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Pre-2008 Posts

For Brownfemipower

The problem with Alas, and other places like Alas, is, there are a whole bunch of people who post in those places who can afford to be courteous and civil and respectful in their discussions and debates.  What marginalized, subjugated, subordinated, exhausted-by-the-fight people find outrageous, unbearable and exquisitely, torturously painful every single moment just doesn’t touch them, not where it hurts, not where they live.  They can pontificate on at length about it, run endlessly off at the mouth about it, and make themselves look oh-so-good and smart and well-studied in their theoretical “liberalism” and “progressivism” and ally work, so-called, without ever really getting their hands in it, down and dirty, their bodies in it, down and dirty, without ever having to muck around in the the absolute, absolute, abject evil and filth that colonizers send into this earth every moment of every day.  They can distance themselves from it, say, gee, I would  never do that, I’m not like that, all men are not like that, my husband is not like that, my friends are not like that,  see, look at me, I am right here saying all sorts of good stuff, I’m a really nice guy, and if I can be courteous and respectful, you can be, too, don’t raise your voice, don’t get upset, don’t curse, don’t call anybody any names, don’t lose your temper, get yourself together, woman, what are you doing, getting all hysterical, don’t you know it’s all about being civil and respectful around here?

It gets very, very, very, exquisitely,  old.  I can no longer bring myself to read, for one example of many, threads in which white heterosexual men parse cerebrally out which violations, exactly, constitute rape, and which violations are actually something less than rape, see, there was no penetration,  see, they were married, it was a compromise, see, it’s a gray area, see, it wasn’t really rape, it was actually something, that…  well, you know, a man could do, and then say, “But I only _____ her, I didn’t rape her.”   If I should go into a thread like this again, guaranteed I would lose it in a way I can’t afford to, not anymore, not ever again.  I have lost it this way too many times in the past.  I have let loose with language which is… not exactly persuasive.  I have lashed out, fought back with every rhetorical trick and tool I could imagine, in blind rage,  with everything I could think of, could find, so damn frustrated and yeah, might as well admit, it, hurt.  Just hurt.  I know blind rage doesn’t get me very far.  And I don’t want to admit how much this kind of blindness and ignorance hurts me.   But I’ll be good- goddamned if I’m going to be told, ever again, by white men who claim to be my allies, or white women who support them and sound just like them, to calm down and respond politely to their civil and courteous discussions of the unspeakable, unspeakable violation, evil, which I and the women I love, and the girls I love, and the women I have never met, and yet love, have had to endure and survive.

No.

I won’t do that.  Not ever again.  They can have their tete-a-tetes, their mutual admiration societies, their soirees, their parties, hearties,  without me, whatever.  I can’t stop them.  But I don’t want anything to do with that.  I can’t take it anymore.  The stakes are too high.  The work is too damned important. Come the revolution, maybe I’ll talk with those folks, try to work things out.  Until then, I’ve got to devote my energy to making revolution, in every way I know how.

With you, bfp, hearing you, respecting you,

Heart

Discussion

20 thoughts on “For Brownfemipower

  1. Yah. Sailing makes me sea sick too.

    Posted by Pony | October 7, 2006, 6:10 am
  2. Exactly Heart.

    I feel responsible for the thread that was responding to my post – I could have done something about it, but I was too tired and busy. My blog once became the centre of controversy on a New Zealand rape trial, and I spent forever each night just deleting offensive comments. I was in no place to do it either – because I was heartsick about the verdict, and incredibly distressed about what women were posting to the thread about their own experiences.

    Posted by Maia | October 7, 2006, 12:21 pm
  3. “I’ve got to devote my energy to making revolution, in every way I know how”

    That’s where I am Heart, I couldn’t run round in circles chasing words even if I wanted to.

    Posted by sparklematrix | October 7, 2006, 4:40 pm
  4. Beautiful words, Heart. Sometimes I get so damn angry it feels like my head is going to come off and then I look at how cooly people react around me and wonder if I have more invested than they do. Do they really care at all or are they looking at it as an academic exercise…But leveling with people does tend to be more rewarding. I think that anger is better turned to energy. Helping people. Fighting for the cause. It’s important. I wonder sometimes how important some of these blogs are compared to what is happening out there. But blogs can have a real impact on lives. I know that when I found your website and read your words on amp’s blog my life was changed. So this was a long way of saying I’m with you on this.

