Aside

Girlhood

Each girlhood is different. What is learned during childhood stays with us and shapes us. My girlhood made me a feminist long before I understood the term.

I think it all started when I broke my leg. At seven years old I was already a voracious reader. I read my mom’s science fiction, my stepmom’s romance novels, and regularly spent my allowance at the used book store. When I got my first library card, I picked a book and checked it out. Then I sat and read the book (I was waiting for my mom to finish work). Then I checked out about fifteen more, so many the librarian chuckled, this great stack of books I could barely carry back to my mom’s store. Books taught me that every single person is different, that everyone is important, and that everyone has a story. Books gave me empathy, a sense of righteous indignation at injustice, and an escape. Some books gave me a fucked up idea of what women were really like, but I was lucky to have that balanced by good women in my real life, and eventually I learned to read stories about women by women for anything resembling truth.

On the first day of summer I was riding my bike down a huge hill and I lost control and sideswiped a parked car. My leg snapped (tibia in half, fibula a compound break) but my bike kept going–I couldn’t stop because it had pedal brakes, but somehow my dad ran out of his house and stopped my bike before it went into heavy traffic. (My dad then took me to a walk-in clinic instead of a hospital, but I can laugh about that now).

Anyway, I had a hip-to-toe plaster cast for a couple months that was so heavy I had to have a sling under it, over my shoulder, just to carry it. I don’t remember having my cast switched to a shorter fiberglass one, but the memory of having that one removed has stayed with me. I had one very tanned, muscular leg with fine though dark hair. My other leg was wasted, pale, weird-looking, and covered in dark, thick hair. People made fun of me and my mom said I could start shaving and I did.

A year later at eight I got my period. I’ve always been what they call an ‘early bloomer’ or ‘early developed’, phrases I hate because they suggest I wasn’t ripe or ready before but suddenly people were telling me I was. Ready for what? I knew, though, and so did they. Women often looked at me with sympathy when they learned how young I actually was.

During that time my mom’s boyfriend began sexually abusing me and that lasted a few years until I told a friend (something I can’t even remember doing) and she told my stepmom. From there everything changed but no one explained anything to me. I was twelve when I was told I had to talk to the police. Since I’d been at my dad’s that weekend, I didn’t see my mom until I was at the police station, and she was there with my abuser, and I thought that she would choose him over me so I didn’t talk. I didn’t take back my story but I said I didn’t want to talk about it.

My mom stayed with him, meaning so did her kids, until I was seventeen. She didn’t tell me she believed me until I was eighteen and I’m still not entirely sure she does. She still works with him, my sister attends his family reunions, etc. I learned that loyalty is difficult to enact.

During the five years after he stopped molesting me and before my mom left, he fucked with my head in a tonne of small ways. Invading my privacy and space, talking to me about my personal journal entries, petty things like painting my furniture and room colours I hated, and basically destroyed my self-worth by constantly calling me sadistic and manipulative and turning my family against me. I was sent to therapy but when I confessed I had suicidal ideations, again things were sent beyond my control and I was put on medication. At the same time my mom was also on anti-depressants. And those were dark days.

Because I ‘developed’ early I was subjected to treatment usually reserved for older girls. Men were always holding me against them and trying to get me to sit in their laps. My body, hair, face, etc, were constantly public property. Men I babysat for put their hands on my legs or in my lap, using my body for their satisfaction.

Starting in third grade I was a slut because I had larger breasts than other girls my age. I was also really mean and violent–I was the only girl who would fight boys and I basically contracted myself out to other girls. The name-calling and rumours were really painful not just because they were untrue but because I knew it shouldn’t even matter if I had done the things people said. Boys only wanted to date me because they thought I would do things with them. Older guys were constantly after me and used my body as an excuse for their behaviour. Do you know how many guys blamed ME for them not bothering to act human? How their perception of my sexuality became a self-fulfilling prophecy?

By the time I got to high school I knew exactly what men are. They looked at me like I was food, and I grew to loathe and fear that look. I began to see myself as they did: an object. My body wasn’t mine, it never had been. Men in cars honked at me and yelled at me and my friends, men at clubs and bars touched me against my will, men were constantly demanding my attention and I was not allowed to deny it. Men I loved hurt me actively and passively. Men had sex with me when I could not or did not consent. I knew men were NOT like women, and yet I was still expected to want to be with them, to find the one that wouldn’t hurt me, or treat me like meat, or deny my humanity by mocking my reality.

