‘I Owe Them Nothing’

Posted: May 26, 2011 in Feminism, Gender Violence

Camille Paglia tells it how it is. A sister in arms, when there are no sisters left.

UPDATE: I am pretty sure this is from an interview on a TV show in the early 1990s. That is the context.

  1. Nico says:

    Oh god what year is that from? That’s Perfect Prime Paglia. She’s so hot!

    My view: Paglia was attacked too easily, reflexively, and unreflectively, & she counter-attacked likewise. Camille became a reliable caricature of herself & conventional feminism stagnated. It’s been 20 years.

    Queer & gender studies got the most cake.

  2. Lori Adorable says:

    Is this the same Camille Paglia who said that women can’t be creative geniuses like men because we aren’t violent (and men, by nature, are)? The one who denigrated incest survivors and people with mental illness? The one who thinks that egalitarianism is “a sentimental error”? Who said that, “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts” ?

    That’s your sister?

    • typhonblue says:

      Outrageous, isn’t she?


      • Lori Adorable says:

        Repeating the dominant viewpoint is anything but

        • elflojo84 says:

          How is any of that the “dominant viewpoint”?

          I can’t comment on the things you cite directly as I know nothing of the woman and cannot hear this interview, but if her views are as you say them they’re batshit crazy views, not the “dominant viewpoint”.

          • Lori Adorable says:

            Thinking that men and women are fundamentally different and having an intense disdain for the mentally ill and abuse survivors are absolutely dominant sentiments. Few people are just as ‘brave’ as Ms. (Mrs.?) Paglia, who goes so far as to state her points unambiguously instead of just practicing discrimination.

            Oh, and LMGTFY: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=camille+paglia+quotes

          • Tim says:

            So Lori, are you a fundamental believer in blank slate equalism? Are men and women completely the same? Women are men with vaginas?

  3. Nathan says:

    Prophetic quote from the next video on: “This is an entertaining woman, this is a provocative woman, she’s made for the modern talk show, and five years from now she’ll be burnt out and no one will know who she is”

  4. billsnshits says:

    Lori, I’m going to sound like I’m playing the nosy, bullying cop on a blog that isn’t even mine to do so,

    but your assertion that feminism is very diverse and not about victim mongering but just an intellectual discipline/investigation like any other discipline,

    would be a lot more credible if you accepted a dissenting view as a possibility to consider rather than just a false position.

    That goes for all people anywhere, not just feminists, who say that they are very tolerant… of those who agree with them.

    • Lori Adorable says:

      So let me get this straight: in order not to be closed minded, I have to accept everything that people say as valid? When a woman spouts sexism and homophobia, that is no more valid than when a man does it, and no more feminist.

      • billsnshits says:

        N.O. You don’t have to accept an opposing view as correct and yours as false.
        There’s always a possibility that you’ll convince yourself that an opponent is right and thus become evil like them.
        This happens to people who have a weak sense of identity to begin with (among other reasons).
        But, in order not to be closed minded, as you so perfectly phrased it, you have to use your mind to consider an opponent’s view point seriously, as a possibility, if only to exercise your freedom to think anything, even stupid, vile, dangerous things that can harm you.
        That’s not the same as throwing your hands up, saying that “everyone is right about everything” and never thinking about it again.

        • Lori Adorable says:

          Thank you for assuming I never considered other viewpoints.

          • billsnshits says:

            I think you’re missing my point…and most probably on purpose because it makes you uncomfortable, I wouldn’t know.

            Confusing the general and the specific is a very common rhetorical move. You have your reasons, I’m sure.

            So I’ll repeat just to reaffirm my original point.

            Diversity of opinion is only practiced when the diverse (disagreeing) opinions are considered seriously, not just for the sake of and to the extent of demonstrating their incorrectness.

            And, just to get to the meat of it instead of going in circles,
            you sound like you’ve been saying that feminism is very diverse, but that anyone who dismisses victims, who considers women inferior intellectually, who associates male achievement with psychosis,
            is not a “real feminist”.

            I don’t say those points are correct and should be made canonical.
            But to exclude them as simply “wrong” is not open minded and it is definitely one case of not considering an opposing viewpoint.

