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What Brought You to Radical Feminism?
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Ackapus



Joined: 11 Jul 2018
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Z6IIAB wrote:
Hey, was the question amde by the wife in your story something like "Was that girl into that dude?" ? I mean, it's what you implied, but I would like to know the actual example.



Oh, no, it was much worse. Spoiler alert:

Code:

The prof and the girl took one of the free activity days to go on a nature hike in the afternoon, as hiking was a shared interest.  When they got back it was already dark, and the dorm they were in wasn't very well-lit.  The stalker guy was hanging out in the shadows near the girl's door and when she came close, he jumped out and demanded to know why she had been out with the prof.  The girl ran down to the prof's room, ran inside past him, and the prof just told the kid that he should go back to his room and go to bed. 
Next day, the kid started a public confrontation with the prof over some trivial BS unrelated to these other events, after a few passive-aggressive snipes about the time this girl was spending with him, and he had enough of being polite and lit into this kid.  Since the kid made sure it was a public confrontation, he got publicly humiliated and eventually ran off, and the prof told his wife later he felt bad for doing that to the kid.
The question she asked was "What was he doing waiting for her in the dark?"

Yeah, when I read it myself, I at first had thought, "Eh, he's been stalking her the whole time trying to play this 'nice guy' shtick, probably went by her pad to bother her again and then couldn't find her," and didn't extend any of those thoughts to their logical conclusion.  It was after I read the question that I started doing that, following these thoughts out, seeing where they led.  Maybe saying it was a 'eureka moment' is a bit of a misnomer; more like since I been moved to start look at feminism again, dominoes had been getting set up all over my perspective, and that story just tipped the first one.


It wasn't all that pleasant an epiphany. Still needed to happen.
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Z6IIAB



Joined: 02 Jul 2018
Posts: 230
Location: Rogue

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's much more awful, yikes. I still think you'd need the girl's perspective on things, but I guess... to men that can't really get a grip? That works. Really creepy ending. Hey, if you have the full thing and wanna share, I'd like to read it.
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I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too... can't say that went well. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.
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TrotFox



Joined: 15 Jul 2018
Posts: 2
Location: 75068

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, I'd never heard the term 'radical feminist' before I noticed the author's message about this forum. To that end, I am here to essentially test the waters and see how I fit. I'd also never heard of the 'Norway model' before I started reading here.

Full transparency, I'm decidedly male, hetero-leaning, and I've watched more than my fair share of 'inappropriate material'. I have been spotted as a feminist by at least two people without my having offered anything in the last year which I count as at least having done something right.

Personally, I'm still trying to overcome the conservative, patriarchal, racist, authoritarian programming of my youth. I'm dealing with the, essentially disgusting, internal conversations of my inner jerk constantly informing me that every girl I see wants me and should be mine, while the self-esteem-deprived teenager inside reminds me how they're obviously repulsed by me. I've gotten old enough to learn to slap the both of them when they start up with it but it still takes me by surprise on the regular.

On a logical level I don't believe either of those 'dudes' and work to put myself into other's shoes before making judgments. I also married an Irish-descended woman who is ready, willing, and completely able to inform me of when I'm being unreasonable. I credit most of my current world-view on her insights on my upbringing and being able to reasonably face the attitudes that were ingrained by growing up a white, male, East Tennessee hillbilly.

So I 'think' I qualify as a radical feminist, given what I've seen here so far. I suppose time will tell whether that label sticks or I turn out to be something else. At the very least, I'm an ally who is learning and attempting to grow toward the light.
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Z6IIAB



Joined: 02 Jul 2018
Posts: 230
Location: Rogue

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You sound like a beliavable male ally, don't worry. I guess as long as you're anti-pornography and anti-prostitution and, at very least, willing to understand those political postures and respect radical feminists, you do belong here? Cause... that's basically the reason of this new forum, for what I can understand. That and the older forum is full of agressive people shutting off radfems, even when they have the patience to try and reason with those people, like TinT.

Welcome to the fest, trotfox ^^.
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I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too... can't say that went well. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.
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Newfish



Joined: 05 Jul 2018
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TrotFox wrote:

Personally, I'm still trying to overcome the conservative, patriarchal, racist, authoritarian programming of my youth.


Recovering from this sort of thing is like recovering from alcoholism, I think. Once it's in you, it's part of you forever, but with time and consciousness it becomes a lot easier to resist.
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Z6IIAB



Joined: 02 Jul 2018
Posts: 230
Location: Rogue

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, newfish, some stuff are so deeply wired into our brains and from such a young age, you can only be aware of them, but changing it for good is rarely an option.
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I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too... can't say that went well. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.
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SocJusWiz



Joined: 08 Sep 2018
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, I could say it was the whole GamerGate thing that eventually led me to discover radfem literature (Andrea Dworkin) and be woken up by it.