    Posted by anashi | October 7, 2006, 7:13 pm
  5. As a half-Muslim woman, I got both intellectual and emotional whiplash from these discussions. I completely disagreed with Brownfemipower’s inital criticism of Amanda Marcotte’s photoshop, and I was furious at those who conflated disagreeing with Bfp with a) white privilege, b) support for colonialist wars, or c) both.

    I’m not at all sure why people find it so difficult to say, “Yes, the Taliban was oppressive. No, that doesn’t mean we should go to war and bomb women to liberate them. No, that doesn’t mean Western society is anywhere near feminist utopia.” It baffles me to read these arguments where people assume so much about the best way to fight other people’s battles.

    Posted by The Grouch | October 7, 2006, 7:47 pm
  6. I see noe ther ewas a reason why I didn’t even go to that thread about defining rape in Alas.

    I don’t know if this is OT, but I am now wondering about the way money flows, and resources, and where it ends up, and precious little of it flows to children. Think of a growing plant, it puts resources to the new leaves, the parts that are growing. Not to make a zillion new leaves, but to make the new ones strong. Yet when we talk about helping out mothers, we hear “but then they will havea zillion children and there are already too many people”.

    At my work, I know I am smarter and more talented than the art director, yet I am not given responsibilities (read: a high salary) the way he is, because I can only work 40-50 hours a week because I am a single mom. I can’t even make ends meet, every month my net worth shrinks because I am operating on a deficit, and I can’t even scrape a menaingful college fund for her. And meanwhile the bosses at my very small company own 3 large cars each. One owns three big trucks, and the other an Audi, an SUV and a Hummer.

    What is going on here, that our system diverts the resources to giant cars while children don’t get what they need? Yes I’m resentful, you bet.

    Posted by saltyC | October 7, 2006, 9:30 pm
  7. I haven’t read Alas recently so I don’t know what thread is being referred to but, still I am feeling you on this. This is exactly how I feel when I try to have discussions about feminism with men. I am told how vitriolic and angry I sound and how they can’t have a discussion with me when I’m so worked up. Somehow I’m supposed to be able to talk to someone, usually a man – who hasn’t the slightest clue about the things women are dealt all the time and that I can’t ignore them because I live with them – and remain all calm as if I’m talking about something that after the discussion I can walk away from, that it’s done. But I can’t just walk away from it. The reality is these things are happening every day, all around us, all the time.

    For him, it’s just a brief discussion where HE can walk away and yet he can’t even handle a few hours of hearing anger about it while we have to deal with a lifetime of this patriarchal horror inflicted on women. He can’t handle WORDS, while women are dealt a whole lot more than angry words, things like rape, abuse, death, daily humiliations, etc.

    Posted by Le Chat Noir | October 7, 2006, 10:47 pm
  8. I don’t know. I haven’t bothered reading all the fighting about this, because I’m still scratching my head trying to trace how it all started in the first place. Therefore, the criticism and angry comments don’t make total sense to me.

    Maybe I misunderstand, but I was pretty certain that it was okay, feminist-wise, to criticize practices of other countries via a feminist lens. A racist /ethnocentric criticism would read something like this: “That practice that women engage in OVER THERE is so anti-feminist, but OVER HERE women are so enlightened!” I don’t know if that’s what happened, but if it did, then I understand why people got really angry.

    On the other hand, as much as I want to compare burqas to bikinis, bras, makeup, and the “forced femininity” of the West, last I checked, if you don’t wear a bra in the West, you don’t have to worry about risking your life. So while I understand the shock and disgust about listening to patronizing arguments aimed towards women of any culture who had/have to wear the burqa as if they need to be “saved” by Big Sister Western Feminist, and having their culture used as a cheap joke on a big Western feminist blog, I very much believe that there are basic rights of women, of all humans, to be able to wear clothing and NOT suffer violence/degradation because of their clothing choices.

    Posted by Edith | October 8, 2006, 4:59 am
  9. Denying the life experiences of a whole group of people (or even one) is a great way to assert your privilege. It’s also a great way for these “enlightened liberal men” to prove that they don’t know their asses from their elbows. I’m sure they’ll be upset to someday realize that the only difference between them and any other typical male is in terms of irony.