            A different viewpoint isn’t limited to a “comfortably different viewpoint”. Tolerance for an opposing idea is extreme or it’s nothing at all.

          • billsnshits says:

            An example of serious consideration from your opponent would be something like,
            “if paglia says that victims are not the way to define feminism, then she is ignoring, to some extent, the plight of victims, and making feminism into a middle class defense of privileged middle class sexual hang ups”.

            Or, “if it is assumed that there is no patriarchy at all, then it won’t be possible to explain, to some extent, cases where men feel some kind of weird bond with each other and identify against women, creating a silent but real disadvantage to some women in an unfair way”.

            Ideological battle usually gets locked in to tribalism where this is impossible, though. For fear that if you give up one inch, your enemy will just take a mile.

          • Lori Adorable says:

            And you’re obviously missing my point, so maybe we can just stop wasting virtual space.

          • billsnshits says:

            I guess I am missing your point. I guess was wrong to surmise that you might be arguing (partly) in bad faith and to suggest that you’re just decided on quipping back defensively instead of treating the subject matter.
            Thanks for the ‘zinger’. I am well put in my place.

  5. Jenn says:

    Isn’t Camille Paglia both queer and a woman?

    I have my problems with her, namely I find her politics far too libertarian, I think they’re also largely irrelevant with respect to her career which she has built on her relationship to the feminist movement. I also find her intellectually dishonest in that she says a lot of extremely correct stuff about academic rigour and knowing one’s history but does little to back it up and, to be fair, her work is largely superfluous, particularly lately where she’s building on her reputation to attract attention.

    However, on the topic of the feminist movement, she tends to be absolutely spot on. I’ve seen some of her comments on incest survivors and mentally ill people, where she was largely describing the feminist movement’s relationship to those topics rather than denigrating the people struggling with those problems. And, on that subject, she was largely spot on too, at least what I’ve read.

    Her language tends to be inflamatory, sometimes for the sake of accuracy, other times for the sake of sensationalism, and it’s a little too easy to write off someone’s position just because of inflamatory language.

    • Lori Adorable says:

      I don’t know if Paglia is queer, but even if she is it doesn’t prevent her from being homophobic, just like being a woman doesn’t prevent one from being sexist. While I agree that those sentiments are different coming from her than they are coming from a member of the dominant group(s), it still doesn’t make them okay.

      And she absolutely took a shot at incest survivors and the mentally ill when she said, “Let’s get rid of Infirmary Feminism, with its bedlam of bellyachers, anorexics, bulimics, depressives, rape victims, and incest survivors. Feminism has become a catch-all vegetable drawer where bunches of clingy sob sisters can store their moldy neuroses.” She is clearly implying that people with mental illnesses or people who have survived abuse are just whiny victims and that they are not worthy of attention from feminism.

      And for that, I think it’s completely reasonable to write her off. Why should I listen to someone who so virulently despises me?

      • No Lori I think she is saying feminism needs to stop presenting itself as a haven for ‘victims’ of the ‘patriarchy’. She is against victim culture. she doesn’t hate anyone who has suffered anything, I believe.

        • Lori Adorable says:

          I’m sure she doesn’t hate us. She just thinks we’re laughable.

          If she meant ‘victims of the patriarchy’ she probably should have said that instead of ‘rape victims’ then, huh?

          • elflojo84 says:

            Possibly she doesn’t believe in the ‘patriarchy’. I certainly wouldn’t have used those strong terms, it does sound unnecessarily inflammatory, but I agree with QuiRi and elissa that the basic meaning there is not to denigrate them, but the culture of feminism which paints itself as the answer to their problems.

            Also, I don’t think that “bunches of clingy sob sisters [storing] their moldy neuroses” is necessarily referring to the sufferers hse mentions themselves. A lot of rad-fem blogs (like melissa mcewans) read like a lot of people who have never suffered from any of these things using those who have to vicariously live in their invented universe where men oppress them at every turn. A sheltered middle class girl who wants to believe all men are rapists finds it much easier when faced with some poor woman who has been raped.

            As for not understanding the ‘male gaze’ – like ‘patriarchy’, maybe some people don’t actually agree with the concept, rather than just not understanding. A lot of feminists need to undetrstand that just because someone disagrees with soem of their assertions, it doesn’t mean they are either lying to oppress women or too stupid to get it. There are other explanations.

