Thursday, October 11, 2007

Captain Howdy strikes again

Decided to get into a feminist groove today, and checked out Womensspace to see what Heart is talking about. I was feeling fairly magnanimous, considering that she has declared I "scare" her. (I'd link to said thread, but it appears to have been deleted--surprise!)

And what do I see over there? Talk about EXORCISM. Yes, yes, I know she means some bizarre feminist concept of EXORCISING the patriarchy, but still. The residual religious mania that Heart displays is daunting. Isn't she afraid of TRIGGERING (snort!) some wayward ex-Christians with talk like that? Lucky I have my southern lady smelling salts (I prefer ylang-ylang scented) nearby, in the event of apoplexy.

----------------
Listening to: Laura Nyro - Captain for Dark Mornings
via FoxyTunes

47 comments:

antiprincess said...

I noticed she closed comments on that post. kind of a shame, because it would have been nice to, you know, discuss stuff and maybe make progress.

I mean, anything is possible.

antiprincess said...

I think that's a shot across the bow at Bint Alshamsa (My Private Casbah).

antiprincess said...

or possibly, it's a thinly-disguised mea culpa.

belledame222 said...

*snort*

"Why do they all hate me? 1) jealous, who wouldn't be? 2) the Patriarchy pulling the strings, of course. O the burden of being the vanguard. *emu tear*"

abstractjenn said...

So I ventured over there to read the post and the comments are closed....hmmmm interesting. I found the post hard to read and bit rambling......

I guess the question is why are you so scary????? Stop being scary Daisy - right now!!! :-)

apostate said...

Seems like "exorcism" was being used in a colloquial and analogous sense.

And as to the post being rambling, it isn't written by her.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Apostate, yes, I realize, it was written by another ex-fundie. I interviewed Sonia Johnson when she ran for president in 1984.

I have no respect for a feminist who refuses to speak to her own sons.

Too many fundies spoil feminism, IMO.

apostate said...

I think too many women not being feminists spoils feminism.

The second part of my comment was meant for Abstractjenn.

And oh, sorry to see I disgusted you over at Ren's.

Oh well -- there are fundies everywhere and none of them like to be disagreed with, apparently. The other side is always morally repugnant and fascistic.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Apostate, why do you think so many women have been turned off of feminism since the advent (decline?) of the second wave?

I take it then, you think Sonia Johnson disowning her boys was fine? See, when WOMEN hear about stuff like that, they are turned off by radical feminism. When someone like Heart holds up this person as an example, it looks ... well... BAD.

Doncha think? I mean, since you are defending her, and all? Is it defensible?

And if you aren't here to defend Heart, what are you doing?

apostate said...

I wasn't aware of "defending" Heart, so much as I just thought it was unfair to put the loopy spin on 'exorcism' that you were apparently putting, plus the uncritical agreement you got from commenters who also failed to notice that what they were criticizing as 'rambling' wasn't even written by Heart.

Heart may be many things, but she is a clear and cogent writer.

I don't know if I'm the only feminist who is able to read radical feminist, sex-positive feminist, normal feminist, and various other feminist blogs without getting impossibly worked up about it, but it does seem that way. I don't like the way Heart has treated you, and I don't like the way Ren has been treated, and at the same time, I don't like the way Ren's commenters get vicious and gang up on anyone who disagrees.

As they do! And it's not much better, in the end, than censoring people. One censors, the other calls 'em "Nazis" or "disgusting." There isn't that much to choose between the two positions, you know?

Defending Heart? No. I'm grinning as I say this, but it's true: It's the principle of the thing. Being unfair, mischaracterizing, is no more lovely in your camp than it is in hers.

I hadn't heard of Sonia Johnson before this, and her writing wasn't impressive enough to make me want to explore her further.

I have no idea why she disowned her sons. I have no idea why that should turn anyone off feminism. I think women who think feminism is 'anti-family' are pretty fucking dumb. I think conservative and Christian propaganda does more harm to feminism's image than any amount of radfems disowning their sons.

And lastly, there's room enough online for loopy persons to be loopy, and for the saner ones to find (say) Feministing.com, without anyone panicking that someone's singlehandedly doing harm to an idea.

apostate said...

I just googled Sonia, and couldn't easily find any information on her disowning her sons.

More than her disowning her sons, I think what is likely to put someone off feminism from knowing about Sonia Johnson is the general extremity of her notions.

