Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff for President?

Left: Major Arcana XX: Judgement

I knew whenever I finally drew this card, it was time to talk about the radical feminist running for president. How ironic it is also the same day as a major presidential debate. That is to say, a day that serious candidates subject themselves to questions from the media, and their ability to answer determines their future electability.

What if I told you that a well-known blogger is running for president, but won't allow any dissenting voices on her blog? And she will NOT subject herself to questioning?

You'd probably say, well, that's how most politicians are.

But wait, this is a RADICAL FEMINIST candidate, who believes that the current patriarchal, power-based, racist, sexist, heterosexist system is CORRUPT! But she still won't allow dissenting voices on her blog.

"HUH?" You might reply, incredulously. "You mean, a RADICAL?"

(I actually had this conversation yesterday.)

Yes, I refer to the amazing Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff, aka HEART, infamous blogger at Women's Space, who is now running for president as a radical feminist, a group to which I have a lifelong connection (unlike her). This radical feminist blogger will accept no criticism, or discussion about her views. And now she claims to be running for president. What do you think about someone who runs for president but allows no dissent? Does that make you somewhat nervous? Good thing she can't win, huh? I have no desire to see the inside of a Gulag, even an organic one.

Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff defies all description. Copious links to her theoretical flotsam and jetsam are at the links, above. Some other criticisms, by me and others, are listed below.

Suffice to say that a few scant years ago, Cheryl was the darling of the fundamentalist Christian homeschool set. Today, for instance, she tells us:

What follows is disturbing and might be triggering to women from this type of background. In fact, what is here might be more disturbing than almost anything you have read so far from the Quiverfull reconstructionist writers. One reason is that it is quite well-written. The young woman who wrote it is clearly highly educated and intelligent. I saw this all the time in my old world, bright young women, completely controlled by their fathers, convinced that this is what they — the daughters – wanted and that it was best for them. My own daughter who is now 31 and who, of all my daughters, spent the most time in this world at my side, sent a link to me in abject revulsion and disgust which included a link to this article. She came across the link looking for a girl who was her friend in our old world and who, she learned, still shares the views of the young woman who wrote this essay. I knew my daughter’s friend’s father as a colleague; I sometimes shared speakers’ platforms with him. He ruled his family with an iron fist and was brutally controlling in ways it would be hard for outsiders to believe. When feminists castigate and mock girls women in these groups, calling them names, stereotyping them, treating them hatefully, they are failing to take into account what girls and women are subjected to in this world.
(Italics mine) She did WHAT? She shared a speaker's platform with this man?

Does Heart take any responsibility for being an active PARTISAN and PROPAGANDIST in this "old world" of hers? Does she ever say how WRONG she was for oppressing other women by preaching the Gospel of endless childbearing? Is she sorry she instructed women to be submissive from podiums, as these iron-fisted husbands pointed to Heart as an example their womenfolk should follow? Is she sorry she exuberantly, constantly instructed women FOR YEARS that the public schools are bad, hence as a good mother you must teach your own children AT HOME whether you are cut out for it or not? These are the tenets of the Quiverfull movement that she belonged to, wrote for, agitated for, preached at podiums for, ad nauseum. Any apologies for any of that? Nope. Never. Nada. Not a single time. Because if she had any shame or self-awareness about the gravity of what she did, she would be too ashamed to open her mouth in criticism of OTHER WOMEN.

And criticizing WOMEN is what Heart does best. Why does this make me think her fundamentalism runs deep, deep, deep in her soul? Because little has changed. In Heart-universe, whores are still the root of all evil, just as her Bible tells her so.

Heart's version of these years is that she was entirely a victim, a sort of brainwashed sleep-walker. Even though she also claims she was a feminist in the 70s, and MADE A DECISION to become one of these kinds of Christians, she takes no responsibility for that decision. Even though she openly and unapologetically brags about having been a publisher, writing and editing a popular Christian homeschooling magazine, meeting deadlines, homeschooling 11 children, etc... . she does not credit the environment that made this possible for her to do, and lauded her for doing it. Heart enthusiastically traveled around the country on speaking engagements, promoting her magazine, and brags about that, too, as she managed to sneak it into her comments, above. When it makes her look good, she hauls out her fundamentalist, Quiverfull work-history for the purpose of intimidating others. However, she ABDICATES all ideological responsibility when it might make her look suspect.

