“Shared girlhood,” Red Herrings, and the Creation of the Third Wave

Have you heard the one about the “shared girlhood”?

 

The “myth of shared girlhood” is an idea that has been developed recently by intersectional feminists to explain why it’s wrong for radical feminists to want women-only events that exclude people who were born male.  According to the doctrine of the myth of shared girlhood, there’s nothing that really makes anyone female, because there’s no one universal defining experience of girlhood.

It’s true that there is no universal experience of femaleness.  Not one.  For anything you can come up with–even things that are experienced by huge, huge percentages of women–some women, on an individual basis, don’t meet those qualifications.

According to the “myth of shared girlhood” analysis, this means that organization based around femaleness is inherently improper, and that since trans* individuals have shared some experiences that some women have had, they should be considered no different than any other woman who has had a different experience from the norm.

 

This analysis is outrageous.

 

There is no shared gay experience.  A gay man in Uganda, a lesbian woman in Vancouver–these people have incredibly different experiences of what it means to experience same-sex attraction and love.  This does not mean that there is no such thing as gay, or that gay people should be unwelcome to meet without straight people saying “but my parents don’t like my girlfriend and people sometimes called me anti-gay slurs, which is, you must admit, pretty similar to some things that have happened to some of you!”

There is no shared American Indian experience.  Some people of American Indian descent grow up on reservations, some don’t.  Among both groups, socioeconomic status can vary tremendously.  Different American Indian and First Nations groups have very different cultural norms and policies about assimilating into a white-dominated society.  It would be ridiculous for someone to say that American Indians should be forced to admit the American Indianhood of anyone who claimed it, simply because they claimed it and there is no universal experience of being an American Indian anyway.

There is no shared black experience.  Black kids in the Portland ‘burbs from an upper middle class background and black kids in the Florida panhandle experience very different “black in America” narratives.  No one says that a lack of “shared blackness” should make it so anyone who has felt oppressed about their racial role can simply declare themselves black, and thus avail themselves of affirmative action policies designed to redress ongoing racial bias and discrimination against black Americans.

There is no shared rape experience.  Rape survivors are a diverse group, including people from every demographic.  Some rape victims are infants, some are elderly.  Some are violently beaten, others are drugged, others are emotionally coerced.  That doesn’t mean that just anyone should be able to claim the status “rape victim,” or use the resources allotted for rape victims in our society.

There is no shared labor union experience.  There is no shared working-class experience.  There is no shared Midwestern experience.  There is no shared abuse victim experience.  There is no shared alcoholism experience.  There is no shared disability experience.  There is no shared Muslim experience.  There is no shared Communist experience.

 

Some people in the categories will always be outside of the most commonly shared experiences within that category.  Yet somehow, it’s only women who are expected to defend their “shared girlhood” and what that shared girlhood experience could possibly mean.  It’s only women who are told, when they share the experiences that they feel are powerful and defining for them as an oppressed class, that the sharing of those experiences is in itself oppressive, especially if it’s in a context of sharing them only with other people who were female from birth.

Other groups of oppressed people don’t have to justify themselves when they want to say “we’ve been oppressed, and we would like to say things in our group that aren’t necessarily very nice to the oppressing group, so all members who were raised as members of the oppressing group are invited to kindly keep the fuck out.”  When black people do that to white people, it’s not (generally) by way of saying to white people, “we think you’re a racist shitbag who would disrupt our conference with your mere presence.”  It’s not a way to say “you’re not a good enough ally to us.”  It’s just a way to say, hey, sometimes it’s a shitload harder to make salient points about oppression or even just to vent when your oppressor is right there in the room.

Different groups of women have had, and I suspect will continue to have, varying policies about who is and is not allowed into events that revolve around women’s issues.  In some groups, all people who share basic ideas about feminism and equality would be welcome to attend, regardless of sex or gender.  In other groups, gender identity may matter, in others, a person’s present anatomy (for instance, the ability to penetrate/impregnate) may matter, and in others, birth sex may matter.

