For the last time.. sheesh

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I could no longer ignore his face splattered all over the place. I’m talking about John Stoltenberg and his insistence on reversing Andrea’s words.

She was writing long before peak trans struck. She was writing before trans was as big of an issue for women as it is today. You cannot apply the quotes made by a woman when Dworkin wrote Woman Hating to today’s feminism, or today’s “climate”. She wrote:

“while the system of gender polarity is real, it is not true…. [T]he system based on this polar model of existence is absolutely real; but the model itself is not true. We are living imprisoned inside a pernicious delusion, a delusion on which all reality as we know it is predicated.” – See more at: http://www.feministtimes.com/%E2%80%AA%E2%80%8Egenderweek-andrea-was-not-transphobic/#sthash.WhZ75efv.LwZ78DRJ.dpuf

Men have clearly managed to make the most innocuous lines all about them. “Living inside a precious delusion” does not mean that some females are pretending to be women. Or that some of us have female penises. The delusion is that women have somehow gotten to be the way they are without going through life living in fear and dread of repercussions if they jump outside their cages, so elaborately crafted by men. The delusion is that the femininity you see in women is somehow not the result of a boot on the neck. The delusion is that women enjoy sex for money because that’s what they were born for. That’s the delusion Andrea was talking about.

Daly admitted her mistakes and recanted her use of the word “androgyny” in her book Beyond God the Father. This was her first book and she argued for gender abolition, believing that androgyny was a desired state. As her work evolved, she became clearly in favour of separatism and regretted her previous writings when she used this word. Feminists are likely to be drawn to the concept of androgyny because it implies a certain freedom from gender constraints. Upon further inspection, we are forced to admit that men and women are very different. It didn’t take Daly long to move beyond the realms of neatly discussing how women could live in an androgynous society and into spinning and spiralling through the Background.

That’s the thing about writers. They evolve. They take stock and (if they’re good) they move with the times.

The following quote is also to be examined:

““It is shamefully easy for us to enjoy our own fantasies of biological omnipotence while despising men for enjoying the reality of theirs. And it is dangerous—because genocide begins, however improbably, in the conviction that classes of biological distinction indisputably sanction social and political discrimination. We, who have been devastated by the concrete consequences of this idea, still want to put our faith in it. Nothing offers more proof—sad, irrefutable proof—that we are more like men than either they or we care to believe.” – See more at: http://www.feministtimes.com/%E2%80%AA%E2%80%8Egenderweek-andrea-was-not-transphobic/#sthash.WhZ75efv.dpuf

This passage is most certainly open to debate in the radfem community, and in radfem theory in general. Dworkin did not believe women were biologically superior to men. Many radfems believe the same as she did- that there is hope for men, that they are not natural born killers. Other radfems think men and women are very different. Yet others (and I think I fall into this category) are too tired to care– we just want to be away from men.

Quite what this quote has to do with transwomen is beyond me. Saying that “we are more like men than either they or we care to believe” is saying women may have the killer gene, which would be exposed if we had access to men’s weapons. This refutes the trans “theory” that men and women are in gendered categories because of their nature, that women just like pink things and fluffy kittens and men like blue and guns, that women must be a certain way because they are female. She is categorically stating that if you remove the extreme violence that is required to keep women docile they may, just may be able to behave like men, and perhaps by that she means more fully human, and perhaps by that she means they will kill their rapists.

Dworkin did declare that there were more than two sexes:

We can presume then that there is a great deal about human sexuality to be discovered, and that our notion of two discrete biological sexes cannot remain intact. We can presume then that we will discover cross-sexed phenomena in proportion to our ability to see them.

My suggestion is the following: Dworkin wanted to believe that if there were more than two sexes, then female oppression wasn’t set in stone. She wanted to believe that by arguing for the existence of many sexes, women could perhaps circumvent oppression. This is pretty much what trans men believe today. That they can escape oppression by escaping being female. If femaleness is not absolute then there is hope, right?

Times have changed. The jury is out on whether her writing would have evolved with the times. Whether she would stand here among us today and not side with radical feminists on the issue of trans.

If I might make a suggestion. If she was living with Stolternberg, could it be that his influence over her meant that she couldn’t go to the end of her thoughts on this matter? Could it be that he was directing her energies away from women? In her essay about her rape she clearly states that John didn’t believe her. Living with someone who doesn’t believe your rape is hard, by the way. Annihilating.

 

 

 

 

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16 thoughts on “For the last time.. sheesh

    • Hi Miep,
      I’m not sure why Dworkin’s quotes supporting transsexuals have been jumped on with so much glee recently.
      Some dude has commented leaving quotes from Woman Hating.
      It’s as though that by demonstrating Dworkin was pro-Trans, the entire radfem ideology must be called into disrepute.
      Or we should all pack up and go home and admit we were wrong about Trans, because look after all Dworkin supported them so who are WE to come along and be radical feminists when we’re not even following the proper line of thinking.
      At any rate , men are invested in this . I don’t care to work out why. It’s none of men’s business who we discuss, why we discuss them and which conclusions we draw about our authors .

  1. Thanks Cherry. Last year when John ran around saying Andrea D believed in transactivism a lot of people took him as still well-meaning. But just a week or two ago he was interviewed by Cristan Williams of the Transadvocate, speaking as a radfem. Williams put up a big article also distorting Catherine MacKinnon. This is it: http://www.transadvocate.com/reintroducing-inclusive-radical-feminism_n_15514.htm

    The whole disinformation campaign is clear from the title. Pretend “real” radfems have no principled argument with transactivism. Have two biological men speak for what radfems stand for. Announce that “real” radfems are inclusive.

