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Pre-2008 Posts

Bitch PhD to write for Suicide Girls; the Politics of Assimilation

Assimilation

Bitch PhD has announced that she has taken a paid writing position with Suicide Girls, an internet pornography site.  I’m not going to link to SG; it’s easy enough to find.  If you want to read about Suicide Girls, this is a decent article written by a woman who is smart and sounds like she has feminist sensibilities.  Based on my cursory skimming of the article, Suicide Girls is very bad news, just like all pornographers are very bad news.  SG routinely sues women who have worked for the organization, for one thing, when and if they get out of step or it looks as though they might.  The man who runs Suicide Girls appears to be a conservative white guy who has made some pretty politically questionable statements and who doesn’t really tolerate dissent.  He doesn’t make any bones about the possibility, either, that he might sell off SG to “hardcore” pornographers one day.  Of concern to me, based on the article linked there,  is that for many of the Suicide Girls, SG is a “lifestyle.”  One Suicide Girl compares most of the Suicide Girls to “cult members.”  Their entire life is Suicide Girls.  

I’ve been contemplating writing about this and had almost decided I wouldn’t, in part because honestly, things like this are happening with some regularity now, so I’m not really that surprised.   Part of my hesitance, too, is,  I haven’t read Bitch Ph.D. for a while, years really– not since I got wind of something she had written, that  some man had propositioned her and offered her money and she wrote about being flattered by it.  I wrote about this elsewhere when it happened and quickly got in a kinda-sorta argument with someone who is her friend and who defended what she’d said.  I hate the way pornography, prostitution — businesses which cater to the lowest common denominator in men  —  divide good women from good women,  are able to turn women against women.

But I’ve changed my mind and decided what appears to me to be the assimilation of feminist bloggers is worth talking about. These are the issues which this and similar incidents raise in my mind, in no real order:

  • Bloggers involved in these discouraging events/incidents/debacles are pretty much uniformly white, heterosexual, and some version of middle class;
  • Not a few bloggers seem to feel bloggers are entitled to be paid for what we write.  Where does this idea come from?  Why don’t people consider that being paid makes it much more likely you will end up bought?
  • What’s up with the several, by now, feminist bloggers who have straight up written that if someone offered them money, they’d take it, even if it meant compromising their political and feminist principles?  If we don’t take our own politics and feminist principles seriously enough that we won’t sell out, how can we argue that they are worthwhile to begin with?  They’re only worthwhile until someone names our price or what?  Women throughout history have not only not been paid for their service to women, have not only not sold out, they’ve given their whole lives for women.   They are still giving their lives for women, right now.  Sometimes they’ve died for women.
  • Why do I suspect that those of us who would refuse money that would compromise us would be excoriated on various bases if we said so?  When did integrity become passe, oh-so-70s, or 1850s, or whatever?
  • I think it’s obvious that blogging has been and is being targeted for assimilation by all of the various white male heteropatriarchal powers that be.  The way assimilation happens, the way movements are co-opted is, bloggers or other grass roots movement people are offered money and various perks and benefits to be part of, or to front for, organizations which serve or which benefit white, heterosexual men and their institutions and organizations.   They take the money or the benefits, usually believing they can continue the work they began.  That’s not the way it works.  They will be able to continue so long as they do not threaten white, heterosexual men and their institutions and organizations.  When they become a threat, they will be removed. 

Heart

Discussion

57 thoughts on “Bitch PhD to write for Suicide Girls; the Politics of Assimilation

  1. If you hear “you should get paid for this” and other paens from your fan base often enough, you start to believe it. Who wants to work a dull job when you could get paid for something you love to do?

    What so many forget, though, is that once you start writing for someone other than yourself, you have to adhere to the rules and style of your employer, if you want to keep that job.

    There are also many pro-porn, pro-male feminists who don’t see anything wrong with working for such organizations. A year or so back, Bitch, phD considered having sex for money as a means of supplemental income, so writing for Suicide Girls isn’t that much of a jump. I’m not saying that to be nasty about her…if she honestly doesn’t see anything wrong with that decision, then she probably doesn’t feel her integrity is being compromised by taking the job.

    Posted by Miranda | February 15, 2007, 10:05 pm
  2. When is ‘blurring the line’ between feminism and the ladies’ auxiliary a revolutionary act, and when is it not?

    Posted by profacero | February 15, 2007, 10:16 pm
  3. I think feminism is so fragmented that it’s not even a matter of assimilation for many feminists. I don’t know Bitch PhD, never read her blog, never even heard of her, but she doesn’t sound like a radical feminist and Heart, I know you know this, but for some feminists, blogging on a porn site isn’t assimilation. For some I suppose it constitutes the pinnacle of liberation. Not speaking for Bitch PhD here, just sayin’.

    Regarding your general bullet points (and if I knew how to make bullet points, I would so be making them here):

    1. I think in general, those who assimilate to anything are predominantly white, middle-class, and heterosexual. It’s not much of a stretch to assimilate when the oppressor doesn’t view you as a threat (not that a lot of folks would necessarily view something like porn as oppressive anyways) and you don’t have to actually give up much that’s important to you.

    2. If you’re truly curious as to where the idea comes from, Heart, just look around. Capitalism rules, the only things dominant culture values are what can be bought and sold. Everything is a commodity in our world and I’m not surprised in the slightest when folks cash in. We’re practically indoctrinated from birth that to live is to earn money.