Probably the overall personality and world view of my parents had an effect too (very peaceful people), but then again my brother is the complete opposite so it can't be just that...

In any case, around the time of the GamerGate stuff, I found myself arguing about feminism with people here and there (4chan mainly, if I remember correctly) since I always saw myself as generally in favor of feminism, simply because it's "leftist" or "liberal" and I saw myself as a "leftist" and a "liberal," broadly, and suddenly there were so many people opposed to feminism.

Pretty soon though I realized that I was as clueless as the anti-feminists I was arguing against. (Guy who knows nothing about feminism argues against guys who know nothing against feminism, about feminism. Glorious, isn't it?) So I started to snoop around various places on the web, trying to understand more.

I had heard a few times of Andrea Dworkin as the archetypal Evil Feminist who is hated (supposedly) even by other feminists. One day I saw a post on Slate Star Codex that talked about Dworkin's works in passing, painting them as standard classic works of feminism... That was certainly a different take than what I had heard up until then about Dworkin, so I thought why not actually look into her myself and make up my own mind?

So I found the Andrea Dworkin Online Library, and what I read blew my friggin' mind away. It resonated so closely with how I always really felt deep down but could never formulate or turn into a concrete political position. I started downloading her books from the Radical Feminist Archives (radfem.org) and read through like 5-6 of them over the course of months. I've never been religious, but I guess Dworkin comes close to what one might call a Messiah for me.

Of course, classical literature is all good and well but what about contemporary radical feminism? In the months/years that followed my Dworkin bingeing, I found Feminist Current (Meghan Murphy & co.), Deep Green Resistance (Lierre Keith mainly), Gail Dines, and of course watched speeches by Dworkin's close friend and co-author of "Pronography and Civil Rights", Catharine MacKinnon, an ardent supporter of the Nordic Model against prostitution.

I went under this pseudonym at some point, when I thought people from 4chan might get on my tail and when I received something of a threat by a transgender activist/ally on my email address for something trans-critical I wrote on a BBS forum somewhere. I've been mainly a Twitter couch-activist and occasional writer on Medium since then.

A few weeks ago I started the FeministWiki project. You can visit it from my forum signature already. I might make a thread about it here some time to gather more attention, since the main thing it's lacking is members right now.
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jam3



Joined: 03 Jul 2018
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this is a wrong place for it, I am sorry, I didn't want to post a new thread and my story is about how I became more aligned with radical feminism.

So I feel a little like Sinfest has gone on the same path as me. I arrived at college in 1998 and soon found both porn and Sinfest. It took me a while to admit it, and at various times I accepted it or fought it, but I soon became a porn addict.

From 2002 until the first days of 2006, I mostly accepted my addiction. In 2006, I decided to change my life. I sort of feel like this was a ‘just in time’ situation as I was starting to become interested in BDSM porn. I think that porn encourages certain sexualities which are demeaning especially to women (but also to men, relationships, healthy sexuality) which would not develop naturally. In any case, I destroyed my porn collection and started a cycle of success and failure similar to what is shown on Sinfest (hopefully not what we are seeing right now).

In late 2009 I came to a good place, and I was free from porn for months. It was during this period that I met my now wife. But I had a relapse due to ‘trying to get off her’ during our long break up, and I started to return to the cycle. We got back together, and I have been porn free since 2012, when we married, in part due to my wife’s strong encouragement.

It was after we married that my wife opened my eyes to how ‘porn’ is everywhere. In the movies we watch, in the models that are in our magazines, everywhere. This wasn’t necessarily inherent in the movie or the advertisement, but rather due to how I related to the movie/advertisement. I needed to just remove it and avoid it to end the cycle. I even stopped reading Sinfest for a time. I feel much stronger, but I am still careful about what I see/watch (I was a big SoIaF fan, but have not watched GoT because I think it would be pornography for me). She also helped me to see that the ‘looking at women’ that I had started doing in 2003 was wrong.

I actually own the first two Sinfest books but have thought about getting rid of them. They are still often funny, but I feel that I have matured beyond it. And I am glad that Sinfest has too.

I have purposefully kept religion out of this post until now, but part of the change in my life in 2006 was that I started attending church again and decided to stay a Christian. And while I am a stronger Christian than my wife, it has been a source of strength during my success against pornography. I feel a bit like an alcoholic… I will always be an alcoholic and need to be on guard. I am sure that just like with alcohol there are people who are able to enjoy GoT/etc and not be harmed. I also think that like with alcohol, that there are a lot more people suffering from pornography addiction or from partners with pornography addiction than admit it (or addiction to unhealthy sexualities).