The differences in attendance policies in these kinds of events are equivalent to differences in attendance policies from other organizing oppressed classes.  Sometimes, racially-based organizing groups will have events that are open for all people of all races and ethnicities, but other times, usually smaller groups of people of color will want to have events that are restricted to people who aren’t members of a particular race, national origin or ethnicity.  This happens all the time, and racial groups are not asked to provide any proof of a shared racial experience to exclude people who the group feels don’t belong in the group.

In the super-liberal city of Berkeley, California, a whites-only group met for some time to discuss racism at the Niebyl-Proctor Library, specifically excluding people of color.  I think that group’s existence is pretty gross, for a whole bunch of reasons, but it’s important to note that unlike radfem gatherings (which are picketed and targeted because they’re supposedly oppressive to trans* people), this whites-only group–which is no secret, and has even posted flyers in the neighborhood around where it meets, a neighborhood with a very racially diverse population–has to my knowledge never experienced a protest.

Yes, that’s right: it’s easier, politically–in the 21st century–in the liberal centers of the United States of America–to form a whites-only group than it is to form a group that includes only people who were female at birth.

Organization is impossible if it’s only done between people who have shared every experience–if we did that, we’d never have organized as a society beyond the family unit.  That’s what makes organization tricky: if everyone had exactly the same experiences, it’d undoubtedly be a whole lot easier.  That’s also why organization happens at many different levels.  While some activists want to be in broad, coalitional groups, others choose to be in organizing groups that exclude all but a narrow class of people in order to pinpoint issues or have discussions that they feel are more difficult to have in broad, coalitional contexts.

There has not been a single incident–not one–of radical feminists “crashing” trans* people’s gatherings, picketing outside them, or gaining access to a private trans* event with the goal of publicizing where it was occurring or who was attending.  In spite of the fact that many radical feminists have grave concerns about the ways in which trans* surgeries and hormone therapies are being marketed to pediatric patients, there haven’t even been protests of these.  Radical feminists have written about problems with the trans* movement, talked about the enshrining of gender as problematic among themselves–but they haven’t picketed or invaded anyone’s gatherings.

 

Women shouldn’t have to prove anything, including a “shared girlhood,” to be able to meet and organize with other female-born persons without being harassed.  The fact that liberal feminists are buying into this idea–that without a universally shared experience, it’s illogical and bigoted for a group to be able to define itself and exclude non-members–is a sign of how far feminist analysis has fallen since feminists started “doing” feminism online.

Why has this happened?  Because the internet’s the ultimate proving ground that women talk differently when they have to talk around men and be subject to men’s criticisms all the time.  The changes that have occurred to feminism since feminism became part of the blogosphere have been the exact kinds of changes you’d expect to see when women are having to do feminism in front of men. The environment that the second wave operated in was, in some ways, shitty for what it excluded, because the fact that feminist monographs, zines, and so forth were being distributed primarily among white, middle class women left a lot of women out.  However, men also basically didn’t give a fuck (except when they were reacting with horror to out of context bits of Intercourse), so women in academia were left to talk and debate about feminist issues without constant comment and intrusion from men declaring a need to be heard and dialogued with.

The internet changed all that.  Now, everything has to be released male-ready–or else.  Positions determined to be too radical are sanded down, and it’s de rigeur for third-wave feminists to angrily declare that they’re not like those other feminists who are mean and nasty to men, the man-haters, the bra-burners, the TERFs, the Andrea Dworkin, whoever’s the boogeyman identified by men in the comments sections and subreddits where women are trying to do feminism today.

So again and again, you see women taking pains not to offend any men with what they write, because we know what happens to women who write on the internet–especially, gracious me, under their own name!–and who don’t toe the party line.  Talk about sexism in video games, get rape threats.  Talk about feminism and the oppressiveness of gender roles, get rape threats.