    Posted by John | October 8, 2006, 8:32 am
  10. Anashi, thanks for those kind words.🙂

    What started the burqua controversy was, Jessica Valenti of Feministing was criticized by FireDogLake (a woman neocon’s blog) for the way she dressed and posed for a picture with Clinton at the blogger meet-up Clinton invited her and other bloggers to. There was a big kerfuffle over this with bloggers lining up to defend or accuse Valenti. I personally didn’t take issue with what Valenti wore or did, though I do think any meeting with the Clintons itself, except to debate them, is ill-advised. I didn’t like the poster kids feeling I got, i.e., the Clintons saying, “See, all of these progressive/feminist bloggers support us.” Anyway, after the big conflagration, Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon posted the picture which resulted in Valenti being criticized, but this time a woman in a burqua replaced Valenti, and the caption was something like, “This is what FireDogLake thinks Jessica should have worn to the blogger meetup.” And then everyone who supported Jessica came in to yuk it up, oh, haha that’s so funny.

    I was bothered by the photo and I think the way I was bothered was described most succinctly by what salty said in the Alas thread we’re talking about here, something like, that it was so wrong to laugh at a woman in a burqua when the U.S. is, at the moment, making war on countries where women wear burquas. It just hurts me. For one thing, right now in Iraq, things are worse than they have been for a long long time and women have to wear burquas or they are at great risk publicly, but even if they wear them, they are getting kidnapped and raped, murdered, we have basically, “we” meaning the U.S., abandoned Iraqi women, just as we abandoned Afghan women, which I knew we’d do but still feel such disgust and anger about it. So when I look at a photo like this, I think, what, we’re comparing being criticized for our appearance with the situation of women who are forced to wear burquas? We’re laughing at the idea of a woman in a burqua? At the very, very least, giving every benefit of the doubt, that was just a tasteless, ill-advised “joke.” I have often had that problem with white feminist bloggers who use a lot of humor in their blogging. All of them, in my experience, have crossed the line more than once in trying to get a laugh or be funny, have been at the very least, if not racist, classist, and again, giving the benefit of the doubt here, really, really insensitive. And then, I don’t know what the deal is with white bloggers who rely a lot on humor, but for whatever reason, they invariably seem to have problems with apologizing for crossing the line when clearly, they have. They blow you off, rhetorical “you,” or get really defensive, or apologize in a way that isn’t really an apology. So along the way all of this offense and animosity accumulates and eventually it just gets to be too much.

    The issue on Alas was, someone went in there and straight up said, “I think we should bomb Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, everywhere there are Islamic fundamentalists.” (!!) When everybody reacted vehemently, she called everyone the new pseudo feminists and fascists who weren’t as evolved as she was because she has been working with Middle Eastern feminists since 1972. She then went on to suggest we probably all voted for Democrats or Nader, probably went to demonstrations with our boyfriends, didn’t care about the behaviors of UN “peacekeepers,” fascistly demonized and blamed white radical feminists, and if we were really serious, we’d get behind bombing countries to smithereens so the women who live in them can get free and have “choices.” The killer was, she called herself “Green Consciousness” and an ecofeminist!
    :/ Dang. Postmodern hell, felt like.

    I did think her post was worth responding to because of the issues it raised. I agreed with some of what she said. I totally agree that the treatment of, and spin and propaganda around, white radical feminists is and has been unfair, destructive, and in large part untrue. I agreed with her that we should allow women from fundamentalist countries to immigrate to the U.S. without their husbands and fathers, should open our borders to them. But the rest of what she said was just absurd. She blamed NOW and the Feminist Majority Foundation for not sort of seizing the day when Bush made war on the Middle East and somehow jockeying into a position to issue demands on behalf of women in the Middle East. That was just nuts. No way shape or form do feminist women have that kind of power, to even demand a voice, but beyond that, American women know better than to ride into a situation like we’re conquering heroes. The women we’re attempting to “save” and “rescue” have to be interested in what we think we’re giving them!