I read cosmo, trolled chat rooms, watched and read porn, and learned as long as I kept up a learned facade, men would do anything for me. I got into damaging and abusive relationships, the sex I had became more violent and degrading, I lived in depressions for years. I wanted to punish my body because that’s all anyone else had ever done to it. I have countless scars that in my mind showcased my worthlessness. I controlled my unhappiness by controlling my diet. Anything I could do to hurt myself I did. I became an actress and for a long time I expected to live my entire life like a movie. As long as I was writing my part, I thought, I could fix the ending. I could edit. I wouldn’t have to be real.

Girlhood is a confusing time. People always talk about childhood and adolescence, but we need to stop acting like girls and boys are raised the same. While boys were bringing porn magazines to school, girls were learning how to be pleasing, compliant, acquiescent. When boys have pornographic imaginations and expectations, and girls are raised to be obedient, what the fuck do people think is going to happen?

I can’t count the amount of times I’ve felt unsafe with men. I can’t even say how many moments I’ve had where I’ve thought–he’s not going to stop. I’ve been right about that. Empowering a girl to say no doesn’t carry much weight when boys are taught to not take no for an answer, or pretend to not be able to ‘read’ us. And when girls do say yes, as is becoming the norm now more than ever thanks to porn culture and its ‘feminist’ subsidiaries, they ARE considered damaged, fucked up, at fault. When girls say no, they aren’t believed or the guilt of the perpetrator is mitigated by the victim’s actions. Most of the time when a girl says no and he doesn’t care, she never tells anyone. But throughout my girlhood and subsequent adulthood I’ve come to see that if you talk to any women long enough and she trusts you enough, you’ll learn about her rape or sexual abuse. It’s never the same story, and yet it is.

I consider my girlhood different from my childhood. I loved running around in forests, raising tadpoles, bringing home animals, and building snow forts. I was left to my own devices and I was happiest when alone. I had several groups of girl friends, which I lost every time I got a boyfriend. My family was really poor and moved a lot and my mom did the best she could but she’d never learned to be on her own and she couldn’t have supported us that way. There were a lot of bright, shining moments in my childhood.

The darkest moments, though, were almost all because I had a girl’s body. Girlhood matters to girls and I’m sick of seeing it brushed aside and erased.

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further on compulsory heterosexuality

Just a reminder that heterosexuality as a vehicle for evolution is entirely different from heterosexuality as a compulsory institution under patriarchy. One is naturally occurring and not inherently oppressive (though piv is always more harmful to the woman than the man, period), but the myths surrounding it are patently false: there is evidence we all evolved from one woman, AND that it’s possible XX chromosomes ruled alone until the Y barged in and fucked everything up. Heterosexuality to reproduce is natural if no longer necessary or very close to obsolescence.  There is very little way of knowing how this might have played out without patriarchy as men have made sure what little herstory was recorded was subsequently destroyed or derided. Being the sex that creates life is pure positive power. I think we all know what the male sex tends to do to life.

The false myths are what patriarchy is based on. First the religious myth that Eve came from Adam and then cursed us all or some shit. Senseless, female-hating lies. Another lovely hetero religious myth is the ‘virgin birth’, which never happened, obviously (was Mary raped? I’ve heard it argued) Both of these myths tokenize women as most hetero myths do. Women are either evil sources of temptation (which is how men got away with a genocide against “witches”, which we’re still not talking about) or are ‘good women’, virgins, obedient wives, women who give their lives to service or god. I bring religion up as many say God the ‘Father’ is the original patriarch.

Some false myths women contend with under patriarchy today aren’t that different from thousands of years ago. We are still combating the virgin/whore dichotomy, in male-made media as well as in our personal lives. The ‘she wanted it’ or ‘I couldn’t tell she didn’t want it’ are the biggest lies in patriarchy today. Pornography has enshrined an entire new and incredibly damaging level of woman-hating among young men. Racialized, sexualized aggression against often poor women is a global phenomenon that most ‘decent’ guys have washed their hands of because even men who don’t actively participate in violence against women still benefit from a culture that encourages and then dismisses it.

Also, men love porn that lies about women because in real life, women don’t actually like having sex with guys who love porn! Weird, I know. The women in porn are of course real women, as all women are—but they are not allowed to act like real human beings. They are coached to act like submissive, masochistic receptacles for male climax and male hatred for female humanity. Porn actress and prostitute are live embodiments of male myths of heterosexuality, one of which being that there must be women from whom consent can be purchased (thereby rendering it NOT consent, btw, so rape) to ‘save’ other women. But is it a myth that if males cannot purchase sex they will ‘steal’ it, aka rape women? I don’t know but men certainly seem to think so! When men tell me they are rapists or potential rapists, I tend to believe them.

