I am the kind of monster who build towns.
This is an extension of my earlier writing which is a response to a very intelligent woman gently writing about a very entitled man writing about a) his man-nerd-pain of being denied sex in his nerdolescence and b) serial sexual abusers being denied MIT’s resources.
My politics are personal, my personal political. But I am told: my trauma, my depression, my anxiety cannot be the basis of my work. The wounds I suffered can’t be acknowledge as my strength. I cannot point out when I am reasonably afraid or angry. It’s not allowed.
It is a real shame that Aaronson picked up Andrea Dworkin rather than any of the many feminist theorists and writers who manage to combine raw rage with refusal to resort to sexual shame as an instructive tool. (via article)
The woman – prude, hysteric, shrew – cannot base her work or writing on the real and lived trauma of male violence. I embrace my foster sisters who were sex repulsed due to sexual abuse. I recognize the young lesbians and the young aces. I applaud Dworkin’s testimony against her medical rape and childhood abuse. These women and girls have their angry painful reasons to never want the sexual attention of men. And these reasons are valid.
We were told repeatedly, we ugly, shy nerdy girls, that we were not even worthy of the category “woman”. It wasn’t just that we were too shy to approach anyone, although we were; it was that we knew if we did we’d be called crazy. (via article)
Some of us don’t want to approach any male and are labeled crazy on that basis.
These gendered marketing pitches by pharmaceutical companies built on earlier notions that single women, lesbian women, or inconveniently-opinionated women were pathological. Hysteria is the most obvious example but only a decade earlier, American single women, working women and “nonfeminine” women who chose not to be mothers, were pathologized in books like Modern Women: the Lost Sex that argued that women who wanted to leave the home were deeply ill. (Laurel Braitman, Animal Madness: A Natural History of Disorder, Thesis 2013)
To acknowledge that all of us are living in a world of sexual terror and to imagine a different way of living is to “weaponize shame.” Again, I’ll go hoarse shaming rapists and sexual abusers. I’ll lose friends for it, lose friends for hating male abuse and abusers. And, in a long tradition, I’ll be the monstrous hysteric for doing so.
Here’s one clue: most feminists, like most women generally, are straight, and date men. Many of the people leading his sexual-assault prevention workshops probably had boyfriends. Many of the feminist writers he read were married to men. (a parade of heterosexuality)
Heterosexuality gets trotted out. Women’s availability to men validates. The lesbian teachers are the minority, unfortunate evidence of the validity of woman-hating because they are not willing to date men. Stop it. I’m pissed and I want you to stop doing this same heterosexual turd soup dish-out.
There is a disgusting history of women shutting out the (lesbian) hysteric woman from feminist discourse. The woman who talks a little too loudly about hating men is never welcome. The woman who is honest about her anger at rape in her politics is worse still. The lavender menace is at once named, othered, and shut out. What sort of feminism is it to shut out Dworkin, the survivor of a rape and a self-identified lesbian? What sort of feminism is it to call the voicing anger and pain abusers weaponized shame? What sort of feminism is it to cut out the crazy, hysteric, mentally ill, neuro atypical women?
I’m that woman who heard women and young girls talk about their gendered sexual assault and rape and in turn hated abusive men. I’m part of that imaginary “cabal of man-hating feminists” who will never have sex with a man willingly. I am the ghostly affirmation of the lavender menace; I hate rapists; I’m anti-porn; I don’t want to be called a slut. I am hysterical for talking about male violence, angry or crying. Or perhaps, I am hysterical that I must still be talking about this.
A politic based on righteous anger at the sexual abuse of girls is real and valid. Women are labeled ugly, fat, crazy, shrewish, unloved if she speaks these truths and traumas.
Some of us learned we would never be desirable. And more than that: We don’t want to be desirable.
We don’t want men to accept us, date us, validate us, fuck us, consume us.
I don’t dream of shedding my skin. I dream of transforming the world around me, to one of empathy and compassion.
If you are a savage, stand up.
If you are a witch, a dark queen, a black knight,
If you are a mummer, a pixie, a sprite,
If you are a pirate, a tomcat, a wright,
If you swear by the moon and you fight the hard fight,
Come stand by me.
(via Valente’s LJ)