LGBTQ Magazine

A Plea To My Sisters Everywhere: See Ridding Yourself Of Patriarchal Thinking As An Opportunity, Not An Accusation

Posted on the 21 January 2012 by Valeriem @Wont_Submit

I am taking a quick break (Lol) from HWBW to make what attempt I can at sending an urgent message to Feminists and/or Lesbians everywhere.

You may have noticed things are getting worse for most women. Yes a few white, western, class-privileged, feminine and/or heterosexual women are ‘making it’, but please be assured that the only reason for this is that such women are the biggest women’s mouthpiece of the media, and if they say women are doing better, then they are. It shuts up the people who (‘coincidentally’) had a chance to speak in the first place.

But what has really changed for the rest of us? Look up world statistics on how women are doing. They haven’t budged in forty years. All that has happened is that the women with all the (derived) power have been lulled into the idea that there is nothing left to fight for. A false sense of security if ever there was one. But while their power is derived, the it is real enough to fuck things up good and proper for all other women.

We all possess characteristics by which we are privileged and oppressed. I myself am treated with full white privilege almost all of the time, yet I am oppressed by my sex and my sexuality. I was always oppressed by my sex, but there was a time that I was protected from being oppressed by sexuality, ie. lesbophobia, simply by acting and/or looking heterosexual.

If you have any history of performing femininity, you will find after coming out that you might have to go what you might think of as pretty far before the average person in the road sees you as anything other than heterosexual. Heterosexuality is presumed unless you go ‘to the trouble’ of looking like a Lesbian. ‘To the trouble’ is in quotes because it is actually looking heterosexual that is all the trouble, effort, expense, and work. It’s what’s known as ‘femininity’. It is the performance of what a male-dominated society says a woman should be like.

A Lesbian who rejected femininity from an early age is what is known as a Butch Lesbian. Butch Lesbians are the most naturally female and female-orientated people on the planet. They are the most attractive of Lesbians because they stayed naturally female. Those who can see how ugly and distressing femininity is will understand this statement. Those who can’t should simply take from this statement that you have yet to open your eyes to more of the patriarchal ‘matrix’ we are all swimming in.

There is no real Butch Lesbian representation in the media that I have ever seen, although I am not claiming to be an expert as I am not much of a TV watcher. I did see the L Word and the only one who was even close was Daniela Sea, and they made her into a transman, surprise, surprise. Similarly, in Britain’s ‘Lip Service’ there were no Butches but as pollystyrene put it once, they made the dykiest-looking character into a bisexual woman. It’s always appropriation, appropriation, appropriation. And that is not an easy word to type out three times, so heed. Heed!

Anyway, this is all backstory. The point is that I weep for the future of feminism. I weep because almost all of what I see is the most privileged-by-male-rules women silencing and oppressing the very women who remove themselves the most from maleness and patriarchal norms. And these women are even calling themselves ‘radical’ feminists! It’s ridiculous, because a radical feminist is supposed to ‘get at the root’ (radical = root) of patriarchy. But these women do not do that, because they falsely believe that ending oppression based on sex will lead to the fall of all oppression. Unfortunately, this is wrong, because these women are not, and in fact, refuse, to take into account their own training in patriarchy. They won’t see de-pat-ing yourself as an opportunity. They see sex oppression (sort of), but that’s it. They think women are naturally heterosexual and not trained to be, they think women are naturally feminine instead of naturally boldly female without training, they think women have equal opportunity to class-privilege, apparently. They perpetuate racism again and again. They are ageist. Abelist. Looksist. Fat-hating. The list goes on and heartbreakingly on. They are just fucking massively bigoted, basically, over everything except one thing. And even that one thing is still based on a mostly male view of what female means (due to the constant centering of unnecessarily feminine and heterosexual woman).

I shouldn’t have to type the word ‘unnecessarily’ in front of feminine or heterosexual, but we have lost so much ground in feminism that no one seems to understand anymore that ‘unnecessarily’ should be always implied by the words ‘feminine’ or ‘heterosexual’. And yet here we are.

By and very very large, the feminist community is selling out to maledom. Watered-down politics is the reason for this. Het feminists are constantly attacking and censoring Lesbians when they should be trying to learn from them. But they majority of feminists are perpetuating almost all of patriarchy’s oppressions, and suckering young feminists into thinking they know what they are talking about by almost understanding one oppression.

If those of us who are not lifelong Dyke Separatists refuse to acknowledge the ways we have been complicit, if we can’t do something so simple as say we have not always been on the right path and have a lot to learn, and see that as a wonderful opportunity, and thank the stars that we live in an age where we have access to such valuable information, because we are too…I don’t even know? Proud? Douchy? I don’t know, but if we keep this up, we will lose.

Women will lose.

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