This is your regular reminder that this blog is not a welcoming space for TERFs, radfems, "gender critical" politics, or whatever new term gets made up to try to conceal an ongoing and aggressive attempt to dehumanize trans people.
honestly? it’s so good and fun when every fb group surrounding feminism ends up showing their true transphobic colours after like a week of being in them and also why is it 2017 and feminism still isn’t largely intersectional
some of the bigger flaws and logical gaps in the identity-politics-based rift between bi and lesbian women have really REALLY exposed themselves for me lately once I decided to take a break from labels / ever since I’ve been questioning labels, because I’ve found that everyone loves to line up to tell me I’m Speaking Over someone just because of a label I may or may not use. (btw when I talk about rifts between bi/lesbian communities I’m not saying that there aren’t any differences between bi and lesbian women bc there are, but there are too many fabricated ones creating a Gigantic Rift and a lot of it is recycled ahistorical white/cis centric radfem politics)
(backstory wrt me and labels: I’m neither identifying as lesbian nor bisexual or pan or right now, I’m choosing to define myself simply as non-straight by the fact that I’m attracted to / love women. I’m a woman who loves women and is not straight and that’s as far as I’m able to honestly disseminate/specify it right now). the point is I’m taking a break from labels other than “nonstraight / queer woman” right now, and due to that fact, I find that among the Identity Politix crowd I’m constantly being told I’m Speaking For someone whose identity I don’t share even when I’m.. speaking about my own experiences, and it really shows the pitfalls of harshly divided identity politics in wlw spaces.
example 1: everyone I’m involved with right now or recently is woman-aligned, and I want it to stay that way for now at this point in my life. so I am currently intentionally woman-exclusive and planning on continuing that, and therefore go through a lot of issues/experiences that other women whose dating lives are woman-exclusive also go through. it doesn’t matter particularly whether those women be bi, lesbian, pan, queer, undefined etc. I share those experiences with certain nonstraight women regardless of specific identity by the parallel that we are woman-exclusive. but I’ve had people on here who tell me that I should stop talking about issues related to sexual/romantic women-exclusivity simply because I don’t identify with the term lesbian. which.. completely ignores that there are a lot of issues that affect most/all lesbians that also affect wlw with Other Labels; lesbians are not the only woman-exclusive wlw out there. there are non-straight women of all Labels who choose to only date/have sex with women whether it be for a period of time in their life, or forever and they should be able to discuss issues around that regardless of their personal identifier.
example 2: on the flipside, I have in the past been in a place where I sought out relationships with men, had those experiences, and whether or not I’m currently choosing to act on it, I do have attraction to men and at one point regularly willingly acted on it. but when discussing issues that affect multiple-gender-attracted women, or when discussing experiences I had when I also dated men, I’ve had people regularly tell me that I should stop speaking on those issues or any issues that affect mga women Unless I choose to take on the label “bi”. as if me not personally vibing w the word “bisexual” renders my experiences during that period of my self-identification moot. as if that renders my experiences with multiple gender attraction moot. again it’s not useful as a politic to draw harsh lines like this, when experiences like “being woman exclusive” or “having multiple gender attraction” are common to many nonstraight women regardless of which identifier they currently use. also what good does it do to tell a woman who identified as bi for 4 years, and now identifies as a lesbian or something else, that she has to magically stop talking about bi issues when she lived them for a long time? it doesn’t do any good.
it doesn’t make sense functionally or materially to be disseminating a strict list of who Can and Can’t speak on certain issues purely based on current identity. I’m purely talking “intracommunity” shifts in identity right now btw, not shifts in identity across oppressor/oppressed dichotomies, so like.. this doesn’t apply well to, for example trans men who once identified as women dominating conversations on women’s issues, that’s harmful because trans men oppress women (because they’re men). however non straight women, regardless of if they currently use the identifier bi, lesbian, queer, nonstraight label-ambiguous, are not on an oppressor/oppressed dichotomy, we’re under the same heteropatriarchy and occupy the same social position. many of us move between these different identities over time, having a multitude of lived realities while inhabiting those various identifiers.
just because someone moves from one identity to another (as long as it’s within the same social position re: power dynamics, i.e nonstraight womanhood) doesn’t mean their experiences and contexts from the past identity suddenly disappear. if a woman identifies as bi and is in bi communities and surrounded by other bi women for years of her life and then identifies as a lesbian for another 10 years of her life, that doesn’t mean she has to suddenly shut her mouth and stop speaking about bi issues or stop speaking about the things she experienced while identifying as bi.
basically when it comes to “intracommunity” things aka “we all inhabit the same spot on the social ladder oppression dynamics-wise but we have various identities that we can choose to use to describe nuances that differentiate us”, rhetoric like “unless u have this exact label keep quiet on ___” falls short.
it is extraordinarily taxing to be inundated in my education with acts of male violence
there was one really jarring case this past thursday. i’ve been chewing on it for a while because i just couldn’t believe it was happening. i’m taking a grad class in the architecture/art hist department. while playing a video of a ‘performance piece’ (HA!) by paul mccarthy in the nude spreading ketchup over his naked body (including imitations of masturbation), the prof talks about how women were treated in asylums at the end of the 19th century. he minimized the violence and assault, sexual and physical, done to these women and completely failed to mention the way it, both the institution and the theory, was used as political control
and i was just so disgusted that i couldn’t find a place to say anything about this. i was so uncomfortable with this violence being acted out in the present, being forced to witness a white male body masturbating and pantomiming blood, that i couldn’t repute the “lack of violence” being claimed in the past. like, it’s just such a typical patriarchal reversal
learning of course being done under duress of male violence, of having our degree denied us, of being labeled crazy and kicked out, of institutional violence, as we’re forced to work our bones to get and then stay here. there is always a man with blood on his hands in the class room; he just isn’t always shown so explicitly on a screen.