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Big Dyke from SF Dyke March

Big Dyke from SF Dyke March

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

From 'Dear Patriarchy-Die! She has the Power! On "Surviving the Agent" by Michele Braa-Heidner

I feel this is a VERY IMPORTANT piece about naming the agent of male violence against females, and how we as women, including even Lesbian women to a big extent accomodate our behaviors to survive under patriarchal rule and placate men so they will not harm us: whether physically, sexually, economically, intellectually or spiritually, or on any or all of those levels. We have been under rule so long, it's very hard to see our way out, and Michele's piece here is one way to see our way out of the lies, the smokescreens and distortions of the truth behind our situation as womyn. 

We can no longer afford the erasures, excuses or distortions of naming the agent of male violence against women. It is so comprehensive that it defines who we are, how we move in the world, what we are able to do and not do, and shrinks our powers, our opportunities and our abilities.

Here's to stepping out of our victimization, growing our Powers, seeing clearly through, defining ourSelves and names for our Selves, and trusting our deepest Knowings so we can expand  fully into who and what we are capable of being as females and as womyn!  Part of that ability to 'see through it all' I learned on not just intellectual but gut feeling and spiritual/psychic levels being on women's land every year, and being around and amongst women only during these times. It would take me about two days to unwind..and open up, and by the time we had to leave, I'd be completely psychically open. The saddest thing was leaving and having to go back to the prison of patriarchy. I became so much more intuitively/psychically powerful, creative, inspired, and open.  Hopefully we can all see our way through. And gain ALL our Powers and Abilities once again, trust one another and our deepest Intuitions and Knowings, and see the Truth for what it really is, not through male distortions.
                                             -In Sisterhood,

