying, that they don’t personally terrorize women– even though they well might. For male terrorism to end, all men have to take responsibility for ending it, even the men with the best of intentions.

    But if you are white and live in America, you have benefited even more from the enslavement of blacks and their continued subjugation.

    This is absolutely correct.

    There is no easy answer to this – its just something we should all be aware of.

    There are no easy answers, but there are indeed answers. Being aware is the beginning. From there, as white people, we have to actively work to give up the privilege and benefits we have inherited because we were white in America, in every way we can, individually and corporately, give them up. We have to simultaneously stand aside as black people work towards their own full liberation and empowerment. We have to stay out of their way, listen to what they say, and offer as much support as we can. The same is true for men, vis a vis women.

    It seems that you object to my linking women’s rights to the struggles of others:

    I don’t. We are all connected, all creation is connected, our oppressions and struggles are also connected. My priority is women’s struggles and so that is my focus.

    Yes, and today blacks enjoy the same opportunities for financial success and social growth that whites do.

    This is completely and totally untrue and inaccurate. Black people do not enjoy the same opportunities for financial success and social growth that whites do. They also continue to be relentlessly subordinated, by individuals, by institutions of all kinds, because they are black.

    Having to flee your homeland is not quite the same things as shaking off the yoke of bondage

    You’re missing my point though, again. Other subordinated people groups could flee their homeland and work on shaking off the yoke of bondage out from under the noses of the oppressors. The same cannot be said for women. We couldn’t flee our homeland. There is nowhere we could or can go to be in the presence just of women, out from under the noses and surveillance of men. And again, my comments here went to the issue of why, as women, bonding is more difficult for us than for other subordinated people groups.

    “The Jewish diaspora ultimately came to an end with the creation of the nation of Israel.”

    Right, and today they all live happily in comfort and security.

    Of course, they do not, and all people of conscience and good will ache for the situation in Israel. Nevertheless, happily in comfort and security or no, the Jews have a nation in this world which belongs to them. The people of women do not and have not, for millennia.

    Switters, I understand the response here seemed intense to you. As feminists, our online venues are consistently trolled and diverted by men, including men who believe themselves to be posting with the best of intentions, and so we might be a little hasty in our responses where we think that might be happening again. If you look around in here, you’ll see that men contribute and have really good things to say and are welcomed here. Your posts included some sentiments we all have learned to associate with men who are comparatively unfamiliar with feminism; hence, our response. We do value our male allies whenever and wherever we can find them.

    Peace,

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 10, 2006, 10:31 pm
  40. Heart, I am a Gemini born i the year of the Serpent. And I have four planets in Gemini, so I truly am the Gemini-est of all Geminis.

    I finally read through the backlog, and I have used the long skirt a la Morrocan ladies for years. When I am travelling by car I almost always choose a “waltz-length” skirt because then we can stop anywhere when we need to pee. Of course, I have to admit that I have gotten rather insouciant about dealing with bodily functions lately. I have been known to stop and drop the slacks and not particularly care if someone sees my bare butt. I figure that I don’t know any of those people driving on that interstate anyway, so who gives a rip.

    However, I just read a series of excerpts of articles in “The Week” that made my blood run cold. The subject under discussion was the modern day existence of slavery. Most of the modern day slaves are women who are trapped in the sex trade, and frankly, I think that this is a subject that deserves a whole lot more anger and rage and angst and discussion than poor Britanny’s crotch.

    Posted by healingmagichands | December 10, 2006, 11:13 pm
  41. I also have to say something about the “terrorist men” terminology. I understand why you use it and I understand also why Switters may have gotten upset by that.

    I feel that my husband/partner/soul mate is one of our allies. The interesting thing about being an ally to feminists is that suddenly, that male ally is treated as weird, crazy, not fully masculine, suspect and all that sort of thing by the other members of his gender. It takes a very strong person to continue to be an ally in the face of that shit.

    Long ago I decided that in order to be fully liberated as a woman and a person, I had to stop being afraid. Perhaps I have a very strong guardian spirit and have given it many horrible moments as it protected me, but I do not walk in fear, or refuse to go out or to “dangerous” places. Perhaps it is the years of establishing my energy barrier/protective circle around me. Perhaps I’m just lucky. I rarely feel endangered, I have never been mugged, no one has raped me or attacked me, or burglarized my home or car. If that had happened to me, I imagine I would feel very violated. But having walked in many places of the world, I would begin working very hard to regain my sense of self and security. Because I never want to walk in fear. I refuse.

