Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Amy Alkon The Self Professed Colluder

How do you know when you have struck a nerve? When people with arguments based on pure emotion backed with no facts, decide to foam at the mouth. Earlier today I was alerted by Ms. Alkon that she had decided to author a response to my post entitled, "Feminism, What You Don't Know Could Fill A Handbook." The premise of this post was to encourage women who identify as DIY, post-structural, Marxist etc to become more public in their critique of third/second wave feminists. It is my belief that third/second wave feminists, have centered the feminist agenda around their needs, and this has resulted in a massive public backlash.

Of course rather than dealing with the issue presented, Ms.Alkon, and those of her ilk, have seen fit to once again make the debate about misandry, to avoid the issue that was presented to them. Nowhere in my original post do I advocate special privileges for women,  nor do I specifically mention patriarchy, or the oppression of women.  It seems that those that disavow feminism in favor of men's rights (read:Stockholm Syndrome), or out of a simple ignorance of what feminism means, are incapable of considering the larger applications of their assertions.

Ms. Alkon believes in equality, yet when I make a small grammar mistake, I am held to ridicule, however the same standards of perfection are apparently not necessary if you are parroting her position.  Notice no commentary is made on Luljp's misspelling of vagina.  You may posses one, however it is clearly not important to you that they are respected, or that the word is even spelled properly for that matter. I wish that I could report that this is all that you have evidenced a lack of respect for.

"If you're a lesbian, fine. If you're going to paint heterosexual sex as a criminal act by a man most of the time, you're scum, and anybody who's for justice, fairness and equality, should stand up against you."

Say it with me everyone...massive homophobic projection. You must have done very well at the Rush Limbaugh school of social equality, and I bet Phyllis Shyfly is on your Christmas card list.  Feminist naturally equals lesbian, hardly an original thought.  Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, from every single man that tried to belittle a woman who thought that she had the right to equality, and basic human dignity. Of course you mean to imply that being a  lesbian is a negative thing. Of course anything woman centered, that does not involve phalocentric worship is despicable, and *gasp* dirty. Say it with me everyone...COLLUDER, in fact HOMPHOBIC COLLUDER is more accurate. Do you have any other mendacious myths that you would like to spread?  Calling a feminist a lesbian, is an attempt to stigmatize based on the social construction of 'woman' as naturally submissive combined with the specific understanding that we exist for reproduction, and male sexual pleasure. If you don't spend 24 hours a day ruminating on how to make every prick a happy prick, you are an "unwoman".  Margaret Atwood was thinking of women like you, when she wrote A Handmaids Tale.

"I'm against feminism because I'm against discrimination against men or anyone, and feminism is, far too often, a big whine for special treatment under the guise of equal treatment."

Right, because you are aware of all of the different forms of feminism, and you have spent a great deal of time studying feminist theory?  This is a warning to everyone, Ms.Alkon is  a clear example of a mind that has clearly internalized way to many episodes of Fox news broadcasts. Let's just listen to what brother patriarchy has to say about feminism, without for one minute stopping to think that he might be the least bit self interested. Of course men who have historically held the reigns of power are going to be honest about gender relations, because they are naturally inclined to share power with a group that they have oppressed since time began. That makes a whole lot of sense.

"Abelism"? I have to pass that one on to my friend John Callahan, the quadriplegic cartoonist, who will throw up while laughing.

I bet your best friend growing up was black as well?

Renee doesn’t really want non-feminists to understand there are differences in feminism. She wants the leaders of the feminist monolith to convert to and promote her brand of feminism (womanism). She’s tired of the “white suburban, mini van driving, soccer mom” or the [white] “urban 20 something New York socialite” being the face of feminism.

Do I really need to quote myself. "My feminism speaks to who I am as a person, it speaks to my needs, and desires, and it is certainly not representative of women at large."  Just a few more moments of patience, while I break it down for the kool aid sippers. The idea is that feminism should open itself up to a diversity of voices so that the various lived experiences of women may be reified. Despite your scurrilous attempt to misrepresent me, I stand fast to the idea that a more inclusive feminism that disavows the concept of a monolithic woman, means a more open debate.  On a short aside, If you are trying to impress me with your ability to research, you should probably not reference a site ( Wikki) that any idiot can edit at anytime. 