Surviving the Agent

24 Jun Our language and the way we name our world is not only extremely important, but also extremely revealing. When we analyze our language we find out many things about the culture that uses that language. In patriarchy, women are victims and to show women as victims is right, normal and beneficial for patriarchy. Female victimization is an integral part of patriarchy and without it, patriarchy would not exist. Patriarchy needs females to be victims. It needs females to feel like victims; otherwise, uppity females would stop their own enslavement. They would stop participating in patriarchy. They would wake up and realize that they are sleeping with the enemy. They would understand that they have Stockholm’s Syndrome and seek treatment and they would begin to stand up for themselves. Patriarchy and men cannot have this. Never naming the agent, male violence, is one tool in the patriarchal language box that works to oppress women. Language is a powerful tool that we take for granted as benign; however, it is anything but.  Language has a profound effect on our brains.
Graham wrote: “Language, like the affiliative qualities of women, is frequently disparaged in our culture. Language often is spoken of as “just words”, as if it had no power or reality. But Feminist science fiction (like literature generally) makes us aware of the true power language possesses to make or remake our worlds. A language will reflect the dominant language using group’s view of reality. And the controversy generated when the existing structures of and assumptions about a language are challenged by a subordinate group shows that language is anything but trivial.”
The beginning of the written language has the same origins as patriarchy, patriarchal religions and the rise of men, and with the written word the Bible was born. Language and words actually changed our brains and changed us.  I could go as far as saying that written language actually mimics our beliefs and ideals and vice-verse, much like religion and mythology. The language of patriarchy is no small thing. Hidden within this male language are ideals that are not female friendly; ideals that continue to oppress women internally and externally.  Women and men are taught to speak in very different ways and these differing ways are mirror images of patriarchal ideals.
Women learn to speak in the passive voice. Men learn to speak primarily in the assertive voice. Men speak from a place of “I” or identity, strong in the belief that they exist as independent human beings. Women rarely speak from a place of  “I” because they are not strong in the belief that they exist as independent human beings, quite the contrary, they speak from a place of non-existence, of invisibility because in a male dominated society women have had to survive men. Men obscure women in our society and men are the default for both male and female human beings and our language reflects this. In our language there are numerous literal examples of this mentality, the most blatant and the most detrimental for women are the message we receive with the labels or words that define us:
All of these words that we use to name females have within them male names. Moreover, these male names are complete, whole words. The parts that make the word female are incomplete add-ons to the male words and without them, they are only letters, passive appendages that amount to nothing on their own. This mirrors the idea in our society that women are not complete without men; that women are not autonomous human beings. Moreover, when women use these names to describe themselves, they internalize the meaning, and the meaning is devastating. 
Violence against women is a very good example of patriarchal language and the passive voice or what Mary Daly calls “male speak.” When we attempt to name the problem of male violence by truncating it and calling it violence against women, we do two profound things. On a language level, we take away the noun or referent, male that the word violence is dependent on. Without the referent, the perpetrator of the violence, the word violence is meaningless and rendered passive.  All human beings understand that violence doesn’t just happen, there has to be a violator. By amputating male from male violence, we then have a dependent word that is absent it’s referent thereby making our minds desperate to hang its hat on another referent, and devoid of any other choice we attach it to women. Thus, when we read, violence against women, our minds automatically albeit subconsciously, attach the missing violator onto women, ultimately blaming women for the violence against them.
Moreover, on a non-language level, when we amputate male from male violence we deny the existence of the perpetrator and we keep the conversation at the level of female victimization, ideas equally beneficial to patriarchy and the oppression of women. How can we solve male violence if we don’t even name it? We are essentially running in circles. We try to solve the issue without addressing the actual issue. Men are responsible for their violence, not women. When we attempt to name the problem with abstract words like; domestic violence, the war on women & violence against women, it has the opposite effect of erasing the actual problem–male violence.
When we hear the word domestic used to describe a type of violence, domestic becomes the perpetrator and since we all know that the realm of domesticity in patriarchy is considered to be a female realm, we automatically conjure up images of women, vacuuming, mopping, doing laundry, looking after children and so on; therefore, equating the word domestic with women. This yet again leads us to the conclusion that with domestic violence, women are the perpetrators and the victims. In other words, women must have done something to deserve the violence. Moreover, since women and domesticity are not relevant in our society, neither is domestic violence, the problem is circular;  women violence, violence women, she deserves violence therefore violence deserves her, it is a snake feeding on its own tail.
Similarly, when we name male violence, the war on women, we again hide the actual problem, which is male violence. This works in two negating ways.  On both levels, language and otherwise, the war, points to an absent referent — the actual enemy that is waging the war — men. We have again caused a language deficit, therefore the war must seek out and attach itself to a referent or subject, which is women.  This implies that the war on women is a war that women created, women fight and women are victims too, another circular appeal–like a rat on a wheel–expending energy but never actually going anywhere.  We are speaking about male violence in a way that denies it.  It stunts the conversation at the level of female victimization, which in patriarchy is normalized and thereby invisible. When we hear the war, we should ask, what war? Who or what is waging this mysterious war, but we don’t, because the war is on women and nobody gives a damn about women!  The war on women then becomes a pesky little issue that women have and therefore need to solve, who cares if it is men who are waging this war, apparently that doesn’t matter.  Men waging war against women is just a part of patriarchy.
Not only have men enslaved women, but they have also created a misogynist language that alienates and demeans women every time they read or utter a word of it; a language that works like an eraser, erasing them slowly over time. Sometimes it’s prudent to ask oneself, why is it perfectly OK to include women in the attempt to name the problem, but not men, when it is men who are the problem? Violence against women, domestic violence and the war on women, silently, passively and from obscurity shout about the victimization of women, the dehumanizing of women, the blaming of women for male violence.  The language women are forced to use is, like women who must survive in patriarchy, gagged, like a woman who’s had her tongue cut out,  trying to scream a soundless scream.  Even in an attempt to solve the problem of male violence, women use the passive voice, the voice of the female victim, the female subordinate, the female subservient to talk about male violence. We do this because we don’t really want to solve it if it entails naming men as the problem. This is a symptom of Stockholm’s Syndrome, a well honed defense mechanism, to survive male violence.
It is quite ironic really, women trying to solve a problem without actually naming the problem, but ironic or not this is a symptom of terror. It is a learned survival behavior.  By denying that men are the problem, they are able to continue living with them hoping that they can continue to control at least his violence through subservience and femininity and with the false belief that her man will protect her from other men.  The passive descriptions, Violence, domestic & the war hang there detached without even a hint or suggestion that there is a hammer, attached to a hand, attached to an arm, attached to a man that is systematically bludgeoning women.
Dee L. R. Graham wrote in her book, Loving to Survive, Sexual Terror, Men’s Violence and Women’s Lives:
When women deny men’s violence against us, it is impossible for us to recognize that violence is an effort to maintain male domination, female submissiveness, and possibly even female love of men. Denial of male violence makes it impossible for women to recognize, much less understand, that our love of men and our (adopted) femininity may be attempts to limit men’s abuse of women. Denial of male violence also precludes the taking of steps to end violence.
Women have been conditioned through male violence and social pressure to ensure that men are happy or at least not angry because an angry man is a dangerous man and a dangerous man is not conducive to female survival. This survival instinct is hard wired into women due to thousands of years of male violence against women and even today it dictates all of our interactions with men.  Women have learned that if they want to survive they must decipher male moods and then administer salve or whatever is needed to make them less violent.  To do this women have had to take responsibility for men’s moods, feelings & behaviors.  This is even more complicated by the fact that women are taught that they don’t matter. Their identity only counts if their identity is supporting the male identity. Women cannot have an identity or self of her own. Consequently, women have learned to feel an extreme sense of responsibility for men:
Captive Is Hypervigilant Regarding the Captor’s Needs and Seeks to Keep the Captor Happy. In the Service of Keeping the Captor Happy, Captive Tries to “Get Inside the Captor’s Head.
To survive men, women have learned to navigate male moods and to do this, they have learned to empathize with a capital “E”.  Women empathize with men to such a degree that they take on male pain as if it were there own.  Women for the most part aren’t aware that this is hard wired into them. If I hadn’t read,  “Loving to Survive” by Dee L. Graham, I too would not have been aware that I was doing this myself.  I’ve always wondered why when I see a man, even a complete stranger cry, I feel like crying too. It tugs on my heart strings and I feel responsible for making him feel better. I realize now what this means. The very idea that I feel responsible for male pain and worse, that I do not feel this at all when I see a woman cry, makes perfect sense now. Knowing this however doesn’t feel very good. It makes me cringe inside. But there it is, patriarchal survival 101, and even I, a radical feminist, can’t escape it.
Because I am a woman, who must survive in a male dominated world, I have an investment in making sure men are less violent.  The need to decipher the male mood and work towards keeping them less violent is what women have done and continue to do because they believe that they can make a difference, that if they do everything right, if they are subservient enough, kind enough, loving enough, selfless enough, they can change him into a better human being. This belief is what keeps women from going off the deep end; regardless of whether or not it is true. Women need to feel safe, to have some sense of security even if this safety and security is an illusion. Women need to understand this phenomenon. Women need to understand why they behave the way they do. Why they ring their hands and feel responsible for men’s feelings and behaviors and why they stay with abusive men. It is all connected and if women understood this, they could take steps towards realizing that they too are sick with this disorder and would feel less compassion for men and more compassion for themselves and other women.  Ignorance in this case is only bliss for men, not women.  Ignorance also makes women less compassionate for other women who we see catering to their men.
Before coming across this knowledge, when I saw women doing this, walking on eggshells, catering to men, I would cringe because (or so I thought) it rubbed my radical feminist sensibility the wrong way; however, now even though subtle, I realize that I do the same thing when I interact with men. I also realized that it wasn’t about me being a radical feminist, but instead, me judging other women was a projection of my own self loathing. On the surface, it looks like women are needy and need male attention and approval. It may even look like compassion, but if you look deeper, you will find that this behavior comes from the need to survive male violence.  To survive, women must take on their abusers perception, get inside their heads in an effort to control their abuse,  in order to feel safer, they ultimately lose their own perspective and begin seeing themselves through men’s perspective.
“Captor Sees the World from the Captor’s Perspective. She or He May not Have Her or His Own Perspective. Captive Experiences Own Sense of Self through the Captor’s Eyes.”
Women believe that their best chance of survival, although brutal and painful, is to stay with the men they know (literally).  Knowing their men then replaces their own sense of safety, their fight or flight instincts.  Women then believe that men’s behaviors including abuse is their fault.  If men lash out at women ( non persons)  women are at fault because they are seeing themselves through their abusers eyes and instead of it being their abusers fault, she takes responsibility for it because she must have done something wrong to make him act that way.  She wasn’t timid enough, nice enough or what have you; therefore, it was her fault. Women blame themselves because they failed at doing the one thing they have learned to do for survival and that is to keep their men less violent.
Women also feel that it would be more dangerous to leave the male batterer that they know, then to be out in the world without protection from other men. She chooses instead to stay with him, wanting to believe that even though he is violent and even though he hurts her emotionally and physically, amongst a sea of male violence, he is her life preserver. She probably also knows that when she leaves him, he could hunt her down and kill her, which is quite common due to the lack of protection provided to women in our society. Ironically, men created the nuclear family to isolate women to ensure female subservience and complicity, and this arrangement has benefited men in many ways. What men did not bargain on was the female tenacity to survive and what these survival tactics would look like.
Women have had to become invisible to survive for thousands of years and taking that first step out of bondage, by letting go of what they believe is their life preserver (men) is frightening. So with this mentality, most women don’t rock the boat.  Most women don’t name the perpetrator and men continue to get away with violating women. In this insane world, women try to work on the problem that is male violence while at the same time hanging on to their life preserver for dear life. I’ve always argued that women temper male violence. That in places where there are no women such as male prisons and where women have no rights or power, where they are disenfranchised the most such as the Taliban in the Middle East, men are the most violent.  When men are left to their own devices, they tend to transgress into barbarians. And although my argument is true, my reasoning on why women are able to temper male violence was incomplete, because I didn’t have all of the information needed to really understand why. The reason of course is because in places where women are allowed even the minimum of rights, such as domestic rights and the right to emotionally support their husbands, women go to extremes to make men less violent.
One of the captor behaviors I’ve noticed in women is the aversion to defending themselves against male violence. I’ve consistently been bewildered by this because it just doesn’t make sense why any human being would not defend themselves against a threat of violence.  However, bewildered or not whenever I voiced my opinion about women needing to defend themselves by any means possible, I get women who oppose this idea vehemently.  Now that I am armed with more knowledge and I understand the symptoms and behaviors of  Stockholm’s Syndrome,  I am no longer puzzled about this phenomenon.  Because women have had to see the world from the captor’s perspective and not through her own perspective to ensure her own safety, the idea of harming men then is like harming themselves because their perception has been displaced into the male perception. Women more often then not, see their world through male eyes.  Consequently, the idea of women shooting men, even if doing it will save their lives, is uncomfortable. To shoot men, would be like shooting themselves because their sense of self is in men.
Defending themselves against male violence then is shot down because if women admit there is a threat or admit that they need to defend their lives they would have to admit that they are not safe regardless of their tireless efforts, which means it was all for naught and they have failed.  Women would then feel a loss of control, the false control they think they have gained by being subservient and feminine, being what men have trained them to be.  Over time women have evolved to believe that fighting men with violence doesn’t work. They understand on a deep level that it is like shooting a bear with a be be gun and it will most likely just anger them and the beating will be even worse; so women have learned not to fight back. Women believe that the only way to survive their predicament is to do what women have done for thousands of years, acquiesce, be nice, smooth things over, calm him down, be invisible. This is what works, this is what has always worked and doing anything other than this is —DANGEROUS.  This of course is an illusion but there it is. So when women oppose or refuse to fight men, we can understand why.
I now have so much more empathy and compassion for myself and other women because of my new understanding. Male violence is so normalized in patriarchy that we don’t even realize how much it affects our reality and daily lives. It’s like white noise in the background. But the truth is, it affects us tremendously and women have evolved in a specific way because of it.  Women are what we are today because of male violence, not in spite of it. Women’s behaviors then are dictated by the need to survive and the need to survive dictates that we keep men from being angry and violent. Everyone knows that women are very good manipulators. Everyone knows that women manipulate  to get “what they want” , believing that women do this out of selfishness.  What if this ability has evolved to keep men from victimizing us?  What if for women, getting “what they want” was about staying alive?
I’ve noticed that myself and others get extremely irritated when they see women manipulating others in real life, in the movies or on TV.  What is interesting is that women who manipulate are virulently hated, even though men are getting what they want by physical violence. It is extremely ironic. It really is ridiculous to believe manipulation is worse than physical violence, but we live in a male world and everything men do is revered, even violence and everything women do is frowned upon.  Men created the nuclear family to isolate and control women; however, there have been secondary ramifications of separating women from other women and pairing them up with men. Men did it to control women; and this has certainly been one result; however, their has been other results that may not have been foreseen. In the Nuclear family arena, women are better able to manipulate one man– their man — and control his behavior–even if they can’t do so outside the home. The home then becomes a woman’s control zone which equals safety and even if their husband or boyfriend beats them, it is a danger that they believe they can control. Women put all of the emphasis on herself. She takes responsibility for her behavior and his therefore she alone has control over the situation, the abuse. This is all an illusion of course but you can’t fault women for trying. Since women for the most part are less physically strong then men, they have and continue to fight them the only way they can through emotional manipulation.  Women are practiced in the art of emoting, men are not. In the emotional arena, women feel that they can prevail against men.
Patriarchy, horrible as it is, is probably tame compared to a patriarchy without women. Imagine what our world would be like if men were left to their own violent devices?  Would human beings have survived? In my opinion the male ego, entitlement and his lack of empathy for other human beings will be his ruin.  Men know that women without the dominance of men, would begin to wake up and realize the amount of energy they are putting into surviving men.  Men know that women would figure out that the energy they expend making sure men are less violent, could be spent on more important things. Men know that women who gather together are more likely to rebel.  What men don’t know, because in order to come by this knowing they would actually have to see and understand women for who and what they are instead of what they do for him, is that women have actually gained an advantage and that is the ability to manipulate men.  Because men have depended on women to temper their moods, they have limited capacity for doing this themselves; therefore, if women did decide to boycott men, take their energy back, separate from men and fight back, men would devolve into apes, after all men without women are at best, very much like the common chimpanzee.  Human evolution has been stagnant since the dawn of patriarchy and the only reason we have evolved at all is because of women, not in spite of them.
The answer? In my opinion, women need to understand why they behave the way they do and realize their behavior, although it was out of the need to survive male violence, is not actually stopping men from being violent. Women also need to realize the amount of power they have given men when they lose their own sense of self or perception in order to feel as if they can control men by being in their perception. Women need to wake up to the fact that men are going to be violent towards women regardless of what we do and that maybe, just maybe, female subordination and femininity is not healthy or a deterrent to male violence. If  women stop believing in the illusion that they can control male violence and that it is their fault if they can’t, they can begin to get out from under their denial, out from under the male perspective, their captors perspective and into their own perspective, ultimately seeing the epidemic of male violence against women for what it is, a serious threat. Then women can take steps towards protecting themselves and other women from that threat. Whether they purchase guns, learn how to use them and carry them on their person, or whether they choose other ways to defend themselves, the important thing is that women choose to protect their lives instead of continuing to protect men.
Michele Braa-Heidner

