Posts Tagged ‘feminism’

posthuman

Over at Cyborgology blog,  Whitney Erin Boesel has written a critical post about gender representation in Digital Dualism Debates. To really engage with what she writes, if you’re not part of the discussion already, you might have to read some of the posts she links to. Here I show the begining para of her piece, followed by my comments BTL and her reply to me. Then I will see if I can ‘widen’ out this topic to be relevant to more than just the digital dualists (and their opponents).

Whitney ( @Phenatypical) wrote:

‘If you’re a regular reader of Cyborgology, chances are good that you caught the most recent “brouLOL” (yes, that’s like a 21st century brouhaha) over digital dualism and augmented reality. If you’re a careful reader of Cyborgology, chances are good you also caught (at least) one glaring omission in much of the writing featured in this wave of commentary. What was missing?

Ladies, gentlemen, and cyborgs, allow me to (re)introduce you to Jenny Davis (@Jup83) and Sarah Wanenchak (@dynamicsymmetry)—oh yeah, and my name’s Whitney Erin Boesel (I’m @phenatypical). None of us identify as men, and all of us have written about digital dualism. In fact, you may have seen our work referenced recently under our collective noms de plume: “the other digital dualism denialists,” “others on this blog,” “others,” “other Cyborgologists,” “other regular contributors,” etc. If you’re a crotchety sociologist with a penchant for picking apart language (ahem: guilty), it doesn’t get much better than this. Per the conversation earlier this month, there are two groups of people who write about digital dualism on Cyborgology: there are named men, and there are unnamed Others’

I responed:

‘I too notcied the debate being framed as between what I termed – a bit sarcastically – ‘men of ideas’.

But I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say women are being ‘silenced’. Your post is not silence for a start. And in the piece by Machine Starts about Jurgenson v Carr the writer also mentioned Sherry Turkle at least. And at the #ttw13 there were loads of women talking, tweeting, organising, questioning etc.

Here’s my take. I believe that the ‘where are the women?’ statements are PART OF THE PROBLEM. They give too much credit to the ‘white men’ and their ‘pissing contests’ and present women as innocent victims of their lack of ‘voice’.

I believe gender inequalities are a problem in the realms in which you are focussing on – academia, journalism, tech, entrepreneurship etc. But I dont think these inequalities are as simple as a ‘lack’ of women and a ‘dominance’ of men. You mention trans people and people from diverse ethnicities, but as an afterthought, or as subservient to ‘women’.

I am a woman. And, as I have said before, the people who have ‘silenced’ or attempted to silence me the most have been feminist women.’

Whitney replied:

‘hi QRG – thanks for your comment. i agree with you that there were a good number of women engaging in dialogue around #TtW13; in fact, that’s part of why i think there *must* be more women writing about these issues, too!

we both know there’s a lot of gender stuff we’ll never agree on (though i like to think we have our points of agreement as well ;) , but there are two points in your comment i wanted to address:

first, i certainly have not intended to treat transpeople and people of color as afterthoughts. my focus in *this post* is the way women theorists were overlooked in a particular conversation (everyone writing for cyborgology at present is white, as is everyone who’s engaged in the early march 2013 debate so far as i know); what i want to do in my *future post* is highlight work done by a range of non-white-men. there are probably more non-white-men doing this type of work; i just don’t know about them yet. wanting to know is part of why i wrote this piece.

second, there’s a big difference between “speaking” and “being listened to.” women ARE speaking about digital dualism, as i’ve illustrated! but if no one’s listening (or if most of everyone is ignoring), that’s being silenced-in-effect–and i think it’s important to recognize that.’

I replied:
‘I do not think ‘white men’ is an accurate description of those who dominate debates on digital dualism or anything else. I suspect they have other characteristics in common. Because in USA for example, many ‘white men’ are INCREDIBLY disadvantaged in terms of economics, education etc. Are they writing about digital dualism? I doubt it. Once we start looking at ‘the academy’ we are already talking about some very ‘well off’ people in many ways.

also, as for ‘not being listened to’ = ‘silencing’ I see where you’re coming from. But not sure its an exact fit. and again, it is feminist women who have ‘not listened’ to me the most, in groups, on blogs, twitter etc and who have banned and blocked me to high heaven. so ‘silencing’ is not just something those big bad ‘white men’ do.’

