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Life Is Too Short

February 2, 2007

to hang around with anyone who’s not a feminist.  And that includes the precious little folks who say, “I don’t believe in your kind of feminism, I only believe in this kind of feminism, which is so much different.”  The hell with that shit.  You either believe in feminism or you don’t.  End of story.

Life is too short to tolerate bullies, abusers and liars – the ones in the White House, and the ones who pretend to be on our side.

As matters in the world become more urgent, it’s becoming increasingly imperative to call people on their snoolery

Don’t make the mistake of believing that because someone claims to be a “Democrat” or a “liberal” or a “progressive” that the person really IS one.

Don’t fall for the “Big Tent” line.  It’s code for “Hey babe, we’re throwing your values out the window.  Get over it.”

Speak the truth.  Stand your ground.  Tell off the thugs.  Blow the whistle.  Let your Supervixen flag fly.

It’s really not that hard.  The snools want you to think it is, but it’s not.

14 comments

  1. Word.

    I’m really, really sick of the strawfeminists, the limiting of discussion based on some outside idea of “appropriateness”, and the attempts that some make to claim feminism as something so broad and hard to disagree with that it fundamentally loses its meaning.

    The “big tent” usually winds up meaning: let’s make ourselves more appealing to the middle, so that the middle can toss out the people who seem too threatening. Well, fuck, if we don’t make somebody somewhere feel threatened a little, then we’re not pushing hard enough, IMO. Politics and social movements aren’t tea parties (with the exception of some certain rabble rousers a few hundred years ago, who probably made plenty of people uncomfortable at that time, I might add).

    Also wanted to add that anytime we marginalize any group of good-faith feminists — not just disagree and argue, but actually marginalize them by acting as though they’re “going too far” or, dare I say it, “sanctimonious” without discussing the merits of their arguments (the lefty version of “feminazi”, somebody said in a dkos thread, and it’s absolutely true), we limit the conversation to what’s acceptable to society at large. You know, the society at large we’re trying to change. Sidelining any feminists, rather than discussing the merits of their arguments, hurts us all as a movement — by making some arguments more “permissable” than others, rather than viewing the whole thing as a conversation in which there are sometimes points of vehement disagreement.

    I don’t need anybody’s permission for my activism, my views, or my expressions. Fuck that.


  2. speaking of big tents
    my bro at stop me

    “Today’s poser: “so what’s the harm in a big-tent jackass party?”
    Answer: big-tenting is exactly what puts the evil in lesser evil. It’s plain as Hillary’s breakfast face that until all we left-votin’ legionnaires shout “fuck the big tent or we fuck you” the so-called “progressive” caucus’ bluff can’t be called.

    Now, when we scream at ’em “you measly back-street pimps, you’re supping with Senator Gill-Man himself, the creature from the Bridgeport lagoon!” they reply — with a calm and studied sanctimony — “But folks! Our party is a big-tent party, ’cause big-tent parties are winning parties, and winning parties are… well… they win, you see. Don’t you?”

    Bullshit. You can’t hide back there anymore, Barney and company. We want you jumping off that garbage scow, now! That’s right, split, you bastards, split — bust the donks back to also-ran status.

    Recall Lyndon’s line — “Better we keep those fuckers on the inside pissin’ out….”? Well, you dickweeds need to be “on the outside, pissin’ in.”

    ps
    “snool ”
    shows what a pitch perfect ear this M Daly has

    never read but the bits i found here

    dwell
    deep inside
    the blinkered guy-zone
    ground zero
    for boat missing

    post post post


  3. Big tents by definition pull to the middle, pull to the mediocre, keep the status quo status. Just keep everybody treading water. Big tents by definition resist change. That’s reactionary. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of Dems staying center. Dismantle the big tents.


  4. “I shall not live to see women vote, but I’ll come and rap on the ballot box.”
    ~Lydia Maria Child

    “When the forcible feeding was ordered I was taken from my bed, carried to another room and forced into a chair, bound with sheets and sat upon bodily by a fat murderer, whose duty it was to keep me still. Then the prison doctor, assisted by two woman attendants, placed a rubber tube up my nostrils and pumped liquid food through it into the stomach. Twice a day for a month, from November 1 to December 1, this was done.”

    ~Alice Paul

    “But militancy is as much a state of mind, an approach to a task, as it is the commission of deeds of protest. It is the state of mind of those who in their fiery idealism do not lose sight of the real springs of human action.”