Here's my response to her on her blog: "June 26, 2013 at 3:00 am #
Wow! EXCELLENT ARTICLE! All I can say is: Thank Goddess I’m a Lesbian! I’ve been able to resist this all my life, and my family, outsiders, men and even some women have hated me for doing so. I’ve been Tomboy grow up to be Butch almost all my life…ever since I rejected dolls at age 7, dresses at age 10, and telling my grandfather I never wanted to marry(a man), or have children at age 12. How did I KNOW these things? I sensed this inequity at a very young age, and did my best to thoroughly resist it as much as possible, even when pressured to ‘give in’. I’m also glad I got into the Martial Arts at age 14, because I was able to defend myself in a way many women unfortunately cannot, but I think is so important for them to have the skills and confidence to be able to do so. It also empowered me to resist these messages.
I see another thing from male language and media: the man’s voice is always one of authority, of control, of expertise, and women’s voices are depicted as needy, housewifey, silly, or not to be taken as seriously. I’m so sick of the ‘man as expert/authority’ thing, but almost every ad, and certainly when it comes to the news and reporting, or announcements, there’s that male voice come on that’s ‘the expert’. I’m sure women reporters are up against this all the time, to make their voices equally as ‘weighty’ but they never can fully achieve it in a patriarchy.
When I teach Amazon mysteries and Self defense, in the ritual part, I get women to take on the POWER of Female animals willing to defend their young, or each other, whether it be the Bear, the Lionness, the Wolf, ect…..to get into their feral untamed Wildwomon Amazonian natures…..their Primal Female Selves, where they can FEEL their Power viscerally. Also by practicing kicks and punches on the bag, to feel their power in their bodies, to embody it…so many womyn are disconnected from their bodies. Sometimes due to sexual or physical violence, sometimes due to the huge expectations of what’s expected of a female body(thin, look a certain way, have a certain kind of cosmetic surgery if you don’t conform, ect.)
I agree women have been invisible for far too long…yours is a profoundly powerful article. May I repost it on my blog, all credit to you of course. Even as a Dyke, our sexuality is not our own(men think Lesbians are ok with a male present or wanting to watch, NO!!) or for het/bi women it’s about THEIR desire, everything in this world is used to service men, and if you don’t you won’t be employed, you won’t be rewarded, you will be villified in every manner possible, and the ultimate punishment is sexual or physical violence. (Corrective rape against Lesbians, physical violence against women who don’t conform/obey).
Men run most of the world’s religions, which are their institutions to continue to shame us and keep us in line, they own most of the corporations, run the governments, have the lion’s share of money, opportunities, good paying jobs and they do their best to keep us down, impoverished and out of the most lucrative positions and positions of power.
I absolutely agree: having been in the nontraditional trades, often in male only environments with very few or no other females, it is a rough, grey world with few amenities, threats to each other around staying working, competitiveness vs cooperation and dog eat dog…they keep their bathrooms and spaces messy and have to be told by supervisors to clean them up. EVERY woman who comes on the job, humanizes the job to a degree…they start cleaning up their language, stop telling some of the most offensive jokes, ect. The BIGGEST threat to men is when women organize, have our OWN groups, conferences, ect. and always there’s the conflict between women who want to keep our groups/conferences strictly women only, and those who want to let the menz in….and the menz are constantly agitating to be let in, like they want to look through the peephole in the bathroom as to what the women are doing…..they ALWAYS want to keep tabs on us, and/or have other women who WILL keep tabs on us report back to them, or allow them in. They deny us private space AWAY from them, while maintaining their own.
I also loved you naming the English words for womonhood….and I’d sure like to know some alternatives. I HATE FeMale…because you hear male in it…I try to spell womon, womon or womyn, especially if I’m talking about Lesbian or nonpatriarchal womyn…but my FAVORITE words are Dyke and Amazon…or for me, DykeAmazon, because NEITHER refers to men, within either word!
Anyway thank you very much for your article and let me know if it is ok to put it on my blog DykesforDykes, all credit to you!
-In Sisterhood,