I have also, and it took a little bit of time, developed an understanding about what women are expected to sacrifice in a relationship and as a parent. Husbands usually say ‘I am making the money’ and society as a whole doesn’t value homemaking or childrearing (for a family with a child under age 5, all of the homemaking/childrearing is equivalent to a 100k a year/80 hour a week job). This was true even though I tried to do my share and spent a lot more time on child care and cleaning than many of my peers. So when our second child was born I took a break (and am currently on a break) from my career to enable my wife to restart her career. It is a bit difficult (an overall decrease in our income/etc) but it is only fair.

I am not a perfect feminist and I don’t know if I fulfill the requirement of being a radical feminist. But I support the direction Sinfest has gone. I also support the new forum, in the old forum people aggressively attacked the position that Sinfest held and people who supported that position.

I does seem like there is a similarity between liberal feminism and some approaches to racism. That is that it is trying to treat the world as some ideal where there has been no patriarchy and where the biological differences are meaningless due to technology (not true yet, women still bare children and men don't) and so on. It is just like ignoring the last 400 years of racism in the US and pretending that implicit biases don't exist and saying 'technically what is needed is for everyone to be equal under the law and then everything will be fine'.
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Z6IIAB



Joined: 02 Jul 2018
Posts: 230
Location: Rogue

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey jam3, I think the thread is pretty perfect for you to talk about all that stuff. I'm glad you could see yourself out of porn addiction, and you're lucky your wife has had your back on that too. Tbh, men shouldn't be feminists. They should be traitors. Traitors to this silent pact patriarchy has made with you at the expense of women's humanity. I hope you keep fighting your addiction till the end times to the benefit of all the women in your life.

Also, I agree with your analogy between libfem and racism nowadays, it's pretty on point. Last but not least, it's okay you found strenght to fight a perverse addiction through religion. It's what happens to many good people, and it doesn't make you a conservative just for that; We all need to believe in something to help us through rough patches.

Welcome to the actual fest, man! Nice having ya here.
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I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too... can't say that went well. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.
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muki



Joined: 04 Oct 2018
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hard to pinpoint when/how. I'm by no means perfect about being aware, sensitive and vocal about it, especially being a guy (by that I mean growing up as a teenager and early twenties around other guy friends, and taking part of what I'd now consider deeply insensitive and sexist lockeroom talk). But I am working on it still, over a decade later. It's been a slow simmer rather than an eureka moment for me. Last 15 years. Learning, trying to improve my own knowledge and sensitivity to it.

It helps to have been raised by a hippie mom, for sure. And a girlfriend from a decade ago helped pry my eyes open a little more.

These days, I get quietly annoyed with people I know (majority of which I'd even consider liberal/progressive) doing "minor" things like obviously constantly staring at some women's ass, to worse than that. And that's just the people I know. People I've considered as friends for any numbers of years. So I'm feeling some distance from a few of them now. I've been speaking up a little more, but not enough, slowed by the fear of burning bridges. I have to work on that. Seeing it around us (a la Neo in the strip referenced by the OP) isn't enough. And calling out strangers for their misogyny is too easy. I have to talk to friends about it more, as a discussion, which is a lot harder. So we can all hopefully learn further.

Side-note, pretty depressed with the state of politics these days, last couple years, and what I perceive as a comeback/rise in misogyny again. Especially on the internet. A lot of kneejerky fake-equality-proponents meming gifs of women yelling at a man then the man smacking her, with a caption "this is what true equality looks like". Because they aren't capable of true discussion. Few things gets my blood boiling these days.
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Z6IIAB



Joined: 02 Jul 2018
Posts: 230
Location: Rogue

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, USA "leftists" are just righ-wing with a loose notion of "social conscience" that's definetly still misogynistic and racist. Even homophobic tbh. At least that's my POV as a latin american.
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I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too... can't say that went well. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.
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Silt River



Joined: 03 Aug 2018
Posts: 5
Location: Gaia

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, there is a lot to my path. So sorry if it seems a bit long/rambly.

I was raised by a third wave rad-fem and a fairly typical 'liberal male ally that tries but is still extremely patriarchal'. This never led to clashes between them as the mother was always deferred to in 'cultural' matters. She wasn't perfect, and a lot of the ways she expressed her ideology always put me off, but I grew up fairly feminist and radical as a person even if not expressly radical feminist.