    3. I don’t know what’s up with that. I once heard a rather pithy statement about integrity that went along the lines of, “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” I’m not big on using abstract concepts like integrity to judge women but it is undeniably disingenuous to align yourself with a political movement that works to end the oppression of women and then choose to exploit women’s oppression for personal gain. We all – ALL – make compromises under male domination, though, so in end what we’re talking here is a matter of degree, I suppose.

    4. Because people are hypocrites. No denying that, Heart, people can be assholes just because they can.

    5. No argument there. Which is all the more reason we should support those in the movement who uphold what is so important about the movement.

    Feminist writers who jump on the porn payroll are, in my opinion, co-opting what feminism is really about for their own personal, INDIVIDUAL gain. Even if they don’t believe porn is harmful. It’s still a most discouraging exploitation of class politics. It’s a big part of what’s gone horribly wrong with feminism, this aggressive denial of women’s oppression as a class and an unexamined, almost pathological assertion of individual agency, whatever the hell that is.

    I suppose in the case of Bitch PhD, her ability and desire to earn a paycheck trumps the rights of those women hurt by the SG site? the rights of all women who are further mired in the sex class because of porn sites?

    Posted by Sassafras | February 15, 2007, 10:31 pm
  4. I think women doing whatever women are expected to do under male supremacy — be feminine and pretty, wear high heels and lipstick, have sex for money, get married, devote their lives to children and husbands, keep the home fires burning — is the ladies auxiliary no matter what anybody calls it. So often I think it’s just the words, the language which is blurred while the acts, and especially the power dynamics, remain unchanged. Ladies auxiliary renamed “feminism” or “empowering” is ladies auxiliary nonetheless.

    (Thanks for the good exercise, profacero!)

    I don’t see anything wrong with authors getting paid. I’ve supported my very large family with my writings, for years and years. But I was in charge. I wrote what I wanted to write. It was actually the extremely, extremely thin threads, very fragile, which connected me with White. Male.Power. which were what got yanked when the Right took me out. I’d have been far better off to never TALK to those people, not even be cordial with them. Once I started taking money from them to place advertising, or letting them list my speaking engagements, once they had established any fragile connection they could leverage against me, that’s what they did, as soon as I crossed them.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 15, 2007, 10:33 pm
  5. i’ve had a few [badly] paid jobs involving [bad] writing & [bad] editing, mostly movie & music reviews & even more trivial shit. but never again. what convinced me wasn’t just getting [really] badly paid to have creativity wrung out of me & then edited [censored & sanitised] but the effect it has on my unpaid [good] writing.

    [badly] paid writing makes it it’s easy to get into a “better not bite the hand that feeds” mode of expression. i only found one way around that, which is, like any other paid job, i just HAVE to do it badly – i can’t not write slowly, badly, slack off, steal from my boss, fuck up, insult the company, get fired, etc – like any other paid job.

    also, when i was [badly] paid to write [badly], i had this little tax problem – i was paying tax & funding my own & others oppression…

    thanx for this post🙂

    Posted by sparx | February 15, 2007, 10:54 pm
  6. This is a topic that I am so passionate about, often too angry about to speak on without insulting. I just want to scream SELL OUT!!!!!!! There are people who want to practice tact and say polite things like “we should judge the action not the person,” etc etc etc etc. PHUCK THAT!!!! The action does not happen without the person. People live beyond their means, —PERIOD!!! It has nothing to do with putting food on one’s table. If that were the case, people would economize, plan, –not rely on fast food. It has all to do with “Look at what I got, look how much superior I look than my neighbors.” That is the bottom line, and that bottom line will make a simple weak mind person a sell out in a heartbeat. In my opinion, the supposed cause was never really their cause; it was a passing fancy, a whim, a mode to look cool, to look rebellious. When that “image” no longer paying the narcissist beast satisfactory, other means are employed. And to counter people will say “you are shaming, no one can be pure.” That is correct, I’m shaming and no one can be pure, however that does not mean to run the other direction into the hands of exploitation. Think of anything manmade that is exquisite, beautiful, fine, expensive, and it will lead to a trail of the poor being exploited. Think of anything excessive like an SUV or big truck and it will lead to a trail of exploitation. Think of anything overly hedonic (porn) that distracts people from focusing on the earth and humans as humans and it will lead to a trail of exploitation.

    “My childers iz clemmin’ I’s must write for da man”

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 15, 2007, 11:02 pm
  7. Yeah, rock on, chasingmoksha and Sass, Sparx (sure glad I met you, Sparx!), Miranda.

    I agree with you, chasingmoksha, I think, that when people seem to sell out, it never really was their cause to begin with. I know that because I have sometimes WANTED not to be a feminist anymore, wanted to turn back, forget about it, go back to the days of blissful not-knowing, and especially when I was really paying for being a feminist, when it was really hurting me somehow and in the moments it hurt, I was thinking, damn, this is costing me too much, it hurts too much, so much that I think I’ll stop being this, but it was futile because I can’t un-know what I know, I can’t un-be who I am, I can’t go back, not and be okay. So to take money from some outfit like Bang Brothers or Suicide Girls? People who are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for my own miserable state of knowing what I know about women and having to devote my life to what I know? It’s unthinkable.

    Not to mention thinking about Meena of RAWA or Rachel Corrie or Martin Luther King or Malcolm X or Anne Hutchinson or Mary Dyer or Harriett Tubman or Sojourner Truth or any number of people who risked and sometimes gave their whole lives for justice, for what they knew to be true and right, and then, what, I’m going to sell out? How do I look myself in the mirror then?

    And even though it might be true that none of us can completely avoid compromise, like we used to say in my old world, I can’t keep the birds from flying overhead but I can keep them from nesting in my hair! It’s a total cop-out to say something like, “Well, we all have to cut our deals, therefore, I’m going to cut this particular one and make some nice BANK.” No. If we really ARE feminists then the deals we cut are like a blister that never heals, are like a bad leg, something that troubles us and bothers us all the time, something we lay awake nights thinking, “I can’t keep doing this, this is killing me.” As opposed to, “Oh well, we all cut our deals, where do I sign.”

    JEEZ.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 15, 2007, 11:19 pm
  8. Hey, Sass, here’s a page I made which gives some instructions for formatting comments.

    Even though I am going to get my blog on a server and then commenting will be much nicer, all sorts of bells and whistles.

    Thanks for your patience.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 15, 2007, 11:45 pm
  9. I’ve never understood why the Suicide Girls themselves seemed to be held up as feminist heroes.

    The only porn I watch is made by lesbians, for lesbians, starring lesbians😉

    And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being paid to write if you refuse to change on the understanding that your ‘youness’ is what attracted their interest in the first place. What’s the point of writing to be censored by someone else? Why compromise the message of your words and experiences?

    Posted by morgan | February 15, 2007, 11:54 pm
  10. Well, Heart, you will take some sh*t for saying this, as I’m sure you know! I remember back in my late 20s I was struggling so hard to get a “professional” job–there I was, with hoity-toity seven sisters undergrad degree, a master’s degree, always been told how smart I was and how I would go far, and nothing. Nothing. I didn’t have the look, even if I did have the ability. Then I read “Your Money or Your Life” and had an aha! moment–they have a wonderful chapter where they talk about it being FINE to work for money so that you can do what you love for FREE. And that’s when I decided that it was okay for me to have an hourly wage job that didn’t own me, that compromised my values but in a way I could live with (clerical work in the health care system), and that would support me doing the activism I felt was so necessary in the world. There’s something really insidious about “professionalization”–professionals not only get paid for what they do, they so often have to BELIEVE in it also, and that belief ends up making them defend the system and the status quo. (Virginia Woolf brilliantly points out the dangers of this for women in “Three Guineas.”) A lot of so-called “working” people might believe in what they do, but just as many are realists–we work to get paid, end of discussion. It’s not about who we are, not about having a “career” or being famous, it’s about needing to survive, and what work we can get that will enable us to do that. That, I believe, is a key factor in assimilation (or the failure thereof), and why it is that the women whose writing doesn’t rock the boat much in the first place are the ones who get these kinds of offers–the recent situation of Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan comes to mind as well.

    That’s why I hope and believe I’d never want to get paid for writing. Because, as everyone here has so eloquently pointed out, then you have to write what THEY want you to write, the way they want you to write it. I don’t want my writing to be a product.

    It’ll be easy enough for folks to dismiss that kind of sentiment as sour grapes, but I don’t care. I’m having to make some similar decisions as I try to get more design work; I’ve already rejected several possibilities because they involved working for the weapons industry here in NM. I won’t do that. No one’s going to pay me to be a revolutionary, which means that any work I get will involve compromise, but like CM says, that doesn’t mean I have to run around with my hand out and not assess very carefully what ends my work will be supporting. I’m a pretty harsh critic of western medicine but I don’t believe my participation in that industry is anything like as harmful as promoting weapons manufacturers and military contractors.

    Anyway, great post. Now I’m off to nurse my festering blister of a boring mundane paying job.

    Posted by Amy's Brain Today | February 16, 2007, 12:02 am
  11. First, I want to say that I disagree with the premise that blogging is being corrupted: it was always corrupt, it was never grassroots, it was always male. Ten years ago people had the same things, they were called homepages and people posted the same dumb comments and the same pictures of their cats. But home is where the kitchen is and a homepage just sounds feminine: a blog is a big thick cock and what webpage counts and doesn’t count as a blog is a mercurial and immensely political thing.

    So yeah, all the big feminist blogs out there are big neither because feminists decided them so, nor are they blogs (genre) because feminists decided them so; it’s only natural that if there’s a list of the top ten feminist blogs a good half or so of them will be owned in some way or shape by the sex industry.

    When Bitch Ph.D. did her “I’m a sex-worker” bit, allegedly in solidarity with real sex workers, the kind that men make fun of when pictured in mug-shots on TheSmokingGun, she said some things that appalled me, some on a personal level: mainly, that men who aren’t getting sex are losers and she doesn’t begrudge them the right to buy a woman, albeit not a high class “hooker” like herself who gets to pick and choose among winners. (And of course, all the hipster academic men who hang on her every word there are given permission to both see themselves as winners AND have the potential right to women’s bodies, whether they exercise it or not.)

    I’m sure someone could, and probably will, look up her post from that period and tell me I’m wrong, that I drew the wrong conclusions, but what I took away from it was that she thought that the pro-feminist decisions that I make, the privileges I’ve refused and abstained from, were not only pointless, they made me a loser compared to males who did otherwise. Not just in the eyes of the patriarchy, which they should, but in her so-called feminist eyes as well. Thanks.

    Bitch Ph.D. doesn’t need me to hate her or be angry with her, though. She might have sold out on the side of males, but that won’t protect her from males. Dr. Susan Block might shill for the sex industry and have the ultra-elite dudes at Counter-Punch.org humping her leg, publishing whatever drivel she writes (and it is drivel), but other non-feminist lefties have called her a “rapist of men” for working for some penis enlargement pill company on late night TV.

    While those guys are idiots, they’re not stupid: they realize she’s in bed with men (both the big shots at counterpunch and those in the pseudo-med industry) that they consider their oppressors, or at least more privileged than themselves, and it’s easier to punish her than those men.

    The owner of Suicide Girls certainly enjoys his anonymity: Feminists even protected it, Bitch Magazine publishing an early article on the company that interviewed him under the nom de guerre of “Spooky.” I’m not even one hundred percent sure anyone knows the real spelling of Sean Shul, Suel, even that seems to change from article to article! But will he protect Bitch Ph.D’s anonymity once she’s no longer useful to him? If she ever rebels or jumps ship? Or now that there’s a paper trail, money being involved, will someone inside who wants to hurt Mr. Spooky leak info about Bitch Ph.D.?

    Posted by Rich | February 16, 2007, 1:29 am
  12. http://bitchphd.blogspot.com/2005/01/sluttier-than-you-imagine.htm
    http://bitchphd.blogspot.com/2005/01/whore.html

    These are the posts we’ve been talking about. I forgot how deeply I despise the men who hang around in spaces like this.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 16, 2007, 4:31 am
  13. I can’t believe I spelled “principles,” “princiPALS,” in my post up there and none of you told me. 😛 I had to find out via someone tracking back to me and making fun of me talking about compromised “principals” who should be spending their time running the schools.

    How aggravating is it that other wordpress bloggers can track back and I can’t. It’s some kind of issue that only affects some blogs.

    Okay, back on topic, I understand what you’re saying about blogs, Rich, but I do think they’re grassroots, in a much larger, worldwide sense, women just blogging about our lives, including Iranian women, Iraqi women, and yes, we who are individual radical feminists, getting our views out there.

    As to being “big,” well, there’s big, as in mainstream and sold out, and there’s big as in wielding some amount of influence, and I think as truly grassroots bloggers, some of us do wield influence, which we won’t, of course, if we follow the trend and sell out in some way.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 16, 2007, 1:14 pm
  14. The owner of Suicide Girls certainly enjoys his anonymity: Feminists even protected it, Bitch Magazine publishing an early article on the company that interviewed him under the nom de guerre of “Spooky.” I’m not even one hundred percent sure anyone knows the real spelling of Sean Shul, Suel, even that seems to change from article to article! But will he protect Bitch Ph.D’s anonymity once she’s no longer useful to him? If she ever rebels or jumps ship? Or now that there’s a paper trail, money being involved, will someone inside who wants to hurt Mr. Spooky leak info about Bitch Ph.D.?

    I think that’s an excellent point, Rich, and something I’ve been mulling over ever since I heard about BitchPhD’s announcement. Either she’s very very naive to think that she will be able to maintain her anonymity, or she figures that since her cover will eventually be blown (which I think is a given) she might as well have it be over something big and scandalous and attention-worthy, and not just that some curious busybody managed to figure it out.

    Posted by Delany | February 16, 2007, 2:45 pm
  15. This is a trend that I’ve been noticing on the blogs that I read: more and more of them are discussing being paid for it. Some have managed to find a way to put up ads and I’ve not noticed a change in the content of those sites. I stop reading sites that start being supported, though. I support people who can make blogging into a living while not compromising their values, but once a person starts to pay you for content, you become beholden to that person. I’m sure that’s fine for some people out there, but that’s not how I want my content.

    Posted by Miko | February 16, 2007, 6:01 pm
  16. Yes, Miko, lots more blogs have been participating in things like google AdWords. I think they do have some say over what ads are shown on their blogs, but I don’t know how much, and I definitely wouldn’t want people to come to my site and see an ad for a diet or something! And I think it is getting worse–I went to a blog yesterday which is a pretty benign site, having nothing really to do with film and certainly not with scary films, and there was an ad for a horror movie with an animated graphic of a woman being strangled or drowned or something! I’m not sure because I was trying not to look, but her head kept moving up and down and drawing my eye, and it was completely awful.

    No, I’ll just keep grinding out the transcription and paying my bills that way, thanks very much.

    Posted by Amy's Brain Today | February 16, 2007, 6:34 pm
  17. And PS R!ch, today’s cat blogging is dedicated to you. No no, thanks not necessary.

    Posted by Amy's Brain Today | February 16, 2007, 9:05 pm
  18. Back in the old days, women were free to post pictures of their cats any damn well time they wanted; peer pressure — aka “memes” in cock speak — didn’t make them wait until Friday.

    Reject fascist kitty standards.

    Posted by Rich | February 16, 2007, 9:13 pm
  19. I couldn’t find a link to email you directly so I’ll post this comment, just to say I am really in favor of feminist principals as well as feminist principles – and I also figured you’d fix that spelling sooner or later. And it gave me a chuckle on a dreary Friday morning and a chance to post a picture of my old license plate. For which I thank you.

    Posted by Suz at Large | February 16, 2007, 9:48 pm
  20. I went and read Bitch PhD’s announcement thread and the comments. I thought about commenting there, but I’m not one of her readers so I’ll just come back here. And besides, now I know how to format here! (Thanks a million, Heart.)

    If a woman wants to make her living as a writer, and she can choose between the Suicide Girls and bupkis – well, we can all understand the temptation behind choosing Suicide Girls. Trouble is, while you’re uploading your feminist writings to the SG server and cashing your SG paychecks, you’re no longer as invested in fighting the bullshit that put you in the position to have such a decided lack of choices in the first place. That’s the lethality of assimilation. (I didn’t really get that before when I made my first reply to this thread, not the way I do now. I can understand your frustration more now, Heart, whereas before I was like, “Heart’s making way too big a deal of this.”)

    So, I’m thinking that if MAD Magazine or The Ladies Home Journal had offered her some money to write about birth control on their websites, she’d probably have been all over that too. Then, instead of telling her readers that she was a part of an organization that was toying with desire distinctions, I imagine she’d be telling her readers that she was a part of some organization that was “interesting and worthwhile” because it was alternative in some other totally abstract, bullshit way.

    Beyond the discouraging implications of a feminist writing feminist things that ultimately help a pornographer sell more porn, the most revealing part of this whole issue is that a talented woman gets offered a relatively shitty job (undoubtedly shitty, when the job itself alienates many of those who have been faithfully reading the blog where she does most of her writing) and then she’s so damned grateful that someone (anyone!) is willing to pay for her writing that she’s willing to say to those of her readers who have sincere concerns, “I’m getting paid, so bite me.”

    Posted by Sassafras | February 16, 2007, 10:26 pm
  21. Thanks, Suz! Nice to meet you. 🙂 Even though I can’t stand it when I call “principles,” “principals.” 🙂

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 16, 2007, 10:50 pm
  22. Yeah, Sass. The whole thing sucks re Bitch, Ph.D.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 16, 2007, 10:52 pm
  23. I mean just the name alone Suicide Girls! Now it is sexy to be suicidal. Certainly does not seem to draw the outrage that a simple and true statement such as “DEAD MEN DON’T RAPE” incites. It is true, dead men don’t rape, however dead women are raped and apparently suicidal girls are HAWT!!!

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 16, 2007, 11:12 pm
  24. Rich:

    How DARE you criticize my CHOICE to cat blog on Fridays? It sounds to me like you are trying to impose some kind of RULE about the appropriate temporality of cat blogging. I don’t cat blog for anyone but me, and I find cat blogging on Fridays to be an incredibly empowering avenue for self-expression. And besides, not all cat blogging is feline, as you would know if you had read this post.

    Personally I think you are just anti-cat.

    Posted by Amy's Brain Today | February 16, 2007, 11:33 pm
  25. What a waste of an education, and what a travesty that this is what young women will see is done with such an education.

    As for selling out? No worries there. Bitch PhD was never in.
    She was always about prostituting herself.

    Posted by Pony | February 16, 2007, 11:48 pm
  26. Last night I overheard two young men joking about women who commit suicide by hanging themselves. One man passed along a joke another buddy made about how “dead girls don’t say no.” From there they moved to the subject of a 12-year-old gay boy who killed himself after extreme taunting and one blamed the kids parents.

    The 4-5 minutes total we shared a tiny piece of public space I was subjected to hearing their misogyist shit, so of course I said a little something to shut them up that got the approval of a woman standing nearby. From the silence and the look on their faces I doubt it dawned on them how boyishly bigoted they sounded making jokes about suicidal women and gay children until I voiced my disapproval.

    Posted by Sam | February 16, 2007, 11:53 pm
  27. Big head nodding to the post Heart, particularly the last paragraph. Although, the co-opting doesn’t necessarily require payment (that we know about). I am talking in riddles, deliberately.

    And Rich, when will ever learn, not to diss the felines in women’s spaces!
    It’s mandatory, you should know that.
    Sadly, I only ever got around to the one, but the first one nonetheless.

    Yep CM, death of women is now the ultimate female (feminine) achievement. News this week of the death of the younger sister (Eliana Ramos) of the model (Luisel) who died of heart failure on the catwalk. Cause of death for the younger sister is being put down to ‘starvation’. Yeah, hawt.

    Posted by stormy | February 17, 2007, 12:43 am
  28. Amy, as I await my comment to come out of mod (I shoulda said “R!ch” tee hee), your hyperlink goes to your old blog URL. I’m lazy you see, clicked on your name rather than going through my list of favourites to get to your blog (rest assured, it is in the upper section of the list).😉

    Or perhaps I’m just efficient, not lazy??
    Nah.

    Posted by stormy | February 17, 2007, 12:51 am
  29. Pony I was thinking exactly that but I did not want to offend my good friend Professor Z because recently her education was used against her in an accusatory way. However, each time I see that PhD, I think about how nervous and scared I was the first time I sat in a junior college class room, then how insecured and PWT’d I felt when I was going against the groomed “intellectuals” at the university to now competing for graduate school spots, —I wonder why such a privileged education (at a younger age that I am) would be squandered for so little. When I was in my early twenties, long before I was hit with the reality of what being a woman really meant in our society I made an easy $100 standing in the middle of the doctor’s lounge and simply whispering, “Fuck me,” that was it, I did not have to actually do anything, just read the note that was handed to me. Dumb girl that I was I did it without a PhD. It is like spitting in the face of people who need a PhD, and yes I need it, I need the pursuit to keep my mind focused and settled.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 17, 2007, 1:20 am
  30. Yep CM, death of women is now the ultimate female (feminine) achievement.

    Think “Virgin Suicides.” How many whacked off to that movie?

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 17, 2007, 1:22 am
  31. Argh, yeah, stormy, I keep forgetting to change it. Is that better?

    And hardy har har, I thought for a minute that it was MY education going to waste writing crappy satire of pomo antifeminists. But, then, no. Or rather, yes, but not commented upon.

    Posted by Amy's Brain Today | February 17, 2007, 2:03 am
  32. “But, then, no.”

    Amy your education is not going to waste. I can’t imagine how spoiled someone is who would squander that, and we who came before her fought so damn hard for her right to it. No she does not have the right to squander it. Americans bend that word until it has no fucking meaning. Women in third world countries and living third world lives in her country … Oh I’m too upset to continue.