Jennifer Higdon's 'Blue Cathedral', Lesbian Composer



Lesbian composer's biggest work: 'Blue Cathedral'

Another exciting piece:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QHswhQ2OEU&feature=endscreen
"Concerto por Orchestra"


Okay, I will be editing this many a time. While I don't have the energy at the moment to take this huge subject on, I'd love to hear comments, and I WILL be taking it on shortly. So therefore, THIS particular post will be amended, till I answer this question for myself to my personal satisfaction. But while I'm working on it, I'm open to all your opinions. This question was originally asked in Radical Feminist Coffeehouse Uncensored on Facebook. -M.A.

Generic Drug Companies Get Even More Immunity From The Roberts Five

Beware what drugs you take, especially if they are generics!

Generic Drug Companies Get Even More Immunity From The Roberts Five: pMonday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling immunizing drug companies from lawsuit for egregious injuries wasn’t terribly surprising for those who have been following along. Two years ago, in a case called PLIVA v. Mensing, the U.S. Supreme Court held that generic drug companies were largely immune from lawsuits alleging their failure to warn of harmful consequences. [...]/p

How The Supreme Court Stomped On Workers’ Rights Today

This has very grave consequences for women in the Trades-M.A.

How The Supreme Court Stomped On Workers’ Rights Today: Monday was a great day for sexual harassers and for bosses who retaliate against workers claiming discrimination. The rest of us did not fare so well in the Supreme Court. While most Court watchers will likely focus on the narrower-than-expected decision in the Fisher affirmative action case, the most lasting impact of today’s decisions likely [...]/p

Friday, June 21, 2013

Michigan Womyn's Music Festival Supporter and her eloquent words!

A Letter to My Community Regarding the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival

by Sara St Martin Lynne (Notes) on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 5:03pm

I came out in 1990. I was sixteen years old. The term “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” gave me a certain power as I walked the hallways of my rural high school with my favorite girl. It spoke to a knowing that I had community, and that I had decided to not be ashamed – even as said girl and I got shoved around, verbally harassed and punished by our parents. It provided me with a slogan that made me feel like I had strength in numbers. It gave me a framework to understand and celebrate my outsider status.