Of course, in any event, I'm one of those unnatural women who find the idea of a male child unbearably repugnant, so I am not upset at any woman feeling similarly about her male progeny.

And now, bed. I won't come back, either to disgust you or to defend Heart. ;)

DaisyDeadhead said...

I wasn't aware of "defending" Heart, so much as I just thought it was unfair to put the loopy spin on 'exorcism' that you were apparently putting,

Loopy?

Exorcisms are practiced often and without apology in the faith -tradition Heart actively proselytized for, without apology and with considerable zeal, for many years. The word "exorcism" coming from someone like Heart or Sonia Johnson, is suspect, as the word "women's rights" is suspect in the mouth of, say, Christie Hefner.

plus the uncritical agreement you got from commenters who also failed to notice that what they were criticizing as 'rambling' wasn't even written by Heart.

Sonia, Heart, same difference. It all sounds the same, I think is the point, and what people were basically saying.

It does all sound the same after awhile, doesn't it?

Heart may be many things, but she is a clear and cogent writer.

So was Stalin.

I don't know if I'm the only feminist who is able to read radical feminist, sex-positive feminist, normal feminist, and various other feminist blogs without getting impossibly worked up about it, but it does seem that way.

Really? See, I think arguing with several feminists in a row, and now coming here to argue with me at this hour (it's the wee hours of the morning in the East), constitutes being worked up, if not "impossibly" worked up. As for me, I get sardonic and sarcastic, but I never get 'impossibly worked up'. You needn't stress over it.

I don't like the way Heart has treated you, and I don't like the way Ren has been treated, and at the same time, I don't like the way Ren's commenters get vicious and gang up on anyone who disagrees.

At least Ren allows people to comment freely. Heart has purged me from her website, as well as anyone else who looks at her cross-eyed.

One position is immoral, and the other is not, period. (In my humble opinion, she hastened to add.)

As they do! And it's not much better, in the end, than censoring people. One censors, the other calls 'em "Nazis" or "disgusting." There isn't that much to choose between the two positions, you know?

OMG...Are you serious?????? You are comparing total censorship to criticism??????

Can I ask: did you grow up in the USA, with the concept of free speech as a God-given right, or is it foreign to you?

Censoring speech, to me, is a crime of Orwellian proportions. There is never a reason to do it, other than, you know, shouting fire in a crowded theatre, blah blah.

And yes, I understand not allowing talk on a blog is not the same as denying someone's first amendment rights... but if you are going to compare calling someone a nazi to suppressing their entire rights to speech, I gotta say... well, WOW.

Those are not my values, as the say up in Asheville.

Defending Heart? No. I'm grinning as I say this, but it's true: It's the principle of the thing. Being unfair, mischaracterizing, is no more lovely in your camp than it is in hers.

I am not "mischaracterizing"--I am offering an opinion on what she does, says, etc etc just as Heart does. You do understand the difference? I mean, someone who thinks censorship is superior to criticism, well, I dunno if they understand the difference?

Do you think all "fights" are uncool? I don't. I think they make it very clear where everyone stands. I WANT TO KNOW where people stand--on disability rights, on feminism, on everything. I want to know what and who they find expendable. Yes, when they decide disabled people's lives can be compared to blastocytes, as you did, I WILL call it disgusting. Because, you know, disabled people ARE NOT blastocytes. And that is a disgusting, fucked up thing to say.

And you said it, Heart did not. YOU did.

I hadn't heard of Sonia Johnson before this, and her writing wasn't impressive enough to make me want to explore her further.

And so why do you come here interrogating me about whether I know who wrote it and why I am attacking it? Yes, I do know, and I have specific reasons for attacking it. And here you fully admit that you don't know who Sonia Johnson is??? And you saw fit to jump in this discussion and self-righteously preach to me when you don't know what the hell is going on???

Tell me, did you come from a wealthy family? PRIVILEGE is written all over you, and I have to say, I don't do well with privileged kids. No offense, but their arrogant cluelessness really gets on my last good nerve.

I have no idea why she disowned her sons.

Well, I do. She doesn't make it any secret. Why don't you know, yet you feel qualified to comment on her ideas for exorcisms?

Why don't you learn a few things before jumping into a discussion?

I have no idea why that should turn anyone off feminism.