    It’s true that we aren’t punished outright in this country for not wearing a bra or for not wearing a bikini or whatever, and that the stakes there are much higher for Middle Eastern women. But what I’ve written in my recent posts here about the way men in the U.S. treat women? Here and as soldiers in the Middle East? Those posts are also true. 168 men in the span of 24 hours will line up to abjectly hate on a woman, hoping for a chance inflict pain on her during sex, in response to a personals ad on Craig’s List. A man will tie a living woman he says he loves to the back of her truck and drag her a mile to her death. Men will enter school rooms and either sexually assault or intend to assault school girls, then murder them in cold blood. Men will rape and burn 14yo Iraqi girls and murder their families. Parents will abduct daughters to force them to abort babies or to keep them from marrying. We chain laboring and birthing women to their cots.  We may not be punished directly for wearing/not wearing whatever, as Muslim women in some countries are, but we are punished because we are women and terrorized because we are women. This being so, how on earth can any feminist suggest that “our men” or our culture or our country ought to save Middle Eastern women from “their men”, their culture, or their country, especially via making war on them? We understand this arrogance and power tripping on the part of white male heterosupremacists, but when we hear it coming from someone who identifies as a feminist? That is WAY over the top and just comes across as, well, racist, ethnocentric, xenophobic, somebody-needs-to-think-about-this-a-whole-lot-more.

    The Grouch, I hear you re the way those who thought differently about Amanda’s photo got too quickly castigated as racist/white-colonialist. Room ought to be made for the possibility of many different ideas, responses, and perspectives, especially where we are responding not to text but to a photograph. That’s the trouble — when there is all of this unresolved offense, and one too many racist “jokes” or comments or blog posts that don’t get apologized for under everybody’s belt, then we have the alienation and polarization we see right now where it doesn’t feel right anymore to give a generous read or the benefit of the doubt, because trust is gone, women feel betrayed, and it’s all very understandable, but unfortunate, because these are breaches that are hard to mend, really hard, or that’s my experience.

    salty, I hear you re your job. Don’t even get me started there. Last week five women were let go where I work, one of whom worked there 31 years. She just came in and found out it was her last day. She was absolutely devastated, as were the other women who were fired. All of the fired women were good, competent, all were mothers, one of the fired women has a son with cancer and everybody knows about it. Why were the laid off people all women, all mothers. Well, we all know the answer to that.😦

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | October 8, 2006, 1:56 pm
  11. At the bottom of the Alas blog, if you click the word “review” (as in “review software”) you move to this page: http://reviews.amptoons.com/
    Now click the “websites” link and: http://reviews.amptoons.com/section/Website

    I will not read Alas. I do not support porn.

    Posted by MizTee | October 8, 2006, 2:14 pm
  12. No smile face was meant.

    Posted by MizTee | October 8, 2006, 2:16 pm
  13. Oh.my.gosh.

    You’ve got to be fricking kidding me.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | October 8, 2006, 2:24 pm
  14. I am sitting here enraged. I can’t believe Amp is doing this. He’s really writing these fricking reviews?? Is he getting paid money for this? What the hell?

    I knew Amp was pro porn. But including reviews of this kind of just plain old down and dirty disgusting pornography on his fricking “feminist” blog? You’ve got to be kidding me.  He’s advertising for porn places you subscribe to.  I wonder if he’s making money doing this?

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | October 8, 2006, 2:29 pm
  15. Example: (COULD TRIGGER)

    Review of MILF Next Door
    Score: 88
    Sub-Section: Mature
    Company: Nasty Dollars
    Date: Aug 8, 2006

    MILF Next Door is totally original. We the husbands away, the women will play… with each other! It fills a niche you really can’t find anywhere else. All MILF on MILF action. These smokin’ hot moms aren’t taken care of at home, so they look elsewhere to satisfy their needs. They all know whats missing in their life, and they all know where to get it. From each other. MILF Next Door features desperate moms involved in hardcore girl on girl action.

    When you join, you will get weekly updates featuring both fresh faces as well as some familiar ones. Regardless of who, this stuff is hot! Each week provides you with between 100 and 200 new high resolution photos and a new video. The videos can be downloaded in large clips or small, 1 minute clips. You can also stream them in both low and high speed. The quality of everything is great and totally exclusive. The guys over at Nasty Dollars continue to roll out some of the best sites on the net, and MILF Next Door is no exception.

    The price to join is $24.95 for a month long membership and $4.95 for a 3-day trial. You may only get limited access with your trial, but i fyou email them and complain, they should up your access to complete access. As with all the sites from Nasty Dollars, when you sign up for one, you get them all. So, for that one low price, you not only get access to this site, but you also get access to mainy other great sites including, MILF Hunter, In The VIP, First Time Auditions, Mike In Brazil, Mikes Apartment, and many more. It’s going to be hard to find a better deal than this.