——————-

So how does this exchange fit into wider debates on gender, academia, and the ‘digital society’ we live in? Firstly I have noticed before that the rather loaded question, Where Are The Women? is asked frequently and insistently. Where are the women in politics? science? celebrity chef land? music industry? etc. And the answer usually seems to be that they are cowering under the weight and dominance of those beasts – men. I find it is normally white, middle class feminist women, who already have some ‘power’ in life, who ask this question. And that they blame their brothers and husbands and colleagues – white middle class men, for the lack of parity in gender representation in their fields. Boesel says in her piece she is not looking here for reasons for gender inequalities in digital dualism debates. But I think she is. And I think she finds reasons – ‘white men’. But as I said in the comments, many many ‘white men’ are far more disadvantaged and far more ‘silent’ in the media, academia, technology, than the women she is championing. Because inequality doesn’t cut down a binary line. It’s complicated! The calls of ‘where are the women’ just reinforce the binary, and maintain the ‘silence’ of those not ‘represented’ by it in my view.

Secondly, the notion of ‘divides’ in digital cultures is not always helpful. In his #ttw13 talk,  ‘Urban Libraries and the Control of Access’ Daniel Greene ( @greene_dm ) critiqued the concept of the ‘digital divide’. He – yes, he is as far as I can tell a ‘white man’ – suggested this binary presentation of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in digital culture is simplistic and misleading. The myriad ways in which we access technology or are excluded from technological activities, are not expressed by this phrase. And I think the ‘where are the women?’ phrase similarly simplifies and obfuscates the complex issues of gender, opportunity, ‘silence’ and voice in digital dualism debates. At one point in her piece Whitney asked for us to send her links of work by ‘non white men’ on digital dualism, including people from various ethnic minority backgrounds, and trans people. I dont think this is the answer either. Trans people in particular, I think, may have huge problems in having a voice and being visible in academic cultures, digital or otherwise. For them, ‘visibility’ can be hugely distressing, difficult,  linked to medical and financial issues around transition, and, can even be a matter of life or death. I don’t think it is any coincidence, for example, that Professor Raewyn Connell became ‘visible’ as a trans woman after she had developed her career and name as an academic in her assigned gender identity. As a trans person I dont think she’d have been able to achieve what she did, at least not without all sorts of very hard personal and political battles. Maybe some of the men and women writing on digital dualism are trans? But haven’t ‘come out’? And why should they? Boesel is not advocating ‘outing’ trans academics, but I think she may be assuming more of them are ‘out and proud’ than there probably are.

 I have more to say on this. And, I am glad that, the group at cyborgology won’t try to ‘silence’ me. I have found them welcoming and open in their style of engagement. However, one of the issues I do intend to tease out is, illustrated by Boesel’s post, some of the gender politics these exciting young academics espouse, are lagging behind their more forward thinking 21st century ideas on digital societies and digital dualism. Donna Haraway was, in some ways ahead of her time with her cyborg feminism. But in other ways she was very much of her time, and she held up ‘women’ to be special flowers in my opinion, oppressed by those big bad wolves, men. I dont see the world like that. And I don’t think cyborgology has room for gender or any other form of binaries.

Twitter-Hashtags_0

Hashtags are used for all sorts of things on twitter. From the tweetalong telly tags such as #splash, #bbcqt  and #masterchef, to marking cultural phenomena  such as #metrosexual, to the personal esoteric ones like my #blueonblue and #FoucaultsDaughter. But it is in gender politics – where else? – where a hashtag war has broken out.

Funnily enough, this particular game of tag began with the twitter classic #bbcqt. The historian (and tweeter) Mary  Beard appeared on the programme last month. That night and the next day she got a lot of shit on twitter from what are known in the business as ‘haterz’. From what I can see, and from my own modest status as @Notorious_QRG, I think once you have a certain number of followers on twitter, you start to get some random crap thrown at you. But Ms Beard is also a feminist, and what do feminists tend to do when they get stick? That’s right, she wrote an article about the ‘misogyny’ and ‘abuse’ she was suffering, in the Guardian.