That’s the part where men’s comments shape the third wave.  Then, there’s this little deal with the devil that no one talks about: if you can keep the perfect balance of angry about issues that make everyone angry while still making sure everyone sees you’re still buying into the basic tenets of patriarchy, you can shout “this is what a feminist looks like!” and get a book deal.  You can have a life where you make a living by blogging and talking about feminism, today.  There are plenty of people willing to schedule “empowering” visits from feminist women and pay reasonable sums for the privilege.  There is, of course, also a catch: you have to make your feminism palatable enough and positive enough that it acquires the air of a TED talk.  Feminism becomes tamed from something revolutionary, offering the possibility of systemic change, to something that is merely performative and about individual empowerment and choices.

When feminism is subjected to market forces and incessant male intrusion, it becomes the third wave: happy to decry the patriarchy, as long as it never gets upset about any of the bits where patriarchy makes you spend more money or be more available for sex.  Decry not the expense of a wedding or the idea itself, but the whiteness of the dress and its implications, and you too could be a fully book-dealed Internet Feminist(tm) who still gets the New York Times Vows column to cover your wedding and your tasteful, dove-gray wedding dress.  Rage against gender roles, but make sure people know that you believe high heels and porn are just fine when they’re expensive and made by people who pay lip service to feminist ideals.

Girls and women deserve better than the empower-washing of the entire world.  Girls and women deserve better than to be told that theirs is the one group that has to simply allow everyone in.  We deserve better than for our concerns to be mocked or met with threats and protests.  We deserve better than for people to throw strawmen like the “shared girlhood myth” at us when we assert our rights to organize and regulate our groups in the same way that other oppressed groups organize themselves.  We deserve better than to be subject to gaslighting when we say that groups of women change fundamentally when they are joined by either MTF people or simply men who identify as men.  I know it’s not crazy, because I can see the differences between online communities with different policies.

Imagine what internet feminism might have looked like if, from the beginning, women had simply refused to grant men access to the playhouse–and how very different third wave feminism is from that, how much more placating, more quick to soothe hurt feelings, more quick to capitulate and say “well, we all have our own opinions.”

Some days, I wish we could simply go back.  However, that option doesn’t exist, and we have no choice but to keep going forward.  Building women’s-only spaces, both on- and off-line, is one of the few ways for feminism to continue existing as anything other than the auxiliary wing of capitalism and corporatism.  “Let’s you and her fight, you have no experiences in common anyway” is a great tactic to keep women from organizing the single largest class of oppressed people on the planet.  Don’t eat that red herring; it’s been rotten from the first time it was brought out.

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39 thoughts on ““Shared girlhood,” Red Herrings, and the Creation of the Third Wave

  1. I’ve heard more than one ‘trans-woman’ preaching about how there is no “universal girlhood experience.” I’ve also heard lots of statements like,”rape is a mis-gendered issue,” and “abortion is not a women’s issue,” etc. Right up to the point of “There really is no such thing as ‘female.'” Yet, oddly, none of these things ring true for me, a WBW, or anyone else I know. It’s just another big lie that we are all to swallow, happily, because of course, who would know better than a man? About anything, including my experience?

  2. The idea that “there is no shared girlhood” – simply because each woman has an individual experience – is just ridiculous. Patriarchal society is structured around female oppression: keeping us weak, assigning us certain roles, assuring that we are always kept in positions lower than males, etc. No one accepts the notion that all women have identical experiences; those of us who are feminists merely point out that females share a common oppression in the same manner working-class and poor people, persons of color, and so on do.

    I honestly don’t see how this extreme focus on individualism through “intersectional” analysis is supposed to further the cause of feminism (or any struggle, for that matter). It seems more like a game of who can prove they’re the most oppressed rather than a means of addressing forms of domination that exist in our society. The adoption of special snowflake identities doesn’t have much pragmatism.

    I completely agree with your point that the same logic could be applied to all groups across the board. For example, I know many people in my area who are Native American, yet are part white and “pass” as white in most situations and who have grown up in middle-class suburban New Hampshire – that doesn’t entail that indigenous peoples in North America are not an oppressed class.

