Malespeak with Radical Feminist Translations: Medusa's Gaze
I have been given permission to reproduce the article below from Medusa's Gaze, and food for your thought. Be clear on who continues to perpetrate and glorify violence throughout the world, and also onto womonkind and children. Do not let any erase the continuing perpetrators of violence, M E N and their male systems that glorify war and control over all using violence and force. While there are female perpetrators, the numbers are miniscule in comparison, it doesn't let any individual off the hook, but the continual glorification of violence by men, continues the perpetration of all the evils of the world onto women, children, the extinction of animals, and the environment.
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
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.”
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.
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 –
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.”
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”).
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.”
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
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.”
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
• 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…”
language can also be used to make women’s accomplishments invisible: In
this case, the terms are “Native Americans” and “they.”
“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. ”
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).
Feminist translation-”women’s liberation.” This both states that women
need to be liberated and who they need liberating from, men.
•The False Equivalent
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
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:
“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).”
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Martial artist since 1974, teach and share women's rituals, Amazon Priestess, DykeAmazon Warrior, work with my hands, enjoy writing, nature, Butch on Butch, playing music, drumming, keyboards, collages, creativity, environmentalism and politics.