This brave stand against her ‘abusers’ by the lowly professor and TV personality led to an expression of sisterly solidarity: the #silentnomore hashtag. Feminist women began to break their silence and tell twitter about all the misogyny and abuse they too suffer. I made some criticisms of this hashtag, and was told by one feminist to get out of their ‘space’ and stop ‘abusing’ them!

Then another hashtag popped up called #INeedMasculismBecause. Some men, including Mens Rights Activists used this hashtag to start discussing some inequalities men and boys face. But the feminists swooped down and started attacking the MRAs and men in general. Jezebel suddenly developed a hitherto non-existent sense of humour, and rubbed its hands in glee, laughing at how the feminists had ‘hijacked’ the hashtag.  I couldn’t help but notice the hypocrisy of how feminists had claimed criticisms of the #silentnomore hash were ‘abusive’ and yet they were laughing in the aisles at their own take over of an opposing hashtag.

But it didn’t end there. Melissa McEwan another self-effacing, timid feminist blogger and tweeter, set up the rather obsequious tag #tellafeministThankYou. And guess what, some men and non-feminist women piled in with some ironic ‘thank yous’ to feminism for some of the wrongs it has committed against, oh, sex workers, boys, men, non-feminists, etc. And of course McEwan and her friends cried ‘abuse’ again, conveniently forgetting the Lulz value of hijacking hashtags pointed out by Jezebel only days before.

One of my comments on the #INeedMasculismbecause tag was that I needed ‘masculism’ or whatever you want to call what challenges feminism, because feminists dominate discussions of gender. I want to hear some other voices in the mix. But the whole affair has only proved my point. With feminists having the platform of the national press and high profile online publications to claim their ‘victimhood’, the views and perspectives of those of us who disagree with them get drowned out.

But I will be #silentnomore ! I think the feminists dealt with this hashtag war badly and cynically. I think they know they are the dominant force in gender politics, and any kind of democratic opening out of debate just makes them go into attack mode and try to ‘silence’ their critics.

#FeminismIsAwful !

versace

With the recent horrendous female supremacist bluster about who are the  ‘real women‘ of this world, I was delighted to be shown this video today.

Because, old hags I mean hacks like Burchill and Moore are not only nasty they are also waaaaay behind the zeitgeist. Metrosexual masculinity, with a little help from its friends, is refashioning gender into something more fluid, more fun, and more flamboyant than those two dames can even imagine.

Hurrah for Donatella Versace and her beautiful beaus in black lace panties. And hurrah for all those men who went before them – often in secret but sometimes out in the open- who cross dressed before it was trendy. And hurrah for the  women who won’t let themselves be erased by a middle aged London media set’s narrow minded view of ‘authentic’ womanhood. These are our interesting times.

Alex-reid-cross-dr_1622886a

h/t @themichaelmoran

bad_girl1
 
 

Late last year there erupted a furore over an article published at the Good Men Project, by someone who admitted to having raped someone. I am not going to re-tread over that ground now. There is a good post discussing some of the issues by our very own stoner with a boner if you are interested.

I just want to draw attention to the fact that, during this hoo ha between feminists, the GMP and others, I noticed that an essay by me, Rape Culture and Other Feminist Myths, had been removed from the  Good Men Project website. Along with some work by another ‘anti feminist’ woman blogger, Girl Writes What. I don’t know the exact timing of the deletions (and my other essays for GMP were shifted from the main site to their lesser known Good Life Blog). But I am slightly perturbed that whilst it was the GMP executives, Tom Matlack and Lisa Hickey, who had caused the wrath of the feminasties, Girl Writes What and I seemed to be being scapegoated. If the GMP had ‘gone too far’ and annoyed feminist readers and writers, they had to ‘make amends’ somehow. And it looks like they have done so by removing writing that has already annoyed feminists.

 I always had issues with the Good Men Project, but I saw value in working with them and writing for them from time to time. I can’t help but feel that ironically, since uber -feminist GMP editor Hugo Schwyzer left the site quite a while ago, the ship has gone adrift. Where once there was some sort of balance between Schwyzer’s feminist ‘line’ and a more questioning, dare I say it? Pro-men stance from Tom Matlack, now there seems to be confusion and a void. And when it comes to gender politics, if there is so much as a crack in the paintwork of a ‘non-feminist’ space feminism will come and fill it, and take the whole show over.
 