Of course, Renee will will respond "later." She has to do some research first, find some good catch phrases to rip off of the NOW site and regurgitate.

I actually lead quite a full life, and I will not arrange my schedule to suite your whims.  Sorry that you had to wait, but patience is something people usually acquire in childhood.  As for me running to NOW to plagiarize, clearly you have difficulty with reading comprehension.  The name of the blog is WOMANIST MUSINGS, which would necessarily indicate that I hold an opposite theoretical position to the women that run NOW.  Your knowledge of feminist theory is overwhelming, as evidenced by the following, "Yes, there are many different shades of being a whining victim and speaking in that incomprehensible "post-structuralist" lingo and all that. Nothing about my post was remotely post structural. "There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender... Identity is performatively constituted by the very 'expressions' that are said to be its results."  Now that is post structural theory courtesy of Judith Butler, but if you cannot comprehend the writing on this blog, Judith Butler would obviously be out of your league.

You throw catch words around like, equality and justice.  You profess to believe that men and women are equal. Where exactly do you think the concept of gender equality came from in the first place? Could those possibly be the organizing principles of Liberal Feminism? But you are not a feminist right?  All feminist think exactly the same way.  There is no difference between your inane vitriolic rants, and those issued by the Ferraro/ Steinem crowd.  You are both so interested in working an agenda that you forget that social change starts when people converse.  I said that feminism is great but...the keyword is but.  Once you heard that I had a positive view of feminism, you never stopped to hear that I might also think that it could be improved.  You hear only what you want to hear, and ignore the ever so important word but... This is silencing behavior, and it is a tactic that second/third wave feminists have been using for years.  It seems you share the same playbook. I know that you will misconstrue my words to mean the exact opposite of my intent because that is what ideologues do. As for the trolls in your commentary section, when I get around to it, if I can find even one rationale comment I will respond.  For those of you that are lurking and questioning, don't take me at my word for it, research the different feminists theories and decide for yourself if they are really what you have been told they are.

15 comments:

Amy Alkon said...

You're dishonest. This statement:

"If you're a lesbian, fine. If you're going to paint heterosexual sex as a criminal act by a man most of the time, you're scum, and anybody who's for justice, fairness and equality, should stand up against you."

Was about a quote I posted by Diana Russell about how she felt most marital sex is rape.

Homophobic? That's rich. Check out my blog. You could say I'm kinda pro gay rights.

How tragic that you're raising two children.

Also, you quoted words that are not mine in your post as if they are mine, or without making it clear that they are from my commenters. Not a surprise. Feminists, so often, resort to dirty fighting.

Nudiemuse said...

I still cannot for the life of me understand how people can misuse the word equal when it comes to anything that makes them squirm.

It's extraordinarily tiring.

Ebony Intuition said...

Whats interesting is if you look at the word "misandry" and then look at the word "misogyny"

Misandry only came into use in [Origin: 1945–50;]

Misogyny on the other hand has been around since the [Origin: 1650–60].(Its been around so much longer aka (the bible shows hatred for women in the 1st chapter)

Not only that the hatred of males comes from "other" males mainly compared to misogyny which mainly "males" have hatred for women. So its clear who's had more hatred for whom for say 3-4 century's.

"Feminist naturally equals lesbian, hardly an original thought. Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, from every single man that tried to belittle a woman who thought that she had the right to equality, and basic human dignity."


Exactly

New Black Woman said...

Wow, that was awesome!

Renee said...

"If you're a lesbian, fine. If you're going to paint heterosexual sex as a criminal act by a man most of the time, you're scum, and anybody who's for justice, fairness and equality, should stand up against you."

Was about a quote I posted by Diana Russell about how she felt most marital sex is rape.

Homophobic? That's rich. Check out my blog. You could say I'm kinda pro gay rights.