The reason heterosexuality under patriarchy is so pervasive is not because we need to keep ‘propagating the species’. And the amount of men who cry on their keyboards while writing about how much women NEED men for the species and how unwanted pursuance of women is just an animal instinct, is really alarming. This is why men believe they are entitled to sex: because sex between males and females is necessary to evolve. but actually, we’ve been doing this wrong, thanks to men. Women should be very selectively choosing only the very best candidates to mate with: impeccable health, physical strength, mental aptitude, proven empathy and compassion, and countless other traits that would improve the human race—like male LOVE, EMPATHY, and COMPASSION for women, children, other human beings, animals, the planet, etc. The joke of it all is the world would be a better place if men weren’t forcing their offspring on every woman. Men fail at evolution. The whole ‘you need us’ bullshit isn’t flying now that relentless repopulation is one of many factors converging to irreparably damage our planet.

Compulsory heterosexuality under patriarchy takes the form of women being raised as objects and even seeing themselves through the male gaze as a coping strategy. There IS a problem when cultures don’t let women live and survive on their own, free of male interference and influence, to find her own voice and calling. There is a problem when women who want to live apart from gynergy vacuums but men threaten and abuse them and drive them away until intentional communities of women can no longer thrive. We are indeed funnelled into heterosexuality with men (and we don’t receive the same messages men do, which is why marriage is such a fucking nightmare for many women). Girls need to see more options so that if they are NOT actually straight, or they are but they don’t want to have intercourse with men or at all, they can figure it out on their own.

Now we live in a world where girls are constantly sexually harassed from VERY young ages; our little sisters are being raped or coerced, or act consentingly and then are blackmailed, and these sisters are committing or contemplating suicide because our society is so cruel to girls and so callous about male violence and woman-hating. The real kicker is, we’re still telling these little girls, who every day face the vocal and visual degradation of all women or specific women, as well as the sexualization of their bodies against their will, and a valuing of their selfhood based on male measurements. We are raising girls to expect to marry men who hate women.

I’m not sorry that so many reddit mra circle jerk-offs don’t like my posts on compulsory heterosexuality. I don’t care. I might have got a shit ton of vile and threatening messages from rapists, but I also got several from women, and we ARE talking about you, and you should be scared.

I’m going to make a longer post on this topic later, but the concept of compulsory heterosexuality does NOT imply that women are ‘too stupid’ or ‘too oppressed’ to know their own minds. This is a total deliberate misinterpretation of radical feminism. Women are endlessly amazing. All I want to do is recognize male lies about women, male hatred of women in public and private forums, and provide a place for women who want to recover from harmful male influence.

lies about women

There’s a multi-billion dollar porn industry dedicated to portraying women pretending to enjoy painful sex. There’s a highly lucrative bdsm industry that showcases female masochism as the height of femininity and therefore sexual desirability  There are countless media sources ostensibly for women that but only serve to destroy self-esteem, encourage women to have sex they don’t like or want, and pretend men are just silly-billies who need our guidance because they just don’t get our wacky lady brains.

Disney heroines find love with men often after conquering the female villain who is almost always shown as not having known male love (which is deceitfully painted as the healing love when in fact it’s the opposite). Toys that prepare little girls for ‘womanhood’ train them to expect motherhood and heterosexual marriage. You’ll notice womanhood only includes the facets of being female that appeal to males, such as sex characteristics and sexuality, performed femininity (which is simultaneously mocked and adored), her ability to become pregnant and give birth, or her ability to perform duties like cooking, cleaning, and breadwinning. This is what womanhood is to men: what it can do for men. 

The parts of femalehood that are not celebrated because men or certain men do not approve are denigrated and we are made to feel humiliated by them. Things like menstruation, birth control and abortion, lesbianism and bisexuality, and rejecting patriarchal femininity, are all openly derided because they do not benefit males. Rape has become a joke and when it’s not a joke, it’s porn. 

BDSM, heterosexuality, prostitution, and pornography, when enacted or used by males, is always going to result in the oppression of females. BDSM in its most common form (dominant male to submissive female) celebrates male violence against women. Even if you believe truly informed and vacuum-free consent can even exist under capitalist patriarchy, it still takes a sick fuck to enjoy hurting another human, especially sexualizing that violence in the historical context of males actively oppressing females through sex AND in light of the fact that many women in bdsm have histories of sexual abuse. And yes, I have experience with bdsm and everything else I discuss, so can we fuck off with that?