According to Heart, she was a powerhouse/force to be reckoned with in the Quiverfull movement, UNTIL this narrative infringes on her feminist self-definition as a victim. And then, she was--what? Forced? Intimidated? Tellingly, no details concerning her decision-making process are provided. All these feminine activities she describes as unmitigated joys, such as homeschooling and breast-feeding, were these chosen activities or forced on her? Obviously, she made decisions to do as she did, and doesn't even have the moral decency to apologize for the disgusting garbage she propagated as a reactionary, dangerous, misogynist, homophobic, right-wing fundamentalist.

And so, we see that Heart was no ordinary woman in this Quiverfull set, but a mover and shaker and magazine publisher. Also, a "high achiever", as mother of 11 children in a culture (like Catholicism and Mormonism) in which childbearing is status-related for women. Would she have been chosen to speak for this set if she had been infertile or less fertile? Interestingly, she never discusses that, along with so much else she ignores. Wikipedia tells us (Quiverfull link, above):

Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff, a former ardent Quiverfull adherent, birth-mother of eleven children, and former editor of Gentle Spirit Magazine, argues that the Quiverfull movement is one "in which women and children are routinely and systematically subordinated and subjugated by the men in their lives - fathers, husbands, older sons, sons, pastors, elders, leaders - as a matter of biblical principle."[31] Seelhoff charges that Quiverful adherents "never talk about the victims of the movement, other than to distance themselves, to explain how it is that the victims are aberrations," and do not talk about "the way the lives of so many, many women in that movement have been all but destroyed - women with 5, 7, 9, 11 or more children".
In 1997, Seelhoff won a lawsuit of over a million dollars against some of the Quiverfull people, for making off with her Gentle Spirit mailing list--although in reading these many accounts, the timeline is a little hazy. Cheryl/Heart also remarried in 1995 and was apparently excommunicated by her sect, Calvary Chapel of Tacoma.

It is interesting that Heart was a charismatic leader, editor, speaker and popular figure in the Quiverfull movement, and insists on being the same sort of hotshot in radical feminism. In signing onto the radical feminist project, she must also be front and center. No humility here, no mere follower she. The ego is tremendous.

A short catechism, for Cheryl's benefit

Around the time of Cheryl's lawsuit and excommunication, I became a serious, full-time vegetarian. No more slumming, no more dilettante vegetarianism! I forced myself to speak up for animal rights, I read books, I went to the appropriate classes and websites, and I studied. And I invite the reader of this blog to look at how many times I have blogged or commented about vegetarianism.

Not many, you say.

Why? Well, because I was late to the game. I have humility about the subject; I am humbled before lifelong vegetarians and animal rights activists. In fact, I made fun of vegetarianism for years, before I became convinced it was morally right. So, I do not grandstand and soapbox, I am humble. I am learning. I am a BABY in the cause.

(Graphic at left from Radical Women.)

Likewise, Cheryl was anti-feminist for years, hobnobbing with the likes of Dr. James Dobson and condemning women who didn't have babies every year. As she says on her website today, she even raised her daughters in this noxious environment. In short, she is late to the game. She came to radical feminism after doing untold damage to feminism and women. Does she show any humility? Are you kidding? No, she sets up a blog titled WOMEN'S SPACE--not, say, "Heart's Space"--as most feminists do. No, she presumes to speak for all of womankind, as her type of fundamentalist Christian characteristically claims to speak for all women, all families, all children.

Does she sit down and shut up and learn from women who have been feminist all their lives? No. Does she show respect for her feminist elders? No. Are you kidding? She runs for fucking president. From one podium to another, barely missing a beat.

She has no shame. None at all. She is right, and everyone else is wrong, and this is the CONSTANT, this is the THEME of her life. Whether the "truth" is dogmatic Christianity or dogmatic radical feminism, the approach is exactly the same. She "feels sorry" for her opposition, but she will not lower herself to actually debate with them or answer her critics, as it is notable the aforementioned Dr Dobson believes you should never do.