Really? You don't think the woman who chained herself to the White House entrance gate for the ERA, the most important Mormon feminist EVER (she founded Mormons for ERA), made the cover of Ms, Womansong (one of the newspapers I wrote for), Off Our Backs, wrote a bestselling middle-of-the-road feminist book called FROM HOUSEWIFE TO HERETIC... you don't think the sudden shift to the radfem fringe by an admired liberal feminist, might have had some NEGATIVE PR attached to it? You think women who disown boy children are okay, then? Or that no one will think ill of radical feminists when we/they talk like that? I have seen a LOT of negative press about that, and on countless blogs, too.

I think women who think feminism is 'anti-family' are pretty fucking dumb. I think conservative and Christian propaganda does more harm to feminism's image than any amount of radfems disowning their sons.

Where do think they get the horror stories about feminism to pass around to the Dr Dobson's of the world? You realize these are EXACTLY the kinds of stories the Christian right uses to scare their women?: "See what those feminists are really about?"

And lastly, there's room enough online for loopy persons to be loopy, and for the saner ones to find (say) Feministing.com, without anyone panicking that someone's singlehandedly doing harm to an idea.

Who's panicking? What are you talking about.

I just googled Sonia, and couldn't easily find any information on her disowning her sons.

Ask Lucky, over at Margins. I've seen her quote Sonia on this several times; she wholeheartedly approves of Sonia's actions. Also, the commenter named Justice Walks.

Heart's board has talked about mothering sons many times (or not), as has Twisty's board.

More than her disowning her sons, I think what is likely to put someone off feminism from knowing about Sonia Johnson is the general extremity of her notions.

And you realize she started out very mainstream, yes?

Of course, in any event, I'm one of those unnatural women who find the idea of a male child unbearably repugnant, so I am not upset at any woman feeling similarly about her male progeny.

What's repugnant about male children? Don't you have a male
partner? (I mean, it isn't penises, is it?)

All of you just amaze the hell out me! (((eyes go all googgly, as in a Tex Avery cartoon: BLOOOOIIII--INNNN--NGGGG!!!!)))

And now, bed. I won't come back, either to disgust you or to defend Heart. ;)

That's your call, hon. Have a nice night.

antiprincess said...

hey, call me a moron (y'all wouldn't be the first) but why is it open season on male children all of a sudden?

Trinity said...

"Censoring speech, to me, is a crime of Orwellian proportions. There is never a reason to do it, other than, you know, shouting fire in a crowded theatre, blah blah.

And yes, I understand not allowing talk on a blog is not the same as denying someone's first amendment rights... but if you are going to compare calling someone a nazi to suppressing their entire rights to speech, I gotta say... well, WOW. "

Thak you, Daisy. The million justifications for censorship have really been getting to me too. Stunting speech is not a feminist value. (Or if it is somehow necessary to hold these views in addition to views that women should be respected in order to be a feminist, fuck feminism, as far as I'm concerned.)

belledame222 said...

I'll be devil's advocate, then: I don't think baleeting peoples' comments from one's own blog constitutes censorship, any more than kicking people out of one's own house constitutes infringing on the right to assemble. As AP puts it: "It's your hot bloggy, you can do what you want."

Doesn't mean I -respect- the person who has such a mm selective comments policy, though. And yeah, it does tend to undermine one's credibility when one starts in with the "help help I'm being oppressed" in an online sense. (I mean, apart from the DoS attacks and so forth; on the other hand her constant attempts to conflate the feminists who dislike her intensely with the morons who actually did the DoS attacks has evaporated any vestige of sympathy I might've had for that).

bryce said...

if somebody uses their blog to put someone down but wont ever let that person (people) replyto that, that is fucked up.

Chris said...

From the quoted material in the linked post:

There are very few women among us who haven’t personally experienced the “rush” that comes from putting another woman down. If we are honest, we have to admit the pleasure of feeling “on top”, superior, right for a change, after a lifetime of being viewed and treated as … stupid and wrong. Some of us can hardly get enough of … this elation.

Hmmm.

bint alshamsa said...

This post of Heart's is probably directly related to the stuff going on at the Michfest forum right now. She got busted using sockpuppets (that claimed to be gay) to talk to me and then it came out that she's actually married to a man, never actually been with a woman, et cetera. It was really freakin' hilarious to see. She kept on saying she was going to stop posting on the site and then she'd turn right back around and post some more. Then in the middle of it all, she puts up this post that complains about women who criticize other women.

