Learning Feminism

June 3, 2009

Not Contaminated

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joce Claire @ 2:58 pm
Tags: , , ,

The purpose of this post is not to stir up drama, or to take sides, or anything. The whole “contaminated” issues just brought up some feelings in me, and I’d like to share my perspective.

I’ve felt contaminated. I’ve felt impure. I’ve felt dirty and tainted and gross and disgusting and marked and ruined.

I, like, 25% of American women, was raped.

I spent years feeling dirty and damaged. I starved myself and cut up my arms, legs, chest, crotch and face. I felt like there was something rotten and bad inside me that I could never get out, that I would never be whole and clean again.

Rape is not uncommon. Statistics vary, in America, from 1 in 6 women and girls to 1 in 3, and that usually doesn’t include incest. Sex that doesn’t fit the legal definition of rape that is still coerced or pressurized is even more common. So is being sexually harassment, molested, groped, stalked, etc.

I can’t find good statistics on lesbian rape victims (and Google keeps giving me porn results, ugh), but I know I’ve read somewhere that lesbians are even more likely to be raped — “corrective” rape, anyone?

I’ve had consensual sex with a man. I’m not applying for any Gold Star here. But being called “contaminated” — in a feminist space, no less! — just brings back old memories of the years I spent feeling dirty and bad because of something a man did to me.

Advertisements

59 Comments »

  1. I SUPPORT YOU. You are my Sister. And I stand in solidarity with you.

    We are NOT CONTAMINATED.

    **HUGS**

    Comment by undercover punk — June 3, 2009 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  2. being called “contaminated” — in a feminist safe space, no less! — just brings back old memories of the years I spent feeling dirty and bad because of something a man did to me.

    *hugs* Joceclaire, I 100% empathize. As a survivor of rape, this whole thing was very triggering to me too. 😦

    I think there should be no disagreement whatsoever amongst feminists about the fact that the word ‘contaminated’ is highly misogynistic.

    Take care!

    Comment by Maggie — June 3, 2009 @ 3:20 pm | Reply

  3. Well, now we know where the feminist safe spaces *aren’t*, eh?

    It’s a minefield out there.

    (No gold stars for me; I’m as c*nt-aminated as they come.)

    Comment by Mary Sunshine — June 3, 2009 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

    • C*nt-aminated!! Hahahaha! I am laughing my ass off over that, Mary!!! Thanks. 🙂

      Comment by undercover punk — June 4, 2009 @ 10:21 am | Reply

  4. Well I’m sorry Joceclaire, but my blog is not, never has been, and has never represented itself as a ‘safe space’. The first post on it is Eminem, if you look. So if it’s my blog you’re talking about, you’re wrong on that point.

    And no one called rape victims contaminated either, as was made clear very many times. I’ve been sexually assaulted and I am a rape crisis volunteer. I would not allow ANYONE to call women who’ve been raped contaminated. So that wasn’t what was said, but don’t let the truth get in the way of ludicrous hyperbole whatever you do…..

    Now I’m terribly sorry to disappoint those who decided to create me in their own image, but that’s idols for you. Feet of clay, every one. I can never hope to reach the exalted heights of morality of people like you and Maggie, so I won’t even try.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 3, 2009 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

    • It was just a general comment about the word and my own history with it, this wasn’t meant to be an attack on you. Just trying to show why that word might be upsetting to some people, and why it triggered me.

      And anyway, I’m an Eminem fan and still in the baby steps of my feminist awakening, so I don’t know where you’re going with the “exalted heights of morality” thing.

      I feel like this mess is a result of both sides (particularly you and Kitty) sort of willfully misunderstanding each other/putting words in each others’ mouths.

      So, you say rape victims don’t count? What about someone, like me, who has been raped but also had consensual heterosex? Am I still contaminated?

      Comment by joceclaire — June 3, 2009 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

      • What about someone, like me, who has been raped but also had consensual heterosex? Am I still contaminated?

        No, you’re NOT, Joceclaire. *Hugs*

        Compulsory heterosexuality indoctrinates so many women:

        http://www.terry.uga.edu/~dawndba/4500compulsoryhet.htm

        Heteronormativity is the cornerstone of male domination over women.

        Feminism isn’t about making women feel bad about their past.