Do you want this person to be president? Are you ready for the Gulag? To the transpeople: are you ready to GO BACK? I think she would likely enforce re-transitioning, re-education camps, etc. I think it is likely she also supports the "vouchers for homeschoolers" movement, at the expense of public schools, a political position right in line with Dr Dobson and Pat Robertson.

It is interesting that although she calls herself a radical feminist, she has alienated dozens of feminists, and will not let the purged feminists reply to criticisms on her site. As far as I know, none of the persona non grata feminists (including me) has banned Heart in return.

Needless to say, I don't want this person representing feminism, radical feminism, me or the USA. As Someone Else once said: By their fruits shall ye know them.


More about Heart:

Despite calling herself a feminist, Heart works to actively withhold basic civil rights from certain women, such as sex workers and transgendered women.

This Women's Space thread about race, is kinda fun, primarily because it starts out with Sidney Poitier. Unfortunately, it goes downhill from there. Here is Bint's reply at My Private Casbah.

Other disgusted feminists include Veronica and Belledame.

In this fascinating thread, Ren is attacked for writing "Fall under a truck and die choking on your own blood," in response to some of Heart & Co.'s feminist excesses. Heart freaks out over this remark and holds a War Crimes Tribunal. What I find especially interesting here is that Heart is all over Ren's ass, yet still does not apologize for having told women (for decades) that they will burn in hell, eyeballs melting, tongues blackening and curling up like burnt newspaper, screaming for all eternity.... which is at least as nasty as choking on blood. Also, she does not apologize for promising to deny sex workers their rights, and upholds the status quo of putting women in prison if they should attempt to earn a living in a way her feminism or her religion does not approve of. Isn't that as unpleasant as choking on blood? (I guess it's all a matter of who is doing the insulting, and for what reasons, huh?)

I Shame the Matriarchy took on the Heart-faction, and got 70 posts in reply!

My Private Casbah: Evidently, Cheryl Seelhoff lieks moar drama
Listening to: Nina Simone - Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
via FoxyTunes


Renegade Evolution said...

Gahhh, I never told Heart, or anyone else specifically to die choking on their own blood...hell, via the link posted, there is a link to the ACTUAL infamous post...

everything else...I'm kinda nodding. No way the woman is getting my vote.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Okay, I'll change it... it's hard to follow all that stuff!

But so what if you had? It's still not as bad as the descriptions of burning in hell that the Quiverfull people routinely put out. (was my point)

Renegade Evolution said...

Daisy, if I had, I would own up to it no problem, the reason it's a sore spot for me is me being an angry woman (ahem, to quote the candidate: sometimes women get angry) has been dragged all over a ton of rad fem blogs as some diabolical death threat towards..whomever, when it was anything but, and every time anyone mentions how I was, oh, actually THREATENED by a rad fem, it is used to obfuscate that fact.

You know, different sets of rules and all.

But yeah, her thoughts on a variety of things..transpeople, sexworkers, straight out of the fire and brimstone, they are. And her WoC stuff? Speechless...

assembling words to armory, she waits... said...

great post! i specifically don't comment over there and try not to even enter discussions where heart's involved, 'cause it just makes me all um, twitchy. yeah, that's it. twitchy with rage and laughter at the sheer boldness and hypocrisy.

DaisyDeadhead said...

AWTA, Twitchy is an excellent way to phrase it! LOL!

Ren, I corrected it, and quoted you directly this time.

belledame222 said...

welp, i'm convinced. no soup for her! vote, that is. yes. vote. besides, given her dissociation from the whatsit awards, i'm sure she wouldn't really -want- my vote, much less the job; clearly winning would mean UR Doin It Rong.

otoh with the clear eyed gaze thing, it sounds as though she has an excellent future in optometry, should this whole President/radical feminist leader thing not pan out.

seriously, though--eh, skip it. sure, link the old post, just--she already thinks i'm "stalking" her, i kind of hate to exacerbate her angst at this point, if only because there's probably only so much tinfoil in her home state, you know...

A.W. said...

"seriously, though--eh, skip it. sure, link the old post, just--she already thinks i'm "stalking" her, i kind of hate to exacerbate her angst at this point, if only because there's probably only so much tinfoil in her home state, you know..."

