Open Letter

Unapologetically Yours

I don’t hate men. I might be less inclined to engage in sexual acts with a man than with anyone of any other gender, but the reasons for this are complicated, and have really nothing at all to do with misdirected hatred against the whole of men. Most of my friends are cisgendered, assigned male at birth, male-identifying men. Of all of them, I get into heated disputes with just one of them, and on infrequent occasions at that. He doesn’t take it personally, because he knows it’s about the ideas he subscribes to, not about him as an individual, and I put it behind me when I do whatever I need to do to purge my frustration (and sometimes, yes, anger too).

Sometimes I need to write to purge. Other times I simply need to change the subject or be alone. Once in a great while, I really just need a good furious wank — alone (I always feel better with a little flush in my cheeks).

I am neither a radical feminist, nor a radical cultural feminist or “radfem extremist”. I identify myself as (anarcha-)feminist, and I am perceived as a radical (in that, I am willing to push myself significantly further out of my comfort zone for my politics, than many others whose decisions would be used as a point of reference). My politics do not come from a time that pre-dates my very existence, and my commitment to my politics does not require me to emasculate or disempower men, or to refer to them and transwomen alike as eunuchs (a side of “radfem extremists” that deeply and personally offends me).

“Radfems” never speak for me. Though I feel that, at the time they became the instant (reviled) stereotype of feminists everywhere — again, before I was born on this planet — their message was deliberately overstated so as to incite people to radical speech and political action. But the time for this is long past. Many people were incited, alright. And if I were alive at the time, I’d have been one of the people getting angry at them. If I were there at the time, they’d have been attacking me because of my gender.

I refer to myself as a cunt, a shit-disturber, and a radical, because at various times and under various circumstances, these labels were all attributed to me by other people, and I embrace them. If standing up against sexual harassment makes me a cunt, so be it. If I’m a shit-disturber because I dare to think for myself, I’ll happily adopt that label. If I’m a radical because I don’t do anything half-assed when it comes to my politics, then paint me a radical. I am proud to stand by that label.

All these labels really mean is that I stand in opposition to spinelessness and high school drama. I am proud to take on these labels, and I am not afraid of being intimidating simply by virtue of having the strength to take a stand for what I believe in. And I will continue to take that stand as unapologetically as possible, as I have for longer than you could possibly know about.

I know you don’t get it yet, and I don’t care. I’m not waiting for you to “get it”. I stand for myself and for social justice — neither for nor with “radfems”. Nor simply to prove myself to other people. I am already proven by virtue of my existence.

There is not one unifying feminist political ideology or feminism. There are innumerable feminisms. I know you don’t care about that, and I think that’s rather unfortunate.

I can assure you, even though it’s clear your default setting is to ignore or dismiss anything I have to say on the matter, that while there is a minority of feminists and feminisms whose shared goals are to disempower, emasculate, and subordinate men, I do not share a movement with these individuals. They are a minority, and I think their goals are childish, cruel, and unsustainable. Their goals are not my goals.

I am not going to throw punches at you. But if you fight me, I will fight back. I suggest you simply not pick a fight you aren’t prepared to finish, because I don’t do anything half-way.

So go ahead. Play around with semantics and play-act character assassins, internet scientists, and armchair lawyers from in front of your computer monitor until you’re either content or exhausted. I have nothing to lose and you have nothing to gain from any of this (except an echo chamber, which as I understand it, is one of your favourite things).

Just look at all the fucks I give.

5 thoughts on “Unapologetically Yours

    • This guy’s argument is essentially that the only goal of all feminisms is to identify and eradicate patriarchal relationships between individual people.

      That’s just the stupidest thing I’ve ever wasted 10 minutes of my life listening to.

      Anyone else would feel the same way about it.

      And he produced the same problem in the statement he says so many people took issue with. Feminisms produce analysis of entire systems of interdependent privileges and oppressions — giving priority to the oppressions of the oppressed is not the same as denying the cost of privilege to the privileged. These are two different issues, and there are times and places for each one. But when one is having a conversation about young girls being held down and mutilated against their wishes, it is not the time to discuss infant boys being strapped to a table and having part of their penis removed.

      Why isn’t it the appropriate time? Because it’s just rude, first of all, and second of all, because male privilege exists (and it’s systemic, not merely between two individuals of different genders). It’s like interrupting me in the middle of a very serious discussion about what I’m going to do to stay safe and off the streets (I’ve lost my housing for the fourth time in ten years, despite fighting tooth and nail to keep it), to ask someone in the conversation about which version of the iPad they’re holding. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to understand why the magnitude of rudeness and influence of class privilege just isn’t as harmful if the roles were reversed.

      But it’s also because men get angry at women for not re-prioritizing an entire conversation about female genitalia, to talk about male genitalia instead. When men could be shifting the paradigm in which the urge to have this conversation exists — i.e., they could be thinking of infant male circumcision as a form of horizontal oppression, rather than thinking of it as a higher priority, more urgent, or somehow more important — women are trying to communicate how many orders of magnitude the suffering of young girls who are subjected to mutilatory acts of violence such as FGM actually is. And for the record, only anthropologists knew about this practice prior to the 1970s (and this is a gross over-simplification of the problem, and we have the World Health Organization for making sure that’s the default case for every conversation about this issue for the rest of time).

      No intellectually honest feminist is going to deny that oppressions against men exist. Nor would he/she deny that systemic patriarchy is harmful towards men. However, it is intellectually dishonest of anyone to suggest that the magnitudes are always the same, regardless of gender. And it is especially dishonest to blame women or feminists (or feminism — but what is an ideology without any followers to advance it) for the problems that effect men (especially those that arise from systemic patriarchy).

      And finally, it is egregiously intellectually dishonest to deny the existence of systemic patriarchy. It exists just as systemic classism and systemic racism exist. They are all systems of privilege and oppression that depend on one another to persist. And they cost us all.

      Thus, a lot of feminists (myself included) use the word kyriarchy. But I guess no one told this guy.

  1. So basically what you’re doing here is back-tracking, covering up what you did say and do and at the same time trying to come off as if you would never care enough to carry out such hypocritical action…

    High school kid, ay?

  2. If you really do want tochange, if you want to discuss or if you want to investigate the error or possible erroe of your ways, why don’t you come to JohntheOther’s channel or pinegrove33s channel…

    Talk to these people that you wrote so maliciously about, that you accused of violence, that you claimed fear you on a “physical” level… and let your voice be heard, because honestly, even tho you get under my skin, JUST A LITTLE, you seem to be possibly a well intentioned individual…

  3. Pingback: Four-Month Summary: Action Against Misogyny « HaifischGeweint

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