    To visit the official website at .

    http://reviews.amptoons.com/review/MILF-next-door

    Posted by womensspace | October 8, 2006, 2:34 pm
  16. COULD TRIGGER

    Review of 8th Street Latinas
    Score: 86
    Sub-Section: Ethnic
    Company: Nasty Dollars
    Date: Jul 19, 2006

    8th Street Latinas is probably the most popular latina site on the web. If you are looking for fresh latin babes doing the deed and getting naughty, you just hit the jackpot. You’ll find some familiar faces and the best of the best, but you’ll also see girls that you’ve never seen before and probably will never see again.

    8th Street Latinas go out on the street in Florida, especially Miami, and scoop up the hottest latinas they can find. They get a wide variety of girls, though rest assure they are all latina.

    8th Street Latinas is one of the older sites on the Internet, and you benefit greatly from it. It is already loaded with content and updates weekly. 8thStreetLatinas.com presents you with both pictures and and videos. The pictures can be browsed by thumbnails or can be downloaded in one zip file. The videos are presented in medium size files and small 1 minute clips to accomodate all connection speeds.

    I said that 8thStreetLatinas update weekly, but they actually update three times a week. However, those updates are only parts of the entire video. So every couple days you get another piece of the video. I honestly would never download it in parts, but just wait a week for it to have the entire video. Either way, you won’t be disapointed with updates.

    Another huge bonus is that when you join 8th Street Latinas you are also given access to all the other sites by the guys at Nasty Dollars. There are over 20 sites and they are all completely exclusive like 8thStreetLatinas.com and they are just as good in terms of quality. They are all just as awsome and make the deal that much sweeter.

    You can join 8th Street Latinas for either $4.95 of $24.95. The $4.95 is just a 3 day trial and the higher price is for monthly access. For only $24.95, you get access to all the awsome sites that are from Nasty Dollars. You really can’t get more for yoru dollar anywhere else.

    Two thumbs way up.

    To visit the official website at 8thStreetLatinas.com.

    http://reviews.amptoons.com/review/8th-street-latinas

    Posted by womensspace | October 8, 2006, 2:37 pm
  17. COULD TRIGGER

    (And if you click on these links, there is porn there besides the reviews, photos I mean.)

    Review of Ball Honeys
    Score: 87
    Sub-Section: Ethnic
    Company: BangBros Online
    Date: Jul 16, 2006

    Ball Honeys is the premier BangBros ethnic site. BALL. Black, Asian, Latina, Ladies. I don’t think I can be any clearer than this. Some of the finest ethnic babes around. All featured in hot scenes, new every week. This is actually one of my favorite sites. The girls they find have the hottest asses around. Nothing beats a big, round booty. Nothing beats the Ball Honeys. Each week, the boys at BangBros deliver a new ethnic mama and get down to business.

    Each Honey has her own full length video and picture set. Pictures are available in both screen captures from the video, and high qulaity photos. The videos themselves are downloadable in either 1 minute clips, 4 longer, medium sized clips, or one largem full length video. BangBros always delivers the freshest faces, and when I look at the faces of these girls on Ball Honeys, I don’t recognize one. Each one is totally new, amateur, and smokin hot.

    If you are looking for an awsome ethnic site, you have found it. I can’t recommend Ball Honeys enough. You can join monthly for only $23.95, or get a 3 day trial for only $4.95. The trial may be limited, but you can email them after signing up, and ask for full access. Shoudln’t have any problems. Of course, as an added bonus, when you sign up for Ball Honeys, you also get access to the entire BangBros Network. This give you access to all the other amazing BangBros sites all for the price of one. They are updated weekly and supply you with more than you could ever need.

    To visit the official website at BallHoneys.com.

    http://reviews.amptoons.com/review/ball-honeys

    Posted by womensspace | October 8, 2006, 2:40 pm
  18. It was Ann Althouse who criticized Jessica for bringing her breasts to lunch, not FDL.

    Posted by thebewilderness | October 10, 2006, 10:09 pm
  19. Wait wait wait. Amp himself is writing porn reviews? That’s the first I’ve heard of that… but then I haven’t been following this whole thing as closely as some other people have. I thought it was just that he sold his domain to someone who had a link to a porn site, or something?

    I’m confused now.

    Posted by Amber | October 13, 2006, 5:02 pm
  20. No– Amp isn’t writing the reviews. The guy who bought the site is writing them.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | October 13, 2006, 6:13 pm

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