Everydaymisogyny.com

I got really pissed off last week – so pissed off I couldn’t write about it – when I read about how Mt. Holyoke, a formerly female-only college, cancelled their production of The Vagina Monologues for fear it would alienate women-indentifying males who have penises. It’s not that The Vagina Monologues is all that amazing – I mean, in 2015 it’s a bit outmoded for a whole host of reasons, the least of which being “doesn’t talk enough about dicks” – but it’s the principle of the thing, it’s the terrifying realization that women cannot talk about their truths if their truths inconvenience/upset/upend males’ delusions about their lady-ness.

In a world that reviles women, art – writing, painting, sculpture, all that shit – has been one of the few conduits available to female persons in which they may – subversively and not so subversively — express their realities. Interestingly enough, the very trans movement that is so obsessed with “right to EXPRESSION” also has a really vested interest in censoring art made by females about the female experience. But this should come as no surprise, when we consider that men have historically had conniption fits when women talk about their lives, even when they are talking through an artistic medium. (I mean, think about what a major meltdown the male literary critics had when confessional poets like Anne Sexton wrote about menstruation and masturbation – women were not supposed to talk about such “delicate matters” because it made men feel uncomfortable.)

Could The Vagina Monologues have been more inclusive? Yes. Everything could be more “inclusive” – nothing written or produced will ever be able to account for every special snowflake’s super unique experience. It’s simply not possible.

I saw The Vagina Monologues – I found a lot of it schlocky, some of it compelling, and in no way did the play address every particular of my own lived experience. And so fucking what? That wasn’t the point of the piece.

But Mt. Holyoke didn’t pull the plug on The Vagina Monologues because it was a bit sentimental at times, or because it was a tad dated. Instead, they cancelled it because women must not talk about their vaginas unless their vagina talk confirms a male person’s delusion that penis is female and that a vagina is nothing more than an oddly shaped penis or vice-a-versa.

But alas, many, many people have lauded Mt. Holyoke’s decision to cancel The Vagina Monologues – because, you know, women’s biological, social, and historical hurt men’s feelings.

One tireless champion of males’ feelings has been, ironically enough, the website Everydayfeminism.com. Seriously, check that shit out. They love the men. And they love special, highly complex, super-specific expression and identities and – oh, yeah – they fucking HATE women, lesbians in particular.

Recently, Everydayfeminism published an article on Homonormativity. This was one of those “hey folks, lemme school you in nonsensical rhetoric so you fully take into account everyone’s fetishes, kinks, and severe psychological disorders” articles that has become de riguer on websites like Jezebel, Autostraddle, Buzzfeed, and, and, and – basically everywhere.

Written by heterosexual twenty-somethings – both male and female – these sites exist to erase the notion that females are real, actual human beings and to deride lesbians for not sucking dick. These sites also purport to be “feminist,” and in doing so employ the crazy-making double-speak “make you feel like you’re losing your fucking mind” patented technology employed by males to make women feel guilty and confused since, well, the beginning of time.

The article is entitled “Homonormativity 101: How it’s hurting our movement.” My first question, upon reading the title was, “What movement? Whose movement? Is there a movement?”

See the thing about a movement is that it has to center around something. The thing about a movement is that those in the movement are bound by a shared, common goal. So I’m not sure what the “movement” is; I cannot seem to find a unifying aspect to the “movement” publications like Everydayfeminism are referring to, unless, of course the movement is about not hurting anyone’s feelings ever (especially men’s), ensuring women-only spaces are destroyed, and convincing gender non-conforming lesbians that they are actually male. Is that the movement? Have I got it? If not, will someone please define it for me, because I’m really fucking lost.

Needless to say, whatever the “movement” is, it ain’t mine.

So the writer of the article about Homonormativity, a straight woman, waxes patronizingly about how queer people aren’t visible enough in the mainstream, and about how stupid gays fought so tirelessly for stupid marriage and what did that effort ever do for straight males who think they’re ladies? What did marriage equality do for gender-queer polyamorous agnostic furries? What did marriage equality do for straight women who like to call themselves “queer”?

And I want to dedicate a bit of this article to the derision of gay marriage, so often espoused by trans/queer activists, but first I want to talk about the issue of “visibility” that this writer, and so many of her ilk, whine and cry about.

First off, yes, visibility is important for every single marginalized group. Accurate portrayals of marginalized people can help promote positive social change for said groups. Women know this. Women artists and writers know this. Female intellectuals have written extensively on this very topic. Visibility is important.

I remember, in the early nineties, how starved I was to see representation of lesbians in films and books. I suffered through the hellishly boring pages of Well of Loneliness (sorry, it’s boring) just so I could see someone “kind of like me” in text. When I saw Go Fish! in the theaters, as a teen, I had to drive ALL THE WAY INTO THE SCARY CITY to see it, and I sat there in the dark with tears streaming down my face, not because I was moved but because I thought, “I hate these people. I don’t want my life to be like this.” So I know what it feels like to want to be seen, represented in the media. I know how it feels to be misrepresented, and I know what it feels like to be invisible.

So when I read an article where a straight woman throws around some bullshit term like “homonormativity” and bemoans the fact that we don’t see enough demisexual agender adult babies on CBS, I roll my eyes really, really hard:

From the television shows Modern Family and The New Normal to TV personalities Anderson Cooper and Neil Patrick Harris, the voices that are given space and visibility tend to be those of a particular class, of a particular gender expression, and of a particular race.

She does not mention that they all also happen to be men.

While I was openly ranting about this piece, my wife wryly observed, “I see Laverne Cox and Janet Mock more than I see my own mother.”