    Of who? Why, men of course. That’s why the concept of “inclusion” is so pernicious. It’s why “intersectionalism” is too, because the intersection is always with a male-dominated sector.

    Who’s “reintroducing inclusive radical feminism”?

    Why men of course. Reintroducing something that was never introduced in the first place that guts radical feminism.

    Note to propaganda-meisters: Stop this illegitimate double-speak. War is not peace. Radfems are not inclusive of men.

    • Thank you for your comment!
      I thought the sudden proliferation of Andrea’s ” pro-trans” quotes about the internet were something to do with refuting radfem theory. Yes, as you say, by “proving” radfems have no cogent argument. Actually, Dworkins writing on this topic is not cogent and in fact, it’s so random that one might be forgiven for thinking she had JS whispering in her ear as she wrote it.
      But the fact of the matter is, she wrote it… Which doesn’t mean anything at all really. So I’m wondering still why JS and others have jumped on this with glee.
      Speaking with other radfems, it could be that this is a prelude to Stoltenberg coming out as trans. That would make perfect sense.

      It’s also very clear to me that none of these men understand her work. Do they really think they can “get on over on us?” by saying “you can’t be radfem because Dworkin thought XYZ therefore radical feminist theory is defunct”
      So stupid.
      What these men are even doing discussing her is beyond me. He was just someone she lived with and was married to. Why is he HERE? All over the place, in our faces. Ugh.

      And he disbelieved her rape. He’s not getting out of that one.

    • Brilliant analysis there flagalicious. It is the heart of the matter as to why the ‘TERF’ slur was invented (other than the obvious discrediting). ‘TERF’ implies there is the opposite ‘inclusive’ radical feminism (the so-called ‘nice’ version). Straw dichotomy really. Males already played a similar card to Second Wave Feminism with , “speak your feminism more nicely, otherwise we will resist” (but the truth, they will resist no matter how you deliver the message).

      “The New Transactivism: Radical Feminism Was Right All Along to Exclude Men.”

      Make it a book. You have your first pre-publication order!

  2. John Stoltenberg and anti-feminist transactivists. These AFTAs need to stop serving up their special dish of serf-n-terf. Or we should post our own article: “The New Transactivism: Radical Feminism Was Right All Along to Exclude Men.”

  3. Dudebros keep commenting.

    Entirely missing the point.

    Apparently I have to “prove” (to who?) that Andrea wasn’t pro trans.

    Guys, think deeper. That’s not what I’m writing about here.

    That’s the same as me saying you have to prove JS was nice to Andrea even though he didn’t believe her when she was raped.

  4. His level of colonising is just extraordinary. Whilst AD was alive he would not have dared pull that shit of being the Radical Feminist Main Man telling women what’s what, compulsively spamming women far smarter than him with his pathetic trans-extremist creepiness. He always IDed as a ‘pro-radfem ally’ Now, there doesn’t seem to be much basic concern for women’s issues or women’s human rights on his profiles. It’s all just business as usual, demanding the foregrounding of XY people with peni.

    • Yes, this post is basically a stand against JS’s colonization of women, Andrea Dworkin and radical feminism, which he is achieving through male privilege. Thank you for understanding what I was getting at. Needless to say, the male comments ( in the spam tray) did not reflect any understanding of this and were along the lines of “WAAAAAAH, but what about teh traaaaans”

  5. A brilliant post CBL. Love it, love your conclusions and particularly your final paragraph there. The close proximity of a penis stops any woman from going to the end of her thoughts.

    When I was young radfem-with-training-wheels, I too went through a brief contemplation about whether androgyny would resolve much of our oppression. The answer was of course ‘no’, given for a time there in China females and males pretty much wore the same thing, and following that the mass-femicide of female foetuses and abandoned girls. So nope, androgyny won’t work, and neither will ‘gender queerdom’ either.

    The bottom line as to why males oppress females has always been, and always will be, about which group of humans is born with a uterus and which group is not. The power lies in who has the majority of control over human reproduction. Of course the males just want to create endless armies of soldiers and drones to play their male war games. If females had full control over themselves and their reproductive resources, that would end. This is why, even today, we still keep fighting the access to safe abortion for women. It is why we will still be fighting for that 100 years from now. Unless women wake up in sufficient numbers to see the big picture.

    Fashion/clothing trends won’t cure the underlying reasons as to why males as a class oppress females as a class. It really annoys men that they owe their existence to (an average) of 40 weeks of some woman’s generosity of her bodily resources. Among patriarchy’s biggest crimes was to convince the powerful that they are powerless.

  6. You wouldn’t think that an assertion that women are people could be twisted into meaning that she advocated for men’s right to be obeyed. The fact is that if the men who identify as women could take one line out of “The Second Sex” and build a belief system around it there really is no limit to their mendacity.
    The despicable Stoltenberg is exploiting Dworkin for money, as men so often do.

  7. Nikki Craft, Dworkin’s friend, has published a letter showing that Dworkin co-authored an article where they remark that:
    “the transsexual intelligentsia regard themselves as agents provocateurs, subverting nature’s implacable authority and radical transformers concerning sex, gender, body modification and identity. However transsexuals are more Uncle Toms of sexuality, devout in old fashioned sexual stereotypes and taking a conservative position on nearly everything, including sexual relationships, sacrificing even sexual pleasure to be women”
    Nikki Craft and Andrea Dworkin.

    Cue JS mansplaining…

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