    Posted by healingmagichands | December 10, 2006, 11:32 pm
  42. Hey, healingmagichands, I KNEW IT. I am ALSO a Gemini, born the year of the dragon, and three of my planets are in Gemini. HA!

    Fwiw, if you poke around in here, you will see that I’m really not much for posting at length about female celebrities and spend a lot of time posting about horrors like sex slavery/trafficking, rape for genocide and so on. This is a little different for me.

    I have been spared a lot in my life, have faced down really horrifying things and not been irretrievably harmed by them, but I have also suffered a lot. I am the survivor of severe battering (my first husband, he finally attempted to kill me after I left him and went to jail for the rest of his life; I had a fractured skull, fractured eye sockets, but healed very well, guardian angels for sure), severe all-kinds-of-abuse in my second marriage, rape, spiritual abuse (in extremist religious groups). I’ve also been robbed multiple times, had my car stolen twice, and once walked in on an armed robbery. The cool thing is that I’m not really afraid– in large part because as I have learned, I ain’t goin’ until it’s my time. :) But the fact that I am not afraid, doesn’t make male terrorism any less terrorizing. There’s a book out that I want to get and haven’t, The Gift of Fear, in which the writer describes fear *as* a gift which helps us to protect ourselves. We aren’t afraid for no reason, as women; we are afraid for very good reasons. I know that some women can blow fear off, but others cannot and really should not, in that it does function to keep them safe.

    As to male allies, well, yeah, any of us who is an ally to those in subordinated groups — which hopefully all of us in here strives to be — will catch some of the flak you talk about, but it is never close to what those in the subordinated groups experience. In the end, if we are white, even if we are an ally to people of color (by their testimony), we still enjoy skin privilege. If we are middle class or wealthier, give liberally to the poor and make ethical decisions about how we use our money, people may call us all kinds of bleeding hearts or whatever, and yet we still enjoy class privilege compared with the poor. And same with men. They might experience some ridicule but they still enjoy the benefits of being men in the world.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 11, 2006, 1:16 am
  43. All right, to Chris, whose comment I am not going to approve:

    I am not concerned with why Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Janet Jackson or Lindsey Lohan might have done whatever they did which resulted in various body parts being exposed. No matter what they did — no matter why they did what they did — nobody has a right to shoot upskirt photos and post them to the internet. Full stop. That is Peeping Tom/perp behavior, is criminal in my and other states, and is just wrong. My wearing no underwear gives nobody any right to position a camera beneath my skirt. If you do it, you have committed a crime against me. I think the same is true for the Britney Spears debacle even if there is no similar law in California. The photographer behaved like a perp.

    I also don’t care how moral/ethical/upright/virtuous/whatever any of the above women were or weren’t. I don’t care WHAT a woman does. It NEVER gives a man the right to take photos of her private parts and circulate them around the internet. It never gives a man the right to touch her, rape her, or treat her hatefully. So take that destructive, anti-woman line of reasoning and stick it severely where the sun don’t shine.

    And really, this particular idea so many men have that not wearing panties means women “deserve” or “ask” for whatever they get is ghastly and may become a new series of posts here, using lines culled from all the misogynist comments I spammed. Who’d a thunk this number of men (and some women, too) would defend this particular behavior because of what Britney wore, the whole “she asked for it” line of excuses for perp behavior? Really, really scary and despicable in my opinion.

    As to this question, which is also asked in different words in a lot in comments I spam:

    An honest question for this board: If you make money off others’ wasteful and destructive compulsions, are you really so innocent?

    Huh?

    If you mean to say that those who made money off of the Britney Spears/Paris Hilton/Janet Jackson/Lindsey Lohan debacles, i.e., the photographers who filmed or shot photos, the websites which posted them, the media which publicized it all, were not innocent, I agree 100 percent. They are not innocent.

    However, if you are laboring under the mistaken notion that we radical feminists who have responded as we have to this sad chapter are making one red cent off of any of it, check it out. Do you see any Adsense ads here or on the other radfem blogs which have blogged about this or in connection with this? See any Blogads? See any ads, period? See any Alas-a-Blog-style pages listing straight-up pornography links evidencing Amp’s having sold out to pornographers? No, you do not see any of the above, do you? Because not a one of us makes one red cent from our blogs. We pay our own way. I pay about a hundred bucks a month to host my various websites and have for years now. This WordPress blog is free, although I’m going to be uploading it onto a server soon. I don’t make any money from anything I post to this blog, including the posts about Britney Spears.

