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Open Thread 66

November 5, 2010

  1. Liberate-her permalink
    November 5, 2010 6:27 pm

    I really appreciate the responses to my kvetching in the last thread since I know it’s ridiculous to still feel guilt about not choosing to support male people, especially ones I’m not close to anymore.

    With that said, I’m afraid I feel pretty despairing right now (but at least heartened there is one place I can go where my despair is understood). The problem is that the sexism I’m experiencing is from a woman, so it makes me feel pessimistic about separatism being the end-all, be-all answer to me ever conceivably feeling whole–fully human.

    On a law exam I took (for an ungrad class–I’m not in law school), I did well, having received one of only 3 or 4 A’s in the class. However, the comments on my essays where she took off points made absolutely no sense, and in most cases, were due to her gross misinterpretation of my words such that she would have to believe I were exceedingly stupid (and I mean senselessly stupid–completely mentally vacant) to write what she assumed I meant. I noticed with this instructor, if she has the choice between interpreting a question or statement in a way that is either a sophisticated analysis or misinterpreting it under the assumption that the woman (always a woman, and always with other potential intersectional biases) is a total idiot, she will always choose the latter (if it’s a woman, anyway). I questioned her about not understanding her criticisms, and upon reading it, she said, “well, I don’t know what I meant either. ” She couldn’t find a single thing wrong with my answers upon being confronted! In 3 of the 4 cases, she misread my clearly articulated comment and assumed I meant something totally imbecilic, and in one case, she just put a question mark next to something that was correct (that was the one where she couldn’t tell me why she took off points, since it was correct). Oh, and there was one other instance where she took off points for something that “wasn’t there” but actually WAS there–later in my answer, had she bothered to read it!

    But she told me not to worry, because my grade was good, especially compared to other students. I replied that I didn’t care about points, but that I wanted to understand it better yet can’t figure out what needed improvement. I can’t learn from it otherwise. She paused forever while staring blankly at her senseless point deductions and said, “I think I graded yours more harshly because it was probably one of the first ones I graded.”

    I think it’s because I am a non-gender conforming woman who is very vocal and opinionated in her class.

    • Liberate-her permalink
      November 5, 2010 6:29 pm

      Crap! It’s important not to make grammatical errors, especially in sentences refuting your presumed stupidity! Hahahahahaha.

  2. joankelly6000 permalink
    November 5, 2010 7:01 pm

    ugh, Liberate-her, that sounds fucking infuriating. It reminded me of a professor I had in one college class, something about logic and debate and speech, where students were graded on participation/speaking in class, not just tests, etc. And she just would not fucking call on any female students! It was so blatant and so angering. I was too full of self-doubt and self-hatred at that age to even think of complaining – I was afraid she would end up saying she had nothing against female students, she just didn’t like *me* in particular, ha. Anyway, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a frustrating experience with such an unqualified professor.

    I did want to say also that I haven’t really seen an argument re: separatism that claims female people are more inclined to treat each other well under white male supremacist conditions, and sometimes other women will say to me, if I talk about separatism to them, that other women have hurt them the most in their lives. *I* certainly don’t think that femaleness itself is a magical shield against internalizing and externalizing misogyny towards other women.

    Nor do I think being a separatist automatically means one is a kind or pleasant person. For me separatism isn’t about the belief that women are less likely to hurt me in any way. My attraction to the separatists I know is because their loyalty is to female liberation, period. It’s not to niceness or “sisterhood” necessarily or optimism. Well I’m uncomfortable declaring all this actually because I don’t speak for separatists, so I just mean to be giving my impressions and feelings.

    I mean I happen to love the separatists I do know – I find them to be some of the most compassionate-and-loving-towards-other-female-people people that I know. But I’m sure there exist some asshole separatists somewhere, because flawed humans seem to be everywhere. And maybe I wouldn’t want to hang out with them in my personal life, but I feel like I could trust them not to treat me the way your teacher treated you or mine treated me. I don’t know…

    Sorry to go on a tangent, it was that your reference to being pessimistic about separatism made me think about some stuff. I hope I’m being clear that I don’t think your feelings are wrong, by the way, on that front – I don’t know that separatism is the end-all be all for you, or anybody, for the reasons you state or any others. My long ramble was basically to say, I hope this one lady doesn’t get to rob you of hope you may have in another area just because she betrayed you as her student.