That was more than half my lifetime ago now. Since then, I have been deeply involved in the issues of my LGBT community. I have spoken on LGBT panels at high schools and in churches. I have done AIDS outreach in bars and on railroad tracks. I have organized rallies.  I have attended rallies. I have donated money. I have attended too many vigils for our dead. I have sat through endless coalition meetings. I have celebrated with you. I have mourned with you. I have shown up.  I am not bringing this up for the sake of being self-congratulatory. I am bringing this up to say that this community raised me. And to say that I never imagined I would find myself standing on what appears to be the wrong side of the line with this community– especially as it relates to our shared and unique LGBT liberation movements. Then I fell in love with the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.

Like many women who love the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, I have been deeply troubled over what is happening within the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival community. Yes, we are wrestling with a definition of woman that upholds the significance of socialized experience as well as self-identification. No, this has not been easy. We are a community of women with a lot of varying thoughts, beliefs and convictions. We do our best to listen to one another respectfully. We have been called upon by women inside of our community and by the larger community to examine the boundaries of our autonomous space. We are doing that, pretty much 24 hours a day. I can guarantee you that no other conscious community is working harder or thinking more about the politics of women’s autonomous space than the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival community. We have engaged each other in heated conversations, we have brought one another to tears at times, and some of us have made the very hard decision to step away while some of us have made an even deeper commitment to the sustainability of the festival regardless of our position on the inclusion of trans identified women at the festival.  In the context of these interactions, there is a general understanding that while two women may not agree on this topic (or the myriad of others that have come up over the years),that each woman has a common love and respect for the festival and a desire to contribute to the community in a way that will benefit everyone involved. I have friends who have told me that while they may disagree with me, that they love and respect me all the more for my participation and voice in our discussions. I feel their love and respect. I believe them. And I love and respect them back.

For the most part, I have chosen to engage with friends and in face-to-face conversations  with people in my community rather than lend my voice to the multitude of threads and “debates” about the festival that are taking place all over the Internet. I have had a couple experiences recently that have changed my mind.

The first of these experiences was reading an article that was recently published in “The Advocate” entitled “Is It Wrong to Play Michfest?” In this article, the producer of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival was referred to as a “liar” and compared to George Wallace. There is a loud voice in our LGBT community that is actively calling for the villainization and defamation of a woman who has devoted her entire adult life and career to building up, creating and sustaining a place of safety, strength and celebration of the women who make up a large percentage of the LGBT community. The effort to erase her work and reduce her legacy to that of a public enemy of the LGBT community, a “bigot” and a“false feminist” (are you kidding me?!) is ridiculous, cruel, appalling and simply not acceptable. Whether you agree with her feminist politics or not, Lisa Vogel deservesa whole hell of a lot more respect than that.

Then I received a series of private messages on Facebook in response to a statement I publically posted on a page called “Allies in Understanding” The first message simply said, “I am anti-Michigan and I did not like your post.” Another that said “Not at all” and another claiming “We will succeed at tearing that place down”. It is relevant to mention that nowhere in my post did I even make mention of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. It is not the first time I have heard the term “anti-Michigan” or seen threats about “tearing it down”. Those messages did get me thinking though and they ultimately inspired me to write this letter.

Yes, this is addressed to the person who sent me those messages, but I am also addressing this to the larger LGBT community. Why? Because recently there has been a tremendous amount of very bad behavior that is being celebrated, supported and carried out in the name of LGBT activism. I am addressing this to the larger community because so many of you have entitled yourself to weigh in on the current controversy surrounding the festival, but almost no one (outside of the Michfest community) has been compelled to speak up when someone has made threats of violence or rape against the women in our shared community - under the name of “equality” and “civil rights”. People in our own LGBT community are calling lesbians “irrelevant”, “stupid”, “outdated” and “un-evolved”. We are being told that we deserve to “be beheaded” and “raped by woman-born-dicks”. We are being invited to “evolve or die”, “fuck off” and to “go die in a fire” and so much more. This abuse is happening in public forums on the Internet and in the comment sections of mainstream LGBT news outlets. No one is saying a damn thing about it, unless it is to say that we have brought this upon ourselves by our own fear and bigotry. Part of the painful irony of these hateful messages is they all come in the name of gaining entrance to a space where women have gone to seek refuge from this kind of hateful messaging, let alone very real threats that often accompany it. My dear LGBT community, how is this acceptable you? Your silence is a betrayal. Your silence makes you complicit in the damage and injury that is being caused. I am holding you accountable.

To reduce and neglect the scope and significance of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and the contribution it has made to the lives of thousandsof women in the LGBT community is unjust and irresponsible. The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival is far more than the sum of this current hurtful and divisive situation. For 38 years, The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival has been a constant evolving exercise in radical hospitality. For thousands upon thousands of women, it has been a place of acceptance, safety and love unparallel to any other place in the world. The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival is a place that has devoted its entire existence to building community, promoting female artists and empowering women and girls. It has always been and continues to be a place that houses and celebrates all forms of female gender presentation and female bodies. It is a place that has taken itself to task on the issues of racism, classism, ableism and ageism. It is a music festival that has repeatedly forgone corporate sponsors and still manages to provide the nutritious meals that are included in the price of a festival ticket for every single woman who attends. This all-inclusive ticket also entitles every woman on the land to community health care, childcare, emotional support, and workshops. ASL interpreters interpret every set of every single stage at Michfest. Every communal space is wheelchair accessible, made so by women who get on their hands and knees in the blazing sun (or pouring rain) and drive nails into the ground through upside down carpets. Great effort is taken to make sure that every woman on that land knows that she is wanted, that she is welcome and that she is precious among us. It continues to be a place that prioritizes the environment and care for the land that the festival is built on. Every single piece of garbage gets picked up by hand. In the months between festivals there is not a trace of festivity left behind. I almost resisted the urge to contrast this to some of the disgusting messes I have seen in the wake of some of our Dyke Marches and Pride Celebrations, but I will not. We take pride in cleaning up after ourselves. Yes, we have a great time in those woods, but oh how this community has worked and continues to do so.

I am not ashamed of my love for the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. I am not ashamed of the community of women who embody the spirit of it. There is too much to love, too much to be proud of, too much at stake and too much to work toward still. To me, a larger LGBT community that does not comprehend or acknowledge the value of a place like the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival has not evolved itself out of the need for it. The erasure of one of the most radical and revolutionary spaces on this earth is not a revolution I will ever embrace. To work towards the extinction of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival with no regard for her legacy, complexity and relevance or history is short sited, selfish and careless. I will work so hard to see that this festival survives any best efforts to “tear it down”.  I will do this with my words, my actions and my checkbook, just like this community has taught me to do when something matters deeply.