However, at this point it's just such predictable behavior for our resident Special White Lady (self-identified rad-fem) Heart.

bint alshamsa said...

By the way Daisy, that comment you wrote to apostate? On point!

belledame222 said...
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belledame222 said...
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DaisyDeadhead said...

Hey Bint, do you have a link to that discussion on the MWMF board? I tried to sort it out, but it was just too nightmarish to read much of it in its totality.

You deserve major credit and applause for facing down that transphobic garbage. I mean, when people bring up Norman Bates' mother---wtf can you say to that?

Anonymous said...

I'm down with Sonia disowning her sons. Her family, her call.

She went through the ringer so many times, in so many forms, all because she was a woman who wanted to see all women treated humanely. I cannot begrudge her separatist needs.

Is her disowning her sons worse than the Morman church disowning her? If so, is it because they are her flesh and blood, or is it because we're somewhat horrified to think a woman could completely reject her offspring based on genitalia? If it is the latter, why should the genitalia of some humans have such sway over what an individual chooses in her life? Why do her sons' penii (?) overshadow *all* the feminist works she's done?

[and if I recall correctly, she was somewhat separated from her daughter too, no?]

How many times does a woman need to be burned by men/masculinity before she's allowed to take action for herself?

I'm pretty cold-hearted, and I say: once. But then, I've disowned both my father and my brother, so I might be biased.

Q Grrl

DaisyDeadhead said...

Is her disowning her sons worse than the Morman church disowning her?

Do YOU believe it is? If so, that is interesting, because I was under the impression most agnostics and atheists consider people *better off* when they are disowned or excommunicated by churches. I seem to recall you are agnostic? (If not, disregard question.)

If so, is it because they are her flesh and blood, or is it because we're somewhat horrified to think a woman could completely reject her offspring based on genitalia?

Yes, I do find it horrifying. I find rejecting ANYONE horrifying, if based on one characteristic they have no control over, or even if they do (i.e. tattoos)...

If it is the latter, why should the genitalia of some humans have such sway over what an individual chooses in her life?

Excuse me? Hey, you and Sonia are the ones rejecting people according to their genitalia, not me. You are saying PENIS = BAD, and judging someone summarily on that point alone, not what they have actually done.

Why do her sons' penii (?) overshadow *all* the feminist works she's done?

Who said that?

I think I made it clear that I admired the work she did. If I didn't, let me make it clear now, that I certainly did have admiration for her and wanted to interview her because I admired her. I volunteered to do that. I think her sudden lurch to the separatist fringe is what brought about the son-disowning, and I see it all as part of a piece.

[and if I recall correctly, she was somewhat separated from her daughter too, no?]

I don't know any specifics about that, but she did speak of ALL of her children fondly during the interview.

Why do you think I was so shocked that suddenly, her boys are persona non grata?

How many times does a woman need to be burned by men/masculinity before she's allowed to take action for herself?

Okay, are you saying that these sons "burned" her? Do you have a reference? Because it is my understanding that the only reason is that they were male, not that they burned her.

Are you saying her sons did something worthy of being disowned? That makes sense, then, and I certainly don't begrudge that. However, simply disowning them for having penises(as I understand it?) is acting just like the oppressor who wantonly judges people by physical attributes alone, and I won't be party to that. I judge people by the content of their character, as a famous person with a penis once said.

In hunting monsters, we must be careful not to become monsters ourselves (quoting another penised person there, admittedly)...

I'm pretty cold-hearted, and I say: once. But then, I've disowned both my father and my brother, so I might be biased.

Hey, we have something in common. I have done exactly the same. I haven't spoken to my father since informing him that he was a grandfather, almost 24 years ago. He didn't seem too interested. Maybe if I'd had a boy? ;)

Rest assured, I am not sentimental about men in any way. However, I think it's important to blame the ones actually at fault, not ALL of them. That seems to be where we differ.

antiprincess said...

I'm down with Sonia disowning her sons. Her family, her call.

well, sure. no one but her really knows the situation, and it's pointless to speculate.

that said, it does not seem fair to disown children based solely upon genitalia. though I suppose the sons of Sonia Johnson are more fortunate than many daughters born in developing nations that don't survive to see daylight. at least Sonia Johnson's sons are not dead.

but there seems to be not much difference to me between rejecting sons because they're sons and rejecting daughters because they're daughters.

if rejecting one is bad, then rejecting the other is also as bad, to my mind.