    ~Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom, Introduction


  5. Maybe people have forgotten how to stand their ground and fight. Maybe we need to go back and find some examples.


  6. Brava!


  7. A Big Tent means that you cannot move more quickly than the most reactionary person in the room.


  8. Hey spit, it’s really great to see you here. I was just about to email you and tell you how much I appreciated your comment in the “feminisms” diary.

    I agree with what you say here. I guess I’m slow on the uptake, but it only recently dawned on me that many people who are ostensibly liberals and progressives don’t give a rat’s ass about feminism and in many cases even actively work against feminists and feminist goals. I had thought it was just a few ornery fratboy types but now I feel it’s a distinct anti-feminist movement. This is outrageous to me.

    I also have to say that I’m very frustrated with the “academic feminists”. They are serious and committed in their feminism, etc. but they have succeeded in marginalizing the feminist movement and making it into a kind of academic sport, an indulgence of the intelligentsia, rather than a burning, driving force in progressive politics. The focus on “different kinds of feminisms” is way off base. I’m fine with vehement disagreements and different opinions, etc. but in order for those interactions to get anywhere you have to have agreement on the basics. When I see “progressive” people writing stuff like “I’m not a feminist, but…” and “How can feminism be made more appealing to socially-conservative men like my dad” I just think, OK, that’s enough – we have to get down to brass tacks here and quit the fucking around. No more navel-gazing and talking about how we talk about talking about feminism. No more appeasement of the socially-conservative types who are the people that feminists are supposed to be FIGHTING AGAINST. Put the academic (as Daly so aptly calls it, “academentia”) bullshit on the back burner and let’s start talking about GETTING ACTIVE!!

    Sorry, needed to vent…


  9. AlanSmithee, totally great comments and quotes from firebrand Supervixens of yesteryear – thank you!!

    and JSP, I enjoy your poetic writing very much. You would like Daly – try Gyn/Ecology and Pure Lust, those are where she gets away from the dry academic style of writing and starts cutting loose with her brilliant wordplay.


  10. That feminisms post frustrated the hell out of me, and I wish I’d had more time to address it — but being my first week o’ classes, I’ve been just wiped this week.

    But yeah, feminism is about a great many things, but it’s not such a diluted thing that it can be forced to appeal to those who don’t believe in it for its own merits. “How to make feminism more appealing to men” isn’t on my personal list of top priorities, frankly, even while I’m incredibly thankful for the men who read stuff about it, and think it out, and come to support of feminism because it’s right. At the core, they’ve got to realize that it’s not about their needs — it can’t be — and the fact that I’ve known quite a few men who do get that leads me to believe we’re doing just fine whenever we actually get a fair hearing, instead of being presented as a caricature of “sanctimonious feminists”.

    I’m of several minds on academic stuff. Theory has to happen, and I’m at heart a theory-head; I’ve always been one of those people who is more comfortable reading and refining theoretical stuff than I am pushing particular agenda points. I do both at different times, don’t get me wrong, and I think that real activism and real involvement is completely vital. Mostly, I think we need a movement that embraces the different levels that feminism needs to work on — we need the people who are active and out there fighting hard, and we also need the discussion of what we’re fighting for, how best to get things moving in the right directions, and what a feminist movement needs to look like to follow its own ideals. Both ends of the thing are necessary, and they compliment each other IMO — many of our fights are directly political, and require direct political activism, but many are broader and more socially-based, and so require a refining and pushing of ideas in a vaguer but no less important way; social change feeds political and vice versa, as they’re really different shades of the same thing.

    I think a lot of the problem is that feminism beyond “women should be treated equally” — which is kind of a no-brainer statement for a lot of people (and should be one for everybody) — requires a background and a level of understanding that makes it hard to approach outside of an academic setting (though some folks learn it on their own, the discussion is centered in academia because that’s where the bulk of the information is found). What I mean is that when you hit a point of wanting to take your ideas beyond their basic starting point, it’s extremely helpful to read the huge body of thought that’s come before, and it’s also important to have an understanding of social power and philosophy. I would love to see that information flow spread out of academia more, and I get very frustrated with some of the jargon crap when it’s unnecessary (which is most of the time), but the actual concepts are, I think, important for people to learn to inform their action. I agree with you that that end of things isn’t enough; we can bullshit through theory all day and change nothing, if we don’t get the discussion spread outward, and if we don’t get actions both personal and political going to counter the status quo.

