Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bimbo Eruptions

Left: African Daisy Mandala by Susan Warner

Good Lord, sports fans! It's getting ugly over there at Feministe. My favorite sex- worker-blogger, Renegade Evolution, a bee in the bonnet of old-school radical feminists, posed a series of sensible and interesting questions in a sensible and interesting post. As a woman unashamed of her breast implants, as well as her buff, beautiful bod, she asked:

I understand that with conventional beauty standards it is important to instill in women and girls that there is more to body comfort and beauty that what the media dictates, because truth is, women of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, and “styles” are beautiful and that wider realm of beauty and comfort should be encouraged to flourish and grow. No woman should feel ashamed of the way they look or what they wear, but I often feel as if perhaps this has spun slightly out of control in some aspects. When a woman who is naturally blonde or naturally thin is applogizing for it, it seems to me as if something his gone wrong here. It seems like an odd sort of backlash to what was supposed to be a mode of thought that would make women more comfortable in their own skins, no matter their shape, size, mode of dress, or alterations. One can read feminist lit of all types, from books to blogs, and see this odd backlash, feminist people calling women bimbos, porno barbies, sticks; women disdaining their own natural attributes that fall within the realms of conventional beauty, things such as being tall, or thin, or curvy or blonde…

And it makes me wonder whatever happened to women, all women, being happy with their bodies?

Or is this just one of those things I find myself pondering? And if so, what did I miss?

Shaggy-haired and thoroughly unfamiliar with mascara wands, I was one of the people who replied:
Well, I am harassed constantly, for 37 years now (since I turned 13) to “do something with myself”… I HAVE done something, and this is it, thanks. I am clean, well-scrubbed, not dirty or gross, but I am given the message virtually every day that I should “clean myself up”…if I did not work in an alternative business, I probably couldn’t obtain gainful employment.

All my life, I have been fussed at to wear makeup, cut my hair (or “do something” with it), wear traditional middle-class clothing, and so on. Women my age are expected to wear make-up, and I am constantly given advice I never asked for about that. Women my age are not supposed to have long, unstyled hair. We are supposed to have manicures, pedicures, wearing capri pants, etc. No thanks. MY FUCKING CHOICE. And yet, I am interrogated about MY CHOICES. I do not criticize others unless they start in on me, and then, yes, I will catalog for them all the chemicals they are absorbing into their skin. But only if they ask. (And no, that is not the only reason I don’t use it. I learned the names of the chemicals just to upset the interrogators.)

Until my choices are fully respected and I am LEFT ALONE by the busybodies (all women, interestingly enough), then I really don’t care about “feminist pressure” (where?) about make-up or shaving. Are you kidding? This is a joke, right? Feminists lost that battle; that ship sailed. The majority of women are all about make-up, hair-styling, dieting, botox, etc. So I am at a loss to figure out where this “feminist pressure” is supposedly coming from?

And these are rhetorical questions, not necessarily directed to Ren, with whom I have had this discussion before! :)

And for five minutes, at least, the discussion seemed to go pretty well. Magniloquence, for instance, made an interesting contribution:
What constitutes comfort? A well-made pair of heels feels good to me. I have a nice pair of 5 1/2 ” black stilettoes that are so comfortable I’ve worn them for a full day out at an amusement park (going on rides, wandering the hot asphalt, chasing my friends and everything) - they don’t hold me back, and they feel better on my feet than any pair of tennis shoes I’ve ever owned. (Or, for that matter, any pair of ’sensible flats’ that wasn’t flip-flops.) That has nothing to do with how they look and everything to do with how they’re made and how their shape interacts with my body. How do you know the woman in the baggy jeans and flats is really comfortable?

(For clarity: I’m not saying that all fancy/femme/dressy/complicated stuff is comfortable, and I do like wearing loose nondescript clothing periodically. My point is that comfort is every ounce in the skin of the wearer, not the eyes of the beholder. You can’t say ‘wearing comfortable clothes’ is better without admitting that people’s ideas of comfort differ widely, and that what is comfortable for you may be immensely awkward for me and vice versa. I like corsets; properly boned and laced, they feel great. That doesn’t mean that you have to.)