  3. This is great – thank you so much!! I especially like this line – “Girls and women deserve better than to be told that theirs is the one group that has to simply allow everyone in.” It’s so true.

  4. Typical anti-feminist and male supremacist tactics declaring that women as a group/class don’t have commonalities because apparently all real women (not males who claim they are females in a male body) are individuals and hence each and every woman’s experience is unique!

    Radical Feminists have never claimed that all women are the same rather Radical Feminists have looked at womens’ commonalities,meaning we recognise a systemic pattern of male imposed domination and control over all women because their sex is female not male. But claiming each and every woman is a unique individual enables males to deny they created institutional structures in order to justify and maintain male domination over all women. If women are all individuals then is it not odd that despite the fact women live in different cultures these cultures are predominantly male supremacist and whereby it is man (sic) who is declared to be the default human and it is his views and his truths (sic) which are considered to be definitive ones. These male created truths (sic) include mens’ social construction of how women and girls are supposed to be innately inferior to default human male and females were supposedly created specifically to be males’ slaves/servants. How mens’ male creatured structures/systems operate vary from culture to culture but they all have the same outcome which is males supposedly have the innate right to dominate and oppress females because these females’ sex is not male.

    In order to hide male created political structures of male domination over women, we must believe in the lie that each and every woman is an individual and who just happens to suffer/experience similar male oppression as other women!

    But it is essential structural patterns of how male domination and male control over women and girls is enacted must not be mentioned/discussed or even analysed because this would supposedly discriminate/upset the men. Not forgetting of course all males are individuals and have no similar male pattern of behaviour such as believing it is a man’s innate right to dominate; oppress and silence any female who dares to challenge his male power.

    Divide and conquer is what this latest nonsense is and as usual it is men who are the ones uttering these lies.

  5. I agree with your main thesis here- that “shared girlhood” doesn’t need to be universal and precisely defined in order to be an organizing principle for certain groups of women- but I disagree on two of your smaller points.

    First off: the idea that other oppressed groups that aren’t women never have to defend themselves against charges of their exclusivity oppressing the majority populations that have historically oppressed them. I know for a fact that black groups and groups for people of color are often attacked for being racist by excluding whites as members. Sometimes this happens when white racists make a deliberate attempt to disrupt a group from organizing politically, and sometimes it’s just well meaning, but clueless, white liberals who can’t stand the suggestion that they, by their very presence, might not be helpful in these settings. It happens, though. Don’t think it doesn’t.

    The other disagreement I have is with the whole last section of your post. I don’t know what you think you wrote there, but what I read is that feminists (and women generally) are too weak and pathetic in their arguments to be able to have those arguments tested and held to high standards of scrutiny. That women thinkers must be protected from male thinkers because the women aren’t strong enough to develop arguments that can stand up to big bad men. I reject that utterly. Any argument that cannot withstand male scrutiny is a weak argument. Arguments as a class are always made better by increased scrutiny, which raises standards and wards against fuzzy thinking and groupthink.

    You, as a writer, have never struck me as the sort to wilt in the face of criticism. If other women do, it’s their individual weakness and what is needed is stronger, more logical, and clearer thinking women, not less criticism, male or otherwise.

    • Regarding your first point: If you think that the OP doesn’t know that sometimes white people get butthurt over POC-exclusive groups, you’re an idiot. “It happens, though. Don’t think it doesn’t.” PMSL What an incredibly patronizing tone for such an obvious statement. The OP was trying to say on the whole, POC-only groups have a level of social legitimacy that FAAB-only groups do not. For instance, while there are silly racists who protest the existence of the NAACP, they (at present) do not pose an existential threat to the organization. Compare this to something like Michfest, which deals with opprobrium from critics of FAAB-only space every.single.year. Excluding white people will get you in trouble, but not as much as claiming that FAAB people have experiences/socializations/reproductive vulnerabilities specific to them as a class.