Contemporary heterosexuality, by which I mean the common representations of heterosexuality in our media and our lives, is shown as the end game. Abuse, rape, forced impregnation, male control of finances and reproductive freedom, childish or threatening behaviour, and basic male uselessness in terms of being a good partner or parent, are all common lived experiences in heterosexuality. The heterosexual couple is the cornerstone of global female exploitation. Abusive rapist men might be outliers but among the silence of their rumoured civilized peers, and believe me it is DEAD SILENCE from ‘decent men’ out there, they speak the loudest. Why don’t these decent men want the rapists to shut the fuck up and die? Oh yeah, all men benefit from and contribute to a rape culture that enshrines male access to female bodies. Porn has also destroyed in men the empathy necessary to see rape as a horror; instead he will always sympathize with the rapist (unless the raped woman ‘belongs’ to him, in which case the rapist broke the bro code).

Porn and the ‘purchase’ of prostituted women is male sexual violence against vulnerable females at its apex. Consent cannot be negotiated with financial compensation or the concept becomes meaningless. I will never speak against women who participate in porn or prostitution other than to urge them to examine their ‘choice’ in terms of coercive, capitalist patriarchy as well as how very little that choice means to girls and women who don’t have one.

So yeah, there are a lot of forces at work against women finding other women. Women are also encouraged and rewarded for hating other women, we are lied to about what we are like and therefore what other women are like. There are multiple scare tactics used to misrepresent feminists, lesbians, political lesbians, and truly any woman who questions anything men like. But there is one thing I learned when I stopped giving a fuck about men—women will protect you. To women (to lesbians and feminists), no woman is disposable. No woman is replaceable. All are necessary, and valued, and worthy. 

Aside

By misogynists I mean men. You can see this with almost any man, whether you love him or never met him before. He will try to keep the attention on himself, often offering unneeded and disturbingly uninformed ‘explanations’, making his presence known, seeking simple assistance or direction, telling boring, repetitive stories—goodness forbid you get two men going or MORE. This intrusive behaviour evolved from/into/IS men using women to do what they’ve for millions of years—and under patriarchal coercion for thousands—which is tending their needs. Mothering, (potential) intercourse, self-aggrandizement. Often there is no LOGICAL reason for men to believe women’s attention in any form at all is their entitlement. It’s what men and boys have been taught all their lives; girls and women have learnt men need and should receive their attention to the exclusion of all else.

When women want to be alone together, this is a threat. When women announce they want to be alone together, like lesbians and feminists, men are infuriated, perceiving as denial of entitled access. Women declaring their intent to love women creates obstacles to men ‘loving’ them.

Suddenly males are feminists (which is for females, but if you are a male and pro-feminist in deed you might feel okay calling yourself pro-feminist. The feminist movement doesn’t need you but we welcome your support—please work on your brothers) and lesbians (lesbian is a female-only word). Suddenly females can’t be alone again.

These are not accidents, these are trends. Male access to females has changed dramatically. It is becoming understood that women are equal in personhood—women of course have always known this. So men, depending on their geographical location and therefore pervasive local culture, will change the rules. Capitalism—everything is for sale. Anything at all you want to see a woman do or anything your porn-altered mind can imagine, you can pay for. If she doesn’t want to do it, it doesn’t matter. He paid for it and that entitles him, or it’s in the contract, or he’ll just pay the next one more, or he’ll do it anyway. Religion—they were created to be paired. Marriage is the norm, sex is in that contract too. Religion is twisted once by contextual history and again by the mores of the present. 

If he can’t ‘negotiate’, he will rape. One thing patriarchies have in common is endemic rape.  In these cultures the goal is to ease male access to female bodies—and to simultaneously fetishize and diminish femaleness and femininity. Women are either indoctrinated into the new lies or are left with little recourse against them. The worthlessness of female bodies and stories never leaves us, we experience the feedback loop all day. Rape is a uniquely patriarchal assault, and every other aspect of every patriarchal culture employs numerous means to obfuscate and downplay the meaning, effect, or motivation in rape.

Women do not live as men do. Our bodies are different. It is shocking to ignorant men how very profoundly being female changes you, in terms of your own body and its ongoing unique needs and maturations, how you see yourself, and others, and how you are seen. Evolution has changed females. Our bodies, our DNA, hold the answer, the only answer, to human life. We are necessarily imperative. Unfortunately for males they are not, and their mutated Y shows it. 