          • Lori Adorable says:

            Patriarchy is not a thing you can choose not to believe in. That’s saying you don’t believe men are in the vast majority of positions of power and always have been; that’s not believing *facts*.

            Also, it’s really shitty of you to erase what Melissa McEwan has been through personally. You do realize she IS a rape survivor who is also mentally ill, right? Disagree with her all you want, but don’t dismiss her experiences.

            If there’s no such thing as the male gaze, explain mainstream porn to me. Do most women just like looking at naked women? The fact that the vast majority of directors and producers are men doesn’t mean that we’re mostly seeing things through their viewpoint? Seriously, I would love to know what other explanation there is for not ‘believing’ this stuff.

          • Tim says:

            Patriarchy theory is just that, Lori: a theory. It supposes that men behave conspiratorially to keep women down. Yet there is no evidence of this, hence it is a theory, or as Paglia would say, ‘a vegetable drawer where all the grievance industry victim mongers go to store their moldy sob stories’.

            Example: the pythagorean theorem is a proof…a theorem. Patriarchy theory is not a theorem…it is not a proof.

            Make sense?

      • typhonblue says:

        ” just like being a woman doesn’t prevent one from being sexist.”

        Sexism against men apparently doesn’t exist.

        • Jenn says:

          I don’t know if Paglia is queer, but even if she is it doesn’t prevent her from being homophobic, just like being a woman doesn’t prevent one from being sexist. While I agree that those sentiments are different coming from her than they are coming from a member of the dominant group(s), it still doesn’t make them okay.

          Paglia has definitely had relationships with women. But firstly, something ‘being okay’ is always a terrible reason to do it, and it ‘not being okay’, even if that meant anything, is a terrible reason not to. What does it mean if something is ‘okay’? It means you can do it without daddy getting mad at you (even if ‘daddy’ is represented by a group of disapproving ‘sisters’ with adamantly joined-up eyebrows). I would say that homophobia or sexism are forgiveable coming from a queer woman, but they are not more correct or any less methodological errors. Let’s keep this in that realm instead of deciding who is a terrible person for holding various views. Paglia’s thought is essentialist (and, to be honest, largely irrelevant, including to herself, in my view), so it follows that she is often sexist.

          I also know from personal experience, for what that’s worth, that queer women are often the first to bear the brunt of accusations of homophobia and sexism from their feminist ‘sisters’, often while being the victims of those at the hands of the same. Personally, I violently reject anything to do with essential femininity, in the kind of violent language that a bunch of – to be blunt – delicate bourgeois bitches with massive daddy complexes are not going to like, because it will come across to them as misogynist simply because ‘misogynist’ has become synonymous with ‘bad’ to them, since feminism as the simple noisy rejection of patriarchal authority is built, it follows, entirely around that authority.

          However, the statement we are looking at is neither sexist nor homophobic. In fact, it is either symptomatic of Paglia’s experience at the hands of the feminist movement (she describes being up agains the wall and insulted for liking the Rolling Stones, for instance), or her skill at manipulating her relationship to the feminist movement for the media’s benefit, or, most likely, both. In any case, she is in a position to articulate that kind of thing correctly and all she has to ‘lose’ is a bunch of media controversy.

          And she absolutely took a shot at incest survivors and the mentally ill when she said, “Let’s get rid of Infirmary Feminism, with its bedlam of bellyachers, anorexics, bulimics, depressives, rape victims, and incest survivors. Feminism has become a catch-all vegetable drawer where bunches of clingy sob sisters can store their moldy neuroses.” She is clearly implying that people with mental illnesses or people who have survived abuse are just whiny victims and that they are not worthy of attention from feminism.
          And for that, I think it’s completely reasonable to write her off. Why should I listen to someone who so virulently despises me?

          I actually think that is not a good reason to write her off, just because you have concluded she despises abuse victims and therefore she despises you. After all, there are plenty of people who have done admirable things that might despise you, or me, or any of us. You could stop at ‘abuse victims’ and that would be reason enough, in the absence of any other data. But, I don’t think you can conclude from the above that she despises abuse victims. That quote, to me, suggests she believes the feminist movement to be exploitative of abuse victims.