That’s the part that really bothers me. We conflate comfort and natural expression with rebellion, at this point. And in one sense, the philosophical, broader-movement sense, that’s right. The exhaust metaphor fits there. But the micro and the macro do not nearly so neatly coincide; you can’t go from the macro ‘this stuff hurts us overall’ to ‘you are a bad person’ or ‘you must be brainwashed’ or ‘you aren’t doing your part.’ You don’t know that.

And then, the whole thing blew up. Why? Well, why do you think? The amazing Ginmar, who is to radical feminism as Ernest Angley is to Christianity. One cringes upon their emergence from the fringes into polite debate/mass consciousness: please go away. Whimper. PLEASE?

Ha! Dream on, my little Dworkinites! Greatest hits from Ginmar, over on the thread in question:
That said, I know some pro-porn, sex pos, male kiss ass pseudo feminists who are all about the bitching at other feminists. I still don’t think it’s a feminist thing because simply speaking, kissing male ass and attacking other feminists is not feminists, and I’ve seen these women in action and they’re vicious. Whether they’re feminist—they sure protest enough—is not something I’d be willing to answer affirmatively. They’re feminist for themselves. That doesn’t make them feminist for others, and often they’re not.

I call ‘em like I see ‘em, Ren, and as you’re still saying that feminist criticism is mean and nasty and OMG unfair, you don’t have a leg to stand on. You want to do what you want to do, I don’t give a fuck. But I’m gong to talk about why I see a bunch of women doing it, and oh, by the way? Wanting to silence radfems from criticizing a practice you like to do cuz it makes you uncomfortable is your personal problem.

Well, when you bitch about feminists being OMG so mean to you maybe it’s better if you don’t associate with women who go around associating with trolls and gloating over others’ faux pas.

Kind of like this whole topic, actually.

Oh, and someone who has named themselves after a character on a LAW AND ORDER episode, Csquared, is also pretty interesting:
Again, I’m seeing this bizarre conflation of questioning with attacking. I do question Ren’s motivations; as someone literally employed by the patriarchy, she has a vested interest in maintaining a patriarchy-approved exterior, so her motivations totally come into question. Why should they be above reproach? Why should anyone’s?

I’m just mystified by posters here conflating attacking someone for their looks (i.e., “fatass!” “anorexic blonde!” which I don’t do) and questioning why they do the things they do (i.e., “I don’t think you would’ve gotten those implants if the patriarchal beauty standard was for a flat chest, so it’s pretty disingenuous to say you got them only for yourself” which, yes, I do).

Again, all I’m seeing from the anti-mean-feminist klatch is a demand for silence from feminists when it comes to personal grooming rituals. And… no. Not gonna do it. Sorry.

"Employed by the patriarchy"? If one believes that we are living in a patriarchy, then EVERYONE is employed by the patriarchy, unless of course they are UNEMPLOYED, in which case they are LIVING OFF the patriarchy.

Since LAW AND ORDER FAN is safely anonymous and does not disclose their occupation, one can't point at them and explain to them that THEY TOO, contribute to the patriarchy. (Which is, of course, why they are anonymous in the first place.)

Tangential issues are then brought up, including Ren's friends such as I AM CURIOUS BLUE, accused of harassing HEART. What this actually has to do with the subject at hand, is anyone's guess, but hey, this is war. And speaking of which, there is a thinly-veiled threat to out Ren, apparently a reprise of a Blogdonia-feud I missed some time ago.

The thread finally goes up in flames. Heavily-moderated, Ginmar accuses Ren of censorship in this serially-posted tirade:

Can’t you read? Oh, wait, Ren deleted my comment! And there’s a quote right there. Oh, wait, I’m a radfem, so let me guess—I’m making it up? Fuck you. I screencapped this asshole.

IACB you’re a porn-and prostitute-justifying man. If you talk to me any further, I’ll just pretend you don’t exist.

Let me guess, that one’s going to get deleted too. Oh, wait, do I get to use the “I was so upset” excuse? It seems to be awfully popular.

Oh, look, my comments go into moderation after their first appear! How strange.

And finally, disgusted, I said:

Ginmar, are you always an hysteric, or do you just play one on the internet?

Ginmar replied with an articulate "fuck you"... but you know, I remember Ginmar from the old days at Ms, and little has changed. She drove people away from feminism there, and she is busy doing the same thing here, too. Ernest Angley, Ginmar, what's the difference?