        Comment by Maggie — June 3, 2009 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

      • I don’t think Kitty was willfully misunderstanding/mischaracterizing anyone. I just had to say that.

        Comment by Margaret — June 4, 2009 @ 9:05 am | Reply

      • Well, what Kitty did that bugged me a little was write a post calling Polly a “liar,” when I don’t think Polly lied so much as misunderstood/exaggerated.

        Comment by joceclaire — June 4, 2009 @ 9:42 am | Reply

    • Oh, and I changed the safe space part. I guess I misunderstood based on how others were categorizing it. Sorry about that.

      Comment by joceclaire — June 3, 2009 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  5. Well I never said anyone was ‘contaminated’ actually. I just refused to ban someone else for saying it. But here is the whole paragraph. In response to an article about Megan Fox an actor who said

    I have no question in my mind about being bisexual.““But I’m also a hypocrite: I would never date a girl who was bisexual, because that means they also sleep with men, and men are so dirty that I’d never want to sleep with a girl who had slept with a man.”

    Which drew this response.

    Well I would never sleep with a woman who had ever had sex with a man. Contaminated by male in the bedroom sexual indoctrination. Only lesbian only women for me thank you very much. I can always tell when women have slept with men. Contaminated for life as far as us purist lesbians go.

    Straight women experiementing, stick you head in a test tube!

    As ever, if writing about something it’s a good idea to read the source, not believe the chinese whispers.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 3, 2009 @ 4:55 pm | Reply

    • I did read the post, and the first couple days of comments on it. How do those comments make exceptions for victims of rape, incest or sexual coercion? “Has ever had sex with a man” would seem to include rape victims as well. I know subsequent comments made a bit of a show of excluding rape victims from the “contaminated” label, but I felt like they were done with the attitude that rape in our society (I’m in America, but I assume the UK is similar) is a rarity. Knowing you work as a rape crisis counselor gives me a different perspective there.

      And no, I wouldn’t recommend dating bisexuals. I’ve dated two bisexual women, both of whom left me for men, and it sucks.

      Comment by joceclaire — June 3, 2009 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

      • Because the comment includes the words *straight women experimenting* maybe? Because it was made in response to a post about Megan Fox saying the shit she did? Because it was then qualified by a further comment, in case it wasn’t absolutely clear?

        You’ve already proved Joceclaire, that you don’t actually know anything about my blog by your “safe space” remark. When it’s made quite clear on the blog that it does not make that claim at all.

        There is one person who I actually DO believe objected to the word in question and that is Margaret Jamison, who is the only person acting with any integrity in this. Everyone else is just pissed off that a lesbian said she wouldn’t want to sleep with women who’ve slept with men, and is pretending that they read the remark that way to have something to feel legitimately *angry* about.

        Comment by Polly Styrene — June 4, 2009 @ 12:29 am | Reply

      • OK:

        1. No, I’m not super-familiar with the history of your blog or with the blog as a whole. I’m fairly new to these here parts.

        2. Yes, I read the post in question and understood what SheilaG was trying to say, but felt the way she generalized all women who’ve had sex with men and how she called such women “contaminated” was insulting and triggering to me.

        3. I really don’t care whom lesbians choose to sleep with (as long as that person is not harming them). I think it is an individual choice, and I’d never tell any woman she *had* to sleep with anyone she didn’t want to — in fact, I very, very much believe no woman should ever feel obligated to date or have sex with anyone she doesn’t feel comfortable with. I’m bisexual, and like I said, I wouldn’t recommend lesbians date bisexual women. I wouldn’t recommend lesbians date me! If gold star lesbians are happier with other gold star lesbians, then more power to them. Seriously, I mean that.

        Comment by joceclaire — June 4, 2009 @ 1:00 am | Reply

  6. And actually Maggie, I spent years feeling dirty because of what a man did to me as well. Which is, surprisingly enough, why I don’t want to have sex with women who are sexually attracted to men. Sorry to inconvenience you so. Pardon me for breathing.

    Of course I’m the type of lesbian who everyone knows is a lesbian, so I get the shit for it. I’m looking forward to the employment tribunal it looks like I’ll end up having to bring against my employers.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 3, 2009 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

    • why I don’t want to have sex with women who are sexually attracted to men. Sorry to inconvenience you so. Pardon me for breathing.