          This faces us with a problem, because, as you have correctly pointed out, and as the above quote implies, many in the feminist movement are abuse victims. There is a cycle of abuse there which, I think, she has correctly identified, which is why that quote is such a breath of fresh air to me and to others. In fact, when I responded to QRG about her tenets of feminism, I was going to point out that many of them weren’t political ‘tenets’ at all – they are symptoms. This includes belief in ‘patriarchy’ as sustained by the feminist movement, and, yes, ‘kyriarchy’ even more so: anyway, the word is meaningless, since it is a tautology.

          One problem I have with what you are saying is that you’re drawing a distinction between ‘her’ and ‘you’ – callous people who insult abuse victims or agree with such insult and ‘us’ – abuse victims. So, you’re implying that a good non-consensual trouncing confers a degree of understanding that is absent from anyone who has not experienced it, which is at the same level as someone trolling a feminist and saying all she needs to set her right is a good old-fashioned raping by a real man. Except, the difference is that you probably mean it more, as opposed to just trying to wind people up.

          The other thing is, you’re not only assuming that no one who agrees with what Paglia said there – including Paglia herself – can possibly have had the illuminating experience of abuse, otherwise they’d have the brains to understand. You’re also making it necessary to disclose that kind of extremely personal information that, aside from the trauma involved in recalling it, it’s that personal that maybe you don’t want to reveal it to total strangers, let alone go around commodifying it to add to your personal identity currency. You put us all in a situation where even saying ‘I’m not willing to even talk about possibly disclosing’ implies that it happened. But, until you know for sure, everyone in on the discussion is potentially an abuse victim. If they are, they find themselves in the position of either accepting that they’re horrible misogynist condoners of abuse. If not, they’re made to feel ashamed of not having been abused and this is more of a basis for what they say than reason.

          For a feminist, that’s quite an achievement, since you’ve not only managed to imply that all anyone needs in order to have a superior understanding of an issue is to know how it feels to be a woman in the process of being raped, which is certainly more threatening to any women present since men are somewhat shielded from knowing what it is like to be a woman in that situation. You have also, not even demanded that women throw off all covers and reveal something incredibly intimate about themselves; you have effectively revealed it for them by forcing them to play that particular card.

          The kicker is, in rational terms, I really don’t think you believe any of the stuff you have implied. Only, because of its relationship to and treatment of abuse victims, well, you’ve illustrated Paglia’s argument quite well. It’s really not a relationship that is so simple you can break it down into ‘oppressors’ and ‘oppressees’. My own reaction to, as I put it, glowering sisters with joined-up eyebrows, or bourgeois bitches with daddy complexes… is symptomatic, and, when my anger is directed at them, I think it is misdirected. It’s symptomatic of the fact that, to share an experience for once, I was publically outed and generally slightly humiliated and dressed down for misogyny, homophobia, etc… by someone who was a survivor of abuse and was, I think, pissed at me for refusing to declare a sexual identity and for lacking (she assumed) the experience of a rape that would help me understand things better. I was obviously not blameless there either.

          The truth is, where the feminine is concerned, we don’t need any fucker to help us tear each other/ourselves apart. In fact, subtracting that first-person/third-person dichotomy would be a step towards understanding it.

          I think, what makes me pissed, and what made Paglia pissed enough to use such virulent language, is the exploitation inherent in the feminist movement, not due to feminist ideas, but because it bases its actions around symptoms and reactions rather than anything rational. If anything, feminism is not welcome in the feminist movement – after all, sometimes, if you want to move something, it’s precisely because you want it out of sight or flushed away. Moreover, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that accusing an abuse victim of condoning abuse, forcing gay women to expose themselves, or staging a bit of woman-on-woman hatefuck is spectacular and generates a lot more capital than, well, dismantling capitalism and its attendant ideology. That’s what’s so exploitative about the feminist movement. Women go in thinking it’s about equal rights and, well, feminism. They get cruelly disillusioned, and they come out of it fucked up. This is where I dismiss Paglia, though, because she very much capitalises on that whole process, she’s just a degree removed from the epicentre of it.

          • Jenn says:

            woops, two blocks of that are supposed to be quoted from Lori, didn’t quite work out how I intended. Oh well.

  6. elissa says:

    Let’s get rid of “infirmary feminism” is not at all what you’re attempting to convey Lori.

    In a more colloquial sense, she is saying that the politics of feminism is rooted around “ambulance chasing”, so it’s not a swipe against individuals in need, but rather, a swipe at the political recruitment of the “oppressed” to swell the ranks, strengthen the dichotomy of oppressor / oppressed, and artificially bolster the relevance of the political movement.

    The political ideology requires a continuous input of “oppressed victims” to sustain itself, hence the various permutations, and ever expanding number of infractions: male gazes, verbal assaults, mini-rapes (as Paglia coined), slut walks, objectifications, sexist language etc

    Confession: I’m Italian born and she is my equivalent of Quiet’s Foucalt’s daughter. And I love her books on Art history.

    • Lori Adorable says:

      Did you actually read what she said? You realize that’s a quote, right? I’m not trying to make it out to be anything.

      And I’m not going to educate you about sociological concepts. If you don’t understand what the male gaze is, that’s on you. Further, if you don’t think verbal abuse is a thing, you’re a lucky, lucky person.

  7. elissa says:

    So your contention is that she hates rape victims and incest survivors.

    Grow a brain please.

    • Lori Adorable says:

      My contention is that she’s disdainful of us, and insulting us with her bullshit logic. ‘Hate’ was probably a bit hyperbolic, but then, so is calling rape survivors ‘bellyachers’.

  8. elflojo84 says:

    Oops, wrong box. See above ^^^

  9. Lori- you don’t like Paglia. Paglia doesn’t like your kind of feminism. You’re not allies. That’s fine. We are not all allies.

    If like you said- feminism is diverse- then you should be able to live with that easily.

    • Lori Adorable says:

      No, Paglia doesn’t like *me*, or at least that’s what her words imply. There are some prerequisites of feminism, and *not* hating on victims of sexual abuse is one of them.

  10. Nico says:

    billsnshits: “I think you’re missing my point…and most probably on purpose because it makes you uncomfortable”

    When I first read this, my immediate reaction was, oh fuck you. Reading it again, that’s kinda still my reaction.

    I happen to be a fan Paglia’s early work, very much including her live performances (to which QRG linked a prime example), and when taken in context with what else was happening feministically at the time.

    But in defending Crazy Camille, there’s no need to accuse her critics of bad faith, psychologically induced.

    Just sayin’.

    • billsnshits says:

      Is it okay if I just think it, instead of openly accusing?

      Since on a text forum we are all “just sayin” and only “just sayin”, it’s interesting to work with more information.

      I just figured being polite beyond eliminating swear word filled invective, to the point of censoring my perceptions in this little back and forth, was for the roses.

      And I’m fine with your expletive. In fact, you did exactly what I did.
      Maybe you derived the same satisfaction in honesty, that I derived. And maybe not.

  11. Nico says:

    Paglia: “Let’s get rid of Infirmary Feminism, with its bedlam of bellyachers, anorexics, bulimics, depressives, rape victims, and incest survivors. Feminism has become a catch-all vegetable drawer where bunches of clingy sob sisters can store their moldy neuroses.”

    Is that from a text, or a transcript of one of her raps? It’s a good specimen. So nicely formulated.

    Me, I read that as not just a criticism of feminism, but also a challenge. I read as much sadness and disappointment as anger in those words.

    I dont know when that quote is from but it totally reflects early 90s Paglia, which is to say, at the height of her fame and get-value.

    Interesting how at the time she was competing w other lady authors like Wolf and Faludi, whose ideas, analyses, language, conclusions, prescriptions, personalities, etc, were much easier sells than Paglia’s speedfreak thing, whatever it actually amounted it.

    Interesting also how many movements and trends seem to converge in the same early 90s, late-pre-internet era. Since then, what?

    Like I said above, gender and queer theory got away with the most cake.

  12. well, fuck it, I’ll throw in my two cents…..

    Yes, there are powerful men…. but, still the whole thing about “the patriarchy” is many men have little to no power….. there is another concept called kyriarchy that shows multiple levels of oppression….

    It gets kind of ridiculous though…what exactly is power– there are different kinds of power that yield different advantages in different situations….

    On a tangent, people talked about IQ for many years, now people are admitting to different types of IQ such as Emotional Intelligence and seeing that there are many successful, talented people without super high IQ’s….

    So, then back to power…there are many axis of oppression/privilege–and life is just so complex …. You can’t just make a blanket statement-men have more power—what about the power a mother has over her infant son? What about the power a female caregiver has over an aged male who could’ve been a President?

    I jokingly stated somewhere in the blogshpere that someone should create a gps like device that measures someone’s level of power/status/privilege/oppression–as these are constantly changing….

    There is an old quote that says life is like a hand of cards, you don’t choose what you are dealt, just how you play your hand….

    • Lori Adorable says:

      Yes, kyriarchy is a much more accurate description of power hierarchies, but I wasn’t going to go ahead and bring that into a discussion where folks seemed incapable of understanding ‘patriarchy.’

      Do tell- what kind of power do women have other than being mothers?

      • Lori- i understand patriarchy. I have studied it and read all the books that have conceptualised it, pretty well. I considered it carefully and now I reject the concept.

        Saying people seem ‘incapable’ of understanding something is very arrogant and blinkered.

        try this for starters, on women’s power:

        • billsnshits says:

          Well, you yourself seem incapable of understanding lori’s cognitive/ontological position.

          See her statement above, which should explain why she assumes incomprehension rather than disagreement:

          Patriarchy is not a thing you can choose not to believe in. That’s saying you don’t believe men are in the vast majority of positions of power and always have been; that’s not believing *facts*.”

          When someone has a religion, or an anti religion, or just a super strong conviction,
          they don’t “disagree” with others, they just see them as fallen-from-grace.

          • billsnshits says:

            That’s the only way they CAN see them. It is not a choice of devaluation or attack or arrogance. It’s their own cognitive imprisonment.

          • Yes I understand that. I know it is religious. But even some religious people think others have the right ‘not to believe’

        • Lori Adorable says:

          I tend to think people are incapable of understanding something when they respond to it with false arguments, like ‘positive discrimination is privilege!’ and ‘other people have it worse so we can’t complain’ and ‘complaining about inequality is being a victim!’

          • so if we are capable of understanding Lori, do you have any information to educate us? Maybe we could learn. How about book references or blog links or articles? What you got?

          • Lori Adorable says:

            Blog articles (besides pretty much the entire Feminism 101 site you already so despise, including their articles on ‘male gaze’ and ‘female privilege’, presumably): Wikipedia’s entry on ‘critical pedagogy,’ ‘cultural capital,’ ‘patriarchy,’ and ‘kyriarchy’; The Official Shrub blog’s “Debunking a Female Privilege List”; Unapologetically Female’s “Chivalry”, Capitalism Bad, Tree Pretty’s “Privilege”; The Female Impersonator’s “Powerless White Male: A Confrontation” and “Enlighten Yourself”; Sociological Images’ “Overview of Inequality in the U.S.”

            Books: ‘The Gendered Society’ by Michael Kimmel, ‘The Masculine Self’ by Christopher Kilmartin, any other sociology or gender studies text book (look! I even picked books by men!).

            I spent several years studying statistics related to gender (in)equality: earning power, household labor, reproductive rights. There is *scientific proof* that shit is not equal. I’m not pulling this out of my ass, and I’m not doing it cause being a ‘victim’ is fun.

          • Lori Adorable says:

            I can also recommend more statistics-based scholarly texts on a wide range of gender equality topics than I have time to type: Cynthia Fuchs Epstein’s “Deceptive Distinctions”, William O’Barr and Jean F. O’Barr’s “Linguistic Evidence: Language Power and Strategy– The Courtroom”, David Almeida and Ronald Kessler’s “Everyday Stressors and Gender Differences in Daily Distress”, Mintz and Kellog’s “Domestic Revolutions”, Hiromi Ono’s “Husbands’ and Wives’ Resources and Marital Dissolution in the United States”, Sadker and Sadker’s “Failing at Fairness”, Shelley Correll’s “Gender and Career Chocie Process: The Role of Biased Self-Assessments”, Wayne Martino’s “Gendered Learning Experiences,” Carol Christ’s “Heretics and Outsiders: The Struggle over Female Power and Western Religion”, Irene Padavic and Barbara Reskin’s “Women and Men at Work”, “Kristen Schlit and Matthew Wiswall’s “Before and After: Gender Transitions, Human Capital, and Workplace Experiences” ….I could go on and on.

          • typhonblue says:

            ” I’m not pulling this out of my ass, and I’m not doing it cause being a ‘victim’ is fun.”

            But it is feminine!

  13. Lori said:

    “Do tell- what kind of power do women have other than being mothers?”

    First, we’ve got to define power and realize there are many types of power….

    There are even “soft” types of power-for example men being tall (and there is statistical research saying they get better paying jobs) or women being beautiful (even though Jezzabel said that wasn’t power.)

    Even “traditional society” recognized female power with a statement such as “Behind every good man is a good woman.” You might be fighting to have your influence heard without needing a man in the first place but it is undeniable that women have always had influence on society.

    Interesting discusssion here:


    • Lori Adorable says:

      Please see my above response

      • Paul says:

        There’s really no point in answering your question then if you’re going to throw every example into the “positive discrimination =/= privilige” box. It’s an interesting trick of words btw “positive discrimination” it allows women to exercise the **power** they do have while simultaneously keeping a “victim” mentality.

        Tell me something how can someone simultaneously say “privilege is invisible to those who have it” and “there is no such thing as female privilege” without seeing the MASSIVE GLARING DISCONNECT between those two statements?

  14. now on to patriarchy….I have read over the feminism 101 definition and even with my limited brainpower can see that it is problematic…..

    On my blog, I wrote an article about “mansplainin.” I have seen it used several times as a tactic to shut down a divergent view point. My first personal encounter was on Clarisse Thorne’s Gunwith thread on feministe. A commentor on my blog mentioned that men present the dominant view and therefore since they are always heard, it is unfair for me to “mansplain” on a blog intended for females to discuss problems in society. I do not beleive that I hold the dominant viewpoint and also do not think of men as a homogolous group that agree on everything….

    I have seen Jacob/Toysoldiers comments removed on The Good Men Project on a thread about Sex Slavery where he mentioned that men are also trafficked to be used as slave labor. And I have seen Hugo Schwyzer try to dismiss him by reffering to him as “the basement brigade.”

    Amanda Marcotte wrote scathing article about “Nice Guys.” Granted there are nuances in language that will have one person seeing one thing and another seeing another….
    however, I think it is another example where Feminists are blind to men’s problems along the lines of, “Because of patriarchy, men have all the power and therefore no problems.”
    I see things far different, as many men have little power or influence…..

    • Lori Adorable says:

      A) Responding to false arguments by shutting them down is not shutting down discussion

      B) Kyriarchy

  15. dear friends, there is always a point in these debates about feminism that I get jaded/lose the will to live. It is not because you aren’t making good and interesting points but because I have been arguing in/with/about feminism since I was able to argue.

    I still engage with the bitch because she affects how we perceive gender, how laws are made, how children are taught at school. Feminism has influence.

    But I don’t always feel able to really get into every discussion. It has been a long road.
    I appreciate your contributions though!

  16. ….I am not a Feminist, nor an MRA if y’all haven’t figured that out.

    • yes I figured that out stoner! 😀 But you have more energy than me for the debate with feminism. Even though I know I write about it a lot, I just get kind of tired of trying to discuss it!

  17. understood….

    I do have to thank Lori, she pointed me in the direction of this awesome quote:

    “Teenage boys, goaded by their surging hormones run in packs like the primal horde. They have only a brief season of exhilarating liberty between control by their mothers and control by their wives.”
    — Camille Paglia

    Kind of explains why I got away from mommy as soon as I could and am entering extended bachelorhood. Also, kind of explains why Kay Hymowitz and Hugo Schwyzer don’t like guys like us, we are resisting being controlled and they are threatened….

    Hope you all have a good weekend…

  18. Nico says:

    The terms of these discussions are fucked. As are those who discuss within those terms.

  19. Thanks Lori. If you are into gender stats you will know the work of Catherine Hakim as well I expect. I think she’s quite good.

  20. Tim says:

    I have to say I had to rewatch that video three times to understand it. This woman can talk really fast. I mean the longer the sentence, the faster and the more silently she gets.