The thread is now locked after a record-587 posts, but threatens to open back up when Ren returns. Oh dear God, will it happen?

Stay tuned, sports fans!

ADDENDUM: Ren has just said on her blog that she is not re-opening the thread:

Lauren closed the comments on my Feministe post of ill omen. I sent her a note with a last statement, but nope, not bothering with trying to have the thread openned because its DONE. Anything of use or interest got bogged down in the bullshit, and is currently being misconstrued throughout bloglandia, but hey, what did I expect?

She says that honestly, she was not expecting such a reaction, and I believe her.

Can you say AMBUSH?

47 comments:

bryce said...

worst mess i ever saw. D, don't make me go over there.

Anonymous said...

Ambush? Oh, please! Ren totally asked for that one.

kactus said...

Interesting that Ren never even used the term "radfem" or "radical," and yet she was immediately accused of radfem-bashing. Do I sense a bit of defensiveness here?

She just asked a reasonable question, and if it had come from anybody else but her it might have been taken seriously.

Daisy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daisy said...

Yeah, and that's the thing, I was looking forward to an intelligent conversation.

I just feel that I have to disassociate from these "radical feminists" in the strongest possible terms. I know McCarthyism when I see it.

Anonymous, how? By just asking a question?

Renegade Evolution said...

Well, because of course when EVER I question something, like, oh hey, Mr.E, what do you want for dinner...even without you know, actually mentioning rad fems, I am bashing them, of course! It's the only way I can deal with my job, supposedly! It's not all about the menz, it's all about the rad femz...except when it's not...and yah, let's totally IGNORE my defense of those who choose NOT to engage in beauty rituals and all.

A wise Blogger Lady whom I shall not name said people were looking for a reason to go all full out ballistic/foaming at the mouth on me, and it seemed none of my other posts over there would do, so they went ahead and completely misrepresented what I said (and continue to do so) in order to do it.

And the whole personal attack thing, well, look around, you will see plenty of snark, speculation, and insults, everything from the bimbo sort right on down the line directed at me, Trinity, you, and ANYONE else who, well....disagreed.

Priceless, and informative. Indeed.

And yeah, I was just asking for it, Right? Hummm, where have I heard THAT before?????

Anonymous said...

Total shite. You wanted a fight and you got one.

Daisy said...

A wise Blogger Lady whom I shall not name said people were looking for a reason to go all full out ballistic/foaming at the mouth on me, and it seemed none of my other posts over there would do, so they went ahead and completely misrepresented what I said (and continue to do so) in order to do it.

This would certainly explain why these attacks came out of left field.

Anonymous, why were "Ren's friends" and Heart's problems with hackers, brought into the discussion? They call that "guilt by association" and those are unequivocally McCARTHYIST TACTICS. >:(

Renegade Evolution said...

Anonymous: No, cupcake, if I REALLY wanted to pick a fight, I would have come in guns blazing with a post about "the pornstitution" or something. I actually thought perhaps TALKING about attempting to further acceptance -not insults, or condemnation of, but acceptance- of a variety of looks and choices in beauty rituals would be an interesting topic a VARIETY of women might feel like talking about...and you know, it was for about two hours total. Then the thread was utterly derailed and anything I (and others) ACTUALLY said is being misconstrued all over the place. Lovely, really.

Now, if you actually WANT a fight, pick a damn name and follow the links on over to my place. I'll give you one if that's what you really want...hell, you might even deserve it.

Trinity said...

"everything from the bimbo sort right on down the line directed at me, Trinity, you, and ANYONE else who, well....disagreed."

Eh. I feel loved.

Anyone they call stupid has to be doing something right.

It's their constant attacking you and their bullshit directed at Kim that ticks me off. They can think whatever they want about me and my "femmenist" ass.

Trinity said...

And their citing outing threads as if smearing someone is heroic.

Yeah, about as heroic as Anonymous "Freeing Brandon."

kactus said...

Ren totally asked for that one.

Typical rapist justification.

nexy said...

where do people find the time to read through 600 comments? maybe i'm just a slow reader?

Daisy said...