    The question becomes how do you spread that discussion and action out of academia, when it’s not usually until college that women find out that feminists exist and aren’t all foaming at the mouth? When we don’t own any of the big means for spreading information, we have little way to counter the presentation we’re given in popular culture. I’m hopeful that the internet changes that equation some, and I think it’s part of why there’s such a good body of feminist thought on the internet — it’s the one place outside of a college classroom where feminism can take root without having to find “underground” ways of countering its usual representation. I think that’s a terrific thing, but still not an easy one, since the web is still such a male-dominated cultural space. Still, it’s progress IMO, I’d like to see it lead to more solid action, and I see good directions there as well (though it’s usually so far action of the personal kind, rather than larger scale political action). The fact that feminists have taken a space for themselves on the web, though, just shows how much of a need we have for spaces outside the traditional college one where we can represent ourselves. In the media environment we’ve had, and in the activism environment we’ve had, that’s been pretty impossible from the 80’s or so up until the last couple of years. In my mind, the feminist spots on the web are taking the place of the feminist bookstores we lost over the last decade as centers for information flow and for organizing, though it’ll have to handle some problems with the organizing (since many of us live across the country from each other, logistically it’s a hard thing to figure out).

    I’ve gone off rambling — sorry for always being so damned long-winded. Have to get off my ass and get in the shower now; I wasted most of yesterday, and I actually have to do stuff today.😉


  11. HAH I didn’t realize that wordpress was going to morph my smiley emoticon into a little yellow face. That’s a little bit creepy. I guess it’s showing my age or something to say I prefer the oldschool emoticons.

    Testing —😛


  12. REPLY TO YOU IN MARISACATS BLOG:

    hrh, I was not going frantic. The point is, they are trying to use you as a pariah. This is a psychological emergency when they do that, and it’s important to go straight to the point. If I start defending or accepting you in the conversation, they have won. You were off topic.

    You’ll note I also did not malign you myself or denounce you. As I have never done to marisacat either. The fact is, she was trying to use your status in their group-dynamic against me, and I called her on it, you should be proud. Sorry if you took offense, I considered what you migth thing when I wrote those, and knew I was on the edge.

    I am a diplomat hrh, and the only real kind, an honest one, I do not lie for diplomacy, but I do seek common ground. I have not ever had a problem with you. Marisacat doesn’t like me. And I’m satisfied after a couple years to now understand why, and that’s all ok because it’s her right, but please don’t buy some hype about my creepiness that you have never seen yourself, and then cast it on all my actions.

    Political speech is political action. It’s not different in there now than when you were still in, have some sympathy! She was using you as a pariah and I did the best thing rhetorically to direct that, without dumping on you, which is a far more common way to do that… “oh no she’s bad”… but I didn’t do that, I said she was trying to us a pariah figure… which is true.

    And it is non-judgemental. I literally do not know what beefs you have with anyone at dkos in particular, except the general centrist thing, though I gather there are complaints all round. In fact, I don’t know how you were banned as I was offline that period.


  13. -pyrrho

    oops… it had el crep from trying to reply recently at marisacat’s.

    I will have to refer to her elsewhere, she doesn’t want me to post there even if I am maligned to defend myself.

    that’s fine of course (though not my preference), I can reply elsewhere.

    I don’t really know why the liberals that have dropped or been ejected from dkos turn on the one’s still in, suddenly we are collaborators? more so than you were for… a long time? You could say we’re more watered down, insofar as we avoided the jagged reasons you get banned… that moment or series of moments of not taking it any more.

    there are many reasons you don’t get banned.

    I have not gotten banned online for ages except at marisacat’s

    seriously, like 20 years ago was the last time I was banned, and I post at conservative site or wherever.

    come on, I’m respectful, and honest about what I think, I don’t have to be fucking right, or prove myself, or take loyalty oaths and these are good things about me, an imperfect person over all. So, I hope you do understand or, for that matter, criticize in more detail, my approach. My goal was to identify the fact that they use this outcast/pariah mentality against themselves (me) without saying you actually were, which I’m not a part of.

    I mean, did you see what SHE wrote?


  14. one more thing (sorry, I’d rather reply where you make the comment but can’t…)

    I think it’s wrong to attribute to me some sort of subservient quality, as I said, I’m in the same situation as always there, and if you see my writing on things you’ll know I’m not overly critical, though I rarely condemn. I just rarely condemn whole people, I condemn actions.



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