      I would never have sex with a bisexual woman either. You don’t have to make wrongful assumptions about me, Polly. And that may not be your intention but you know (?) you don’t have to be so patronizing with words such as “Sorry to inconvenience you so. Pardon me for breathing.” I NEVER said that you were ‘inconveniencing me’, so I don’t understand where you are coming from, and I’m confused…

      My comment in this thread was made as a form of solidarity and support to Joceclaire, as I’d felt triggered exactly the same way as her over SheilaG’s ‘contaminated’ comment. My comment was addressed to Joceclaire, no one else. So I don’t understand where you’re coming from here. 😕

      But since you now agree that your blog isn’t a ‘feminist safe’ space, well I don’t see any problem anymore. I got over it by now.

      Anyway, I agree that you never said anyone was ‘contaminated’, Polly; SheilaG did… But I simply believe that there should be no disagreement whatsoever amongst feminists about the fact that the word ‘contaminated’ is highly misogynistic.

      If you look in the dictionary/thesaurus you’ll find something similar to this:

      contaminated:
      1. made impure or unsuitable by contact or mixture with something unclean, bad, etc.: to contaminate a lake with sewage.
      2. rendered harmful or unusable by added radioactive material.

      Synonyms: alloyed, befouled, corrupted, debased, debauched, defiled, depraved, desecrated, dirty, harmed, infected, injured, mucked up, perverted, poisoned, polluted, profaned, radioactivated, soiled, spoiled, stained, sullied, tainted, tarnished, vitiated…

      Comment by Maggie — June 3, 2009 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

      • And I have said it many times before: I don’t give a fuck about men anymore. I love womyn…

        Comment by Maggie — June 3, 2009 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

    • actually Maggie, I spent years feeling dirty because of what a man did to me as well.

      Sorry to hear it. 😦

      Comment by Maggie — June 3, 2009 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

    • Oh sorry I lied. It was two men. Well at least two, completely unrelated. You can probably throw in a few other incidents as well. Do I get to cry and claim the feminist martyr crown now?

      Comment by Polly Styrene — June 4, 2009 @ 2:02 am | Reply

  7. You’d probably better remove the word ‘feminist’ as well.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 3, 2009 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

  8. And no lesbians aren’t more likely to be raped as far as I know, at least in the UK, it’s obviously different in Jamaica or Africa where ‘corrective’ rape is common. Most women who are raped are raped by (male) sexual partners or ‘dates’. As a lesbian, if you’ve never “dated” men, you’re unlikely to end up in some dude’s home for coffee. Yes of course there are lesbians who’ve been raped, but stranger rape is the least common form, so I’d say it’s a lot less likely.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 3, 2009 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

  9. Can anybody tell me Maggie, when I specifically said “I don’t want to have sex with Maggie Hays” – because I missed that bit actually?

    And let me make it exactly clear where I’m coming from. You are a *lesbian*. Fine. I don’t own words, I’m not the queen of lesbians, last time I looked so what I think doesn’t matter actually, which is the bit you seem to be missing.

    Nor did I say women who are attracted to men aren’t *lesbians* either. I’ve said the complete opposite about a hundred times now. I’ve said that words mean whatever you want them to mean, because that’s true. I said I personally wouldn’t want to sleep with a woman who is sexually attracted to men. And that’s true as well. Like I say, pardon me for breathing. Because apparently what this actually means is *any woman who has ever slept with a man isn’t a lesbian*. No it doesn’t actually. Your logic is faulty. That is the biggest non sequitur in history. I am not in charge of words. If you fit your own definition of *lesbian* then you’re a *lesbian*. Easy!

    Apparently however me saying that actually I don’t want to have sex with women who fancy men is a crime so grievous that the entire fabric of the space time continuum may be threatened, blogs have been deleted because of it (or was that the Eminem revelation?) and hundreds of weeping radfem lesbians may fall into the void created by my heresy. Oops!

    The thing is nobody knows you’re a *lesbian* though, do they Maggie? So are your employers currently trying to sack you because of your *lesbianism*. Hmmm? Has anyone ever yelled abuse at you in the street because of your *lesbianism*.Hmmm? No?

    I’m not crying actually and all that has happened to me. Good job somebody isn’t or we’d need an ark around here.