Nexy, I read it mostly in real time. I've been typing a paper all weekend (while playing hooky and IMing), which made it easy.

When they posted the 75 caught-in-moderation posts ALL AT ONCE, however, that was a bit rough! :P

Daisy said...

They can think whatever they want about me and my "femmenist" ass.

Hee! I don't think you made friends with her by quoting her own words right back to her.

I just ducked-and-covered, at that point. :P

kactus said...

I don't think you made friends with her by quoting her own words right back to her.

Yes, that was a thing of beauty, that was.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

Ngh. I just went and read huge chunks of that comment thread.

Clearly I haven't cleaned all that yummy self-hatred out of my head.

And funny, how when I read something Trin linked to at G's place that ended with something to the effect of 'all we need now is someone to whine about how horrible it was the way we treat housewives' ... when I'd been thinking the exact same thing from the other side of the mirror.

Ravenmn said...

"Interesting that Ren never even used the term "radfem" or "radical," and yet she was immediately accused of radfem-bashing. "

I had this same problem in a completely unrelated situation. I had very strong feelings about fanfic being whatever the hell fanfic writers wanted fanfic to be.

I ran up against a bunch of women who had rules for fanfic and had lists of who wrote "real " fanfic and a scum-of-the-earth list for whatever trailer trash refused to follow their rules. From that point on, anything I said was suspect.

The problem for people who set up arbitrary rules is that anyone who disagrees must be angrily and repeatedly vilified.

Ginmar and her posse are caught up in that dilemma. They are incapable of ignoring Ren. They are also incapable of reading the words Ren writes without interpreting them as a direct attack on themselves.

Eeewwww!

kactus said...

About fanfic? See, people love their definitions, don't they? I made a comment on the feministe thread about growing up hyper-religious, and how the fundamentalist christians in my church also had lists of who were and were not true christians. The rules and definitions were just as definite, and based on many of the same things: clothing, behavior, knowledge of scripture, interpretation of scripture. Just nitpicky stuff, but it would cause real divisions and huge arguments.

That's what all this reminds me of, to be honest.

Renegade Evolution said...

oh, and did I forget to add that Ariel Levy called women bimbos about a million times in her book "Female Chauvinist Pigs"?

Opps, so much for that theory....and gee, she is pretty hated by rad fems...so MAYBE when I say FEMINISTS i dont JUST mean them, but the Ariels of the world too?

Kim said...

Daisy, please tell Anon I will not speak to him/her until and unless s/he stops talking so big n bad while cowarding behing the safety of "Anon."

Daisy: sadly, I have seen many threads fall this way. For a moment, is seems like respectful conversation between radfems and "Otherfems" might be possible -- truces and understandings even -- then in marches someone intent on licking old wounds/settling personal grudges and it all goes swirling down the shitter.

Or: just when you think hatchets are getting planted in the soil some one comes barging in with: "Dont' listen to her! Over at (link) SHE said (blah blah) and truth has never been one of her strongest points etc etc."

Then feelings and emotions get riled up all over again and again, down the shitter.

Bastante already, indeed!

KH said...

I just want to thank you for mentioning Ernest Angley, who's always had a hypnotic power over me.

Anonymous said...

NO you FUCK OFF

"Anonymous: No, cupcake, if I REALLY wanted to pick a fight, I would have come in guns blazing with a post about "the pornstitution" or something"

Yeah? Oh, big fucking guns eh? FUCK off !


You are the slimiest manipulator there is and the even more hilarious is that your sycophantic ass licker mates are oblivious to it, you are all fucking jokes.

Another thing - cut it out with the “whaa I don’t censor shit, I saw ginmars post - and I got a screen shot - before you retracted it and Oops put it back out. (saved) Ya fake ren - fucking all of ya.

cupcake x

Daisy said...

I still won't censor you. So, stick that in your Stalinist bong and smoke it, cupcake. I don't play the Ginmar-Heart middle-school reindeer games and CENSOR everyone I dislike or who dares to disagree with me. Got it? That is the crucial difference between ME AND YOU.

At least we have the ovaries to sign our names, coward. Who the fuck are you? Too ashamed to admit who you are? I would be, too.

Which reminds me, Manchurian Candidate is one of my favorite movies. Anyone up for a discussion of THAT? ;)

Daisy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daisy said...