  3. November 5, 2010 7:04 pm

    If you two are the same race, could it be a classist thing? Also, recently I had my daughter’s gym teacher reevaluate her grade. I felt guilty at first but afterwards I recalled all the times she (as most good students) fall through the cracks and/or taken for granted. It is as if she is not number one or the troublemaker she is forgotten, —–taken for granted. I thought about Cher from that movie Clueless how she said something about negotiating a grade and thought about how her character is meant to portray the rich, and I realized my humble poverty has kept me from asking for things such as grades that should be mind without the asking. I don’t want my daughter to have to beg for what she deserves/earns.

    At least you didn’t just accept it as it was.

  4. November 5, 2010 7:25 pm

    I scared myself into making a doctor’s appointment. Well, they are closed right now, so if I remember I will have to make it in an hour or so. There seems to be this occasional pain under my left breast, or, perhaps should say behind it, under my rib, but low, so I don’t know if it is my upper stomach, my left lung, or my heart. Pain radiates so the source could be as much as four or five inches away from the origin. I do know when I have this bit of pain, I contemplate taking an aspirin and eating oatmeal. LOL! What a twit. And, if the pain is not responsible, then I am psychosomatically responsible for my hands shaking after an episode. I have to meditate a bit to calm myself down. I wish I could trust my mother and believe that she is telling me who my father really is, because the not knowing makes me wonder if I have to worry about medical conditions that I wouldn’t worry about if I knew exactly who are my parents. Yes, I know not to trust her is probably misogynist as hell. Actually if she is lying, it is her misogyny that guides the secret and its effects. I am not interested in calling anyone a whore. She has always been the one stuck on that insult.

    • November 5, 2010 7:45 pm

      Kitty, that sounds similar to a pain I have had, on and off, for years. Apparently everyone in my family gets it. It is under my left breast, and can be extremely sharp and painful, so sharp that I don’t want to move/breathe, but eventually it will either sort of ‘pop’, or the pain will dissipate. I don’t think it’s serious. Not that I’m qualified to say that, at all whatsoever.

    • November 6, 2010 12:47 am

      I’ve been having pain like that again lately. I had it before, maybe 5 years ago, but it went away on its own. Now that it’s recurred, it also seems to coincide with pain in my left shoulder and the left side of my neck. I’m not yet sufficiently scared to go to a doctor though.

  5. November 5, 2010 8:57 pm

    Just read at Alice Walker’s facebook page.

    Before you knew you owned it-By Alice M Walker

    Expect nothing. Live frugally
    On surprise.
    become a stranger
    …To need of pity
    Or, if compassion be freely
    Given out
    Take only enough
    Stop short of urge to plead
    Then purge away the need.

    Wish for nothing larger
    Than your own small heart
    Or greater than a star;
    Tame wild disappointment
    With caress unmoved and cold
    Make of it a parka
    For your soul.

    Discover the reason why
    So tiny human midget
    Exists at all
    So scared unwise
    But expect nothing. Live frugally
    On surprise.

  6. November 5, 2010 10:05 pm

    I’m confused by the 2 blogs. Are there more?

    Kitty, be wary of the doctors. They are likely to order tests that cause cancer and will damage your heart (any form of radiation, including mammograms and x-rays.) For your own protection, remember that most are arrogant idiots. Say no if something doesn’t feel right.

    How old are you? Have you had heart symptoms before? I would guess it could be angina, especially when you describe your hands shaking from emotion. When I went through a shock in August, my heart symptoms returned. (They’d gone away after 2 weeks of eating very high organic saturated fat, meat, eggs, dairy, and almost no carbs except for berries and very low-carb veges — the opposite of what doctors recommend. What I eat would make them hysterical, but I know my heart symptoms stopped. Pain near my heart when hiking fast uphill, and arrythmias.)