    It’s all very well you claiming you are acting *in solidarity* with someone, Maggie, and Joceclaire claiming that she didn’t write this post to get at me. I think the truth is actually more like she didn’t think I’d read it. Thorry.

    You all claim you love *womym*. Stop lying. You love yourselves. You don’t give a shit about *womyn* or you wouldn’t be pulling all this emotionally manipulative bullshit.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 4, 2009 @ 12:45 am | Reply

    • Can anybody tell me Maggie, when I specifically said “I don’t want to have sex with Maggie Hays” – because I missed that bit actually?

      I don’t believe you’ve said anything like that, Polly. It is not what i have said. You don’t have to put words into my mouth. I simply said that you were using more than slightly patronizing language here, when my original comment was in fact meant for Joceclaire, not you. You started addressing me in this thread with patronizing words such as “Sorry to inconvenience you so. Pardon me for breathing” when I’d NEVER in fact said that you were ‘inconveniencing’ me in the first place. I never addressed you before you’d addressed me. My original comment was for Joceclaire…

      That said:

      The thing is nobody knows you’re a *lesbian* though, do they Maggie?

      Quite a few people have already fond out in fact, as they came across my blog.

      you claiming you are acting *in solidarity* with someone

      I wasn’t claiming, I was doing it. You don’t have to try to suggest that I wasn’t being “truthful,” you have no proof for that.

      You all claim you love *womym*. Stop lying. You love yourselves. You don’t give a shit about *womyn* or you wouldn’t be pulling all this emotionally manipulative bullshit.

      I don’t care if you believe me or not. I know who I am. I love women. I am not self-centered: I have, on many occasions, helped womyn friends sort out their problems IRL. It’s the truth believe it or not. I don’t care.

      I don’t want to have sex with women who fancy men

      I don’t either. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I understand you on that one. I’d be too afraid myself that they’d leave me with a broken heart.

      So are your employers currently trying to sack you because of your *lesbianism*. Hmmm? Has anyone ever yelled abuse at you in the street because of your *lesbianism*.Hmmm? No?

      Not yet, but I often argue that both kinds of womyn -lesbian & het- are oppressed in different ways. Lesbians are definitely a lot more likely to be oppressed socially. As for het womyn, heteronormativity is the cornerstone of male domination over womyn, so het womyn are more likely to suffer sexual torture & institutionalized compulsory intercourse on a daily basis at the hands of aggressive men. That’s my take on this…

      Polly, I understand that you are in a very bad place right now and I’m sorry to hear about all the bad things that happened to you, but it doesn’t mean that you have to bully me, make accusatory & wrongful assumptions about me and use patronizing language here. Can you please stop? I’m asking you to kindly, please.

      I have never ever done anything to you! Please, stop addressing me, unless you take a slightly more appropriate tone and stop making accusatory & wrongful assumptions. I never made any about you. I believe that we are adults, therefore we can address each other as adults. You don’t have to jump on me like that. Please, stop it.

      Comment by Maggie — June 4, 2009 @ 8:47 am | Reply

  10. And I quote:

    Feminism isn’t about making women feel bad about their past.</em.

    Maggie, you have to understand – seriously – I'm not that hawt. And for the nine millionth time (she exaggerated wildly), what I said was that I didn't want to sleep with women who fancy men. And what Sheila G said was that she wouldn't want to sleep with a women who'd ever voluntarily slept with a man. I have no idea of how hawt Sheila is. So I really don't understand what all the fuss is about.

    Now if you equate someone saying who they don't want to sleep with, with making women feel bad about their past can I recommend you learn some logic? Because I’m sick of this shit. And enough with the *gold star lesbian* already. It was a blog post I quoted, it was not a phrase I or anybody else has ever used in real life. Despite the fact that actually probably the majority of my lesbian friends HAVEN’T slept with men, so it turns out we’re not that rare or freakish after all.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 4, 2009 @ 2:09 am | Reply

    • Polly, Yes I said “Feminism isn’t about making women feel bad about their past” but it was not a comment in reply to *you*; you don’t have to automatically assume that (unless it’s written ‘polly’ somewhere in the comment, which wasn’t the case in that comment containing the sentence you quoted). It was a comment made as a reaction to SheilaG’s triggering ‘contaminated’ comment. I do NOT equate someone saying who they don’t want to sleep with, with making women feel bad about their past = As I said before: It was NOT in fact really the “lesbian” thing that made me feel sad (I am now sure I do not need anyone’s permission to be a lesbian), it was more the whole “virgin/whore” ideology underlying what happened. I understand that, in a way, wanting any sort of minority of womyn (e.g. the ones who are proud of their achievement and their courage about resisting heteronormativity from an early age) to be heard is important… but not by using woman-shaming strategies such as “Have you or have you not been with men?” virgin/whore ideology. And I meant that as a reaction to SheilaG’s original comment, not to anything else.