NO you FUCK OFF

"Anonymous: No, cupcake, if I REALLY wanted to pick a fight, I would have come in guns blazing with a post about "the pornstitution" or something"

Yeah? Oh, big fucking guns eh? FUCK off !


You are the slimiest manipulator there is and the even more hilarious is that your sycophantic ass licker mates are oblivious to it, you are all fucking jokes.

Another thing - cut it out with the “whaa I don’t censor shit, I saw ginmars post - and I got a screen shot - before you retracted it and Oops put it back out. (saved) Ya fake ren - fucking all of ya.

cupcake x


That post was left by someone who uses the term "mates" instead of "friends"--which marks them as British.

Sure enough:

Domain Name (Unknown)
IP Address 86.148.32.# (British Telecommunications)
ISP British Telecommunications
Location
Continent : Europe
Country : United Kingdom (Facts)
Lat/Long : 54, -2 (Map)
Language English (U.K.)
en-gb
Operating System Microsoft WinXP
Browser Internet Explorer 6.0
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; YPC 3.2.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Javascript version 1.3
Monitor
Resolution : 1024 x 768
Color Depth : 32 bits
Time of Visit Aug 28 2007 8:14:09 pm
Last Page View Aug 28 2007 8:36:00 pm
Visit Length 21 minutes 51 seconds
Page Views 2
Referring URL http://renegadeevolution.blogspot.com/
Visit Entry Page http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/
Visit Exit Page http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/
Out Click 22 comments
http://www.blogger.c...1494720&isPopup=true
Time Zone UTC+0:00
Visitor's Time Aug 29 2007 1:14:09 am
Visit Number 2,757


Thus, the Manchurian Candidate discussion can be put off until another time... but I'm still up for a discussion! :P

belledame222 said...

oh, dear, someone's been bogarting the cough syrup again, looks like.

Daisy said...

Cough syrup, my hind end! They get free opium over in England, I heard.

Ravenmn said...

" your sycophantic ass licker mates "

Problem with us mates is that we disagree with Ren publicly and often. In fact, I first encountered Ren when she linked in appreciation to a post I wrote about making choices completely opposite to her own.

Gotta wonder, can you say the same?

Daisy said...

RIGHT, Raven. In fact, my post shows me and Ren disagreeing right out of the gate!

Some people need to learn to fucking read.

belledame222 said...

ironically enough, i think g-m-r has been in some actual fanfic thrashes as well, and at the same level of intensity, too...

drakyn said...

Reading: t00l of t3h pastryarchy.
/lolcat

I still love how the folks known for censoring comments on their blogs get all butthurt when someone deletes their comments (or if they think someone has).

Renegade Evolution said...

Meh, and I never censored poor Ginmar. I do believe Lauren of Feministe explained what was going on? Alas...

Now, cupcake, I'm sorry if my post upset you (not). The truth sometimes hurts, and the amount of ink certain people have dedicated to thrashing me, kim, trin, whomever recently just went and totally proved any point of contention I ever had with people. So no deary, you fuck off, m'kay?

Also, as for Gin's oh so on topic comment, I don't believe the alleged thing was to me, but rather to Anthony if what she's whining about it any indication...and Anthony is great at fighting his own battles, so why would I censor it? Please, not everything is a PLOT to GET you!

Renegade Evolution said...

and can I say just how fucking funny I think it is that cupcake's "refering site" here is MINE?

Renegade Evolution said...

oh, and wrt to comment deletion, OBVIOUSLY Anony cannot believe me or Lauren about the issues with wordpress or askismet, so, let's see, do you take HER word on it?

"There is some issue with Akismet, that protects our blogs against spam, such that the spam in my spam queue has gone from 4-5,000 to zero and comments are not going through, not even mine! Unless I go through all sorts of songs and dances.

I’m sorry if you’ve commented and your comment just went away. Mine too! It’s being fixed now and should work soon.

Heart"

v said...

"And speaking of which, there is a thinly-veiled threat to out Ren, apparently a reprise of a Blogdonia-feud I missed some time ago."

Someone just commented here and you revealed their IP address amongst other things, shattering their own choice to be anonymous.