    I agree, Joan. You said that really well. I’ve been a Separatist for 38 years and have related mostly with Separatists until recently. Some are the most wonderful Lesbians imaginable. Some have been among the cruellest I’ve ever known (though most were primarily class-privileged, race-privileged, bragged about their het pasts, and many aren’t still Separatists or even Lesbians.) So Liberate-her, mean women or Lesbians doesn’t change the fact that men are destroying the world and most are rapists. If you decide Lesbians are your people, then why question it? Expect inequality and bad treatment, and know the reasons. Kitty is right — it could be classism. It’s probably also, as you said, because you’re not a quiet, feminine-stereotype twit. Most professors are arrogant idiots. Don’t expect justice from them. The more oppressed you are, the more you have to fight for basic decent treatment. It’s infuriating, but good to know the truth. And also good to get support from your friends.

  7. November 5, 2010 11:50 pm

    Well, there’s this blog and then the one on bigotry that showed up on my email today.

    Kitty, yes, blood work is good, but don’t let them put you on statin drugs, no matter how high they say your cholesterol is. (It’s all a con.) Doctors killed my mother, and too many other people I know about.

    If they do find something wrong with your heart, there’s a lot you can do on your own to fix it, so don’t worry. Stress can cause angina/heart pain, but that doesn’t really mean anything is wrong with your heart, and there are lots of ways to stop the effect on your heart. Let us know what happens. Love to you!

    • November 6, 2010 12:20 am

      Oh no, they are not different blogs, but different posts. If you click on the HOME button at the top right (to the left of “About the Authors) and then scroll down it is easier to keep up with the different posts. All the posts fall under the blog AROOO. Each post should have its own title, such as “Bigotry” or “Open Thread 66.” Each post has its own comments. Also, each post will have the date it first was published and the name of the author, (right now, that will be Margie or me).

      Yeah, I read where you mentioned statin drugs before, and so did that mean ass Miss Polly, so I looked them up. I don’t think I will need those. My cholesterol has never read high. However, I do feel my heart has been broken this past summer, but it seems to be mending.

  8. November 6, 2010 12:26 am

    A broken heart can definitely result in heart symptoms. It did for me.
    I don’t think I know mean ass Miss Polly.

    It doesn’t matter about cholesterol at all in terms of heart disease. Lierre Keith (“The Vegetarian Myth”) and Malcolm Kendrick (“The Great Cholesterol Con”) explain how high cholesterol has NEVER been implicated in heart disease — yet of course the media and doctors keep saying it does. If anyone has high cholesterol, it’s because their body needs it to deal with inflammation or to help produce more hormones (which is why it goes up as you get older.)

    Statins cause cancer, stroke, and dementia. And make a lot of money for doctors. Spread the word…

    • November 6, 2010 12:58 am

      Mean ass Miss Polly is a never-het lesbian who talks more shit than Mr. Smallweed in Dickens’ Bleak House and who is currently on a year and a day pouting anti-AROOO sabbatical. But all one has to do is say her name three times like summoning Beetlejuice and she will appear meaner than ever. She hangs out at Joan Kelly’s (Chicks Dig Me, link to the right). But the jury is out if I dislike her or not. LOL!

      I will spread the word about the drugs.

    • November 6, 2010 1:00 am

      You might like her, Bev. I don’t dislike her.

  9. November 6, 2010 12:52 am

    A broken heart is physically painful. It took me many years to work out that emotions are physical, rather than mental. I was always so disconnected from my body and lived in my head.

  10. November 6, 2010 1:18 am

    You can definitely die from a broken heart. Two of my beautiful little rats died after their friend died. One died almost immediately, and the other the next day. Some linger, but their health fails.

    You can also be vulnerable to longer-term illness. I’ve suspected Melissa Etheridge’s breast cancer was a result of her trauma from Julie Cyper leaving her for a man. (The fucking backstabber.)

    So please take extra good care of yourself. There are things to do to help with grief and stress. Homeopathy can help. Beware of anti-depressants (which I blame partly on Fran’s suicide.) Doctors won’t prescribe opiates for grief or severe stress, but I found codeine to help tremendously and I haven’t gotten addicted to it — while my friends on anti-depressants go through agony getting off them or just can’t. Codeine also helps with heart stress. I can give more details if anyone would like them.

    Sometimes the doctors can be useful for diagnosis, and then you can do other things to treat the problem than what they recommend. But sometimes the tests themselves are very damaging. It’s hard, but always good to have an advocate when seeing a doctor, and to first practice saying “no” together.