      As a matter of fact, I’ve also said that I’d totally respect a particular lesbian’s personal boundaries, if she wanted nothing to do with me sexually. I am not like any of those men who constantly go after women, ffs. One particular woman does not want me. Her right, fair enough! I’d go find another female person and move on.

      And, as an aside, I am not interested in “hawt”; it is pornified patriarchal language to me. I am more interested in another woman’s emotional warmth, humanity and personality, rather than her looks. This whole Western culture is all about *looks*, which seems very oppressive to me…

      the majority of my lesbian friends HAVEN’T slept with men, so it turns out we’re not that rare or freakish after all.

      Polly, I don’t believe it is “freakish” to have never slept with men, I believe it is lucky, IMO…

      No, as I said: Please, stop addressing me, unless you take a slightly more appropriate tone and stop making accusatory & wrongful assumptions.

      Comment by Maggie — June 4, 2009 @ 11:24 am | Reply

  11. And if you’ve stopped publishing my comments BTW. How very brave or you. Slag me off and then don’t even give me a right of reply. Nice!

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 4, 2009 @ 2:10 am | Reply

    • WordPress automatically labeled your comment as spam, but I fixed it. And I haven’t slagged you off; I’ve been trying to be even-handed and keep a civil level of discourse, for whatever good it’s done.

      Comment by joceclaire — June 4, 2009 @ 10:48 am | Reply

  12. Joceclaire, I’m really sorry that Polly’s been arguing with me on your blog. I was merely responding to your comment. I did not expect that… you know what I mean, I’m sure…

    Comment by Maggie — June 4, 2009 @ 9:08 am | Reply

  13. I don’t think Kitty was willfully misunderstanding/mischaracterizing anyone. I just had to say that.

    Yeah, I understand that, Margie. I was only talking about how the original comment by SheilaG had made me and others feel.

    Comment by Maggie — June 4, 2009 @ 9:10 am | Reply

  14. Polly,

    Rape victims were not excused from the “contaminated” category until pretty deep into this mess. And anyway, excusing rape victims (however it is you personally are defining rape) from the misogyny doesn’t make it OK to uphold a “pure”/”contaminated” dichotomy based on penile intercourse for all the women whose experiences of penile intercourse *you personally* wouldn’t describe as rape.

    No one is manipulating you, Polly. No one told you to do anything at all to or about Sheila G. You *chose* to DEFEND Sheila G, though, which is far and a ways from just not doing anything at all about Sheila G, isn’t it? How about you take responsibility for *that*. *You* chose to defend her, when all you ever had to do if you didn’t agree with her but didn’t want to outwardly disagree with her was just not say a word.

    And, Maggie, unfortunately, as Polly doesn’t take “orders,” I’m sure she will not respect your request that she leave you alone.

    Comment by Margaret — June 4, 2009 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  15. Sorry, joceclaire. I thought you could express your thoughts on this subject without being dragged into the mess. I really am sorry about that.

    I don’t remember Kitty calling Polly a liar, although I certainly have because she said she was no longer reading our blog when she was.

    Comment by Margaret — June 4, 2009 @ 9:44 am | Reply

  16. I really don’t care whom lesbians choose to sleep with (as long as that person is not harming them). I think it is an individual choice, and I’d never tell any woman she *had* to sleep with anyone she didn’t want to — in fact, I very, very much believe no woman should ever feel obligated to date or have sex with anyone she doesn’t feel comfortable with.

    Same here, joceclaire.

    Comment by Maggie — June 4, 2009 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  17. “Well, what Kitty did that bugged me a little was write a post calling Polly a “liar,” when I don’t think Polly lied so much as misunderstood/exaggerated.