A link back to your anti-woman spew was provided for my readers should they choose to foul themselves be reading your writing.

As for what you profess about being pro gay-rights, I won't spend time investigating you. Professing love, and actually being tolerant are two different things.

By the way I find it amusing, oh twister of words that you can accuse anyone else of being dishonest, when you took the entirety of my post out of context and held up to ridicule for the purposes of entertaining your misogynistic readership. Yesterday you made your living yesterday ridiculing women, good for you. Let's just spew hatred for feminists, but I don't see you rejecting any of the rights that they have won for you. I am assuming that you are planning on voting.

How tragic that you're raising two children.

Go straight for my family...more proof of your ability to stay on point. When all else fails, play dirty.

Also, you quoted words that are not mine in your post as if they are mine, or without making it clear that they are from my commenters. Not a surprise. Feminists, so often, resort to dirty fighting.

I fight dirty?? You just commented on my children sweetie. If I attributed a comment to you that was not yours, for that I apologize. I can only say that all of the woman hating spew on your blog sounds the same.

Lynn said...

I can't do the feminist blog rounds anymore of going to this blog then back to that blog to see who is right, then weighing in in comments there then elsewhere and then returning to comments to defend myself.

I don't mean this to be rude, I just can't get caught up in doing it anymore. It makes me nuts. Not because I don't think it is important but because of the way the conversations seem to deteriorate so quickly and the ways that people align with their friends and people get personal and people start pointing at their blogroll for 'cred" and so on...

I just get too disgusted with it.

Regardless of who is right, what is the purpose, for example- of bringing up whether or not somebody is fit to parent their children? What is the point of such a dig?

I'm no expert on feminism and acknowledge that there are many versions. These things need to be hashed out but how can they be when people cannot seem to stick to the issues?

See when I hear a stupid dig like that, I leave the table. There's just not enough time in the day.

Renee said...

I agree Lynn, the back and forth is a pain in the ass. It distracts from real issues that need to get dealt with. Today it will be back to business as usual at womanist musings, with my commentary on issues that I feel are relevant to womens lives.

I would also like to point out, and this includes myself, if people take the time to read and take in the entire body of work of someones post, perhaps there would be less clutter and more concise dialog.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there Renee!

There are so many reasons why black women have REFUSED any association with the white feminist movement...

You post just adds to the list!

Tami of What Tami Said wrote a post a few weeks ago that began, "I used to be a feminist".

INDEED.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

allecto said...

I actually think that the word homophobia is not the word to use when talking about discrimination against lesbians and specifically discrimination against lesbian feminists. None of the lesbian feminists that I know identify as homosexual or gay. We talk of ourselves as lesbians and dykes. Our movement as lesbians and dykes against lesbophobia is far more closely allied to the women's liberation movement than it is to the masculinist and male supremacist gay rights movement. There are women in the gay rights movement but they are not often women's liberationists, they are more often post-modernists and genderqueers.

So often women who are pro-gay rights, as Amy says she is, are still lesbophobic. Being for the rights of homosexuals, is being for men's rights. Women, dykes and lesbians, are left out of the equation. Most lesbian feminists, for example, are against heterosexual marriage, and as such are opposed to the concept of gay marriages and civil unions. This is a perspective that is often left out of discussions around 'gay rights'. That many lesbians are opposed to the 'rights' that the queer and gay movement are fighting for. They are not is the interests of lesbians and they are not in women's interests.

I think that Amy's comments are lesbophobic and obviously she lacks understanding of the way in which lesbian feminists analyse the world. Yes, most lesbian feminists are critical of intercourse and of the power dynamics of typical heterosexual relations. But there are straight radical feminists doing similar work, analysing the power dynamics of heterosexuality. It is important work and critical work on the issue is necessary to bring about change. Lesbian feminists commentary on the subject is just as grounded in the reality of white male supremacy as straight women. Most of us have been damaged/abused/raped in relationships with men before deciding to extend our ideas of peace, love and sisterhood into our relationships with other women. It was the contrast between what we had experienced as sexuality with men and the world-altering experience of becoming a women-loving woman that radically alters the way that lesbians view heteropatriarchal sex.