(yeah, I get the difference between killing and disowning - but the emotions that drive both of those acts seem similar enough to me.)

Renegade Evolution said...

I don't get it at all. Disowning someone for being a violent criminal, or a constant physical, emotional, and finanical drain (such as drug addicted adult child might be), things like that, i can understand...however, rejecting them for solely being male or female? I don't get it at all. I don't care how feminist someone is, you bring a kid into the world, suddenly, it's not all about you anymore, and theres some obligation there...even if those children have penises.

Trinity said...

I don't get how someone can be "down with" disowning her sons simply for being sons. That's really creepy.

Octogalore said...

“Is her disowning her sons worse than the Morman church disowning her?”

If she did that when they were children and solely because of gender, then yes. Parents have a responsibility for people they bring into this world, of either gender. Just as it’s heartbreaking to see Chinese girls cast off, it’s also an atrocity for this to happen to male children. As Daisy points out, these children aren’t the Mormon church or the other males or male groups who’ve treated Sonia badly. “Innocent until proven guilty” isn’t just for people with vaginas, or people who aren’t your kids.

“How many times does a woman need to be burned by men/masculinity before she's allowed to take action for herself?”

First, nobody’s burned by “masculinity” itself. One is burnt by individual men and groups of individual men. Second, the answer is once. But only before she can take action for herself vis a vis those PARTICULAR men. Do you want to be held accountable for things other women do?

People who disown their children of any gender, when they’re still children, are disgusting. Period, end of story.

belledame222 said...

wait, were they still children? i thought they were fully grown. if not, then yeah, that's pretty fucked.

generally speaking my gut instinct is to be more sympathetic to someone disowning a parent or even a sibling, since family values notwithstanding parents and siblings can be incredibly abusive, and it's true that a lot of people who haven't been through that don't get that. sometimes people do have to make that break for survival and sanity.

i suppose it's not that the (grown) children you raised couldn't turn out to be sociopathic or whatnot despite your best efforts but still, my kneejerk thought is that dammit, you bear -some- responsibility for how they turned out. and yep that includes sonny boy being a patriarchal fuckhead. sorry. p.s. being abusive is just as likely to result in that as being overly indulgent. i don't care what the St. Loony Up The Cream Bun With Jam Brigade says.

this is all of course separate from the question of, did she disown them because of anything in particular they -did- or simply because her new dogma declared that it must be so. if it's the latter then yeah, i really do think that's completely fucked. That's a cult, is what that is.

of course even if that were the case i doubt most people would just say "no, they didn't do anything, i just don't wanna be with 'em anymore," because who would say that, really.

shrug.

belledame222 said...

and yeah, for damn sure, unless the Mormon Church acts as your actual parents it's worse to disown your actual flesh and blood. and since when is "hey, I was victimized first" an excuse for perpetuating it anyway?

belledame222 said...

and if a woman's excuse for abusing her sons (and abandonment of minors does count, yep, IF that's what happened) is simply that "masculinity and men" harmed her, you know what, one hasn't got an ethical leg to stand on when an abusive male fuckhead blames his abusive Mom and the women in his murky past what done him wrong for the innocent women/girls he abuses. Because guess what? some of 'em WERE abused by Mom and/or women, and it -still- isn't a fucking excuse. it's the same here.

belledame222 said...

and no, the only reason i didn't mention the daughter is that i hadn't heard that, but of course it's just as fucking bad. penii don't make one deserving of special consideration. but. i don't think "basic parenting and love" is exactly a -special- right, you know? The fact that a lot of us don't get it regardless sucks, but it doesn't make it okay to turn around and do it to someone else. that's how the world gets fucked in the first place.

Octogalore said...

I checked -- looks like they were 18. I didn't get the sense from Q Grrl's comment above that this was part of the rationale -- correct me if I'm mistaken.

I don't, however, consider someone being "of age" a justification for disowning them, without unusual rationale for doing so. While of course the most serious harm parents can do to kids is earlier on, rejection of kids when they are older teens (with probably harbingers thereof earlier) is also shabby and selfish.

bint alshamsa said...