Solar Airship


"Recognizing Christian Privilege"


THANK YOU for this. As one raised Jewish and a JewWitch, honoring my Jewish heritage while practicing my Goddess beliefs and ritual, connecting with other women and founding my own Amazon Tradition, my problem is that in so many womyn's circles, they are still reacting to xtianity and including aspects of it in their beliefs so much that I often feel uncomfortable in a circle, and sometimes neigh invisible because they never go deep or far enough. I don't have interest in Mary Magdelene or any xtian beliefs whatsoever because I've ALWAYS been an 'other' religion. I'm not reacting and overcoming Catholicism, repressive fundamentalist religion, or any of the sort. I was raised in NYC in a liberal reform Jewish household, a Jewish father  born and raised in NYC and xtian mother from the deep south....an inter'racial'/ethnic household. Even though she converted to Judaism for our sake, so we could be raised Jewish, she never believed in it, and turned against Jews once my father divorced her. Much of our celebration of the holidays and Jewish ethnic pride came from my grandparents who we visited every weekend, and stayed with every holiday and during the summers in Brooklyn.

Coming into women's spirituality, I've always questioned things, I'm deeply mystical, I study, study, study and have many books on women's spirituality. I don't take ANYTHING on 'faith'. I have to experience it for myself. Unfortunately there has been so many reform aspects to the women's spirituality movement that they don't go nearly far back enough for me, don't unpack many of their xtian assumptions and privileges, don't do the research to ancient Goddess times. If xtians have to go back 2000 years to find a 'prechristian' past, Jews have to go back much  much further than that. Perhaps that's why I find the Ancient Amazons attractive, Greek mythology, which I studied way more in grade school than my own Jewish religion, and adopted almost as my own back then when my primary Goddess 'called' to me. I simply could not stop studying Greek mythology, because I so craved Female Diety and spiritual imagery, or about the Ancient Amazons. She called to me in the 5th grade, and has called ever since. Also I am hugely attracted to the Primal Ancient Mothers preceding ALL patriarchal religion. The powerful Venus of Willendorf, Sleeping Goddess, huge gargantuan primal Goddess images going back 30,000 years.

I won't go to a 'WomanChurch'  or use any form of crosses in my spirituality, whether it be 4 directional crosses, Celtic or Solar Crosses. I have a huge aversion to these. It took many, many years till I could tolerate Egyptian imagery, having been raised on the powerful story of the Exodus from Egypt and into Freedom for the Jews, in the Passover story, which I really value as part of my Jewish heritage. Passover is an important holiday to me, and one of the few my family regularly got together and celebrated. I also went to Feminist, Gay and LeatherDyke versions of the Passover Seder, so for many years I worshipped with women or primarily women in these, and it was jarring to do a Passover Seder led by my Dad which was entirely patriarchal. Nor could he or his wife acknowledge my need to only use FEMALE nouns and pronouns for a Higher Power. Something I do in A.A. meetings, but I will NOT acknowledge them in any religious service(male nouns/pronouns). Or something generic LIKE "Higher Power" that folks can attach any gender they want onto it...or imagery.

These are things that most Goddess women who are xtian raised don't get and don't completely understand. They bring their xtian assumptions right in with them, especially if they are newer and haven't unpacked alot of these assumptions, or done their ancient Goddess research. The Goddess is not 'God in a dress'. Nor does She need to be a deity of sacrifice. I like the Charge of the Star Goddess for this when she says "I demand aught of sacrifice"....that whole penance and suffering  martyrdom thing so endemic to much of Christianity. "Get off the cross, we need the wood."

I could say much much more, but I will say I much prefer it when I circle with womyn from varying backgrounds, including Jewish and Native American. It brings greater balance and perspective with others who can counter xtian assumptions and practices, and get to the deep deep roots of magick, ritual, Witchcraft, and honoring of the Sacred Female within and without..and it's always important to do our magical studies and research to further develop our skills, something I know I internally get from my Jewish roots and the thirst for knowledge and connection around Jewish mysticism and scholarly study. I want my belief to have some connection with what went before, even if I have to look back as far as 3000-30,000 years ago! Then once having done that research, I want to 'let go' and ritual and experience the right brain ecstasy and joy of deep deep spiritual connection as my DykeAmazon Wildwomon Self, and KNOW I am not alone in this!

There is always more to learn, and never take anything a human says at face value, I always question! And experience the ecstasy and joy for myself, much like the Chasids dance together in their ecstasy and joy, in my case, my mysteries are shared with womyn only and for full female empowerment and connection with Goddess and Sacred Female worldwide in connection with MOther Earth and Her cycles!                         -In Sisterhood, FeistyAmazon

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kids transifying at young ages: another straitjacket


Disturbing. So there will be no more tomboy girls then? I was a hardcore tomboy, I never fit in, I hated my femaleness because it held me back from the fun things boys did. Yes, I was made fun of. I refused dresses and skirts and girly things, but neither did I want to be one of the boys especially in school because so many of them were bullies.

Outside of school, I played mostly with other boys, and they constantly wanted me to 'prove' I was male like them. So I often did at the end of my fists. I refused to reveal my body parts, the way they so easily did to 'prove' their maleness. So, everyone in school is going to conform to the 'girl' role or the 'boy' role, and you won't have sensitive nonmasculine boys or hardcore tomboy girls like myself anymore who DEFY these very roles.

Having a boy who is identifying as a girl with a penis in a girls' bathroom would be frightening to many of the girls. And I worry about this girl who is identifying as a boy in boys' bathrooms, and her sexual safety. It may not be a problem at her age now, but certainly would be once kids start sexually maturing in junior high/high school and she could be subject to sexual assault for not having conforming body parts to the outer identity.

I'm all for boys/girls/ AND gender neutral bathrooms, so kids and adults can feel comfortable and be safe in the bathroom that best suits them.

The pressure to conform is enormous. Whether it's  'transkid' conforming to the OPPOSITE sex role, or a regular kid. But it invisibilizes and continues the sexism of the roles in the first place by eliminating the kids that don't want to transify, or don't want to conform: boys with long hair and more 'girly' interests or who like colors and bling, and girls like myself who like boys' things, boys clothes, but never had the hardness in emotion or personality boys are expected to have. I never wanted the penis, only the privilege boys were allowed, and not to be limited to the domestic sphere like most of the girls gameplaying imitates.

This doesn't really free anyone to further be themselves. IT just puts them in another straitjacket.