    Comment by joceclaire — June 4, 2009 @ 9:42 am”

    Where is that post joceclaire?

    Comment by The Fabulous Kitty Glendower — June 4, 2009 @ 10:50 am | Reply

    • Honestly, I looked and I can’t find it. I thought you accused Polly of being a liar for saying that you said people would boycott her site if she let SheilaG post (which you didn’t say, but I did think she misunderstood rather than lied about it), but maybe I’m imagining things.

      Comment by joceclaire — June 4, 2009 @ 10:59 am | Reply

      • Although it looks like you are not going to apologize for readily thinking the worse of me, I will over look that because in the bigger scheme of things it means nothing. I will tell you what I did say or close enough. I did not say anyone is going to boycott any site. I don’t have that power. I can only talk about what I will do, because I am the only person I can control. I did say Satsuma ruins every site she squats at. I did say that. I stand by that. I did not give a time limit. I did not say in a day, in a week, in a month. But, I am saying it will happen, especially if she continues to squat there. On the whole, Satsuma does not know how to talk to people. And none of this was said until Polly decided to defend Satsuma’s misogyny. As Margie said, Polly never had to defend Satsuma. If Polly had not defended Satsuma, she (Satsuma) would have ended up quarantining herself. (How to you like the word quarantine when referred to a woman who so freely calls other women contaminated. I like to think I do have a sense of humor).

        For the record, I do think people should cease in engaging Polly at this time (but I give no commands and will not hold against anyone who does not stop. It is merely a suggestion). She is obviously suffering greatly from her grievance against her employers. It is my opinion that she is lashing out. Who better to lash out at than the very people who accepted and welcomed you? She is full of so much determination not to admit her wrong part that she is now making a fool of herself. I am sorry for that. I’ve always liked Polly. In a way, I understand how someone or something needs to absorb her anger and disappointment, however, I don’t like how feminists are being used for that purpose. I mean why should we spend any more time. She has made it clear that she has no problem with misogynist language. She has made it clear that she is not interested in creating or maintaining a safe space for feminists. She has made it clear that lesbian is not synonymous with feminist. So, honestly, at this point, I have to wonder why am I exerting any more energy with Polly. I will say, when her grievance is over, when she regains her self-respect, after she triumphs with her employer, I will welcome her back into my confidence. (I am not speaking for anyone else!).

        Comment by The Fabulous Kitty Glendower — June 4, 2009 @ 11:24 am | Reply

      • I meant to add to the statement,

        “Although it looks like you are not going to apologize for readily thinking the worse of me,”

        this: (Well, not actually thinking, but ready to commit that into writing)

        Comment by The Fabulous Kitty Glendower — June 4, 2009 @ 11:26 am | Reply

      • I know you never said that people would boycott her site, only that Polly incorrectly interpreted it that way. I know you never said that. I just think Polly exaggerated/misinterpreted it rather than lied. (Which you may or may not have accused her of, I’m pretty confused and tired at this point.)

        And I wouldn’t think the worst of you Kitty, I think you’re great! And I am sorry if you never accused Polly of lying about that, and I’m further sorry you thought I was accusing you of saying something you didn’t say. I feel no need to start fights with my feminist sisters, especially over a misunderstanding!

        I just pointed out an area where I felt the other side was wrong in order to try to be balanced and maintain civil discourse, which clearly was a waste of time.

        Comment by joceclaire — June 4, 2009 @ 11:33 am | Reply

      • No, I don’t want to fight with you either. I am sorry as well.

        Comment by The Fabulous Kitty Glendower — June 4, 2009 @ 11:37 am | Reply

      • And just to make something clear, I don’t think balance can be maintained when someone uses misogyny. Any attempt to do so will be futile. Using/condoning/defending misogyny is the problem. It cannot be balanced.

        Comment by The Fabulous Kitty Glendower — June 4, 2009 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  18. Yes, it was a waste of time, not least because it had been pointed out and explained to Polly on numerous occasions and by numerous women that NO ONE had ordered her to do anything and yet Polly persisted in “exaggerating/misinterpreting” what was said. Even after it had been explained that “Satsuma ruins blogs” was not a call for a boycott, not a call for Polly to do something in her power to alter the course of events, not a call for anything at all, Polly continued to “misinterpret” what had been said.