Here ya' go Daisy,

Heart the pseudo-dyke

Anonymous said...

She became a separatist. After she was divorced from her husband and all ready physically separated from her grown children.

When does a woman become her own agent?

Being excommunicated from the Morman Church for being a woman -- IOW, being your own woman -- is indeed harsher than a mother disowning her adult sons. Many woman lose their entire social and financial structures, in a way most unlike a separatist mother leaving her adult sons to live on her own.

I don't think that Sonia Johnson was blaming her sons for the shit that got piled on her. She was, however, quite aware of the complicity of her husband in her own subjugation and those of other women based soley on his maleness and her/their femaleness. And I'm sure that she saw her own sons following, not in her footsteps, but in the deeply entrenched patriarchal footsteps of their father and the church of fathers structuring their lives.

My personal belief is that women can and should hold all men accountable for the misogynistic society we live in. All men are complicit; all men benefit.

Daisy, you said that I'm saying Penis = BAD, but I'm not. I'm saying that everyone else is saying Penis = appropriate power/dominance and Sonia Johnson wanted to say Penis = completely irrelevant to my life. I don't think that's such a bad thing, really. Wanting to not have something in your life is not about defining the merit of that thing (i.e, males or penii), but about defining your life on your terms, to your own benefit.

Q Grrl

belledame222 said...

I think putting that much emphasis on the penis automatically accords it power in one's own mind at least, even if you think you're (re)defining it negatively.

"you can't pray a negative."

and you know, if someone wants to be a separatist, knock yourself out. it certainly isn't for me though.

i presume "she" refers to Johnson and not Heart, who never really did answer that question about if/when she divorced the last husband. it certainly is good of her to act as various sorts of gatekeeper notwithstanding i feel.

belledame222 said...

btw Daisy, speaking of Captain Howdy, thought you might enjoy this if you haven't seen it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sndmiSctw8Y

Anonymous said...

She = Sonia Johnson

Heart = political lesbian, currently separated from her husband.

Q Grrl = dyke who doesn't believe in political lesbians.

Q

DaisyDeadhead said...

And I'm sure that she saw her own sons following, not in her footsteps, but in the deeply entrenched patriarchal footsteps of their father and the church of fathers structuring their lives.

And as I see it, she insured that, by removing herself from their lives. Will they meet another feminist as strong as their mother? Unlikely.

She has therefore INSURED they make the connection: radical feminism = absence of love. I am about the opposite, making sure it is all about love. I am feminist out of love for humanity, not the absence of it.

I think putting that much emphasis on the penis automatically accords it power in one's own mind at least, even if you think you're (re)defining it negatively.

I absolutely agree.

BTW, Belle, loved the Exorcist clip!: "Well, I don't think it's cystitis!" :D

Bint, that thread was incredible! If it makes you feel any better, Heart basically accused me of being Rainsong too! (I think RS has become the Emmanuel Goldstein of the radfems: Two minute hate!)

belledame222 said...

oh yeah, i "scare" Heart, too. boogedy boogedy.

i guess it really must suck to be her--she still doesn't seem really good at the whole discernment thing.

something else about that SJ thing was nagging at me, and it just clicked: the parallel between what the Mormon Church did to her--excommunicate her, basically--and what she did to the sons is creepy. I'm not talking about materially at this point; i'm talking about the way cultlike organizations (and it sounds like the LDS was that for her at least) excommunicate and do the whole, "us sheep, them goats--you displease me, you are now among the goats, begone, get behind me."

not even the "it's her kids" thing now--abuse begets abuse, and cultlike behavior begets cultlike behavior.

and the "do unto others as was done unto me" as a basic psychological mechanism, politics be damned, is -so- common that i don't understand why that wouldn't cause one to at least -consider- looking at Johnson's actions with a slightly skeptical eye.

damn that was some tortuous writing, o well.

Octogalore said...

"I don't think that Sonia Johnson was blaming her sons for the shit that got piled on her. She was, however, quite aware of the complicity of her husband in her own subjugation and those of other women based soley on his maleness and her/their femaleness. And I'm sure that she saw her own sons following, not in her footsteps, but in the deeply entrenched patriarchal footsteps of their father and the church of fathers structuring their lives."

Well, it was her responsibility to counter this, rather than running away from it. Someone who feels the environment into which she or he would bring children isn't healthy shouldn't have the children. Once he or she does, divorcing them in the absence of bizarre circumstances shouldn't be an option.