So now we are left with a site about men that is kow-towing to feminism, and does not welcome non-feminist women or men! I am used to being the ‘bad girl’ now, and feel no personal loss at falling out of favour with the GMP. But I am  no longer interested in what GMP has to say about men, women, or gender issues. There are plenty of good men – and women – and those who identify otherwise – writing about these things in other places, such as A Voice For Men, MRA London blog male femme, stoner with a boner and of course, here, at QRGHQ.

The surest aid in combating the male’s disease of self-contempt is to be loved by a clever woman – Nietzsche

It is now well-documented that in my -frequent – arguments with feminism, my ‘sisters’ sometimes end up resorting to calling me a ‘man’ to dismiss and demonise my criticisms of their dogma. So, if the cap fits…

Recently I have made connections with some of the bloggers and activists who run A Voice For Men website. Loosely self-defined as ‘MRAs’ (men’s rights activists) these men – and a few women allies- provide a non-man-hating perspective in amongst the cacophony of misandry that is ‘mainstream’ feminist gender culture.

I like the subtitle to AVfM – ‘masculine counter-theory in the age of misandry’. It succinctly turns on its head the received wisdom that suggests it is misogyny and sexism against women that is the biggest gendered problem in society.

So I was delighted to be asked to contribute to the site. So far I have written two pieces. The first took quite a lot of soul-searching and emotional effort as it describes my break with feminism, that I grew up believing was the only logical, and moral lens through which to analyse gender. My essay is called:

Leaving The Sisterhood – A Recovering Feminist Speaks

The second is an edited post I initially put here at QRG HQ. (Thanks to  Laura Agustin for feedback which led to a few changes). It’s entitled:

Second Wave Feminism Is Dying (Slowly)

I only found the Nietzsche quote today, and I don’t know its context. But I like its suggestion that masculinity suffers from a pathological bad rep that needs to be transformed. And the suggestion that women must be involved in that shift. This is subtly but vitally different from the feminist concept that men themselves are ‘bad’ and need to change (with the help of enlightened feminist women). My view is that all that needs to be altered is how we LOOK at men and masculinity…

While I go back to my Nietzsche to see if I haven’t read too much into it, I hope you take a look at my posts at AvFM and the rest of the site.

The future is bright. The future is mixed-gendered!

_______________

Thanks again to @deanesmay for the encouragement to write for AvFM

Shulamith Firestone,   radical feminist and author of Dialectic of Sex, died this week. And, it appears she died having lived her last years quite isolated and miserable.

The accounts of her death remind me of the latest film by Carol Morley, Dreams of A Life. More than a ‘true story’, Dreams… is a documentary about a British woman who, like Shulamith, was found dead in her flat. But not days or weeks after she died. This young woman was not discovered till THREE YEARS later.

Shulamith is part of a generation, which happens to be my parents’ generation, which is on its way out. My stepfather died eighteen months ago. My Dad goes to more funerals than weddings. I feel death hanging over me in a way I never did before.

And with the demise of this generation, comes the demise of its ideologies and politics. Shulamith joins a growing roster of ‘dead feminists’ that includes Marilyn French,  Andrea Dworkin and Mary Daly.

These women were part of what we call ‘second wave’ feminism, which was at its peak in the late sixties, early seventies. I have a very strong, VERY ambivalent relationship with second wave feminism, because I was born into it. My mum did not go to yummy mummy cafes and pilates classes in her spare time when I was little, she went to Women’s Liberation conferences and ‘consciousness raising’ groups. I am still recovering, literally, from childhood trauma that I can’t separate in my psyche from that period of feminist history. And when I was still a feminist I was often lonely and isolated, even when surrounded by my ‘sisters’.  Shulamith’s life and death reminds me that feminism is not a ‘cure all’ or a guarantee of being  successfully integrated into a group who share an ideology. It isn’t a guarantee of anything at all.