  11. November 6, 2010 3:53 pm

    I am so sad at the moment. Sad, depressed, just generally lacking in any kind of positivity. I don’t know why I feel this way at the moment, but I am very isolated because pretty much all of my close friends are long since lost to marriages and mothering, and even those who are still around locally are not really interested in building any kind of community with other women. I seem to be reliving a lot of trauma and feeling very angry without really knowing what to do with it. I am supposed to be meeting some friends this weekend, but I haven’t seen them for a while and I don’t want them to see how fat I am. Because I know I will somehow have to defend myself to them. Or we will go for dinner and they will stop eating after half a plateful and make a big deal about how full they are. And I want to add, these are my friends. They are not generally horrible women. I don’t think they are actually intending to hurt me. Oh well. It’s not really a big deal, I know. It just helps to say these things aloud sometimes. Sometimes I wish I could just turn my brain off. Ignorance is bliss.

    • November 7, 2010 6:27 pm

      I’m sorry TBL. I wish I knew what to say. All I ever know is the increase oxygen approach, as in take a walk in the woods, work in a garden, read a FICTION (my favorite) book, take a train ride into the country, etc. When I get fresh oxygen, literally or figuratively it usually revives/rejuvenates me to push on for another week or so.

  12. November 6, 2010 8:52 pm

    Oh Georgie,

    I wish you were in this area. You need support and company for fun. Are you eating well enough too? Fat oppression really has an effect. Are you getting enough organic saturated fat and meat? It’s hard to not directly or inadvertently starve yourself, and that is so terrible about how your friends (and most are like that) will treat you so you can’t even enjoy going out to eat together. It IS a big deal. It’s cruel and you so much need support. Of course you’re angry too. You need to hang out with friends who you can rant together about how justifiably angry you are.

    love and support,

  13. November 7, 2010 7:35 am

    I’m so sorry, TBL. I wish you weren’t feeling this way, but it’s very understandable why you would be. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do.

    I really sympathize with the whole “Oh, I’m so full, tee hee!” thing. I really can’t stand it. And if your friends are like mine, it’s replete with patting of flat stomach, and pushing of remaining food on you. They might even throw in a “I normally eat so much but I filled up on low-fat, artificially sweetened yogurt and a celery stick earlier, and I am stuffed!” So irritating.

    And, yeah, like Bev said, it’s a big deal. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  14. mean ass Miss Polly (who prefers Ms actually, aka ultimate radscum) permalink
    November 7, 2010 10:29 am

    The use of the term ‘never het lesbian’ is redundant because HELLO lesbians are by definition NOT HETEROSEXUAL and never have been.

    It is also lesbophobic because it presumes having had sex with men is the default when it sure as hell isn’t.

    And finally.

    I seem to remember that when I made this point BEFORE, pointing out that there are lesbians in Jamaica, South Africa, Uganda etc, where it’s a hell of a lot harder than the 21st century bit of the United Kingdom I live in, the heavens opened and rained shit on me, and I was told that I was oppressing all the poor women who didn’t have the PRIVILEGE of never being heterosexual. Like in Mumbai.

    Make of that what you will.

  15. secondwaver permalink
    November 7, 2010 6:33 pm

    Wait, Ms. Polly. I’m Lesbian but used to be het. And not lesbophobic at all that I can tell.
    TBL I “third” that I’m sorry and thinking about you with love & support. I’m glad you’re posting. I hope you don’t feel alone.

    • November 7, 2010 7:30 pm

      She was just saying that the default lesbian has never had sex with males and therefore it’s lesbian-hating to make what should be the default a marked form of lesbian (‘never-het lesbian’). I don’t think she was saying that you are lesbophobic or that being an ex-het lesbian is (necessarily) lesbian-hating.

  16. November 7, 2010 7:21 pm

    I just re-read The Color Purple recently. It was as good as I remembered, except for the fact that the ending seemed rushed to me this time, and I don’t think it registered that way for me the first time. I was probably 14 then though.