Blocked on Facebook? Censorship is alive and well

I have been blocked on Facebook for sharing my opinion below in a group:

Trans 'men' are still bio females, trans 'women are still bio males. Hormones change alot of the FTM's as they become more aggressive and identify more and more with bio males. This IS oppressive, but I understand the want and need to escape the 'female condition' as evidenced by the teen and early 20 somethings on Youtube video after Youtube video on their 'transformation'. Not this many individuals are truly, truly Trans. They are trying to escape the Female condition, and Female oppression. As far as I can see, AS a lifetime Butch Dyke, I see 'genderqueer' as another term for Butch without owning true Butch herstory, wanting some of the male privilege, while still wanting full access to Lesbian and women's spaces....and MTF's NEVER really leave behind their male backgrounds or their male privilege as evidenced by their behavior towards bio female Lesbians and women as a whole. -MasterAmazon

Monday, June 10, 2013

From Sisterhood is Powerful blog





Radical Feminist Resistence


by rubyfruit2

On Friday 7 June 2013, a group of radical feminist activists went into the heart of London to reclaim our right to meet as females. On the eve of the first openly held women’s liberation conference in decades, women gathered in the busiest railway station in the UK.
female meeting space
We were there to celebrate our triumph at meeting together in a large women-only space – despite all the obstacles thrown in our way before we could get there. They included: wrongly asserting that females meeting together, without men, is unlawful; falsely stating in the social media that our politics is violent and hateful; accusing our speakers of “hate speech” and calling for them to be “no platformed” simply for critiquing gender; naming truths about male violence; intimidating venues into cancelling our conference and anonymously threatening our organisers and attendees with violence and rape.
We circled a statue called “The Meeting Place” a symbol of heterosexual normality. The 9 metre high statue represents the acceptable face of patriarchy – men and women publicly embracing and united. We gathered at that statue to say, publicly and loudly, that females meeting together, embracing and united, is a basic right. And yet it is so threatening to patriarchy, that, in 2013, 100 years after the violent struggle for the vote, we are continuously censored, silenced, intimidated, when we say we’ll be meeting.
We want to name our truths as females socialised in a world where women are oppressed, tortured, killed, raped, sexually assaulted, prostituted and exploited as a social norm. Men do not want us to name these truths. They tell us, if we do so at all, we must discuss male violence “underground”, in secrecy and in fear. We will not allow men to tell us we can’t be together without them. We will not allow men to dictate the boundaries of our movement. It is our basic right to decide for ourselves and we will claim it.
silent no more (2)
On Friday 7 June, at St Pancras, opposite the venue for the 2013 women’s liberation conference, and round the corner to where Emily Davison was commemorated for dedicating her life to women, almost 100 years to the day, we read this rights of women statement:
First woman: Today, in the 21st century, in 2013, 100 years after Emily Davison died fighting for the vote, women’s rights to politically organise are under attack. There are moments in history when women have to fight for our basic rights. Today is one of those moments. Women now, and in the past, fight for the right to be educated and take part in democracy. Today, we are fighting for our right to meet as females. The law, calls of bigotry, lies and smears, are used by men to shut us down. Extremist male groups try to intimidate us and anyone who supports us. We are here, today, at St Pancras “meeting place” statue to say together, to say out loud, that we will not be silenced. We will claim our rights.
This is our rights of women statement which we, revolutionary feminists, read to you today, on the 7 June, 2013, St Pancras, London.
We have a right to meet together as women
We have a right to claim women-only space
We have a right to state that “gender” benefits men at the expense of women
We have a right to critique gender ( and to state that swapping or “playing with” gender does not change the fact that men have power and control within society)
We have a lawful right to meet under the Human Rights Act and under the equality act – and even if we didn’t, we’d do it anyway
We oppose the use of existing laws to censor us and restrict our freedom of assembly and our freedom to politically organise.
As a class of oppressed people, we have a right to politically organise to fight for the freedom of females, without fear of harassment and intimidation.
We have a right to openly present our politics, clearly and without compromise,
We have a right to correct distortions, misinterpretations and lies about our politics because these are attempts to silence us
We will not be silenced
We are angry women and, today, we claim our women-only space by surrounding the “meeting place“, the spot where historically thousands of people walk these platforms.
We will continue to claim our women-only ground, from this day on, until women can meet safely and without fear.
We unite with all women everywhere, throughout history, and internationally, who have fought for the basic right to meet to talk about our freedoms and rights.
We will fight for our sisters of today and our sisters of the future, until patriarchy is destroyed.
–Ruby Fruit, Lakha Mahila, Jackie, Lysandra, and all the sisters present at the action.

Malespeak with Radical Feminist Translations: Medusa's Gaze

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Malespeak with Radical Feminist Translations

(Image from here)


The comment is over at sisterhoodispowerful whose entry is also worth reading.

Here’s an article I wrote about Malespeak. It’s purpose is to never NAME male violence against women! Copy-free and shareable. 