      As for your second point, PMSL, you must be a dude. FAAB-only space isn’t meant to protect female thinkers from male thinkers. Men don’t rape and assault women with their thoughts, for one thing. There are those of us who think that feminism is the political movement to liberate women from patriarchy, and frankly we don’t think men have much to add to this (outside of cutting out the rape and violence). “Any argument that cannot withstand male scrutiny is a weak argument.” PMSL for days. Anyway, it’s obvious that you’re new to radical/second-wave feminism. I think you ought to do more reading before commenting again: http://radicalhubarchives.wordpress.com/radical-perspectives-lots-of-links/

      • Ya know, as an independent thinker who believes that ideas ought to be tested regardless of the gener of the thinker, and that the internet is an ideal place for them to be tested (safely- since no one can be raped over the internet, you drama queen), I totes must be a dude. Women just aren’t as smart or as logical or as tough as I am. I’m gonna go transition now. You totes talked me into it.

        As for the meat of your argument: 1) It is impossible to be raped by internet criticism of their ideas. and 2) She totally said women are the only ones who face that sort of pressure to let their oppressors in. Which is a flat out lie. Maybe she didn’t mean to say it, but she said it, and now she’s gotta deal with people calling her. That’s how the internet works. You say something dumb, you get beat down.

      • You didn’t engage with the point of her thesis at all–which, since you obviously missed it, is that third-wave feminism is defined by its capitulation to male norms (especially where that involves sexualization/capitalism) and by an apolitical centering of personal empowerment. You jumped on a minor side point YOU KNOW FOR A FACT she likely considered (if anything, she probably didn’t put it in for space reasons). Read her other fucking posts; if you think she doesn’t know anything about the BS endured by POC, you’re an idiot.

        You’re clearly “playing to win”; it’s clear from your very language: “get beat down,” “women just aren’t as tough as I am,” “calling her [out].” It’s clear from your behavior, the way you assume that if it weren’t for you she might never have known that POC-only spaces face pushback, too. (Again–her point is that the pushback faced by POC-only spaces is qualitatively different from the pushback faced by FAAB-only spaces.) Your nitpicky attitude is not helpful to women or to feminism. You’d fit in better at Reddit. seriously, check out the links I sent you, and maybe this, too: http://hagocrat.wordpress.com/resources/

      • argh. the first sentence of that second paragraph is terrible. it has a typo or two, but is also just plain badly worded. apologies to anyone who had to try to read it.

      • Your comment got unapproved because you’re misrepresenting arguments. No one said anything about third wave feminists being “children” who “can’t handle” anything. Oppressed people behave differently when they are in the presence of their oppressors, and it’s much more difficult to formulate theory that belongs to the oppressed group when the oppressors are allowed into the discussion. End of story.

      • Okay, let me try again. I think it’s sexist and incredibly insulting to women to suggest that they need to be insulated from male comments and criticisms in order to think.

        You said: “Because the internet’s the ultimate proving ground that women talk differently when they have to talk around men and be subject to men’s criticisms all the time. The changes that have occurred to feminism since feminism became part of the blogosphere have been the exact kinds of changes you’d expect to see when women are having to do feminism in front of men. The environment that the second wave operated in was, in some ways, shitty for what it excluded, because the fact that feminist monographs, zines, and so forth were being distributed primarily among white, middle class women left a lot of women out. However, men also basically didn’t give a fuck (except when they were reacting with horror to out of context bits of Intercourse), so women in academia were left to talk and debate about feminist issues without constant comment and intrusion from men declaring a need to be heard and dialogued with.”

        And I reacted with horror at the idea. It implies, to me, that women need to be sheltered and coddled in order to come up with strong, uniquely female points of view- that they cannot stand up to men without being sheltered from male points of view. This cedes men too much power and I reject it, utterly, as internalized sexism.

    • “So again and again, you see women taking pains not to offend any men with what they write, because we know what happens to women who write on the internet–especially, gracious me, under their own name!–and who don’t toe the party line. Talk about sexism in video games, get rape threats. Talk about feminism and the oppressiveness of gender roles, get rape threats.” It’s fucking obvious that you and the author have very different idea of what ~*~*male scrutiny*~*~ entails? Should women just be ‘stronger’ and deal with the fact that men are going to harass them with sexualized threats of violence when they express their opinions? Do you “reject that utterly”?

      • Re: how oppressed people behave when in the presence of their oppressors. This has been rad fem knowlege and even NON rad fem women know this and get it, forever. Also, why men no matter what they wear, do NOT get it: they are the oppressor, skirt and lippy no help. Adding parts and removing parts: still Male.

        Male/trans/queer/right/left even boys, with some women rocking right into handmaiden status with six year olds: still Male. Still the opporessor.

        And as someone else said re women only space: if YOU are there, Mr. Mr. it’s not women only anymore, because you are not a woman.

        Read Anne Lawrence on autogynephilia. You’ll find yourself there.

  6. One more thing:

    “Third wave feminism”, to me, is not feminism. I would go so far as to say that what it promotes is very much contradictory and detrimental to feminism. Even if that wasn’t the case, I can’t see how it would be *useful* for feminists. For example, the vast majority of women in prostitution (over 95% in fact – you probably know a more accurate statistic) do NOT want to be prostitutes, yet the Third Wave decides that prostitution can be “fun” and that the goal should be to unionize sex workers (that PC term, ughhh) instead of helping these women get out of the cycle of sex slavery. Even if we accept that a small percentage of women enjoy selling their bodies for money it still doesn’t entail that the mentality present in all of this is productive for the destruction of patriarchy.

    The same thing is very much true with Queer Theory (or Queer Studies if you’re one of those analytic people): I just don’t see how this academic field pushes for an advancement of the conditions of women (or the conditions of gays and lesbian women for that matter). Take a look at the tumblr-bots coming up with new special snowflake gender identities and sexualities and tell me how that truly fights against hetero-male domination, if you want an example of theory gone wrong. Hell, I’d argue that the vast majority of women (including lesbians) have a much easier time relating to feminist writers like Daly or de Beauvoir than someone like Butler.

    I see all of it as pretty half-assed.

    • I got sucked into it for a while, but then I started learning about feminism that wasn’t written by twits trying to justify their promiscuity and porn addiction.

      I so agree with you about the prostitution thing. I keep hearing the “let’s unionize sex workers” thing and I hate it. How about we end sexual slavery period? How about men’s (it’s really about men) “sexual liberation” shouldn’t come at the expense of women.

      I’m a lesbian and I can tell you that queer theory is one of the worst things out there. It’s post-modernist and lacks any logical or scientific analysis. Not to mention, people have used it to argue that lesbians are deluded for thinking we exist because women’s sexuality is fluid (read: must include males or else).

      I hate the special snowflake sexual orientations and gender labels too!

  7. Most of the discrimination laws are based on racism. Which is skin deep and based on what ppl look like. Homophobia, class, and many other oppressions are also based on the external. Which is why the discrimination laws don’t work for women. Women’s oppression isn’t just external and more than skin deep. Women’s oppression is based on their internal biology. Which the discrimination laws never took into consideration. Because men are all about coveting what they SEE. The laws reflect this.

    Male/female is a reproductive category. Man/woman just distinguishes human males/females from other males/females in the plant and animal kingdom. In any case, i doesn’t matter if a female can, wants to, or is able to reproduce, it doesn’t negate the fact that only females can. It will be assumed from birth that she can and will reproduce. The odds are so overwhelmingly in favor of it that the patriarchy is willing to go the bank with it. If a female can’t reproduce, she will be poked and prodded to find out why not.

    Is this ever done to males? Of course not. No one wonders why a male can’t be impregnated and
    reproduce.

    This results in a caste system. The “reproducers” (females) are placed in the lower caste, while the non-reproductive ppl (males) are placed in the upper caste. As in all caste systems, the upper caste benefits from the subordination and exploitation of the lower caste. Members of the lower caste are often treated like animals, especially in women’s case. Where the non-producers and members of the upper caste (males) feel entitled to breed and farm the lower caste (women) like animals.

    As in all caste systems, a caste is something you are born into. It is not something you can transfer to or jump in and out of. You also cannot buy or earn it. It is a condition of birth. So it is a lie that women do not have commonality or a shared girlhood – or womanhood, for that matter. ALL females are born into the lower caste and are treated as such. Which is something males as a rule are never treated as and don’t experience – unless incorrectly determined (or in the case of the intersexed, assigned) to be female at the time of his birth. Once determined to be male or female at the time of one’s birth, one is cast into their respective castes on the basis of their sex. Females will be cast into the lower caste, and males will be cast into the upper caste.

    It doesn’t mater how low on the totem a male may be in his caste, he is still a member of the upper caste and as such, entitled to lord over all members of the lower caste. We see this being played out with M2Ts. Who as members of the upper male caste, are entitled to lord over ALL females and have them be subordinate and subservient to him, as is his birthright.

    The sex caste is an ancient one – which existed even before patriarchy. There is no such thing as a gender caste. Again, a caste is something one is born into. Gender cannot be determined at birth because it is a social construct and something that is learned, not something one is born as. So a
    gender caste has never existed and is a false concept.

  8. This is good, thank youi, allowing whatsisname on (I didn’t read your post Mr. so dont’ apologize) because if we’re all going to be nicer to each other now, we need someone to flex our mean on. Thanks. (Me, love bombing you).

    • Did you…did you read the post at all? Why is it that when men show up to comment here, they show an incredible lack of willingness to even engage in basic displays of good faith or reading comprehension?

      Of course there’s no one hundred percent shared girlhood experience. There’s no one hundred percent shared ANY group experience, for ANY group of oppressed people. There’s no “shared trans experience,” for instance. Some trans people experience dysphoria. Others don’t. Some trans people have always felt they were incorrectly gendered. Others begin to feel this way later in life. Some MTFs hypermasculinize before transition, others don’t. Some people pass easily when they decide to transition, others will have difficulty passing for the rest of their lives. And yet it still seems that trans people believe they have enough shared experiences to gather based on their identity group, no?

    • Shared doesn’t mean “clone of.” You have absolutely no credibility on any Female topic, which ignorance you SHARE with the rest of your Sex. You can never change that, you could at best, acknowledge it and try to examine your desire to be abusive toward women, another thing you share with your Sex.

  9. What what!!!! Is no one going to make bank on the amazing pronouncement from Pat Robertson. Gays are dirty evil monsters who do filthy things, and transing is gooooood.

    This is the new gay corrective. C’mon one of you great writers, this is a teachable moment. The left is all “oh my god he’s so progressive”.

    • Iran often forces homosexuals to have sex-reassignment surgery or be executed. Pat Robertson endorsing the surgical mutilation of homosexuals does not surprise me.

  10. This in the post among so many other phrases sums up the error of MtT and why its politics are woman-hating: “Other groups of oppressed people don’t have to justify themselves when they want to say “we’ve been oppressed, and we would like to say things in our group that aren’t necessarily very nice to the oppressing group, so all members who were raised as members of the oppressing group are invited to kindly keep the fuck out.”

    If I didn’t come to read great blogs, posts and comments as here exist from other RF WBW, it would be impossible to believe something like “myth of universal girlhood” was going around in pomo trans-apologist acadamentia circles.

    The misogyny media masters don’t try to pull “myth of universal first menses” [menses as weird but typical term in patriarchy, “men” as part of it for something they can’t do], because it would go to the crux of real women, starting in girlhood, being the impregnable global sex class, something MtT know nothing about except to the extent before their transitions they were impregnators of women. That all of this is becoming prohibited discussion in some countries (like the UK if I’m reading the legal reports correctly) does not bode well for our side.

    Not surprisingly the feminist focus on our intellectural and creative abilities other than childbearing got reversed by men and their pomo apologists, and turned against the sex class of women as if the female ability to become pregnant does not, for men, constitute a vast part of the reason for the oppression against us as well as a vast part of female fear of being saddled with pregnancy, a baby or several, and all the rest of virtual servitude to men and spawn (even if babies are cute, cuddly and all of that).

    Thus, to discern where the oppressors are most likely to use and twist our movement against us may be wise course for the future on the public internet. I don’t have the answers; just putting it out there for thoughtful consideration in this post’s context. That’s why, perhaps, the rise of facebook pages by invitation only for RFs. But the existence of public RF blogs with real women’s comments really moved me past the books of the second-wave greats like Daly and Dworkin into my own spinning nature-connected living as RF, so I see an important place for public blogs. And the oddities of the facebook constraints made that private thing not a good experience for me; just don’t like the spawn of a prick who started FB, or his token female honcho who wrote Lean In (ick, servile pap for women wanting a big paycheck in mensgame), or anything about the FB business model or how they keep changing whose FB posts you get to see first, etc., by computer metrics to their design. FB makes me feel slimed, so it was short-lived for me to be part of one of those private FB RF options. Longwinded way to say I hope public RF blogs stay. But how to keep them from being a road map for men to figure out ways to oppress us more in the future might be worth considering. Or maybe men already know from living with so many of us?

    At least being RF has taught me that being with anybody with a prick means I’m being with, well, a prick. And that goes for MtT who still have the penis, or who ever had a penis, and know nothing about the girlhood any WBW without a penis but with active ovaries and yoni lived through.

    Can I throw in a gratuitous comment here about drawing inverted pyramids (the ancient yoni symbol) onto the groins of all artistic depictions of female figures in my living space and how it has lifted my spirits to do that, almost like a totemic infusion of gynergetic power? Also no male images or iconography in my living space at all. Amazing what it does to self-esteem to put images of woman’s worth and power all around. It’s worth it to share strategies for building courage online, and see what fits or doesn’t, I hope you will agree.

    • Yep..it majes a huge difference tonhave Goddess statues and posters and pictures of Female figured throughout one’s space. But also to mostly only have women over and to live only with women. Not hard fir me since I’m Lesbian living with my spousest. I’m pretty Separatist when it comes to my space however. It is completely Female identified…

  11. This is a simplification: “It’s just a way to say, hey, sometimes it’s a shitload harder to make salient points about oppression or even just to vent when your oppressor is right there in the room.”
    Forms of organization, e.g. women- or black-only groups and meetings are strategic. It is neither tactical (making this discussion a bit easier) nor principled (the only way to build our organization).

  12. This is a good post. You’re right, there is no universal experiance for any oppressed group, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t organize together. The backlash against women-only spaces (often from MTTs and their hypocritical handmaidens) is nothing more than woman-hatred. It just blows my mind that the same people who are okay with literally everyone else having their own space can’t handle the idea of women-only spaces because it’s “transphobic.”

    The Mitchfest thing always got a ton of hate from regular men, but now MTTs and their liberal twit handmaidens are doing it too.

  13. As an Amazon I have vowed to protect WBW space forever!!! When.incubating ideas or talking about vulnerable realities being Female…male criticism can be damning and damaging and mist if all SILENCING. With all the rape and death threats Radical Feminists, Lesbians, and Michfesties have gotten online from born males; it is more imperative than evervto have OUR OWN spaces SEPARATE from men to HEAR OUR OWN VOICES without agents of the global patriarchy stifling, silencing, taking over, or threatening us. Thats the whole premise of womens consciousness raising groups in the first place that began feminism as well as the women’s festivals rituals gatherings workshops conferences and many other things once men are present they take over and often silence women especially the more radical of us and make it harder to socialize with each other and share our truths with one another because women give in to their life long training of pleasing and placating men. It is not about rigorous intellectual discussion. That we can have a with each other. but we choose when to be in coalition and when not to and many times it benefits us not to be so that we can discuss all the issues pertinent worldwide to being born and living as female.

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