    Posted by Pony | February 17, 2007, 2:22 am
  33. “…long before I was hit with the reality of what being a woman really meant in our society I made an easy $100 standing in the middle of the doctor’s lounge and simply whispering, “Fuck me,”…”

    What are you talking about CM?

    Posted by Pony | February 17, 2007, 2:28 am
  34. White middle class Americans, I should say. I can’t imagine a black woman making a mockery of her education that way.

    Posted by Pony | February 17, 2007, 2:33 am
  35. What am I talking about? I’m talking about how there was a time that I was ignorant of my oppression, ignorant of the evils of my mandated subservient role, a time where I thought being a woman meant being second, third, fourth, —last, and not thinking twice about it or ever imagining anything else but a supporting role, a time when I did not think because I did not know how to think other than how I was conditioned to think.

    I am not one of these people who pretend to be an Athena, born already with knowledge, wisdom, and always perfect. I had to be hit in the head a few times, fall off a turnip truck before I realized that there was an active force working against me.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 17, 2007, 3:28 am
  36. Well ok I think I got that part. Damn. This medium is so unsatisfactory.

    Posted by Pony | February 17, 2007, 3:41 am
  37. Yeah, chasingmoksha, I had to take hella too many falls off of turnip trucks, too, before I finally figured things out. Argh.

    So true the squandering of the education, pony! There are women being tortured, killed, imprisoned, risking their lives to teach girls in certain places in Afghanistan and it’s been this way for years. Surely Bitch PhD must think *some* time about how what she is doing and saying fits with women’s reality throughout the world? With the fact that millions and millions of girls and women are illiterate, still, and would give anything just to learn to read and write?

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | February 17, 2007, 4:59 am
  38. hi
    I know this is somewhat off topic but further above you discussed the grassroot effect of blogs or whether they are being corrupted. This can well be, but the grassrootimpact is not to underestimate, for instance, coming from a european non-english speaking country, I never heard of Andrea Dworkin, then I started to have internet and a whole new world opened up, since then I got so much new inspiration and things to read. Maybe the blogworld gives a fairly accurate representation of the ‘normal’ world, some are corrupted and some are grassroots while the advantage of blogs is that subversive stuff can easily/easier be shared…..(of course the corrupted ones have this advantage too) anyway, I just really am thankful for your blog and I really like also the Amy’s brain one and the great linkcollection. This is the important stuff, making things available so that people who are being excluded everywhere else have access to all sorts of great essays and blogs etc.

    Posted by antonia2 | February 17, 2007, 3:05 pm
  39. Small comment: Amy’s point on professionalization, way above, is really key.

    Posted by Professor Zero | February 19, 2007, 6:05 am
  40. Well I understood that.

    Posted by Pony | February 19, 2007, 6:56 am
  41. Cheers Amy!
    Laziness triumphs😉

    “pomo antifeminists” mmm, I like it.

    Posted by stormy | February 19, 2007, 9:23 am
  42. I was also really struck by Amy’s Brain Today’s post on career vs. an hourly wage, as it is something I’ve caught myself doing; trying to force myself to believe in the ‘righteousness of my company’ to divorce myself from my own dissatisfaction with my career. Trying to pretend into existence a reason for something that has no reason other than to earn a whole lot of white men a whole lot of money. I’ve already ordered the Virgina Woolf book she mentioned in her post, “Three Guineas.” I’m looking forward to it.

    Posted by Pramiti | February 20, 2007, 12:26 am
  43. Yeah, I just have a job too. It’s writing, but it’s writing about “use the chg-slock command to do xyx”.

    Bit OT (or off the original T) Both Amy’s and Pramiti’s comments are a good counterpoint to Linda Hirschman’s “You MUST HAVE A CAREER or you are dragging all women down!” attitude.

    Not that I don’t think it’s better for women to be able to support themselves and children if any. Even leaving out divorce and accepting that everyone is in the most wonderful egalitarian partnership in the world, things like downsizing and illness can happen.

    However, Hirschman wants everyone to be Lex Luthor and work in high-paying ‘manly’ jobs, no matter what you, personally want to do. Artistic? Like teaching? Too bad. Get that high finance degree, and if you must have a partner, get one that won’t get in the way of your climbing the corporate ladder.

    Posted by Miranda | February 20, 2007, 2:20 am
  44. Pramiti and Miranda, I was also struck by Amy’s Brain Today’s statement:

    “There’s something really insidious about “professionalization”–professionals not only get paid for what they do, they so often have to BELIEVE in it also, and that belief ends up making them defend the system and the status quo.”

    I recently read an LRB article about Hannah Arendt talking about how she saw the crimes of Adolf Eichmann as a result of “careerism” rather than anti-Semitism. According to her, he had no motives other than climbing the career ladder, just happens his career was Nazism.

    I think about the corporate human resources “professionals” who smile while saying, “I’m sorry but your personality test results show that you are just not a good fit here.” As if the tests are infallible or even valid. As if it’s such a shame, but not their fault after all. Just following orders. Just paying the bills.

    Arendt called it the banality of evil. Time for me to reread her and Woolf too. In these times, especially.

    Posted by roamaround | February 20, 2007, 2:52 am
  45. Working at something that pays the bills and is also done from home is about the best there is at escaping all that corporate sell out crud but still pays the rent. I know, they thought they were consigning us to a sweat shop job. Don’t tell. Every time I start feeling sorry for myself because I can’t open a door and holler out to the receptionist “I need the tech there’s something beeping in here” I sooner or later get called into the office for a meeting, after one-half morning of which I will put up with anything, just anything, back at *my* office. I don’t have to take anyone’s bs, or sell my soul to anyone. We create our cages. much of the time.

    Posted by Pony | February 20, 2007, 3:50 am
  46. “I recently read an LRB article about Hannah Arendt talking about how she saw the crimes of Adolf Eichmann as a result of “careerism” rather than anti-Semitism. According to her, he had no motives other than climbing the career ladder, just happens his career was Nazism.”

    roamaround

    Have you seen the movie Conspiracy? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266425/
    It supports this theory perfectly.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 20, 2007, 4:26 am
  47. Years ago, I identified in my mind the “3 Ps” as the “three great evils in the world.” They were “patriarchy, professionalism, and patriarchal religion.” The latter two are just parts of the former, of course. I was, and still am, alarmed at how often people think that the second, professionalism, is some sort of a force for good against patriarchy. “Oh, but professionals have ethics!” I got that line when I was a “patient” in a “mental health” center. The implication in that context was that nobody *but* professionals had ethics. I also found out that “professional ethics” operated primarily as a code of behavior towards other professionals, not towards “patients”, though the mythology was that it was *primarily* a tool for patient protection and professionals benefitted from it little or not at all. “Patients” could be and were treated in the most unethical ways imaginable and there were no repercussions whatever. I am not just talking about rape and sexual assault, this went to severe psychological abuse masquerading as “therapy”, lying about and slandering “patients.”

    Posted by Branjor | February 20, 2007, 2:19 pm
  48. Gosh, it’s been so long since I identified my “3 Ps” that I actually forgot what the first “P” was, but it just came back to me: patriotism. The “3 Ps” were “patriotism, professionalism and patriarchal religion.” They all spring from misogyny, woman hatred.

    Posted by Branjor | February 20, 2007, 5:05 pm
  49. Branjor: I think “professional ethics” is also about how not to get caught in unethical behavior, how far you can go, how to best plan so that you can continue with impunity, etc.

    Severe psychological abuse masquerading as “therapy” – I am so sorry you had to go through that! I did it also and one of the justifications of it I heard subsequently was, “If you were vulnerable to that, then there must have been something wrong with you.” Victim blaming. That is why, although I am sorry anyone else went through it, I am in a way glad to find out about it – so I know it wasn’t just *my* ‘defective’ reaction.

    Posted by profacero | February 20, 2007, 6:59 pm
  50. chasingmoksha, thanks for the tip on the movie Conspiracy. I haven’t seen it and just put it on my list.

    Banjor, I totally agree about the three evil P’s. Very astute. Your experiences with the mental health “professional ethics” sound horrible! As profacero says, though, it’s good to let other people know because it happens to many patients. Part of the evil ethos of “professionalism” is maintaining isolating silence.

    Posted by roamaround | February 21, 2007, 1:23 am
  51. ***Branjor: I think “professional ethics” is also about how not to get caught in unethical behavior, how far you can go, how to best plan so that you can continue with impunity, etc.***

    So true, profacero. And they can get away with A LOT.

    ***Severe psychological abuse masquerading as “therapy” – I am so sorry you had to go through that! I did it also and one of the justifications of it I heard subsequently was, “If you were vulnerable to that, then there must have been something wrong with you.” Victim blaming. That is why, although I am sorry anyone else went through it, I am in a way glad to find out about it – so I know it wasn’t just *my* ‘defective’ reaction.***

    I am so sorry you also went through it, profacero. I am glad I mentioned it then. I *never* believed the victim blaming, but they are so aggressive it’s hard to make oneself heard above them. It was *not* – never was – “just your defective reaction.” Don’t *EVER* belive that!

    ***Banjor, I totally agree about the three evil P’s***

    Yes, they really can’t be emphasized enough. A lot of “progressive” people, though seeing clearly the evil of patriotism and patriarchal religion, are unfortunately still taken in where professionalism is concerned.

    ***Part of the evil ethos of “professionalism” is maintaining isolating silence.***

    How true, roamaround. They often tell you that you are not to talk about what goes on in the therapy sessions with others, which just maintains a silence and isolation of the “patient” in which they (the professionals) can operate unimpeded.

    Posted by Branjor | February 21, 2007, 11:33 pm
  52. the anonymity thing doesnt seem that significant actually, becuase Bitch has appeared publically at the MLA conference, more or less “coming out” to anyone who cares to find out her true identity. She has more or less admitted this on her site and seems relatively unconcerned.

    the sg gig is a bad idea in my book, though,

    Posted by curiousgyrl | March 1, 2007, 5:05 pm
  53. Suicide Girls, hmmmm
    that would be like, lets see, a black slave writing for the white masta, and beating himself and putting his chains/locks around his ankles and wrists and neck,
    and saying, ‘this is abolitionism’.
    absolutely insane, talk about internalization of male values…
    i took a look at the site, both of them,
    thought i was looking at Playboy, seriously, whats the difference?
    its the typical, “oh baby baby, i am a feminist but like i not like those nazi feminists cuzz i’ll still show you my boobs and eagle spreads and don’t ya just think i’m cute but oh and you know baby i am smart too, and i just know you’ll approve me and affirm me as a woman…because god forbid if i don’t show my tits and ass then you might not notice me….”
    hang on while i go puke.
    you know i see this crap all the time, even in far left parties, these young womyn, will like, ok they won’t say anything or contribute anything [the only ones that do, seriously are the lesbians and womyn of color, they are the only ones in far left that i’ve seen that have the gumption to be vocal, but most of them leave eventually] but the young white girls,
    you wont even know they are there, until you pull up a local web page and there you see them, thigh high boots, breasts hanging out, skirt up to their ass, and i think, so thats why the guys are all ga ga,
    but you know they guys don’t care a bit about what these girls think or feel, oh hell no,
    and the ones of us who are radical well we’re the nazi bitches and the dykes [oh, you don’t have to be lesbian you just get lumped in like, boom–thats immediately what they call you] and …
    i think, the young womyn see that [and not so young] and they don’t want to be ostracized and set apart, so they assimilate and give the men what they want…
    well, wait till they hit forty, get burned a few times, or brutally raped once, or exploited brutally,
    they’ll see it, but the hardest thing they’ll have to cope with, is how they trusted, those oh so kind men who are just so ga ga…
    and its sad, it really is sad…cuzz you know, whats in store for them. some may escape it, but anway,
    yea, suicide girls, feminist, in what way? seriously? oh, they screw and take nude pictures of themselves to say, see, i’m screwable..
    its no coincidence that the entire right side of that blog is men, men, men…it reminds me of those magazines, stuff I think, and maxim…same crap.
    its like a conservative woman’s rag, that says feminist, and maybe they talk about domestic violence, but underneath that,
    will be a story, on, “now womyn, you know god says to submit now and thats the only way a woman can truly be happy’…
    its really simple,
    how many men do you know, who are wealthy, powerful, intellectual,
    who feel pressured to expose their naked asses, in all sorts of magazines, to be ‘socially accepted by the female infrastructure’?
    none, and why? cuzz men are valued with what they do, think, say, and write, maybe yes, by what they own, as far as wealth [but that applies to womyn too] but as far as their sexual desirability, na, cuzz they call the shots.
    so, for a woman, to use sexuality, to be acknowledged, isn’t feminism in my opinion, its patriarchy. or at least thats what i thought feminism was, to be treated as human beings, not as sex objects…
    maybe i missed it somewhere???? :0:0
    tasha

    Posted by Tasha | June 15, 2007, 10:10 pm
  54. OH…is She the one, that did the ‘i’ll be a sex worker for a bit and write about it and how empowering it was, and all
    THAT BULLSHIT?’
    lol, oh yea, she’s the one a couple of ‘oh please like me men’ wom’e’n in the left, sent submissions to on why we should be tolerant and legalize prostitution cuzz this woman wrote about how great it was, and blah blah blah puke puke puke.
    yea, great when you are ‘experimenting’ and you have a choice in your clients and you making money off a book, duh, like duh duh duh, [let her come to the streets where i worked and let her say that, Ha rofl, she’d last about two minutes, majority of womyn don’t choose that work because its glamourous –because it isn’t, i’ll be nice here…]
    yea i wrote several submissions blowing that garbage where it belonged, the trash can,
    needless to say, i took a look at this suicide girls, heard about it, never went out there, uh,
    gee, looks like playgirl or maxim or stuff, with a lot of men on the right of the page, a site that caters to the liberal so called ‘pro-feminist male’ (cough cough) as long as its, ‘honey get on your back’ , you know, those kind of pro-feminist men–yea we support a woman’s right to work and have abortions, why hell yea, no child support, and more financial goodies for me [the man says, and she’s still a whore in the bedroom] hang on, feel another puke coming on…
    where’s this feminism in it? i didn’t see it, maybe though i took feminism to mean,
    being treated as human beings and not sex objects. Ooops, gee, must be in a time warp or something, its the same ole crap,
    ‘oh please men, don’t reject me see i got boobs and ass and i not like thooooose womyn over there’
    give me a break, and this woman has a PHd? who is going to now write for this playboy, uh, i mean suicide girls?
    wow, the men who own that porn must be just creaming in their pants, talk about a token woman now….so lets see,
    young womyn, in a sex obsessed society as it is, will now see, a woman with a docterate, pushing for the t&a, you know cuzz if you a woman you got to prove you are a worthy t&a now…
    and if this young woman gets pregnant or gets aids, or gets raped, then its, ‘well she should have not done this or that’…never mind that she [in this case] was just doing what was ‘expected of her to fit in, to be affirmed, to not be different, or to expect something more than’
    it all is the same patriarchial value–a woman’s worth is in her sexuality, everything else is ‘extras’…
    it should be the other way around.
    and it is always the same, once a woman, caves in to that whole ‘you ain’t worthy till you show you are fuckable’ and you got to show that so the men can go, yea baby,
    the credibility she has, intellect and art and talent wise, is reduced to a pittance in the public’s eyes, cuzz what she’ll be remembered for is that spread eagle shot or that boob shot. oh she might be still working, but people will automatically think, first thought, is,
    her sexual characteristics, and all else, goes way down the ladder.
    where, men, they don’t have that problem, and why is that?
    and proof of this, just read, what newspapers say about political candidates, or womyn writers or other professionals,
    its always, ‘she is attractive woman’ or ‘she strolls in with long legs and Prada heels’ or ‘her hazel eyes’ and then her sexuality cuzz you know its just everyone’s business one who she fucks or what she fucks or when she fucks,
    then three sentences on what she writes, teaches, votes for, etc.
    seriously…take a paper, magazine, and highlight in one color, every reference to a woman’s looks, sexuality, sexual behavior, family status, etc., then in another color, her works, —
    then do the same, with a successful man…
    and then compare.
    think many would be shocked.
    tasha

    Posted by Tasha | June 15, 2007, 10:48 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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