Malespeak with Radical Feminist Translations
by Elaine Charkowski
Mary Daly in her book Quintessence wrote, “Naming the agent is required for an adequate analysis of atrocities.” As linguist Julia Penelope has shown in her book Speaking Freely: Unlearning the Lies of the Fathers’ Tongues, “Agent deletion is a dangerous and common mind-muddying flaw.”
The purpose of “Malespeak” is to avoid naming MALE violence against women and it’s perpetrators (MEN) specifically. After reading Carol Adam’s books (Neither Man Nor Beast, The Sexual Politics of Meat and The Pornography of Meat) about how male violence against animals and women are not named, I watched for more instances of linguistic techniques to avoid naming male violence against women. Here are the kinds I have gathered so far. I’m sure there are more!
•The Absent Referent
This refers to something without actually NAMING it. Carol Adams coined this term in her books linking men’s abuse of women and animals. Animal examples of the absent referent are: “veal” (baby bull flesh) “steak” (cow flesh) “bacon” (pig flesh) etc.
Some examples of the absent referent that don’t name men as the agents of women’s agony are “domestic violence” “gender based violence” “family violence” “sexual violence” “intimate partner violence” or just “violence.” All these timid terms dance around naming male violence, and thus, men as the agents. They also do not name those who men abuse – women.
Here is an extreme use of the absent referent by lawyers defending a school district in which an adult male teacher raped a twelve-year-old girl:
Malespeak: “Carelessness and negligence on her part, proximately, contributed to the happenings of the incident.”
Neither the perpetrator (the adult male teacher), his victim (the girl he raped), nor the crime of rape (“the happenings of the incident”) was mentioned. In addition, the lawyers blamed the girl for “causing” the man to rape her because of where she was (her “proximately”).
Radical feminist translation: “An adult male teacher raped a twelve-year-old girl. The lawyers said it was her fault because of where she was.”
•The Passive Voice
The agents (men) are not named.
Malespeak – “The women were raped.”
In this example, women are “doing” the “action” (being raped). This shifts the focus away from the men doing the raping. The absent referent is also used since men are not named. Malespeak can consist of more than one element.
Malespeak: “I refuse to watch as more than a billion women experience violence on the planet.”
Radical Feminist Translation: I refuse to watch as MEN inflict MALE VIOLENCE on more than a billion women on the planet.”
Again, the women are “doing the action” of “experiencing violence.” The absent referent is also used since men are not named. It’s male violence, not “violence.”
• The Active Voice
The perpetrators (men) and their victims are named, so this is not Malespeak.
Radical feminist translation- “Men raped the women.” The focus is on men doing the raping and the absent referent is not used since men are named as the rapists. Men are the subject of the sentence.
• Gender-neutral language
This uses obfuscation (lumping things together to obscure each of them, such as women and men). Gender-neutral language is a type of absent referent that avoids naming male abuses.
Malespeak- “Children are raping children because of seeing porn at a young age.”
Naming the sex of the abuser is necessary to name the agents, males, and the ones they rape, girls:
Radical feminist translation-”Boys are raping girls…”
Gender-neutral language can also be used to make women’s accomplishments invisible: In this case, the terms are “Native Americans” and “they.”
Malespeak- “Native Americans skinned buffalo, deer and other animals. They scraped and pounded the hides until clean and pliable. They sewed tipi covers, clothing, moccasins, and containers to carry their belongings. They adorned their containers and clothes with beautiful designs made from dyed porcupine quills. They were also responsible for childcare, gathering edible vegetables, and cooking all the meals. ”
Radical feminist translation- “Native American WOMEN skinned buffalo, deer and other animals. The WOMEN scraped and pounded the hides until clean and pliable. . . .
•Erasing and/or watering down women’s words
Malespeak- The “women’s movement.”
This is Malespeak for “women’s liberation.” This erases the whole idea of liberation and no longer begs the question of who women need liberating from (men). Worse, “gender studies” (formerly “women’s studies”) erases both women and their need for liberation from men by using gender-neutral language to lump women and men together (obfuscation).
Radical Feminist translation-”women’s liberation.” This both states that women need to be liberated and who they need liberating from, men.
•The False Equivalent
This is a type of obfuscation that blends male violence with female violence. This is to obscure the fact that violence is overwhelmingly male violence by equating it with the far fewer instances of female violence. Mary Daly called this use of language “Universalism.” For example, “violence” is often cast as a sex-neutral human issue, since “women are violent too” “what about Margaret Thatcher” etc.
Below is data from the Bureau of US Justice Statistics
Males were almost 10 times more likely than females to commit murder in 2005.
ALL Homicide Types Listed by Sex (1976-2005)
88% Male, 11.2% Female.”
Eldercide Male 85.2% Female 14.8%
Felony murder Male 93.2% Female 6.8% female
Sex related murder Male 93.6% Female 6.4%
Gang related murder Male 98.3% Female 1.7%
Drug related murder Male 95.5% Female 4.5%
Workplace murders Male 91.3% Female 8.7%
Argument murders Male 85.6 % Female 14.4%
GUN homicide Male 91.3% Female 8.7%
Multiple victims Male 93.5% Female 6.5%
Child murder Of those children killed by someone other than the parent, 81% were killed by MEN.
Child Molestation:
According to the US Dept of Justice, “Males are reported to be the abusers in 80% to 95% of cases.” Thoriger, D., et al 1988.http://www.yellodyno.com/html/child_molester_stats.html
And last but not least, legal mass serial killings listed by the MILLIONS of people MEN killed in WARS (started by MEN).
1911 – The men who ruled Turkey disarmed its citizens, and between 1915 – 1917 they murdered 1.5 million Armenians.
1929 – The men who ruled Russia disarmed its citizens, and between 1929 – 1953 they murdered 20 million Russians.
1935 – The men who ruled China disarmed its citizens, and between 1948 – 1952 they murdered 20 million Chinese.
1938 – The men who ruled Germany disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1939 – 1945 they murdered 6 million Jews.
1956 – The men who ruled Cambodia disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1975 – 1977 they murdered 1 million Educated people.
1964 – The men who ruled Guatemala disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1964 – 1981 they murdered 100,000 Mayan Indians.
1970 – The men who ruled Uganda disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1971 – 1979 they murdered 300,000 Christians.
• Giving words volition, making words into a person or thing with the power to act.
Words just carry meaning, sounds from vocal cords or combinations of letters. However, Malespeak turns words into actual physical entities with the power to act:
Malespeak- “War broke out.” The word “war” is given the power to “break out.” This is also another use of absent referent that does not name the agents (men) nor their victims.
Radical feminist translation- “MEN decided to wage war to kill (fill in the blank of the ones men want to kill).”
Malespeak-“Israel bombed Palestine” “Israel” is just a word that defines a country, but Malespeak gives it the power to act (bomb Palestine). Again, the absent referent is used to avoid naming the agents (men) nor are their victims named:
Radical feminist translation- “The men who run the government of Israel ordered the bombing of women, children, men, animals, birds, trees, etc).” The agents not named are those who flew the bombers, nor are their victims named.
Male violence against women is one kind of male violence that impacts half the human race. Other forms of male violence include, but are not limited to: racism, colonization, genocide, nationalism and Ecocide, the murder of the Living World (environmental male violence against Mother Earth).
In her book “Come Inside the Circle of Creation,” Elizabeth Dodson said that patriarchy is the fatal need to rank diversity. If we try to rank all the abuses within human society by claiming that “our” abuse is more important and worse than “their” abuse, we also rank the value of its victims. Thus, the hierarchy and all its divisions that keep us separate and fighting with each other are preserved.
However, there is only one type of male violence that must be ranked as the worst of all. This is Ecocide, men’s systematic murder of the Living World upon which humanity and all life depends. It is implemented by capitalist patriarchy.
In ALL of these types of violence, no matter if collaborators help them or not, MEN are the common denominator and are in control of all aspects of male violence.
Male violence is the worst problem in the world.