    What’s interesting to me – and it reminds me of what TBL was saying one time about having written a story about lesbian nuns – is that my mother has read the book, seen the movie, and even gone to the musical, and she refuses to acknowledge that Celie is a lesbian. I could see how a particularly clueless person could maybe fail to see it just watching the movie, which is a bit sanitized, but Walker was so deliberate about it in the book that it just baffles me.

    Anyway, I’m sure most people are at least passingly familiar with it, but Celie is raped by her stepfather and bears two children by him while she is still a child herself. The trauma of childbirth sterilizes her and then she is married off to a woman-beating rapist. Throughout the book Celie makes it very clear that she is not attracted to males in any way, but then at a certain point after years of rape and abuse, she tells the woman she’s in love with that she is trying to enjoy sex with her husband.

    I felt a little sadness when I read that part, and of course Celie is the creation of a bisexual author, but I didn’t think of the character as anything but a lesbian, both times that I’ve read the book. I don’t know exactly what Walker’s intent was.

    I wonder if we should maybe do another book review – not necessarily The Color Purple – but something. I thought the first one we did went pretty well, actually. It was fun.

  17. November 7, 2010 7:31 pm

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. I am also taking all your advice.

    The Bluest Eye is such an incredible book and reading the discussions about it here was so enlightening. It would be great if you did another book.

  18. November 7, 2010 8:10 pm

    We can read The Color Purple and talk about it if anyone is interested.

    I don’t recall reading the book before. In the movie, I hate how Mister is sort of a hero at the end.

    • November 8, 2010 1:06 am

      Oh, I know. The ending is even worse in the book, but the beginning is so beautifully written. Up until the point when Sofia is put in prison, the writing is some of the best I’ve ever read. But it really is all downhill from there. I don’t really want to do that particular book on the blog, but I did really enjoy re-reading it and figured I’d mention it in case anyone had already read the book before and had any input. I’d be interested in having a discussion of some other book, though.

  19. November 7, 2010 11:01 pm

    ((((TBL)))) I’m so sorry you are feeling down. You’re such an awesome person, and your friends are very lucky to have you. xoxo

    @ Margaret

    I completely agree about Celie. She never even had a chance to consider her own sexuality as real until Shug. I only saw the movie.

  20. November 7, 2010 11:03 pm

    *waves at polly*

  21. November 7, 2010 11:38 pm

    Polly had posted the same thing on Undercover Punk, and I find it one of the most insulting things there. Is it supposed to be a joke? This was in a line of attacks against me there. And the “Hello” is a typical sign of the ridicule used over there.

    Lesbian can’t be the default term since most have been het and most are quite proud to brag about their het experiences in pornographic terms. If you say, “Never Het Lesbian” is redundant, then you are telling us to not identify who we are and for our allies to not support us. It’s been hard enough for Lesbians to use these terms, so it’s really silencing Never-het Lesbians and anyone who dares to use that term by calling us lesbophobic. Or is she giving the line others are saying, which is that some are born Lesbians and some are not — so those who spent years getting het privilege are no different from those who’ve been oppressed all their lives for being Lesbians?

    This is what I answered her there since I’m assuming it was in response to me because I’m the only one there to use that term. Unfortunately, that dragged me back there since how do I ignore something like that?

    please don’t accuse one of the only Lesbians who has written extensively about ways Lesbians with past het privilege oppress lifelong Lesbians as “lesbophobic.” Of course most Lesbians have chosen to be het. I wish it wasn’t true, but I’ve known thousands of Lesbians, and Never-het Lesbians are in the tiny minority. Not to mention the many ex-het Lesbians who have gone back to men. Are you really not aware of this or so busy trying to attack whatever I say that anything goes? And of course it’s not a privilege to be a Lesbian, so whoever said that to you was the one being lesbophobic and Lesbian-hating.

    Is this a joke for everyone I’m missing out on? Another way to silence us? Please don’t tell me that this place is going to end up being no safer than the other.

    • November 8, 2010 12:18 am

      Bev, just a warning about Miss Polly. No doubt, she went over to UCP to convey an image of not taking sides. However, the fact that she went over there is taking sides because there is not a balance between promoting white supremacy and attempting to de-center white supremacy. It is impossible because white supremacy is already in place, so, if one gives white supremacy 50% and de-centering white supremacy 50%, they are in FACT favoring white supremacy because white supremacy already has a balance in the black, whereas de-centering white supremacy has a balance in the red. in other words, right now, in the here and now, we live in a WHITE SUPREMACY! Therefore, that running to UCP shit is whack.

