There’s a play/movie that I like called Doubt. I have an affinity for nuns, and the play centers around nuns, so there’s that. In any case, in the film version, Meryl Streep delivers a line that often resurfaces in my head: “In ancient Sparta, important matters were decided by who shouted loudest. Fortunately, we are not in ancient Sparta.”
But we are in ancient Sparta, in a way. All too often the opportunity to have reasoned, rational discourse around gender, women’s space, women’s boundaries, women’s lives is hijacked and destroyed by those who “shout loudest.” Worse still, perhaps, is the fact that women who speak openly, who are willing to assert their positions (and who are unapologetic about those positions) are fiercely attacked — mocked, berated with misogynistic slurs, threatened with sexual violence. Those who most often engage in these tactics are male. Or, sometimes, they are employed by women who are lost (and I feel sorry for them), who believe feminism should be ABOUT everyone and everything – men, women, dogs, cats . . . (this belief, by the way, is a strategy – employed consciously and subconsciously – to dilute feminism until it becomes meaningless; if feminism is about “everything,” then it is about nothing.)
Women who refuse to cater to the desires of males are marginalized, trivialized, and (laughably), compared to “Hitler.” No. Seriously. I recently saw something where a gender-critical feminist was likened to Hitler – this is sophomoric at best.
And this is all a form of “shouting.” Mainstream feminism and the trans/queer movement are really good at shouting. They’re good at throwing around terms like “patriarchy” and “misogyny” without actually knowing what those words really mean. Because, you see, the dominant culture is really good at having opinions and feelings, but not so great at being informed, being well-read, flexing their critical thinking muscles. When you believe things and you don’t know why, when you’ve simply accepted that you should hold a belief because some dudes are telling you to, the best you’ve got to combat those who call your beliefs into question is shouting — belligerent, moronic, hostile, woman-hating shouting.
Shouting is a form of batting away the gadfly (to reference Socrates). It’s a form of attempting to silence those who make you uncomfortable. It’s a way of making women submissive, compliant, “nice” – all things that gender dogma tells us we inherently ought to be.
In my own life, I only fight the battles I feel need fighting. (And by “fight” I mean blog, converse, use my words – I’m not a fan of violence.) And I’m SURE there are people – friends, even – who disagree with me on a whole host of things from literature to Broadway musicals, but I don’t obsess over these differences because, really, who fucking cares. It’s a male thing to force people to embrace your point-of-view on ALL matters from Goethe to gender.
I know there are friends of mine who strongly disagree with my positions on women only space, and gender. And that’s totally cool. We have conversations, we disagree, we don’t call each other names, we don’t set out to harm one another, we cope and we’re still cool. Because the kind of people I surround myself with get that differences are normal and natural; they get that we can have intense debates around issues without attempting to hurt one another.
But you know what I see happening ALL THE TIME to women who are gender critical, who are radical feminists? All the time I see people (males) setting out to hurt these women in one way or another.
Recently, I saw that a woman I respect and admire, Heath Atom Russell was being openly attacked online by a transactivist. Heath has bravely spoken out about her own reality as a de-transitioned FtT. She has told the truth about her life, and because that truth doesn’t fit neatly alongside the gender dogma the dominant culture is pushing down women’s throats, she’s a target.
In this example, an MtT transactivist refers to Ms. Russell as a “thing” a “monstrocity.” This is classic male behavior – relegating a woman who will not comply to the status of a thing. See, when you make a woman a “thing” or an “it,” you strip away her humanity, you make her vulnerable (at least you intend to) to further attacks. This is what passes as activism in the trans/queer community, but this, dear readers is NOT activism. This is male violence masquerading as some type of justice league . . . or something. Males aren’t very good at tolerating women who question them. Nor are they very good at reasoned debate. They are really, really fucking good at calling women names and opening them up to violence, though. They’ve had centuries of practice!
And then you’ve got a preponderance of this shit, where women’s ability to think about and recognize reality, where women’s refusal to submit is attributed to being “scorned.” I mean, if a woman knows a dick is male, if a woman thinks for herself, if a woman doesn’t bow down to gender worship, then SURELY it can only be because a trans person broke her heart. We ladies are motivated solely by sex and dating. I mean, I know that every opinion, every thought I’ve ever had has been the byproduct of romance. (This, at least, is what gender-worshippers believe – ladies love hearts and flowers and gentlemen callers and shit. They LIVE for those things, don’t ya know?)
So this is what we endure – we women who have decided to think for ourselves, who have decided to speak out against ideology that presents real, actual problems for women, we who refuse to conform and who don’t apologize for that – shouting. Incessant, violent, hyperbolic, misogynist shouting. It’s scary, it’s boring, it’s thoroughly ineffective at convincing us to see issues differently – but it’s not really about persuading us to see things differently, it’s about making us shut-up and submit. Men don’t really care if you “agree” with them, they just want you to collude with them – be it by entertaining a delusion, making feminism about men, sucking their dicks, or harming other women. Men (even those who think they’re women) don’t really care if you LIKE what they’re doing, or even APPROVE of what they’re doing – they just care that you don’t ask questions, and DO what they want you to do. They don’t care if you enjoy the game, they just want you to play it. It’s not that hard to figure out.
They’ll keep shouting, the dominant culture will keep believing that the loudest voices are the ones worth listening to, and we radical feminists will keep appealing to reason (however futile it often feels) and standing with women.