    Also, I noticed some kind of detour in the comment thread, at first everyone was ranting about patriachy and then suddently it was all about inequality. Quite a jump now, isn’t it ?

    • I find her quite transfixing but yes she talks fast and is sometimes confusing. don’t tell anyone but sometimes I find her writing a bit tricky too.

      Yes the jump from ‘patriarchy’ to ‘gender inequality’ is often made surreptitiously, with no explanation Tim!

  21. Tim says:

    I found myself noting down some keywords during me second time through. I noted down the following words:

    Gloria Steinem
    Ted Bundy’s
    Sex – dangerous
    Men, Men, Men

    Take from that what you want.

  22. Alright, I should probably let sleeping dogs lay, but….

    Here’s my thoughts….

    You hear feminists talk about Patriarchy but it is a model that doesn’t correctly describe real world experience. Funny how they will dismiss YOUR real world experience as mansplaining when it suits them –Even statisitics….

    Alright, so they came up with a better model- Kyriarchy–it has more axis of oppression but it still doesn’t fully describe the complexity of the real world…..

    I did some reading awhile back, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking—well there have been different theories to describe natural events–Newtonian Physics, Eisntien’s theory of Relativity, Quantum Mechanics….. I don’t pretend to have a great grasp on this stuff– Eye is aye produkt ov De American’t Educayshin Sistemn 😉 What I did notice is that each time a better system came along to explain real world experience–people fought tooth and nail to keep the old system in place. Religions determined new ideas heresy. Scientist’s went out of others ways to trash others careers…

    Is there a parallel here?

    It seems truth and justice is the first victim in these little power struggles of ideologies….

  23. Clarence says:

    Reading through this thread, and seeing that Lori Adoreable doesn’t seem to even know the difference between a “patriarchy” and an “andrarchy” is so much fun.

    She sure loves to interchange the terms.

    • Lori Adorable says:

      And what exactly makes you think that?

      • billsnshits says:

        Maybe he read your words. Words are a kind of scientific evidence of a person’s statements. Not as reliable or “scientific” as grotesquely twisted statistics by a passé and corrupt industry, but still.

        “Patriarchy is not a thing you can choose not to believe in. That’s saying you don’t believe men are in the vast majority of positions of power”

        In case you still can’t quite follow, lori, the key passage I’m quoting from you is,
        “men are in the vast majority of positions of power” as an equivalent of patriarchy. Your phrase.

        But I suppose it’s too much to expect logical analysis, when feminist training teaches outraged sniping as a substitute. That and jargon. Piles upon piles of jargon until only 100 academic professionals can understand each other, while the rest of the world is merciful spared having to pay attention. It’s called real life, aka upyoursarchy (but some factions grumble about whether shoveitarchy or getstuffedarchy are less “elitist” alternatives).

        • Clarence says:

          Yeah , I read her words.

          I mean heck, she expects us to take the circular definition of patriarchy at feminism 101 seriously. Apparently she doesn’t know I’ve been reading about and debating these issues online for almost 13 years now, and Quiet Riot Girl has literally decades of experience within feminism including from the 70’s and 80’s , and we are not stupid enough to fail to note obvious equivalences or to need training in basic feminist concepts.

          Thanks bns, for handling the light work for me. Lori should read her own posts. Jesus.

  24. Hi Jenn! I am going to read your comment properly and reply. You know I did reply on this blog to your blogpost about Against Feminisms? I couldn’t get Blogger to accept my comment on your blog!

    Thanks for your contributions you’re always on the ball.

    • Jenn says:

      That’s cool.

      I finally got round to reading some Foucault, by the way, History of Sexuality volume 1.

      • excellent! That’s my favourite. But sometimes you have to give it a while for his style to sink in. Then, in my experience, you’re hooked.

        • Jenn says:

          Yeah, I was a little disappointed he doesn’t give much of his reasoning away. My initial problem with Foucault, although I had a favourable bias towards him, is that he writes what on the surface is historical stuff, but if you don’t have any context to speak of and don’t know why he’s writing it, you’re left wondering why he’s writing it, because he really doesn’t give much away at all. That was why I initially put down Madness and Civilisation, cause if you’re just reading it like it’s AJP Taylor it’s nor going to be much use. Fantastic reading, though, but that goes without saying.

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