You did it without warning and in response to some small insult. I thought i'd stopped being shocked by the double standards, but this takes the piss.

Daisy said...

Nope, the last digits of the IP address are # which insures anonymity. You know that, right?

Some small insult? "Asslickers"? If you think that's a small insult, pilgrim, best not come to South Carolina. With language like that, you'd be lucky to escape with your prissy little hide intact.

Daisy said...

And BTW, there is anonymity and there is anonymity. None of us (or very few) use our real names online. But at least we can use our known pseudonyms. I have absolutely no respect for any "anonymous" who ATTACKS PEOPLE--no matter who the fuck it is.

Cowards get no respect from me.

How's the UK this morning? Rainy? Sunny?

Trinity said...

"Someone just commented here and you revealed their IP address amongst other things, shattering their own choice to be anonymous.

You did it without warning and in response to some small insult."

v,

While I do see your point and can understand the argument that perhaps figuring out who this was for the purposes of reporting or bannage should have happened privately

there is a VAST difference between threatening someone with outing in order to coerce them to do or not do something

and looking up who left a nasty comment on your blog.

In this situation the person is using her anonymity as a weapon, one that exposing who posted the comment defuses.

In the other situation someone was using her information about someone else as a weapon.

Trinity said...

Exactly Daisy. Figuring out what someone's usual 'nym is is a whole different ballgame from attempting to figure out someone's name, where they live, where they work, where they went to school, and what psychiatric diagnoses they have had.

If I were to stoop so low as to post anonymous insulting comments on someone's blogs, and that person logs IP's and goes "ah ha, look everyone, that was 'Trinityva'! What a jerk!"

that's quite different from

"hey look everyone, that's Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx! Here's where she works, here's where she studied, here's information about her mental health issues. OH AND TRIN, TELL US WE'RE SHITS FOR DIGGING THIS UP AND WE KEEP GOING. We don't have your address or your phone number yet, but we will..."

How these two things can exist on the same level in anyone's mind is beyond me.

Renegade Evolution said...

Okay, so when OTHER folk post the IP addresses of the Anony's causing trouble on their sites it's okay? I mean, it has been done, really, and how, exactly is one supposed to tell "a good" anony from a "a bad" anony when they are all spouting shit, eh?

Ah yes, the rules change by the minute! Or at least certain sets of rules, for certain sets of people.

belledame222 said...

Hi there, v.

Natalia said...

I use my real name in the blogosphere. La la la la la la. Frankly, I'm surprised that the only thing that's happened to me so far was these assholes coming up to me while I was grocery shopping in Durham and saying that I ought to be fired [from my previous job] b/c of my opinions regarding the Duke Lacrosse case.

Oh, and Daisy, you rock.

v said...

I dont use my real name for good reason, and while im totally aware that my ip addy shows up for every blog owner i visit, i trust it will remain private. I dont agree with publishing peoples ips publicly like this, no matter who is doing it, same as i dont agree with publishing private emails etc. The only reason I can see for it is if the person needed exposing because they were making serious threats or whatever, were a danger in some way. But thats not what happened here - someone came and lost their temper for a minute, I dont agree its any reason to publish their info like that.

And no, I dont know who it was and Im not gonna look them up to find out either, but youre wrong Daisy that the blanked out numbers would stop anyone from making an educated guess at who it was. I also think that it was incredibly insensitive to have done at this point in time when everyone is still trying to recover from the very much more serious attacks being made on feminist women online, and which are still going on - reappropriate only came back online in the past couple of days, BB is still being harassed, genderberg is still beng attacked.. etc.

As for the weather, what can I say, theres less rain than usual but it cant make its mind up, sunny one minute, freezing and grey the next. Brit weather suffers from bpd.

And hello back at you bd, long time no speak.

Daisy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daisy said...

Everybody behave, while I go sell herbs, okay?

St Rose is watching you today, so be nice. Otherwise, a smackdown with a ruler is imminent.

And V, nobody comes here calling me or anyone "asslickers" without repercussions. As I never tire of telling people, this is a southern blog, and we don't abide rude shit from "Anonymous." Deal.

"We"--the authorial WE.

bint alshamsa said...

As I never tire of telling people, this is a southern blog, and we don't abide rude shit from "Anonymous."

Sho' ya right, cher!