I am not celebrating individual deaths. Unlike feminists such as Cath Elliott, who cheered when Sebastian Horsley, who she believed was a ‘misogynist’ died, I feel sad when anyone shuffles off this mortal coil. At the risk of mixing my quotes up too much, do not ask for whom the bell tolls and all that.

But I am glad that second wave feminism is a dying creed. The ‘sisters’ who in my view invented concepts such as ‘patriarchy’ and ‘all men are rapists’ and the idea that one solution to gender inequalities is eugenics, have a lot to answer for.

A couple of years ago I might have finished this piece on a positive note, saying that the new generation of ‘third wave’ feminists are changing things, and making feminism into a more positive, more diverse, less man-hating movement. But as most readers will know, I won’t do that now.

Third wave feminism in some ways, takes the basic, misandrous tenets of second wave feminism and turns them into ‘memes’. Any thought or philosophy is removed and all we are left with is a bunch of white women screaming ‘RAPE CULTURE!’ and STREET HARASSMENT! and ‘MISOGYNY’! Technologies producing social media sites such as facebook, twitter and tumblr have meant political campaigns become very simplified and do not allow for intellectual debate. All you have to show your support is press the ‘Like’ button. This ‘dumbing down’ of feminism makes it particularly crude and lacking in rigour.

On some particularly dark days I even miss Andrea Dworkin!

However there are positive aspects to our contemporary world, in which radical feminism is seen by many as a joke. It does not have quite the power it did when I was a kid. But its younger, more manicured, less well-read sisters are dangerous. And I am stuck with them till I die.

My piece ‘Against Feminisms’ explaining why I think feminism is wrong about pretty much everything, has been one of the most controversial on this blog.

https://quietgirlriot.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/against-feminisms/#comments

Last night @allyfogg  gave a point by point response. Before I reply I thought the #QRGMassive could take a look and see what they think!

1) Feminism is based on an assumption that overall, men as a group hold power in society and this power, damages women as a group.

No, it doesn’t have to be based on this assumption, although I accept it very often is. Feminism <i>could</i> be based on an assumption that there is structural, systematic discrimination against women of a different nature to structural, systematic discrimination against men.So it could be other social forces holding power, not “men.” Marxists feminists like Lindsey German would probably tell you that the ruling class holds the power, not the male gender. Selma James would probably say it forces of cultural socialisation or something woolly like that.

Anyway, I should point out that even feminists who do believe in simplistic patriarchal theories are not necessarily misandrist. They could like and love men but hate the system that accords gender roles and power (as they see them.)

2) The above assumption, no matter what feminists say, relies on a belief in and a reinforcement of the essentialist binary view of gender (i.e. that male v female men v women masculine v feminine are real and important distinctions. That is how feminists justify their belief that ‘men’ hold power over ‘women’)

It doesn’t rely on it at all. All it requires is a recognition that the dominant society (or a significant part of it) believes in a binary view of gender and acts unjustly upon that belief, false or not. If society were to arbitrarily decide that people whose surname begins in the second half of the alphabet were to be deprived legal and democratic rights, one could point out that it is ridiculous because it is an entirely false premise and social construct, but that wouldn’t make the discrimination any less real or less worthy of challenge – it wouldn’t make it untrue that alpha-mus hold power over nu-omegas in practical terms.

3) e.g. concepts such as ‘rape culture’  and ‘patriarchy’ and ‘violence against women and girls’ and  ‘the male gaze’ and ‘objectification’ rely on making out men are not decent people

No,this is deeply, deeply wrong and, ironically enough, I think you slip into out and out misandry of the type you’re accusing feminism of. Those concepts rely on making out <b>the men who do those things</b> are not decent people. There is no need for it to be generalised to all men, and some feminists are quite good at clarifying that. Also,in this paragraph (also your GMP piece iirc)  it is *you* who is associating rape culture, VAWG etc with masculinity. Fuck off with that Elly, seriously. Rape, harassment, violence, domination are in no way essential to my gender and I spend a considerable chunk of my life trying to detach the associations. Saying campaigns against violence against women are de facto anti-man is saying that violence against women is part of masculinity. I’m not having that. Rape is a crime against a woman and also a crime against masculinity. Same for all the rest of it. Violence, harassment, abusiveness, whatever, is not decent behaviour. The people who do it are not decent people. I have no problem condemning them for it and trying to prevent the behaviour, however I can. That doesn’t make me a self-loathing man-hater.