    We don’t do what we do for money. We do what we do for the love of women, something that is very unusual and unique and unheard of in the world — women loving women, women being committed to women, but we do, and we are.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 11, 2006, 1:30 am
  44. ***I agree that the term “male terrorism” is loaded and likely hurtful to men of good intentions***

    I am so tired of this. If I read a post labeled “white terrorism” and it related actions of the KKK, I would not feel it was “hurtful” to me as a white or that I was being smeared with the same brush as the KKK. I understand that the actions of the KKK and their ilk *is* white terrorism. I am sick and tired of having to endlessly explain and soothe the feelings of so called “men of good intentions.” Grow a thicker skin, for crying out loud. Sometimes I think the reason men are so much more sensitive to even the hint of disparagement of their sex than whites generally are to hints of disparagement of their race is because the “disparagement” of men cuts even closer to the truth, even in the case of “men of good intentions.”

    Posted by Branjor | December 11, 2006, 2:01 am
  45. “When I am travelling by car I almost always choose a “waltz-length” skirt because then we can stop anywhere when we need to pee. Of course, I have to admit that I have gotten rather insouciant about dealing with bodily functions lately. I have been known to stop and drop the slacks and not particularly care if someone sees my bare butt.”

    Healing,

    Have you ever heard of the P-Mate?

    http://www.femalefreedom.ca/

    “# The P-Mate is a revolutionary way for women to pee discreetly without having to pull down their pants and squat.
    # The P-Mate allows women to pee standing up.
    # The P-Mate is the most amazing female urinary device.
    # The P-Mate gives women the freedom to pee like men.
    # The P-Mate is clean and hygienic.
    # The P-Mate is covered with a 4-leaf clover design as it is good luck to have one with you when you are in need.
    # The P-Mate does NOT get all wet and soggy after use. You can easily slip it back into a pocket or bag for later disposal if you are outdoors where there is no garbage can.”

    Posted by Faith | December 11, 2006, 2:38 pm
  46. ” Sometimes I think the reason men are so much more sensitive to even the hint of disparagement of their sex than whites generally are to hints of disparagement of their race is because the “disparagement” of men cuts even closer to the truth, even in the case of “men of good intentions.””

    BINGO. That’s the main problem isn’t it. This is the truth about men and even men don’t like it. But, instead of being MEN – which would mean addressing and attempting to fix the problem – they devolve into children with naught but schoolyard insults and threats against anyone lacking that extra dangly appendage. It’s pathetic.

    It’s makes it abundantly clear who is actually an adult male (I.e. Stan Goff, Robert Jensen) and who is not (MRA/FRA’s and all those who look for crotch shots and, not finding any, feel the need to whine).

    And frankly, I cannot BELIEVE that someone asshat had the nerve to suggest that because these women are of less-than-The-Madonna status that it is somehow okay that these pics are taken and circulated. Fuck you, coward.

    Posted by veravenom | December 11, 2006, 3:03 pm
  47. Veravenom, is it not just one asshat who had the nerve, it is a GIGANTIC number of asshats, which is freaking scary.

    Also, to the clueless hordes one would think would know better, given their apparent fascination with these photos, these photos show Britney Spears’ vulva. They don’t show her vagina.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 11, 2006, 5:24 pm
  48. Do you think any of them are thinking about the fact that this is a mother of two children?

    Posted by veravenom | December 11, 2006, 5:52 pm
  49. “Do you think any of them are thinking about the fact that this is a mother of two children?”

    Vera,

    They are thinking about that. As far as they are concerned, being a single mother gives them even more justification for insulting and degrading her.

    Posted by breatheinspirit | December 11, 2006, 6:17 pm
  50. A good point that hadn’t occured to me.

    Posted by veravenom | December 11, 2006, 6:20 pm
  51. I think they only think about Spears being a mother when they want to use it against her some kind of way.

    Argh.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 11, 2006, 6:26 pm
  52. I agree with VeraV on the ‘sensitive men’ issue. As Branjor says, I don’t get defensive whenever the KKK thing is mentioned, but try to remain sensitive and open (to whatever I may be doing wrong with my white privilege).

    Posted by stormcloud | December 11, 2006, 8:41 pm
  53. If we had a women’s nation, there would be male citizens, but women would be in charge, though a little differently from the way men are in charge in pretty much all of the nations throughout the world.