Once I got older, I started questioning the patriarchy pretty intensely. More so in reaction to some of the patriarchal preconceptions of gender and 'how to gain power in the patriarchy' my mother had preached and aggressively asserted on me, giving me little control of my own self expression when it came to gender. Probably why I so adamantly drifted towards liberal feminism. To me the Patriarchy represented oppression. A constant historical power grab by those who already wielded power due to their physical 'superiority'. To me Feminism was and still is a system for watching, unearthing, understanding, and FIGHTING the patriarchy. The toxic culture. The shackles on economic prosperity and independence. The constant deriding and disrespect. Belittling those not privileged.

I've been an activist in my work places. Fighting for equal pay of my coworkers. Helping with community garden leadership. I've constantly harassed many of my friends in regards to voting. Did everything I can and could without police confrontation. But I was definitely still a 'liberal feminist'. For again, a largely male congress controlling what women can do with their bodies? @#$% that. Even as I grew more and more aware of the negatives of the porn industry, rape culture, and prositutions connections to human trafficking, I still held that view.

On top of that I never really knew any trans-inclusive radical feminists which itself was a huge turn off emotionally. To me to be trans-exclusive was basically 'unfeminist'. There is just too much cultural patriarchy wrapped up in the people I knew then's views for me to take the rest of what they had to say seriously, much like my rad-fem mother had pushed me away from it due to some of her own beliefs she attached to the concept.

I have been in dire poverty and very close to situations where I could have wound up into survival prostitution. I've known and have been close to strippers and sex workers. These experiences strengthened my liberal feminism. Why shouldn't they be allowed control of their bodies? Etc. You all know the drill I'm sure.

It was actually a friend of mine who changed my perception much later in life, fairly recently honestly. When it came down to it. I want women to be safe and in control of their own life. That's idealistic and impractical, but it's what I want. I want true equality, none of the half-butt stuff I've seen. Respect, economic equality, reproductive independence, REAL protection from domestic abuse, and from situations that could lead them to homelessness.

I believed that to protect women and empower women most would be to give them absolute freedom. I feared things like the Nordic model would just give even more power to the men and patriarchal powers who's money ultimately controls human trafficking and most sexual based 'entertainment'. And you know I'm still not actually sure 100% if it does that or not but my friend pointed out that they came to a different conclusion from the same data that I had previously had. That radical feminism would make women safer and that it'd defeat the patriarchy more effectively. I know I'm not really

So I introspected on it as that was quite surprising to me. I knew my friend was feminist but not radical feminist. After a lot of self reflection I came to a fairly simple conclusion. I want the patriarchy to crumble. I'm a progressive and a pragmatic being. But if we 'make prostitution legal' lets say, CULTURALLY how would we sanely make sure only women benefit from this? You can't. Culturally how would we sanely make sure that it didn't proliferate the patriarchal power structures even more? You can't. Politically how would we sanely make sure human trafficking doesn't use the legalization as a way to more easily diffuse their evil practices? It'd be extremely messy. Prohibition is bad enough at empowering it as is, but codifying the opposite without hurting women even more? Difficult. So much so that while I now support the Nordic model, I fear countries with less of a social support infrastructure who don't take that part of it into account. We need both the institutional support for the poor and the legal protection of sex workers while penalizing the Johns and patriarchal purchasers. And finally, Culturally how do you sanely mitigate the effects of legally allowing video and photographic pornography strip clubs et, institutions that cater so much to the patriarchal consumer base and give cover to sexual predators, pedophiles, toxic masculinity, destructive views of sexuality, etc, while allowing for forms that aren't toxic (which 'funnily' enough only seem to be made by women for women?) You can't, not until the Patriarchy is truly defeated and even then.

Point being all these things I supported ideologically as a liberal feminist, while idealic and something I could accept in a world where the patriarchy is truly defeated, it's just impractical and harmful to feminism as a whole to not fight from a radical feminist point of view when it comes to policy both politically and cultural.

So tl;dr I was brought to radical feminism by intensive introspective rethinking and careful analysis of my feminist ideology and preconceived notions of what a rad-fem was due to my up-bringing through a friend of mine breaking the 'stereotype' I grew up with from my own personal experience with them. My views are probably a lot more nuanced and not as hard liner as many of the people here seem to be on this forum, but make no mistake as 'soft' as I may seem due too my personal journey, I'm pro-Nordic model, anti-pornography, anti-sex trade and have been fighting as much as I can politically and financially (which unfortunately isn't much due to my socioeconomic status, position in life and amount of personal risk I am willing to take. Being a minority in America isn't easy, but still when has that ever stopped us?)
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havocsmom



Joined: 23 Oct 2018
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Such a great topic and nice to reflect on.

I grew up in a relatively progressive household in the '60s. The neighborhood was traditional and patriarchal in the extreme, but both my parents worked and they shared household chores pretty evenly. My parents thought that I could be anything, but should probably be an engineer. The fact that I had no gift for mathematics didn't stop them.

In spite of that incredible start, I ended up with a ridiculously "can't wait to be enslaved" view of myself. I blew off my last year college to get married.

My first husband had grown up a child of divorce and had been raised to believe that the universe revolved around him and his needs. I thought that was probably correct and devoted myself to being a loving, traditional wife while still working full time at a soul-crushing job systematically oppressing and humiliating my fellow enslaved persons.

After his sudden but inevitable betrayal, I began to question what society told me about who I was. I started to see the way media talked about women as the BS it is. I began to see every assumption that drove me to self-destructive behavior not as an illness, but as a natural result of decades of systematic, societal oppression.

I got very lucky and married a strong male ally the second time around. We both write and both of our works feature strong, interesting female characters who are not enslaved. My book is much more radically feminist than his, but we share the same sentiments.


I love the direction Sinfest has taken and have several cartoons posted in various places around the house. They get me out the door awake and empowered to face whatever the patriarchy wants to throw at me.


And, by the way, from talking to other women my age or older, it seems like there are a lot of us who are ready to act. It's amazing we've stayed quiet this long.
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chuckles



Joined: 13 Oct 2018
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Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:02 pm    Post subject: Afraid to ask Reply with quote

I have been somewhat afraid to ask on the message board what radical feminism is. Looking at past posts, I can see that the discourse can devolve in accusations of participating in bad faith and trolling. I've had several questions since I've been reading the forum. Is radical feminism a concise political ideology or is it simply a matter of certain positions? All that I gathered from the posts was that radical feminism is against pornography and prostitution (punish the johns, though, not the prostitutes.) Obviously, such an elementary explanation is unsatisfactory; and yet I was still afraid to ask because of the aforementioned concerns.

Subsequently, I've been reading basic analyses of radical feminism and was pleasantly surprised that I fall right in line with the perspective. Most happily I realized that it is likely the most concise of feminist approaches; this despite the fact that I am a Marxist. Feminism may be one of the few issues that Marxism cannot adequately approach. The economy has nothing to do with a woman being a woman.

Actually, the issue is more complicated than just that; but I resolve here to say that there is something about the concerns of women that cannot be solved solely through economic and legal reforms. There is a fundamental cultural element existing outside of the concerns of the economy that is just as problematic as those things that can be explained by conflict theory alone (BLASPHEMY quoth the Marxist).

I will continue to struggle with entirely embracing this cultural approach, conflict theory has a lifelong hold on me for very good reasons; but I will put forth a good faith effort. At the very least, you'll find in me a fellow traveler.

On a side note: I do not think it is appropriate to dismiss transgender women from the discussion (after all, radical feminism is the most concise of feminist perspectives--wouldn't exclusion mean otherwise?). Perhaps radical feminism may say that the particular concerns of transgender women are not meant to be solved by this perspective, but isn't that just a matter of practical concerns? If radical feminism seeks to abolish arbitrary cultural distinctions of sex and gender, then it may very well undermine the concerns of transgender women. ON THE OTHER HAND: I think the issue should not necessarily be embraced dogmatically. We may very well accomplish the same goals with gender plurality and fluidity as we would if we were to abolish gender entirely. Then again, someone could say that gender fluidity or plurality is nothing more than a masquerade and only reinforces stereotypes on universal scale, instead of on just one sex at a time. Essentially, the jury seems to still be out (if one side may ever be convincing) except for those dogmatically invested. I ask, is it right to potentially vilify someone just to satisfy one's own reasoning? Such a position is as selfish as it is logical. That said, my only exposure to the position has been through the forum; and I think I'm not the only one in saying the dialogue leaves a bad taste.

After all, isn't the desired goal ultimately freedom: freedom from cultural subordination, economic exploitation, legal subjugation, subjective self-destruction. Where does freedom begin? As an idea; it originates as an epiphany within the subject. But that same idea can just as easily die within that subject long before it is ever truly expressed outwards onto the world. Who would I be if I were to participate in that idea's destruction?
On the other hand, hate speech is different: hate speech is antithetical to freedom. Hate speech is a freedom killer. And because hate speech is antithetical to freedom, it enjoys no such free-speech protections. It needs to be confronted and opposed as soon as its encountered.
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Z6IIAB



Joined: 02 Jul 2018
Posts: 230
Location: Rogue

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuckles: https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/radfem-101/
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I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too... can't say that went well. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.
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