4) The focus on men’s power over women in ‘patriarchal’ society ignores other divisions between people

That’s not a logical necessity at all. Someone could be primarily engaged with economic class dynamics or race dynamics, see all of their politics through that lens, and yet still identify as feminist by any definition. Most Marxist Feminists and anarcho-feminists would be utterly baffled by this claim. Yes, a lot of feminists do ignore (or downplay) other power dynamics but it is by no means a logical necessity that they do so. Their politics can still be entirely coherent if they do not.

Finally, and as with the last one above your numbers (5) and (6) are commonly true in practice but quite obviously don’t need to be true, politically.

Now after all that I should say, it is a perfectly decent list of reasons as to why you don’t call yourself a feminist. I disagree with some of it but hey ho.

What it does not do is rebut the claims that <i>”‘feminism is not a monolithic group’ ‘there are many branches of feminism’ </i> etc You haven’t done that at all.

Nor, to go back to our Twitter chat earlier tonight, have you demonstrated that feminism is by definition and necessity man-hating and misandrist. Not by a long chalk.

I find these comments on Jezebel, white middle class feminist online magazine funny and astute.

But I think some ‘feminist critics’ like to differentiate between ‘bad’ feminism and ‘good’ feminism. Whether the ‘bad’ feminism is the #radfem2012 conference or the privileged girls at Jezebel, there is still an inference that this contrasts with good feminist struggle.

As you probably know by now I make no such distinctions. I am against feminismS…

https://quietgirlriot.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/against-feminisms/

h/t @allyfogg @furrygirl

Dem a cut, cut, cut agains’ dem one another;

Dem a cut, cut, cut agains’ dem one another.

Don’t dem teach to love one another ?

Don’t dem teach to love one another ?

oh!See de ‘ypocrite, dem a-galang deh!

See de ‘ypocrite, dem a-galang deh!

– Hypocrite, Bunny Wailer

Last week on my Graunwatch blog I wrote about the forthcoming radical feminist conference (#radfem2012 on twitter) and the furore over its transphobia. I took an unpopular view in that whilst I agreed with everyone condemning its ‘no trans women allowed’ policy, I also pointed out that feminism AS A WHOLE is full of exclusionary practices, especially towards men.

The Guardian, after publishing an article by (trans) feminist Roz Kaveney (who blocks me on twitter by the way), gave Sheila Jeffreys the right of reply. She was tabled to speak at the conference but has now been told she can’t, due to her transphobia. An example of said transphobia can be seen in her Guardian piece. It reads:

‘Criticism of the practice of transgenderism is being censored as a result of a campaign of vilification by transgender activists of anyone who does not accept the new orthodoxy on this issue. A recent Comment is free piece by the transgender activist Roz Kaveney, headlined “Radical feminists are acting like a cult”, criticises a forthcoming radical feminist conference, at which I was to be a speaker, on the grounds that I and “my supporters” may be guilty of “hate speech” for our political criticism of this practice.

Though Kaveney’s comments about me are comparatively mild in tone, the campaign by transgender activists in general is anything but. This particular campaign persuaded Conway Hall, the conference venue, to ban me from speaking on the grounds that I “foster hatred” and “actively discriminate”. On being asked to account for this, Conway Hall appeared to compare me to “David Irving the holocaust denier”. The proffered evidence consists of quotes from me arguing that transgender surgery should be considered a human rights violation – hardly evidence of hate speech.’

I find it very depressing that after a venue in London has said Jeffreys’ views are not welcome on its premises, the Guardian newspaper has given her and her vile opinions a platform! In the name of what? Fairness? This is a paper that spouts a very narrow white middle class feminism day in day out, with very little chance for non-feminists to write about gender issues. Let alone trans women, black women, disabled women etc etc. But Jeffreys gets a column. Nice.

This hypocrisy is not limited to the Guardian. I think it is a characteristic of feminism in general. For example feminist blogger stavvers criticised Jeffreys desire to ‘debate’ trans issues whilst trans women are not allowed at the conference. However bloggers and activists such as stavvers are happy to ‘debate’ whilst excluding people, including women – e.g. me – from their feminist safe spaces. My 101 Wankers post is a list of all the feminists and their ‘allies’ who ban me and block me online. Stavvers is on the list.

So is Julie Bindel. Bindel, also a known transphobe, has a regular column in the Guardian, and when she was criticised for one of her diatribes recently, Chris Ashford of Law and Sexuality blog wrote a piece saying he was worried she was being ‘silenced’! Hers is a very loud silence then.

I think there are some very real and complex issues here to do with freedom of speech. I personally find the increasing mobilisation of the term ‘hate speech’ worrying. A woman was jailed for five months this week for hate speech, a racist rant on a tube. I have been accused of ‘hate speech’ and I know a few people who would be glad to see me locked up.

But when it comes to Sheila Jeffreys I think Conway Hall made the right decision. They are accomodating the radical feminists in their venue. They are allowed to refuse to host a speech that would be hateful, and one that would question the right of a group of people to exist on this earth.

However, ‘moderate’ feminists need to be very careful before they start throwing stones. Of course it is ironic that Jeffreys claims trans people could not withstand criticism, when she is part of a movement that demands to know the sex/gender identity of people before it even lets them in a building, let alone has a ‘debate’! But feminism’s overall approach to ‘freedom of speech’ is dire. And feminists’ need to sit in closed groups that do not include people who disagree with feminist dogma, suggests a weakness in their arguments.

Comment Is Free, the online discussion section of the Guardian, that so fairly and openly allowed Jeffreys a right of reply, now blocks me on twitter. They are not going to give me a chance to write for them now, are they?

I guess some women are just too dangerous to be allowed a viewpoint!

In my last post I talked about the impact that [redacted] and [redacted]  has had on me, especially in relation to me finally abandoning feminism as a dogma. I wrote the post after seeing a recent review of Male Impersonators. The author could not publish her piece without making some snide remarks about me and my newfound ‘anti-feminism’ that I had explained in [redacted].

Interestingly someone else, a man, also read my review but had a very different reaction. He found my story of the influence of feminism on my life, and my eventual rejection of it, moving. He mentioned me in this post here:

http://themoderatevoice.com/147746/women-standing-up-for-what-they-believe-in/

He also mentioned another non-feminist blogger Girlwriteswhat. He described some of the abuse she has suffered online lately, due to her stance that goes against the feminist grain. He pointed out the irony of feminists punishing women for thinking for themselves and being independent!

Then today I read a piece by Ally Fogg in the New Statesman, pointing out to feminist journalists who have misrepresented a book about men, that it is not necessarily anti-feminist to acknowledge men are discriminated against as well as women.

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/05/second-sexism-dont-judge-book-its-press

I thought it was interesting that Ally, who is generally sympathetic to contemporary ‘third wave’ feminism, was well-received by feminists such as Suzanne Moore, even though he had criticised them directly in his article. Whereas women writers such as me and Girlwriteswhat have been subject to what actually amounts to a  witch hunt  by our ‘sisters.’

The reasons for this discrepancy in reactions are complex. One is, I think, that Ally Fogg has won his feminist stripes, for generally being supportive of the movement. On Guardian cif website he has on more than one occasion come into the comments in defence of a poor hapless feminist journalist against the criticism she is getting below the line from mainly men readers.

Whereas Girlwriteswhat and I have specifically identified feminism as the problem when it comes to gender wars. Or at least one major problem amongst a few. And we have identified the misandry inherent in feminist dogma, that is supposedly the ‘acceptable prejudice’.

Ally Fogg kept the feminists on side by saying Men’s Rights Activists display more misogyny than feminists display misandry. But he does not back up his claim with evidence. In the light of the forthcoming #radfem2012 conference which is not only misandry-fuelled but also transphobic, the work of Mark Simpson that points out how misandry goes unchecked in our culture, and the way ‘pro-men’ women such as me and Girlwriteswhat are treated by feminism,  I think Ally is wrong.

http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2012/05/theres_nothing

h/t redpesto