The stalking bit I noticed she mentioned whenever I tried to engage. I point to something = she mentions you. I make a statement = she mentiones you. Hell, I ask a question = she mentions you. It's downright aggravating, and typing out that I wasn't talking or referring to you at all whenever I try and wring an answer out of her to get her back on track doesn't do a damn bit of good, she's intent on frothing at the mouth. If I didn't know any better, I'd say she had a crush. =P

queen emily said...

Let's not forget that she, "political lesbian," has the GALL to criticise the GLBTQI community for its trans* inclusiveness, acceptance of SM etc.

Because obviously a former fundamentalist--I mean, heir to the radfem kingdom--should get to decide which of the riff-raff to keep out. Never mind that those trans people and perverts have suffered and fought for our right to be out-and-proud queers harder than Ms Seelhoof ever has.

belledame222 said...

>I point to something = she mentions you. I make a statement = she mentiones you. >

O'Rly? i did not know that. how special. well, um,, I'm stalking her because she...brings me up at every point? Interesting. I -insulted- her a few times, and I did ask whatever happened to th'husband, you know, when she was going off about the joys of political lesbianism or whatever it was, which seemed to upset her for some reason.

and yeah, her bullshit about GLBT and the transphobia and related is where it stops being funny for me. Yeah, she's nobody in the greater scheme of things, but she's hurt people in small significant ways, she throws her weight around as much as she's able and sometimes it does land in small ways; and no, it isn't okay.

and yeah, with a track record of shilling for Dobson, I don't want to hear a single goddam thing about how anyone -else- is Ruining It For Real Lesbians/Feminists (tm).

but mostly at this point, when I'm not just rubbernecking at the sideshow, i just feel sort of vicariously embarrassed for her. which is annoying all by itself.

Amber said...

Loving this post, Daisy!

Octogalore said...

Great post, Daisy.

Same methods, different madness. Or is it the other way around?

CrackerLilo said...

Is there a woman running for president this election cycle who isn't a BSFI control freak?!?!

Obviously she doesn't believe in the idea of "returns" (a/k/a karma) as many Goddess worshippers do. Otherwise she'd be trying to make amends for the damage she caused. She'd at least *recognize* that she caused some and take some responsibility for it.

I would ordinarily sympathize with her as one former fundamentalist Christian (albeit one who left in my teens) to another. Not this time, for the many excellent reasons you share and link to.

Suddenly contemplating voting for a candidate in the primary just because I wouldn't mind hearing his voice for the next four years doesn't seem so stupid.

CrackerLilo said...

By the way, I've told you about this woman before, but this is where ol' Heart can go next!

Focus on the Family employs a former lesbian feminist as an "expert" on women.

Lisa Harney said...

I just need to compose a file with links of her most transphobic comments so that whenever she says "I'm not transphobic" I can point directly to her saying "I will never support rights for men" and other scintilliating tidbits.

Also, I'm in the same state. We are low on tinfoil here.

Lisa Harney said...

And just to head off any stupid from You Know Who, I'm not referring to trans women as men in the above post, that would've been Heart in the Bailey thread back in Augustish, referring to Andrea James and Lynn Conway.

Anonymous said...

Cheryl was , her own claim, a radical, living and working within the Weatherman underground until almost beaten to death by her black husband with whom she had two sons. He went to jail later for killing a woman. She then moved to money making while having three more children with another black man who worked for IBM. They got religion and moved to the country and started radical Christian living which, I believe, was just another one of her radical things; always going to the furthest edge of any movement while running ahead touting herself as a leader. She claims this man also abused her and her children then was excommunicated by her church for starting an affair with a man she met online and with whom she became pregnant with her 11th child. You are right about Cheryl. Her need for extreme radicalism, her huge ego, and ability to lie or present herself as whatever flavor she is today has given her an colorful, on-line life. Believe me, her real life sucks.

Anonymous said...

"starting an affair with a man she met online and with whom she became pregnant with her 11th child"

10th and 11th child, and she's still married and living with the father.

Anonymous said...

She is a bitter angry woman and I think this may be the best post I have seen to describe her. Thx.