    Have you read Sheri Tepper’s “The Gate to Women’s Country”? Parts of it are heartbreaking but it’s incredibly fascinating.

    Posted by Delany | December 12, 2006, 6:18 pm
  54. You know, I DO have that book, Delany, have had it forever and never read it. I am SO not a fiction reader. It’s been forever since I read fiction– well the last book was Mary Daly’s Quintessence and that isn’t exactly fiction, really even, well it is, but it’s very different. I’ve got vacation coming up, I think I should read this. Thanks for the recommend!

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | December 12, 2006, 7:12 pm
  55. Indeed, this goes beyond “porn”. It is very revealing, actually. Men don’t even want to see a woman consenting to be degraded and used in porn anymore – they want to see NON CONSENSUAL porn. This blows all the rhetoric by the porn supporters out of the water – all the stuff about how women freely consent to being in porn. It’s just like the big Paris Hilton sex tape thing – they wanted to see a woman naked who HADN’T consented to being naked and who wasn’t getting any money out of it – furthermore, men want these pictures or videos for FREE.
    And the people saying “she asked for it by not wearing underwear” are no different from the people claiming women ask to be raped for wearing short skirts.
    But Britney – you know, I am starting to like her – she posted a picture of her and her friends flipping everyone off on her own website.

    Posted by Amananta | December 12, 2006, 7:24 pm
  56. Branjor – actually I wear a lot of smocks with huge pockets, they are sleeveless and can be worn alone or over warmer clothes, weather depending. And they reach my ankles. I love them.

    Posted by Amananta | December 12, 2006, 7:28 pm
  57. I’ve got vacation coming up, I think I should read this.
    Just a word of warning that the first chapter is brutal, especially to anyone who’s a parent. Keep going, though. It’s worth it. Maybe it’ll even inspire a post or two.

    Posted by Delany | December 12, 2006, 7:34 pm
  58. Chiming in late, but just had to say:

    >then only I, via my actions or words, am in a position to tell >you if I’m your enemy or not.

    And only I am the one to interpret your actions and words, and tell YOU if I’m your enemy or not.

    >Without question your enemies are men – men who hold power >and use that power to subordinate, mistreat, or abuse women. >But it is not just women, it is all groups over which these men >hold power.

    Since some of those groups include men as well (e.g. racial minorities) then even members of under-power groups have some power over others — men over women. That’s how patriarchy works.

    In other words, men are the enemies of women because they either lord their power over us directly or benefit indirectly from our obiediance, social conditioning and fear of male violence.

    >between a broad group and a violent subset,

    One in 3 or 4 women will be sexually assaulted by the time she’s 25. There is not a “violent subset” of men committing these crimes , or if so, an phenomenally busy one. This is far more mainstream than men are willing to admit.

    Who is doing all this serial abusing? Sexual predators are everywhere; they are ministers, priests, teachers, fathers, uncles, TV and sports stars, coaches, retail clerks in supermarkets. They are in every social class and every profession and every county in the nation. They are Legion.

    I’ll be much more willing to believe in the (nearmyth) of the male feminist supporter when I see a few more of them willing to give up a little of their own privilege, starting with the privilege of trying to define women’s experiences.

    Posted by Gaia's Muse | December 12, 2006, 10:16 pm
  59. “Also, to the clueless hordes one would think would know better, given their apparent fascination with these photos, these photos show Britney Spears’ vulva. They don’t show her vagina. ”

    I’m guilty of having called them photos of her vagina. In my defense and the defense of some others who know the difference, sometimes you’ve got to speak in a language that will be understood by those to whom you are speaking. In this case, using correct terminology and referring to Spears’ vulva could easily have resulted in a response such as, “Who cares what kind of car she drives?”

    Posted by CoolAunt | December 14, 2006, 10:14 pm
  60. Actually CoolAunt (yep, I agree with the terminology thingy)

    I think it may actually be a photo of her mons pubis or ‘mound of venus’. (I had to buy a copy of disgusting magazine Zoo for research purposes last week.)

    In the mag they cite the car as being a Mercedes SLR McLaren – but it would have been (marginally!) amusing if it had been a boxy Swedish automobile. *smile*

    Posted by stormcloud | December 17, 2006, 1:40 pm
  61. uhh…IS this a radical feminist blog? If so, what do you think about lowered physical standards for female soldiers?

    Posted by girlwrestler | December 21, 2006, 11:40 am

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