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Pre-2008 Posts

Ginmar on Pussycatdoll Feminists

It’s not so much them and their pretenses about themselves I mind. It’s their bullshit about other feminists that gets me.   Hon, you’re being called out because you say things about other feminists that could have and actually has come from conservative speeches. I just had some twentysomething sprite tell me I was wallowing in my victimhood. I think somewhere, dimly, our little self-appointed representative of the younger, more pretentious class, was realizing how, like, totally icky victimhood is, and how often it involves forces beyond our control. Because that thought tends to harsh her empowerfulness, who does Miss Thang go after? Why other feminists, especially the ones who have bad news to tell her: Men hate you. They may want to use you now and then and some of them don’t hate so so much they can’t control in front of your face, but men hate you, and all the glowing peaens to the way you love, love, love men aren’t going to change the fact. In fact, you’re not that special, and someday a man will hate you, too. Kathy Sierra, or any feminist blogger can tell you about that hatred. If you love, love, love men—-unlike those mean other feminists you’re so quick to disown from your movement—-it’ll keep them from hating you—-for a while. …

…Here’s a news flash: if you stop talking about it, men don’t stop raping women. Men hate you. They just happen to like your body. Blaming other women for saying that doesn’t make it less true. It just makes you more of a coward for selling out to men so eagerly. …

You can claim to like hooker heels and ripped fishnets all you want. However, when you bitch out other feminists for analyzing that stuff and coming up with something unpleasant—-how, exactly, is it rebellion, when it’s what men want from women and have immortalized in songs, movies, plays, for centuries and so forth?—-don’t be shocked when you don’t even qualify for a feminist lite label because you’re on the right side of no brainer issues like domestic violence and rape. Those are givens. You don’t get gold stars for that. In fact, some of the pussycatdoll feminists have taken up those causes on a case-by-case basis to differentiate themselves from those bad old feminists who believe women first. That’s so unfair to men, OMG. What about the men? It may shock you, babe, but I think with 90% of the world’s money, power, and political representation, men have fairly few instances of injustice to worry about. When they want household chores and sex, they’ll call you. Or your replacement.

… Not until the Army did I come to recognize the difference between respect and flattery. I’ll take respect every day, and if I don’t get it, flattery for my fishnets is no substitute. Girls today get so little respect and yet reap so much flattery for being good little shills that they’re essentially forced to choose between something that’s shiny and fake and something that’s rare and hard to come by. The world won’t respect you; hell, it won’t even like you much. You think men respect your trendy little self? Start standing up to them in a non-cute, non-feisty way and do it in sweats, too. America isn’t exactly doing a talent search for “The Next Brilliant Feminist.” They’re searching for grrrls who think empowerment is found in a wonderbra and stripper poles, because it’s easier to convince yourself something is empowerful when men are waving dollar bills than when they’re sending you death threats.

Those death threats and abuse come from both liberal and conservative men, and show just how dangerous it is to count on groups of men for their loyalty, rather than individual men who’ve proved themselves. Conservative and liberal men have both shown themselves to believe that women are territory they mark with their almighty sperm, and to them you’re either a trap or a prize, depending on what they want from you. The guys who are most attracted to the stereotypes of femininity and least attracted to the humanity of women are the ones who can change their attitude frightening fast when you stop doing and being what they want. Sexism, needless to say, works for them. The bar for male behavior is so low that pandering to it just makes it evaporate entirely, and that has an effect on other women. You might escape it, and it’s all about you, isn’t it?

Just read it

Discussion

20 thoughts on “Ginmar on Pussycatdoll Feminists

  1. goodness, that was rather thundering. she’ll have be to be brain dead to miss your point.

    Posted by chicago dyke | April 3, 2007, 4:15 pm
  2. Don’t you wish your girlfriend was smart like me? HAH! I love me some Ginmar.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | April 3, 2007, 4:31 pm
  3. “don’t you wish your girlfriend was smart like me?” love it! that’s going on a t-shirt!

    Posted by fannyblood | April 3, 2007, 8:21 pm
  4. Don’t you wish your girlfriend was smart like me? HAH!

    I don’t know how any semi-educated person could call anything in that song “empowering” – it’s like holding up a banana, and saying, “This is a fish because that’s what I want it to be!”

    I essentially agree with what she’s said. I have trouble accepting the concept that every man on earth is an unsalvageable wreck from the mass of ruling masculine stupidity. That would mean no hope for change – no concept of biologically created family without a governing current of female/wifely subservience – no hope of power distribution in heterosexual relationships. I understand why women think and feel that, and I don’t meddle with their conclusion, but I don’t subscribe to it.

    Men, as a generalized group, use women and toss them aside. They don’t respect you – they reward you for “good behavior” as if you were a dog. I think many men convince or delude themselves that their desire to use women physically means that they “love” women. They adore making a correlation between love and sex. It’s a strategy. They claim that if you’re not surrendering your body to their every whim and want that you don’t “love” them.

    This faux-feminism is a result of the backlash. Girls think that being a feminist will hurt their chances with men, and men hold all the cards. So they convince themselves that they’re feminists to make themselves feel better. Meanwhile, they’re a thousand times more likely to do whatever men tell them they want. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard phrases like, “I’m a feminist, but I would never call myself that.” “I’m not a feminist because I don’t hate men.” “I’m a feminist – I just don’t believe in what most feminists say.”

    Posted by gingermiss | April 3, 2007, 8:54 pm
  5. gingermiss said: That would mean no hope for change – no concept of biologically created family without a governing current of female/wifely subservience – no hope of power distribution in heterosexual relationships.

    I, for the life of me, can’t understand straight women’s – and I’M straight – forlornness at this realization. Of course there’s no hope for equal power distribution in heterosexual “relationships;” the “relationship” IS the “concept of a biologically created family [with] a governing current of female/wifely subservience.” When you get rid of the patriarchy, there is no reason whatsoever for people to form such unions. It certainly isn’t natural.

    However, this shouldn’t cause anyone to despair that change, itself, isn’t possible. Change, if it comes, will manifest itself as a dismantling of the nuclear family, not family in general, mind you, but certainly any variation on the hierarchical, heterosexual nuclear family we currently know and despise. That women cling so desperately to patriarchal family units, hoping to improve them, rather than get rid of them, is what’s holding feminism back, if you ask me.

    And, yeah, I can see why the “we can help you be better heads of families” brand of feminism appeals to men more than my own preferred “you’ve fucked things up quite enough already, thanks” brand.

    Posted by justicewalks | April 3, 2007, 9:48 pm
  6. This reminded me of one of Amananta’s posts at Screaming Into The Void a while back:
    http://amananta.wordpress.com/2006/10/13/enough-already/

    … Small hint – feminism doesn’t make you popular and it isn’t about soothing you and pretending all your personal choices aren’t political. So when you post a sob story about how awful it is that someone actually pointed out to you the inconsistency of your actions and you get hundreds of comments of support talking about how horrible it is that there are these evil feminist scum who actually HAVE SOME STANDARDS AND CONSISTENTLY STICK TO THEM and people are soothing you and reassuring you everything is okay, it doesn’t matter how much you conform to the patriarchy, and you shouldn’t listen to those hung up prudes, maybe that should set off a few little warning bells for you. In any case, if you want a reputation for being a bold, cutting edge freedom fighter, try not bragging about how much you dress like The Man wants you to dress and act like he wants you to act.

    Posted by Ann Bartow | April 3, 2007, 10:02 pm
  7. I really liked Ginmar’s post too, just hadn’t gotten around to saying so over there *waves*😀

    “you’ve fucked things up quite enough already, thanks” brand.

    Sounds like a good brand, I’ll buy into it!

    Posted by stormy | April 3, 2007, 10:21 pm
  8. That women cling so desperately to patriarchal family units, hoping to improve them, rather than get rid of them, is what’s holding feminism back, if you ask me.

    Yep. What’s that about silk purses and sows’ ears?

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | April 3, 2007, 10:44 pm
  9. Oh my, I had to google:

    Things that everybody thinks he knows only because he has learned the words that say it, are poisons to progress. The only way to get ahead is to dig in, to study, to find out, to reason out theories, to test them…

    This making of silk purses of sows’ ears was merely a diversion of chemistry at play. When chemistry puts on overalls and gets down to business, things begin to happen that are of importance to industry and to commerce. New values appear. New and better paths are opened to reach the goals desired.

    http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/exhibits/purse/index.html

    Posted by chasingmoksha | April 3, 2007, 10:59 pm
  10. That women cling so desperately to patriarchal family units, hoping to improve them, rather than get rid of them, is what’s holding feminism back, if you ask me.

    I believe women cling to patriarchal family units for many reasons. They’ve been raised to believe that their success in that atmosphere is an essential part of their lives. Society censures women who raise children without a father figure. Laws and social mores allow for the imposition of a male into the family atmosphere and make freeing one’s self, and one’s children, from that environment toilsome. In these aspects, society makes your life harder if you ain’t got a man. I think this prompts many women to acquiesce.

    Viewing “the relationship” as a solely patriarchal construction is difficult for me. Not solely because of any bleary eyed classical romantic associations, but because it seems inevitable to me that people will form relationships – whether they are female and male, female and female, or male and male. I’m not sure if the destruction of this trend is an attainable goal. Does that mean heterosexual “relationships” are inherently destined to be anti-feminist, with no hope of any alteration?

    Posted by gingermiss | April 3, 2007, 11:43 pm
  11. I’m with justicewalks on this. Yes, heterosexual ‘relationships’ are destined to be anti-feminist, as long as the patriarchy as in place. This does not mean I won’t be in any, of course, but still…

    Posted by profacero | April 4, 2007, 1:28 am
  12. Does that mean heterosexual “relationships” are inherently destined to be anti-feminist, with no hope of any alteration?

    Yes, it does mean that, at least so long as heterosexual relationships are normalized and glorified. Now, I don’t mean to suggest that men and women would never have encounters in a post-patriarchal world, that they’d never interact with each other at all. What I do opine is that these male-female encounters would garner little more time, effort, and attention than the average conversation in line at the bank. These male-female encounters certainly wouldn’t be exalted as some kind of ideal, to be sought by everyone and maintained at the cost of, well, anything at all, let alone a person’s (usually a woman’s, but a feminized man’s will do) dignity or autonomy. I imagine a world in which men and women may seek one another specifically for purposes of reproduction, but in which women are not the sex class; non-procreative trysts, therefore, wouldn’t be as discriminating. That people will inevitably form bands and alliances with one another has nothing to do with whether they’ll be based on biological relatedness, least of all fatherhood. If you take the father (ie, patriarch[y]) out of heterosexual relationships, you end up with an arrangement in which the sex (and number, for that matter) of the parties is entirely irrelevant, rendering male-female alliances less “heterosexual,” per se (especially since, women no longer being the sex class, there would be no concept of sexual servitude or obligation within such an alliance), and more just random. With sex appropriately teased out from reproduction and family, the people one sleeps with or even spawns with need not be, even in a vague aspirational morality kind of way, the same people one trusts or relies on.

    Sorry for rambling.

    Posted by justicewalks | April 4, 2007, 2:03 am
  13. You’re not rambling. I think what you’ve said is very clearly put forward. I see the sense in what you’re saying, but I’m at a loss. The world which you are envisioning, unfortunately, seems utopian – an existence that has little hope of materializing in our own lives or the lives of future generations. I guess the goal, then, is to progressively work toward it.

    Posted by gingermiss | April 4, 2007, 2:36 am
  14. I’m surprised but I agree with ginmar. It’s nice that they are against domestic violence, but more work on that and less complaining about mean feminists would be nice.

    Posted by shannon | April 5, 2007, 2:33 am
  15. “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was smart like me? HAH!
    I don’t know how any semi-educated person could call anything in that song “empowering” – it’s like holding up a banana, and saying, “This is a fish because that’s what I want it to be!””

    Great comment!
    And great original post. It had me jumping up and down with lots of rad fem excitement🙂 Particularly all the very straight to the point “they hate you” reminders.

    The thing that gets me is when “victim/survivor” is okay and when it is not. For example, as wimmin we are not allowed to “wallow in our victimhood”, which is the equivalent of saying “you wimmin shut the f— up! NO talking about the conditions of your oppression!” But I can’t imagine anyone criticising the Jewish victims/survivors of the holocaust for “wallowing” the way that feminists are criticised. Why can’t those critics see the power in identifying your oppression, recognising your “victimhood” is the first step to liberation! There is power in naming that oppression, in claiming so-called victim status and refusing to blame yourself for what the system of male-domination has done to you! How can wimmin even see the realities of patriarchy if they refuse to see their place within patriarchy?

    I think I’m rambling. Sorry! My point is: it frustrates me that victim has become a dirty word, which is increasingly interpreted as “powerless, weak” (maybe some even interpret it to mean “stupid”?) and once again a potentially patriarchy-shaking concept (think about what has happened to “empowerment”, “choice”, “respect”, etc.) has been robbed from feminists by those patriarchal goblins.

    Posted by Sazz | April 5, 2007, 12:31 pm
  16. justicewalks:
    I’m a little bit confused – perhaps you’ve already explained this an it’s gone over my head, but perhaps not. First let me start by saying I’m very anti-porn/prostitution.
    I would also rather stay single than marry a man who’s not respectful of me, as I consider relationships like that null unless it’s based on equality and respect.
    But I have grown up in one of these nuclear families. A sister, brother, mom and dad. When the world’s gone nuts on me, and good god has it ever, do you know who was there? My family. I’d love to believe that we can rely on the rest of the world for support but my parents have proven to be my constants in life.
    Does that make me un-feminist if I think families can be the basis of emotional support? If I think that commitment between two people to their children and each other is important to preserve?
    If I don’t want an open free-for-all, if I instead want one secure thing?
    Here’s how it works: when my mom is in a funk, I don’t feel the world is shattering around me because I’ve got my dad being strong. Likewise, if my dad is having a rough go of things, my mom is that pillar of strength. Having TWO people to be there for me is a must.
    Would I mind if it were two women or two men? No. Should a woman ever stay with a man who dominates her? Absolutely not. She is without a doubt better off single and can do a good job of it too if she’s emotionally present.
    But to claim that families have no value.. that’s where I disconnect. I want to believe it’s possible to raise children with a person you have a commitment to and share your life with and I think it acts as a source of strength for kids.
    My dad was my role model of integrity. He would do what’s right, no matter what. It is exactly where I learned to not back down to men who try to make me feel I should be going to strip clubs and it is why my standards are so high. Not because he told me to, in a daddy’s little girl kind of way, but because I’ve watched how he deals with things.
    I’m not advocating the man be the head. I’m asking him to be a half of a parental team. Not jut out on his obligations.

    I am hoping supporting feminism does not mean having to dismantle my hopes for a well rounded family, and I think there is value in that kidn of commitment even if the patriarchy is abolished.

    Posted by Kate the Great | April 6, 2007, 1:23 am
  17. Gingermiss: “The world which you are envisioning, unfortunately, seems utopian – an existence that has little hope of materializing in our own lives or the lives of future generations.”

    Yet there is plenty of anthropological evidence of such cultures throughout history and around the world.

    Cinder???
    🙂

    Posted by Amy's Brain Today | April 6, 2007, 5:09 am
  18. I don’t carry the stamp of feminist approval; nor would it be vested with any authority if I did. If you think you can have a “well rounded family” with a patriarch in it, by all means, give it a go. Perhaps there’s one combination of things that can be said, done, or smoothed over that hasn’t been tried yet, and you’ll find that combination, and make it work, without sacrificing anyone’s dignity and/or autonomy.

    I think, though, that you erroneously conflate “patriarchal family units” with “family” in general. I don’t say abolish family; I’ve conceded that it probably is inevitable that people will form bands and alliances with one another. I only argue that a patriarchal family unit isn’t the only kind there is, and that it’s probably one of the least natural, to boot.

    And I wish I were able to hear “I had a great daddy” stories as anything other than “Massa was good to me, yes suh!” tales. It’s like, OK, yeah, maybe your “massa” WAS a decent man in some round about fashion or other, but that most certainly doesn’t make the institution of slavery any more palatable.

    Posted by justicewalks | April 6, 2007, 10:52 am
  19. Yeah– it’s not the family, per se, that is the issue, it’s the way under a patriarchal, heteronormative culture, patriarchal families are supposed to come first, always, and especially where women are concerned, such that loyalties to men who are related by blood to a woman — father, grandfather, sons, whoever the family patriarch is — are supposed to come first before all other relationships.

    Two examples that come immediately to mind. There was the death of a father in my extended biological family, and a close family member said that now this father’s son was “all that was left of the family.” When in fact, his wife — the mother! — is alive, and there is also a daughter, this son’s sister, who is alive and kicking, and her children as well! To those for whom patriarchal family structure is supreme, though, the women are invisible, the men are the Real People.

    Another example is, I occasionally read a certain woman’s blog — VERY occasionally! — mostly out of morbid fascination. She is about my age and has three adult children, one daughter and two sons, one of whom lives with her. She is unmarried, but her life centers around Christianity (though not fundamentalism, a theoretically liberal or progressive version). This woman virtually never mentions her daughter. She sometimes mentions the son who is on his own. She continually talks about the son who lives with her in that wierd, proud-cloying-dig-me tone, something like, “I may be an unmarried woman, but at least I have a son!” It’s creepy and sad when this is someone who has her own business, appears to be intelligent, supports herself (and her son!!) and yet a gigantic portion of her identity resides in her connection with this guy, the fact that she gave birth to someone with a penis (because in some of her blog posts, she talks about interactions with him that demonstrate he is an asshole.)

    It’s the “blood is thicker than water” ideology that is harmful to women, not, as Justice Walks says, constellations of individuals who care about each other and who may describe themselves as “families.” The fact of sharing biology or genetics or a family history — if those are the ties that bind, then women are doomed, because the same system that insists those are the ties that bind, insists that women are the ones who’d better make sure they do bind by their own service, self-sacrifice and submission.

    Heart

    Posted by Heart | April 6, 2007, 12:35 pm
  20. Yet there is plenty of anthropological evidence of such cultures throughout history and around the world.

    That may be true, but my statement was a response to the idea that ALL of society would eventually be able to make this transition, not just select groups.

    Posted by gingermiss | April 6, 2007, 5:38 pm

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