      Oh, the warning. Miss Polly likes to pretend she is a lone wolf with all of her Smallweed’s SHAN’Ts [“Shake me up, JUDY!”] lol. But the fact is she loves us, but apparently not enough to let go of bullshit. Nevertheless, I highly suggest you stay away from UCP. Not a demand and I certainly will not hold it against you, but you are wasting your time. UCP, without a doubt wants to come off as fuckable to MEN! Lesbian or not, that is what she likes. All the women who hang out with her, lesbian or not, value themselves according to MEN! UCP wants to appear fuckable. FCM talks to men when she writes; she does not talk to women, she wants to mother men into accepting her. Sheila/Satsuma wants men to validate her dog-eat-dog business success. Maybe one day they will not care what men think of them to the point that they really do imagine women as their audience, but that day is not today. Today, white men are their perceived audience and if you (or anyone else) try to talk to them, you will only end up frustrated. The only way I deal with it is to make fun of them all if I can even bother to think about them. I think UCP, at this point, is a laughingstock with FCM right on her heels.

      I mean honestly, those idiots cannot even grasp the concept of personal power opposed to structural power, with all of their, “Let’s say we have a one-legged black female, rich, and beautiful in charge of a no legged and blind middle class but divorced mother of a son, how can ZOMG11!!!!!!22qdfjlsdjfosu1308u40138r403

    • November 8, 2010 12:48 am

      Oh, no, Bev! Polly’s not saying that at all. She wants the distinction made. But at the same time, ideally, lesbian *would* mean never-het. And it would only be ex-hets who needed to distinguish themselves.

      Right now, though, things are far from ideal, and never-het lesbians need to declare it in order not to further their own invisibilization.

      I hope that makes sense. Neither Polly nor I (unless I’m misreading her, which is possible) are saying that never-het lesbians shouldn’t use those terms. I would never say that.

  22. November 8, 2010 12:22 am

    Lesbian can’t be the default term since most have been het and most are quite proud to brag about their het experiences in pornographic terms.

    I really appreciate what you are saying here, Bev Jo, and it has reminded me of when trannies started using the term ‘women’. At first I thought it wouldn’t be too damaging, as long as they didn’t set their sights on the term female (which of course they did). But I was wrong and we should not give up our words.

    I think if you are bragging about your het experiences, the last word you should be able to claim is Lesbian. Lesbians should not draw away from the purity and strength of the word because others would dilute it. Of course that is easy to say – all our words have been diluted; feminist, lesbian, even woman can mean anything, but ideally we shouldn’t feel forced to acknowledge it in our own speech. It’s like saying bio-woman; we shouldn’t have to.

    That is not to discount the pressures lesbians have faced to conform to heternormativity, which are legion.

    I did just post about it and I am only going with my instinct here. I hope I haven’t hurt any feelings as I know this is a touchy subject, and rightly so.

    • November 8, 2010 12:56 am

      I agree, Val. The fact that ‘never-het lesbian’ even needs to be said is a lot like the fact that we’ve gotten to the point where we have to say ‘bio-women’. I definitely don’t want any woman to stop saying ‘never-het lesbian’ or ‘bio-women’ in order to maintain a distinction that shouldn’t even have to be fought for in a just world!

  23. November 8, 2010 2:37 am

    I’m not the only one that finds it hilarious!

  24. November 8, 2010 6:02 am

    I’m back. I had to go out and steal some food while the weather was helpful. Quite stressful.

    Yes, Kitty, you are absolutely right about the Punk blog. I especially enjoy your un-legged comparison (who I really feel for are those hated for having more than 4 legs, but that’s a WHOLE other subject.) Anyway, you rescued me from them but I was lured back into trying to respond to some idiot comment, to try and reach someone who might not know about this blog and wasn’t completely covered in the white supremacy already, but of course it was like sinking in quicksand made of shit. I’m sorry, I hope none of you are eating. You explained their problem well, which is their privilege and yes, you can’t get much worse than white supremacist. I don’t think they even noticed Sheila’s “strange fruit” comment.