Lesbian feminists and lesbianism as a political act of women's liberation is a great threat to male supremacy. As such Athenas (read: colluders) must be afraid of us.

Renee said...

reply@ allecto,

Thanks for the correction on my terminology. I will use lesbophobia from here on in. I am just learning about this, and I am bound to make a lot of mistakes, but my heart is truly in the right place.

urB'n sKoLa said...

@Amy Alkon: At the end of the day whatever disagreements you have on theory with Renee (and from what I've read thus far, is only to your detriment because the woman has been regularly spot on in her analysis), there is really no excuse for the low blow. Keep her family out of this.

@ Renee: WOW! I must say you've got to have a great deal of patience and diligence to even engage.

I witnessed a similar exchange on Black Brown and Queer about a couple of months ago (time has blurred together a great deal lately).

I think Ana linked to a blog by a white feminist woman who allied herself with womanists, second and third wave feminists, basically echoing the perspectives dare I say "we've" made; and noting how it's a shame that she needed to relay the message in order for those concerns to be heard.

I mention that, I guess to point out that like Lynn I don't quite have the will to engage in these kinds of web battles for very long and wonder what the benefit of these exchanges are beyond exhausting the able mined among us. At the same time, I see the importance in the discussion, if only to possibly plant seeds in the minds of folks like Amy Alkon. To continue to help make all of us better women and better advocates of ourselves.

On another note...

@ Allecto: I'd be careful about asserting that "homosexual" is a term that onl gay men align themselves with. Unfortunately, a lot of what I call, for simplicty's sake, "pan gay folk" (read: gay, lesbian, queer, lesbian, bi, questioning etc. people) identify with 'homosexual' inadvertently. What many don't know is that the word is part of the messaging strategy launched by right wing anti-gay activists and is what makes it difficult for gay rights activists (whether you agree with them or not) to make quantifiable political gains.

I appreciate and agree with your point about extracting lesbophobia from the more commonly used homophobia because it is inspecific. But I think its even time to re-evaluate the term homophobic if not only for the purpose of considering the sthigma associated with the prefix in it. I'm not convinced launching the claim of homophobia is that effective. By now most people have (or can) come up with their BS reasons why they aren't (i.e., Amy Alkon) about as fast as they can say "bless you" to a sneeze.

Ok this comment is far roo long. Peace Folks.

allecto said...

Oh sorry Renee. I totally didn't mean to 'correct' your terminology. I was just offering my perspective on language use and how and why I find lesbophobia a useful word in these situations.

I could definitely see where you were coming from and understood your position very clearly. I don't think you made a mistake, or used the wrong word. Your position in defense of lesbians was clear to me, at least.

allecto said...

Oh sorry Renee. I totally didn't mean to 'correct' your terminology. I was just offering my perspective on language use and how and why I find lesbophobia a useful word in these situations.

I could definitely see where you were coming from and understood your position very clearly. I don't think you made a mistake, or used the wrong word. Your position in defense of lesbians was clear to me, at least.

lujlp said...

@allecto

SO let me get this straight, you think Amy is lesbophobic because she thinks that most of the sex that goes on between heteros is NOT rape as Diana Russell suggested?

How is disagreeing whith such a moronic and discriminatory statement an act of homophobia?

That would be like calling a black guy racist for disagreeing with the KKK's racist propoganda

ms_xeno said...

FWIW, I'm glad you linked back to the column that apparently kicked off Alkon's tantrum. Illuminating stuff, to me.

I love that she name-drops Callahan. Not only is the man a long time warrior against all things "P.C.," he has a number cartoons based on how ugly and/or humorless feminists are. (Tee hee.) In twenty years he's managed to produce maybe half a dozen cartoons actually worth looking at, which gives the lie to the idea that if you just embrace a supposed novelty of thought that was old hat when Animal House was filmed, genius will naturally be the end result.