We can see distinct usually quantifiable differences between the sexes, these differences made easier to recognize (I wonder why?) by gender. In patriarchal cultures there is always danger is transgressing gender roles. In patriarchal cultures, female bodies and femininity are indeed punished so widely and severely that I can’t see how anyone could deny this is war. 

So what is the purpose of the oppression of female bodies and by extension women and femininity? And what is it that the males in most species have evolved to demand?

Access.

preliminary ruminations on my fantasy les-sep community

To start a separatist community you would first need one person. Then land. There’s lots of land where I currently live and it’s quite cheap but it’s very cold and we have heavy precipitation so the location would need to be properly vetted. We would need the opportunity for expansion but I don’t want to be overly secluded.

Once you can get the money for the land (a loan, the sale of a house, pooled savings, magic), you will realized you should have been researching for like a year first.

So you go back in time and in that year you either learned how to do many things, or you were even smarter and found people who not only already knew those things but also wanted to be in your sweet separatist community. Such experts would include women who were knowledgable in renewably energy resources and sustainability, plumbing and electricity, um probably a lawyer, then like someone who can direct the construction of a series of buildings. Or maybe you could hire some dick-wielders for that. I don’t want to be off the grid so much as I want to control my own energy and even give back to the grid. So we would have power and wifi like IMMEDIATELY that’s non-negotiable. 

So now you have one large building (we skipped a couple steps okay but I image a bunch of women with sleeves rolled up Rosie Riveting the shit out of some two-by-fours). In that building there would be small apartments and single rooms, each with their own bathroom and kitchen, or maybe women with children could have their own bathroom and the single rooms share one, dorm-style? Or both?

In another building or maybe attached I don’t know there’s a big kitchen and dining area where women can cook communally, there would be menus I assume and different women could ‘host’ different meals. Or you could cook your own food in your own kitchen. We make the kids do all the cleaning. Kidding.

Maybe.

Then we need a farm I guess we’ll have to hash it out with the vegans over whether we can have cows and chickens. As creator of this imaginary commune I declare we will have cows and chickens and we’ll be super-humane and there will be a vegan kitchen where no bloodmouths are allowed. Or at least no animal products. We definitely need a garden and a greenhouse for year-round crops. 

We should also have a school. I’ve given a lot of thought to homeschooling my own potential child because I think with modern technology being so interactive and with school being just unconducive to learning, and I think with a lot of research and a lot of learning, and experts in ECE and teachers and the like, we can figure out a smart as fuck, accurate, appropriate, and compassionate lesson plans for all ages. Could be split based on age group or subject where appropriate.

We would also need a midwife or doula or obgyn.

Short-term, some women would need to work. I speculate about 60% of the women in the community would need to work full-time to help cover start-up costs and unexpected finances. It would make the most sense to continue with those working or alternate but maintain 60% employment until the land is paid in full and any other outstanding debts are at the very least in good standing. 

I think it would make sense to encourage our community members to pursue education/experience in a field that will help the community as well as bring in money. Welding (which also makes great art), carpentry, plumbing, accounting, law, marketing, communications, mediation, etc. Depending on their own level of interest, of course.

Long-term, we need to make money. If we grow more than we consume, we can probably sell our produce. I would prefer to donate excess produce and make money in other ways. I was thinking an artisanal shop. People might think it’s neat to by art made by women, for women. We could sell candles made by the bees we keep, we could maybe have a kiln for pottery or glass, we could have art and books and things by the children as well. We could help each women set up her own etsy shop and/or we could create our own website where people can buy from all over the world, and some women could offer personalizations.

For the day to day, the women who work in the community will have different work from those who work outside it. Everyone has their talents, their preferences, and the things they don’t want to do, work/chore-wise. So every writes out those things. Then someone who is super good at matrixing will sort out who does what chore and when, and who doesn’t do what chores, etc. This is entered in against each woman’s work schedule, childcare needs, preferred rising and sleeping time, etc. There will be a ‘house schedule’ with everyone’s plans to more easily figure out vehicle needs, errands, etc. 

I keep thinking up new things to be considered but this is a fun start. My next concerns are the collective debt the women will undoubtedly bring, ‘man on the land’ rules, how to deal with conflicts/how to maintain equitable democracy. 

Other ideas/considerations? Someone else already mentioned that it needs to be within driving distance of a place that will hire women as some towns shut them out and drive them away for lack of work.