    So, I will not return to the place of horror and arrogance, but it was useful to know that Polly posted the exact same thing there, which I don’t think I’m paranoid to believe was directed at me.

    Thank you for the support too, Margaret, but I do think Polly is ridiculing anyone who uses the term Never-het as being lesbophobic, because, as she said, Lesbians have never been heterosexual. Does she not know many Lesbians? I’d say that at least 95% have been het?

    Maybe you know her so know she doesn’t make sense, but to anyone else, she’s insulting and oppressive. (Though I know you’re not going to tell me that she’s just being “sassy.”)

    Thanks, Val, too. I always appreciate you. One of the problems is that Never-het Lesbians are usually made invisible (I’ve heard Lesbians say “We were all straight once” more times than I care to remember) or we’re ridiculed as inexperienced “virgins” who don’t know about the real world. We are never safe from harassment, even in a group of Lesbians. Just a few weeks ago, a new European-descent friend at a dance commented to a group of us that she wanted “a big, hard dick,” evidently assuming we would agree. Then she proceeded to humiliate her Filipina-descent Never-het (and probably Butch and more class-oppressed) lover of 14 years that her lover had “never had anyone else inside her.” Her lover was very upset, but did not know what to do.

    It’s really helped having allies about this issue. Now it’s too late to talk about “The Color Purple.”

  25. diana permalink
    November 8, 2010 7:42 am

    Margaret and Kitty, thank you for making this a safe space for all who are genuine. Now if either of you ever thought it’d do any good to wander back into Punk’s Privilege Palace, I’d go there, but not until.

    TBL, not sure you know me well enough to be comfy with even a cyberhug, but I do hope you’re feeling better.

    Valerie, I posted on your blog on this never-het topic, but didn’t realize it started here; dork that I am, I just now clicked to subscribe here. I love Bev Jo’s “Lifelong Lesbian” phrasing. It sounds proud and resilient.

    Bev, that’s awful, all of it. And the ‘privilege’ concept doesn’t seem hard to understand, so I don’t get why it’s still being trivialized some 30 years later.

  26. November 8, 2010 7:59 am

    Thank you so much, my dear friend. Will we never get to meet?

  27. November 8, 2010 5:09 pm

    4 new tires have given my car new life. Of course after having washed that car yesterday it poured rain for three hours between 10:00 and 1:00.

  28. November 8, 2010 9:41 pm

    Where is the best place to post this? Isn’t it irritating when someone publicly attacks and insults you, asks you questions, and then bans you so you can’t answer? Sound familiar? Well, certain people who seem to share certain traits do the same unfair things.

    Punk ranted at me, questioned me, accused me, tried to bully me, and then banned me. Here is my answer:

    Punk, I began writing an answer to you here, but then saw you’ve banned me, so you have the last word. Which means I’ll have to answer you elsewhere.

    Punk, you know I apologized to you and offered to make that a public apology. This is what I wrote to you (and also sent a second letter.):

    “I’m really sorry. You are right. I should not have said anything about you without talking with you first. I think I felt that I was responding to a public political comment in the guise of a personal statement, especially considering the public discussions. I’ve felt we were friends and have really liked you, but I ended up feeling traumatized and hurt by what happened on your blog. I felt like I kept trying over and over to reach out, to discuss things, only to be ridiculed and attacked by FCM, with your approval. I felt like you and I agreed, and then it seemed like you were saying the opposite. When I went to the other blog and they were discussing me in such a pitying way about how I was being treated on your blog, it had a strong effect. I did not mean to/ and should not have referred to you directly, but after some of the other group arguments, I was stunned by your leggings post. I really did not know how to begin to talk with you about it because I would have assumed all Feminists would know how (as far as I’ve known about it) it’s extremely exposing — basically like walking around in underwear, which is what men want us to do.

    I’m sorry, but it did feel like a public statement that was very much glorifying the patriarchal feminine role that marginalizes/oppresses the rest of us. If we’d been in more personal contact, and if the rest of it wasn’t happening where I hadn’t felt safe with you, I would have contacted you personally. And I should have. I guess I stupidly thought that my mentioning you in your pseudonym, in regards to what was a public posting would be okay.