"Being excommunicated from the Morman Church for being a woman -- IOW, being your own woman -- is indeed harsher than a mother disowning her adult sons. Many woman lose their entire social and financial structures, in a way most unlike a separatist mother leaving her adult sons to live on her own."

Divorcing your kids is NOT living separately from them. It's ceasing to be their parent. And believing that's better than being thrown out of a religion you've abandoned anyway is delusional. For a grown woman, accepting some financial and social tumult for which she's at least partially responsible is tough. But being abandoned by a parent even in ones twenties, let alone 18, is traumatic and is sure to create lasting scars. Any parent willing to inflict these scars isn't, to me, some brave independent creature, but a monster. Pure and simple.

DaisyDeadhead said...

What Octogalore said.

belledame222 said...

so, went to look up some more on SJ, since we've been on the subject, and this caught my eye:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Johnson

During this time Sonia also declared herself a lesbian and started a relationship with an African American woman. After ending that relationship, she wrote in The Ship that Sailed Into the Living Room that even relationships between female couples are a dangerous patriarchal trap, because "two is the ideal number for inequality, for sadism, for the reproduction of patriarchy", and that relationships are "slave Ships" (a concept from which she derived the title of the book).

"Nearly four years after I began my rebellion against relation/sex/slave Ships," she wrote, "experience and my Wise Old Woman are telling me that sex as we know it is a patriarchal construct and has no rightful, natural place in our lives, no authentic function or ways. Synonymous with hierarchy/control, sex is engineered as part of the siege against our wholeness and power."


...which, really? i mean...really?

and besides the no sex or relationships thing...um, slave. ships? from a white woman who apparently had a bad experience with a black woman?...

words fail.

i dunno, dude. there's a concept by, oh, one of the Freudians, I forget which (Karen Horney, is it?--no, Melanie Klein) but something about the "paranoid position" (as opposed to the "depressive" position--there aren't that many good choices here, but the latter is preferable, in that framework)

but, well, something like that, here.

...the "paranoid-schizoid position," that's it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid-schizoid_position

Paranoid refers to the central paranoid anxiety, the fear of invasive malevolence. This is experienced as coming from the outside, but ultimately derives from the projection out of the death instinct. Paranoid anxiety can be understood in terms of anxiety about imminent annihilation and derives from a sense of the destructive or death instinct of the child. In this position before the secure internalistion of a good object to protect the ego, the immature ego deals with its anxiety by splitting off bad feelings and projecting them out. However, this causes paranoia. Schizoid refers to the central defense mechanism: splitting, the vigilant separation of the good object from the bad object.

Klein posited that a healthy development implies that the infant has to split its external world, its objects and itself into two categories: good (i.e., gratifying, loved, loving) and bad (i.e. frustrating, hated, persecutory). This splitting makes it possible to introject and identify with the good. In other words: splitting in this stage is useful because it protects the good from being destroyed by the bad. Later, when the ego has developed sufficiently, the bad can be integrated, and ambivalence and conflict can be tolerated.


Without probing too far into Johnson herself, there is definitely something here as regards political positions, I'd say. "Splitting." Of course it's based on something in the "real world," what isn't? Of course there's a reason why some people and groups arrive at that position. But...it isn't healthy or evolved, relatively speaking. It's just not. I'm sorry.

"It's all bad and tainted and poisonous, it's not just me, this is REALITY! THEM! THEM!! THEM!!!!!" There are a million and one ways in which to fall into that position, and -anybody- can be and has been "them." Maybe some groups with more justification than others, but at the end of the day, so the fuck what, you know? How does this help anything?

DaisyDeadhead said...

and besides the no sex or relationships thing...um, slave. ships? from a white woman who apparently had a bad experience with a black woman?...Wow! She turned into a nun? :P

That's unbelievable!

PS: I also recall she had a relationship with a woman surnamed Horowitz. (I mentally noted the name and wondered if any relation to David Horowitz...and I never DID find out!)

belledame222 said...

really? it's not an uncommon name, you know...any other reason why you'd think that?

DaisyDeadhead said...

Yes, SJ was close to Phyllis Chesler at the time (maybe now, too?) and she is very tight with David Horowitz.

Remember, Horowitz was a leftist then, and they traveled in some overlapping circles.

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