What does the process of fact-checking mean for radical feminists, who already know that everything they read, even in the alt media, is patriarchal?
One of the first skills we learn as radfems is to wade through layers of misogyny in order to get to any grain of truth that might be embedded in any particular article. Misogyny and the invisibilization of women’s role in historical or even current events is par for the course. Men overemphasize their role in both and ignore or write out women’s.
We know we are lied about in porn and in movies. The lie is that women like degradation, enjoy their dehumanized status. This is the necessity of porn. It is the quintessential patriarchal propaganda. Getting a group of people to wallow in feces is dehumanization in its purest form. Hitler made the Jews walk around covered in shit. Pornographers make women do the same. Any other group degraded like this on film, and there would be an outcry.
We either absorb the lies, or we learn that they are lies and seek to understand how they are used to consolidate our role and men’s treatment of us.
We learn, for example that as childbirth became medicalized, and midwives were sidelined, the maternal death rate increased. Which is the exact opposite of what the majority of articles and books would have us believe. We learn that Nobel prizes were given to men, who had used the stolen work of women. We learn that female authors of old were using male names. We understand that the fact that women discovered DNA, the universe and so on is hidden and obscured. We write online anonymously, because we’re not supposed to have a voice. And when we find ourselves being run off the internet by rape threats, we learn that women have things they want to say, but aren’t allowed to say them.
We learn that there has been a genocide of women in western Europe and not only are we not allowed to mourn our dead, but we’re not allowed to speak of it, lest we face hatred from all directions.
Patriarchal lies are in every newspaper, every magazine, every news report, every movie. Even the most seemingly benign and innocuous ones. In what was arguably my favorite article of FactCheckMe she took down a feminist man, who claimed he was on women’s side, and wrote on behalf of women. She analyzed his writing, revealing the deep layers of misogyny that drove him, which he had dressed up in the form of concern trolling of women.
Without this radical feminist analysis, and by taking media on face value, we are liable to absorb patriarchal propaganda.
So what do we do if (as is happening right now) we get messages all over the place advising us not to trust articles and media in general? I have noticed there is a Google advert circulating on Facebook, which advises people to fact check sources using google. I have no idea why Google should be regarded as a reliable source, or why anything found on google would automatically be factually correct. Google made the advert, though.
It is becoming an even more dangerous time for feminists, if there is noise out there telling people that they should only read google-approved articles, or government approved writing and so on. It automatically casts anyone with an alternative viewpoint to the mainstream in a dubious light. Radical feminism is the epitome of alternative media and the antithesis of mainstream. We are the noisy women making our own media. Where does the current drive for clamping down on alt media leave us, when we are the only media of relevance to women?
American friends are telling me their media has been crazy over the past year or so and I have a hunch that I know why. First of all I want to say, it seems to be mainly America, this feeling of craziness and of not really knowing exactly what’s going on. So there is something in particular about American media that we should perhaps be looking at.
One thing that really surprises me is the lack of talk around Middle Eastern politics. Now, the middle east is my pet topic of interest, and I could talk about it forever, but I generally don’t on my blog, because it’s pretty obvious to me that any politics that isn’t essentially radfem is going to be male politics, and male politics is always about oppressing women. Patriarchy is the global oppression. And patriarchy is what must continue, and all media aligns to this aim. But Western Imperialism is a secondary oppression that I think it’s about time we start looking at, even just to get an idea of what men are up to– our own men, and men overseas. It’s good to keep abreast of these things, because it curbs the sense of bewilderment we might feel, when we’re not quite sure what’s going on, even as radfems.
And I think all routes lead back to the middle east, and how Muslims perceive the West, and the consequences of this for Americans. I’ll talk about it in more detail in my next post, but I made a primer on the middle east by discussing Israel and Palestine in my previous post.
Suffice it to say, after having had an interest in middle eastern politics for many years, I do think there may be some danger coming from that direction, from countries over there that have atomic weapons. I think that Americans, and Western Europeans might be in danger to some extent, yes.
But why all the obfuscation and secrecy?
Well, the clampdown on media in general might be to create confusion and obfuscation. Even though there is probably a tangible danger, it serves the state to have everybody bewildered and not quite understanding what’s going on. One reason for this is so that people, women especially, carry on business as usual. The clampdown on media might be so that women regain a sense of safety that seems to have been lost in America over the past few years. Women don’t have babies unless they feel a sense of safety.
Which gives me the impression the whole charade might just be about women. One can always hope. It might be that the upsurge of feminism in general online has begun to take effect. Meghan Murphy tweeted a few weeks ago that she thinks men may have underestimated the feminist movement. She might be right. One can always hope. The global contacts women have made might actually be threatening patriarchy. Women are angry, and they’re in contact with each other like never before. For the first time in history, in fact, women are becoming mobilized, via the internet. I think the internet is marvelous. Wouldn’t it be nice to think that all of us online writers and activists actually made a dent?
I don’t know if the media kerfuffle in America is because they need to regain control of the women. I can’t know for sure if the clampdown on free speech is about feminism or not. But it might be.