    I’m not sure what you’d call persistent, insistent “exaggeration” and misREPRESENTATION (which is what a misinterpretation becomes when you let it out of the confines of your own head), but ‘lie’ isn’t the least suitable word I could come up with for sure, whether that’s the word Kitty used or not. I think it’s perfectly appropriate, and I don’t mind using it myself, which I have.

    And in the interest of balance, I don’t think calling a misrepresentation a lie (which it is) is nearly so grievous as defending a woman’s use of the word “contaminated” to describe the vast majority of women on the planet. And for the record, I routinely use the word ‘lie’ to refer to deliberate misrepresentations, mischaracterizations, omissions, and exaggerations. They’re all lies to me, in that ‘lie’ is an umbrella term for any and all of the above. Any variation from the truth as one understands it is a lie. And after so much explanation, no one can convince me that polly actually believed those words were some kind of order for her to do anything at all.

    Comment by Margaret — June 4, 2009 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  19. “She has made it clear that lesbian is not synonymous with feminist.”

    Careful Kitty, no one ever said it was, anymore than being heterosexual is synonymous with being feminist.

    And believe me I know, not the best time…

    Comment by atheistwoman — June 4, 2009 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

    • Actually, no one in this round may have said it, but it is known in feminism that a bigger portion of lesbians are feminists compared to how many non-lesbians are feminists. That may have nothing to do with anything, but one thing does? If a woman, lesbian or not, is not a feminist, and don’t give a damn about misogyny, why hang out in feminist spaces?

      Comment by The Fabulous Kitty Glendower — June 4, 2009 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

    • I went back and read my comment: “She has made it clear that lesbian is not synonymous with feminist.”

      This can be made clear, without having actually said it. That was my point. If it was not understood before, I most certainly it understand now, that the two are not synonymous.

      Comment by The Fabulous Kitty Glendower — June 4, 2009 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  20. No I’m not going to apologize. At least you got that bit right/

    Now you can demand apologies until the end of time, and Maggie can tell me to be *appropriate and respectful” until the end of time.

    Unfortunatly I’ve not done anything wrong so I’m not going to apologize. And Maggie, I’ll respect you when you’re worthy of respect and not before. So that’s shortly after hell freezes then.

    Joceclaire, this ia bit of passive aggressive bullshit that you didn’t think I’d see. Well I did. Thorry.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 5, 2009 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

    • I haven’t done anything wrong to you, or to anyone else. All I did was to express my feelings about the original comment and to respond to Joceclaire’s post in a supportive way (whether you believe it or not).

      Polly, I haven’t asked for any apology, I asked only that you *stop*. Please, stop addressing me, unless you use a more appropriate tone and stop making accusatory & wrongful assumptions.

      If you are not going to speak to me in a more appropriate way then: Please, do not address me. Please, just stop talking to me.

      You do not know me; and you never have either.

      Comment by Maggie — June 5, 2009 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

  21. Actually I misspelled *unfortunately* – type, but I did do something wrong!

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 5, 2009 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

  22. Oh and read the small print. My blog never, ever, ever claimed to be feminist. So I don’t care if you say I’m not a feminist Maggie, cos I’m not.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 5, 2009 @ 3:31 pm | Reply

  23. *She has made it clear that she is not interested in creating or maintaining a safe space for feminists.*

    Yes indeedy, when my blog started with Eminem. Like I say, read the small print.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 5, 2009 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

  24. *She has made it clear that lesbian is not synonymous with feminist*

    Right again. Because it isn’t. Never has been, (70’s fashions aside) never will be.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 5, 2009 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

  25. And Maggie, if you write bullshit about people all over the internetz, it’s a wee bit hypocritical to start crying when they respond in kind.

    Comment by Polly Styrene — June 5, 2009 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

    • Polly, I have never “written bullshit” about you over the Net. All I did was to express my feelings about the original comment made by SheilaG, not by you.

      I haven’t asked for any apology for the way you’ve been speaking to me, I asked only that you *stop*. Please, stop addressing me, unless you use a more appropriate tone and stop making accusatory & wrongful assumptions.

      If you are not going to speak to me in a more appropriate way then: Please, do not address me. Please, just stop talking to me.

      You do not know me; and you never have either.

      LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Comment by Maggie — June 5, 2009 @ 4:11 pm | Reply

  26. Leave Me Alone

    Comment by Maggie — June 5, 2009 @ 4:12 pm | Reply

    • She’s banned now. I should have done it sooner, but I thought maybe if I tried really hard … I don’t know, I thought maybe we could be grown-ups and work out our differences or something.

      I’m sorry you got attacked on my blog! You’re my sister, and I hope this doesn’t scare you away!

      Jocelyn

      Comment by joceclaire — June 5, 2009 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

      • Of course not, Joceclaire. *hugs*

        I will still be a frequent reader of your blog even when I don’t necessarily comment. 😉

        You’re my sister too. I didn’t know the conversation would go like this…

        Comment by Maggie — June 5, 2009 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  27. I’m very sad this has happened though. I was merely responding to your post WRT how you felt about the original comment. I did not want to conversation to happen like this. 😦

    I’d never said that Polly was ‘inconveniencing’ me in the first place; she didn’t have to try to put words into my mouth or make wrongful accusations and untrue assumptions about me. I never addressed Polly before she’d addressed me. My original comments were to you, Joceclaire…

    Polly, if you’re still reading, I did say that I understood that you are in a very bad place right now and that I was sorry to hear about all the bad things that happened to you, but it doesn’t mean that you have to speak to me that way. And I’d never asked for any apology for the way you’ve been speaking to me here, I’d only asked that you *stop*, that’s all. Why was it so hard to stop? 😦

    I am not your enemy. I have no interest in being your enemy. I just wanted you to stop, as I had not interest in fighting with you. I just wanted to respond to Joceclaire’s post and express to her my similar feelings about someone’s (not yours) triggering comment (which I did at the beginning of this thread), that’s all. 😦

    Comment by Maggie — June 5, 2009 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  28. Hi joceclaire, this is my first time to your blog.

    Margie & Kitty seem on the money in this whole fiasco. I have largely stayed silent due to me being under the delusion of Polly being a friend as well as political ally.

    As Margie said, no one expected (or ordered!) Polly to ban SheilaG for the comment – it was Polly’s defence of the comment that got some of us a bit gob-smacked.

    However, in light of revelations here, that Polly does not consider herself a feminist, then it probably makes sense.

    It was Polly who trotted out the link to the Gold Star Lesbian thing in defence of always-lesbians thinking of exhet-lesbians as contaminated. A view in my book, as very unfeminist. No woman is better or worse than any woman. That is a hierarchy of femaleness, which doesn’t fly with me.

    Initially in those threads, it was put that ‘pure’ lesbians would not sleep with any lesbian who had previously slept with men. Then it was ‘voluntarily slept with men’ (and the rape victim clause). The degrees are endless if one is to go down that road. And those degrees were endlessly being put forth as justification for calling 90+% of females ‘contaminated’. Now it seems that there is some back tracking to ‘presently’ sleeping with men, rather than previously, as was first defended. Frankly, I find this position still stupid. If someone dumps you, for a male or female, it still hurts just as much, and sometimes the relationship just breaks up, with no one else in the picture. Would I sleep with a bisexual woman? Probably not. But not because she might dump me for a man, or has been with men in the past, but because she is not of the separatist (and feminist) mindset that would be critical to consider a relationship.

    My primary objection to ‘contaminated’ is that it defines a female by what someone else (a male) has done to her, and is not an autonomous classification. I want female liberation from males, not to be defined by what males do to females. That is what we have now already. The virgin/whore dichotomy. Sucks. And is all about what males are doing – female is the object, not subject.

    In my not so humble opinion, females are the subject, and males are just some sort of faceless, shapeless background noise, that keep imposing themselves into my world one way or another. I want liberation from any influence that they have in my life.

    Comment by stormy — June 6, 2009 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  29. Would I sleep with a bisexual woman? Probably not. But not because she might dump me for a man, or has been with men in the past, but because she is not of the separatist (and feminist) mindset that would be critical to consider a relationship.

    And there you have it — the main point that I think has been missed in all of this, that I have been struggling to articulate. I am still planning to write something about it but it would be nice if everyone had a few days to calm down and feel better before I stir shit up again. 🙂

    Comment by Amy's Brain Today — June 6, 2009 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

  30. Thanks Amy.

    Comment by stormy — June 7, 2009 @ 1:46 am | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: