Brokeback radfem: sometimes the metaphors write themselves

plansfornigel:

Brokeback radfem: sometimes the metaphors write themselves
OCTOBER 20, 2014 / PHONAESTHETICA
Did you know that a teenager can break her back, but not know it until after her 40th birthday when a neurosurgeon spots the break on an MRI? It’s true!

This means I traversed high school, college, and grad school; was married and divorced; came out; worked 23 consecutive jobs in a half-dozen careers; lived in 19 different apartments and houses; emigrated to Canada and back; and spent five years on a six-day-a-week Crossfit schedule – all with a fractured spine. Which is horrifying, but also…kinda metal, if I do say so myself.

My surgeon is going to take the vertebra in question and bone-graft it into a spinal tea cozy to protect the new manufactured vertebra, then attach the whole shebang together with screws that look oddly like what you get at Ikea. He said the break happened when I was between 10 and 16. A childhood spinal fracture is a bit like tree rings – you can pinpoint its age by the bone growth around it – and most people never feel the injury if the vertebrae settles far enough away from the nerves.

You can walk around with a broken back for a long time.

I didn’t start limping until about six months ago, but I always had a sense of some essential wrongness about my back. A crunched-up feeling; an urgent desire to pull the tiny bones apart and let air into the spaces. One doctor said it was a bulging disc; another said it was a too-pronounced S-curve, and both these things were true, but didn’t explain the abject dread I felt when pondering my own spine. A dissolving sort of feeling, as if one day I’d wake up in a pile of tiny ivory shards dust-layered upon one another. My back and I, our very own anthropological site.

It’s an easy feminist metaphor: All women know something devastating happens to us between the ages of 10 and 16, if not before. The culture tells us it’s because of this or that – sexual abuse; not enough access to sports facilities; bullying; dating violence, cyberstalking, too many magazines with skinny cover models – and as correct as all this is, it doesn’t go deep or far enough.

Patriarchal culture (and liberal feminism) obsessed with individual stories and solutions, never says “broken.”

Patriarchal culture (and liberal feminism) calls it all a misunderstanding that can be ironed out if men and women just listen to one another, the way my middle school headmaster was sure the bullying would stop if the bully and I just “talked.” As through the power structure was equal; as though the kid wouldn’t punish me tenfold the minute headmaster’s back was turned.

Patriarchal culture (and liberal feminism) never admits that men as a class do not see women as a class as fully human.

Patriarchal culture (and liberal feminism) maintains that the theft of our labor, resources and bodies is a thing that…just sort of happens. The thief usually goes unnamed, or defended, because “not all…”

Radical feminism says: This situation is intentional: Men as a class benefit from our oppression in ways they really like.

Therefore, unless women find the right language in the right books (or on the right screens or in the right company) we don’t have the words to unlock and translate the WHY of what’s systemically as well as individually happening to us, as a class, in the world. That’s why there’s such an effort to obfuscate and control our language as well as our spaces.

We know something is wrong but we don’t know (or want to know) that it’s an honest-to-God break, so we limp along to chiropractor after chiropractor. We buy special pillows to align ourselves. We curl up into quiet balls, or we keep empowerfully deadlifting and squatting and taking fistfuls of painkillers to get by.

You can walk around with a broken back for a long time.

We live like this, and then we die without the language we need to say what’s true; to use a clean scalpel to rebuild ourselves and each other. We die quietly, like my grandmother Tess, who knew what a husband’s fist felt like, or angrily like my great-grandmother Toula, who was never allowed to learn to read.

We can only fix the break if we have the words to describe it. Only then can we walk without a limp.

alternicobase:

Truth.

Forget Gandhi TBH. Racist and classist. 

(via themutantgene)

wolfcublouis:

i can’t hear anyone say “do you think women are equal to men? congratulations you’re a feminist!” without gritting my teeth like god please stop reducing a political movement to one pithy, hugely oversimplifying little sentence

(via feminismandunicorns)

(via femele)

monosexuals:

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, a lot of the people who talk about mental illness not being an excuse for abuse have mental illnesses themselves and have been abused by people with mental illnesses.

Just so you’re aware of who you’re silencing when you say we’re bigots for not accepting abusive behavior just because the abuser happens to have a mental illness.

(via genderpopo)

notcisjustwoman:

brutereason:

telltale-goddess:

zennistrad:

Several minutes ago, Anita Sarkeesian posted this to her Twitter.
First response, a guy calling her a “cunt”, and the third is a guy linking to this image (VERY NSFW.)
Yeah, good job proving that you’re not sexist, guys.

Once again I do not support anita’s message in any way and agree with her on very few things but she in no way ever deserved death threats and harassment and a bunch of uneducated fucks harassing her every time she tries to say something.
Good job guys, you all proved how progressive you are.

Why do people do this? Always add the disclaimer that you absolutely totally do not agree with her at all BUT. Why does it matter in this context?
I mean, sure, I’m glad that you, unlike many people who disagree with her, don’t think she deserves harassment. That’s good. 
But what would it take for there to be a strong show of support for her that isn’t full of caveats about how you disagree?

And furthermore, what in the FUCK is there to disagree with her on? I mean, if she likes potatoes and you like carrots, then what the fuck ever. But how can you disagree with her analysis of misogyny in video games when literally every time she breathes, dudes show up to threaten to rape her and blow her up? Practically her entire life has become one long series of bullshit that proves her right at every turn. Fuck you if you don’t believe her. Fuck you if you don’t agree with her.

notcisjustwoman:

brutereason:

telltale-goddess:

zennistrad:

Several minutes ago, Anita Sarkeesian posted this to her Twitter.

First response, a guy calling her a “cunt”, and the third is a guy linking to this image (VERY NSFW.)

Yeah, good job proving that you’re not sexist, guys.

Once again I do not support anita’s message in any way and agree with her on very few things but she in no way ever deserved death threats and harassment and a bunch of uneducated fucks harassing her every time she tries to say something.

Good job guys, you all proved how progressive you are.

Why do people do this? Always add the disclaimer that you absolutely totally do not agree with her at all BUT. Why does it matter in this context?

I mean, sure, I’m glad that you, unlike many people who disagree with her, don’t think she deserves harassment. That’s good. 

But what would it take for there to be a strong show of support for her that isn’t full of caveats about how you disagree?

And furthermore, what in the FUCK is there to disagree with her on? I mean, if she likes potatoes and you like carrots, then what the fuck ever. But how can you disagree with her analysis of misogyny in video games when literally every time she breathes, dudes show up to threaten to rape her and blow her up? Practically her entire life has become one long series of bullshit that proves her right at every turn. Fuck you if you don’t believe her. Fuck you if you don’t agree with her.

(via shamelesslyunladylike)

specterofcommunism:

is now a bad time to talk about how sex trafficking exploded in eastern europe after the collapse of the USSR since a huge amount of women were instantly out of food/shelter/work or is that inconvenient for liberal feminism

(via andtheskywas-all-violet)

asker

lol-imsad asked: It seems like lots of radfems think it should be considered more feminist to perform masculinity or to be more masculine in whole? I understand that femininity was forced upon women, and that being feminine in and of itself is not feminist, but I don't think the correct way to reject it is to "act more like men". That's more reinforcing the idea that as women we need to be "on their playing field" rather than create a new one entirely without the hierarchy of gender. Do you have a take on this?

tehbewilderness:

askaradfem:

Masculinity is the norm, so everything we do that isn’t hyperfeminine will be considered unfeminine/masculine - since gender neutrality does not exist in patriarchy, one cannot perform it. It’s not about trying to be like men, it’s that masculinity is seen as the default, so everything that isn’t outright feminine automatically becomes masculine in the eyes of the beholder.

- Pi

The choices are limited by the fact that men are viewed as people and women are not. So anything we do as a person is going to be defined as acting like a man. When women are viewed as people then what we do will be viewed as things people do.

radicalblossoming:

mishmash101:

radicalblossoming:

without gender we’d all be human. as it stands right now men are humans and women are women.

The fact that the majority of the world see this as true is what’s wrong with the world. This needs to change. And that doesn’t just go for sexism. But for racism, religious prejudice, and speciesism.

do not hijack my post with your own asinine commentary that is entirely irrelevant to what i’m talking about.

let me be clear that i am talking explicitly about sexism and misogyny and the suffering women face as second class citizens. do not derail from that. women’s issues are swept under the rug far too much and i won’t have that happen here.

arminarlert:

reminder that if we’re in a mutual and you’re under the age of 18 and find it creepy or weird that i’m following you back as an adult then let me know and i’ll unfollow and it won’t need to be a big deal at all… like, please put your own safety and wellbeing first 

(via nothatsstupid)

98luv:

lezbeyan:

Femme Nation: A photo series by 16 year old Hailey Corrall to provoke a message about misogyny in our youth.

kindcore
look it’s your project

(via solisequiousgoblin)