    I did not mean it to be personal, in talking about appearance. I meant it to be a general comment about how women are taught to look and how there is a public fuss about it, which is what is narcissistic and self-focused (and when it’s about appearance, it’s to the detriment of others if it’s what fits in with the culture.)

    So I am sorry. I would publicly apologize, if that would help.”

    No, I don’t agree I have been “nastier than anyone.” I don’t ridicule and taunt and bait. I try to talk directly and honestly. But yes, when I feel treated like dirt, I do share support with others who’ve had that same experience.

    I have tried over and over to reach you and others on your blog and am just ridiculed and insulted. Why should I or anyone have to accept that kind of abuse?

    And considering I helped created the Lesbian Feminist and Separatist movement from the early Seventies, why should I be expected to keep explaining the same thing over and over that Lesbian Feminists and Radical Feminists have known for decades? My politics are the opposite of “pomo,” as well as being against such ingroup cliquish terms. You would ask another Separatist or Radical Lesian who’s been writing for 40 years to keep explaining basic information? When I keep being asked to say it over and over, what’s wrong with saying to just check out my articles, which are easy to find on my blog? How is that “self-promotional” or “self-aggrandizing?”

    I don’t assume I know anyone’s background on the blogs other than what I’ve been told, but it certainly is relevant if the most insulting one isn’t even a Lesbian. Of course when someone is that arrogant and hateful, and makes nasty accusations to me that are the opposite of who I am, it helps to know who they are. In my experience, the biggest bullies do tend to fit into certain categories, and it does help to then understand the abuse in a political rather than just personal context — which is what Feminism is supposed to be about.

    I’m sorry that I spent to much time trying to explain again yesterday, and then missed how you’d taken back “repression.” But with your loving “doggy biscuits” as a put-down for anyone who dares to question power imbalances among us, then you really are in the same place there. You say one thing, but your blog continues to show another, and you ignore all that I’ve said. It’s as if it’s all a game, with you seeming more reasonable, but then letting others be nasty for you. The arguments go around and around with no one seeming to respond directly to anything reasonable.

    It’s not about why we are, it’s about how we choose to use the privilege we have over each other against each other. It doesn’t even mean giving away money or possessions. It just means for the privileged to known they are not superior and to stop treating those they’re in a position to oppress as if they’re inferior.

    That’s all I tried to say on your blog, but it was too threatening. I was asked to give examples, and then that was torn apart and ridiculed.


    • November 9, 2010 2:32 am

      Bev, sweetie, I don’t know how far back you and UCP go. Nonetheless, I am sorry. I am sorry that she decided it was more important to show her ass publicly than interact with sincerity in public or private. I had a lifelong friend who showed her ass on facebook. For some reason she could/would not stop herself from talking smack about my daughter having children out of wedlock. Having children out of wedlock is the least of my worries and I told her so. I hinted for her to shut up. But she kept on. In addition, although I am almost shame-proof, I don’t appreciate being attacked like that in front of family members and other lifelong friends so I had no choice but to let her go. I even gave her room to apologize, and, I didn’t demand that apology to be public. Yet she couldn’t let it go. She had to go on and on how my daughter is living a fucked up life because she does not have a husband, etc. 35 year friendship just gone. But you know, she has to live with the consequences. I have no regrets. I could not just take such abuse. I guess, I want to say, try not to feel bad or guilty. UCP made her choice. It may be horrible to realize this, but she obviously did not value you. Therefore, you have to let it go. Just let it go. There is nothing healthy in hanging on to people who don’t value/respect you.

      It is obvious to me that UCP is a person who thinks everyone should consider her but she shouldn’t ever have to consider them.

  29. November 9, 2010 8:20 am

    Thank you, Kitty. I really appreciate that. I didn’t know Punk for long — maybe a couple of months? — but felt fond of her because of her support when I was attacked in a nasty way on fb. But her blog was a nightmare and I feel like an idiot to have kept trying with those women. It’s hard to give up sometimes, and even more so like with your lifelong friend — it’s terrible how you kept trying after being attacked, and in such a nonsensical way. Yes, you’re right, we have to have mutual respect and be valued to have a friendship.

    Anyway, you all sure have helped!

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