And she’s correct. We see these woman-identifying men incessantly, yet where am I represented? Where are women who look like me and who aren’t “transitioning”? Where are my elder lesbian sisters being represented? Where are we being seen? Where are our voices being heard? I mean, outside of these anonymous blogs? The assertion that dykes – females who form romantic attachments to other females — actually exist, that female reality exists and not as some hypothetical notion, not as some accumulation of “feminine” ephemera, not some hunch – all of these assertions have been rendered hate speech. We now live in a society where it is hateful for women at a “women’s college” (quotes now warranted) to put on a play about vaginas. Think about that for a minute. And think about who benefits from that form of censorship. (Hint: not women.)

The writer then goes on, as so many queer/trans “activists” do, to deride the gay movements focus on marriage equality, and I have a few thoughts on this.

I know there are many people – many friends of mine, in fact – who feel that marriage equality is pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of gay liberation. Many people whose opinions matter to me (unlike the opinions of straight people who write for Everydayfeminism.com) feel the push for marriage equality was a superficial attempt at “normalizing” homosexuality/enabling gay and lesbian people to conform to heteronormative standards.

Frankly, I didn’t give a flying fuck about marriage equality – I mean, I had lots of dear friends who desperately wanted to get married, and I wanted that for them, but as far as I, as a woman and lesbian, was concerned, the issue wasn’t all that important. Marriage has, historically, been a pretty atrocious institution for women.

While it’s nice that gays and lesbians can get married, I’m not naïve enough to believe that right is in any way progressive. And I do not believe it does anything to advance women’s liberation (it doesn’t).

Ultimately, though, on an individual level, marriage has some tremendous benefits. There’s the financial/tax-breaky stuff (which, admittedly, I don’t fully understand because that shit bores me to death), and then there’s the – to me, at least – more important benefits like if I lapse into a coma, my partner, the person who knows me best, is able to make decisions about my life instead of, say, my dad who, though well intentioned, probably couldn’t tell you with any degree of certainty, what I do for a living.

And though marriage itself, as an institution, is tremendously flawed, before marriage equality there were a lot of truly heartbreaking situations faced by lesbian and gay couples whose relationships were not legally recognized.

Think of marriage what you will, but I resent it when straight people (even if they’re straight men who call themselves lesbians) try to tell me how I should frame this “victory.” I resent when a heterosexual – regardless of how he or she “identifies” – tries to lecture me on privilege, tries to tell me or my lesbian sisters that we are “cis” and therefore “advantaged” over men who wish their dicks were vaginas, or advantaged over twenty-year-old navel gazers who are mistakenly outraged that their every quirk is not ubiquitously manifest in popular culture.

[Marriage Equality] also describes the assumption that queer people want to be a part of the dominant, mainstream, heterosexual culture, and the way in which our society rewards those who do so, identifying them as most worthy and deserving of visibility and rights.

Then DON’T GET FUCKING MARRIED. If getting married threatens your sense of “specialness,” don’t do it. If you are polyamorous and are not comfortable with the monogamy that seems implicit in marriage, don’t’ get married. Some things aren’t about your precious gender expression, or the particulars of your sex life — in the same way some plays about vaginas are not meant to be about penises.

And guess what, straight lady? When my wife and I go out in public, there’s no mistaking that we are not a part of the dominant, mainstream, heterosexual culture. And frankly, in 2015, as feminists and as dykes, neither she nor I have ever felt more marginalized, more alienated by popular culture, by the LGBTQ “movement.”

Straight Lady then goes on to say: Marriage as an issue sets up the requirement that all relationships should mimic this heteronormative standard of sexuality and family structure. It promotes the idea that all people want to emulate straight monogamous couples.

I suppose that, in theory, yes, Straight Lady is right on this. And I suppose that yes this is part of what friends of mine take issue with when it comes to the institution of marriage, but once more, no one is forcing this upon anyone. And if you want to get married, the degree to which you “mimic this heteronormative standard of sexuality and family structure” or “emulate straight monogamous couples” is ENTIRELY UP TO YOU. Did you know that you’re actually allowed to live your life as you want to live it without imposing your philosophies and behaviors upon other people? Did you know that as an adult person in the western world you are, generally speaking, allowed to make your own choices? Did you know that if a conservative baker doesn’t want to make your gay wedding cake there are other bakers that can make a cake for you? Did you know that it’s not the responsibility of everyone you meet to validate your every unique thought and feeling?

The fact of the matter is that the trans/queer movement is – just like the “Homonormative” article — nothing more than heterosexual people “schooling” gays and lesbians; it is a humorless “movement” steeped in narcissism and comprised of straight men and women that works to take language away from women and girls in order to render them silent. It is a movement founded by and for exhibitionists who derive great pleasure in exposing their every peculiar thought and fetish.  It is a movement that, on its rhetorical surface, deplores conformity and convention, but in fact mandates conformity, and reinforces aggressively conservative, profoundly archaic male-centered sexual and political conventions – gender being one, albeit the most pronounced, of those conventions.

So, yes, perhaps there is nothing ironic about all the woman/lesbian hating that goes on at Everydayfeminism.com because everyday feminism, as it is now known, is about men and for men. There is nothing about everyday feminism – the kind that is touted on television, on Twitter, and on websites like Jezebel, et al — that challenges the patriarchy, or empowers women. Everyday feminism ensures that women are always available to men – whether as sexual partners or fanciful, fetishized identities. Everyday feminism ensures that female writers and artists never create anything that challenges males deeply held beliefs about what it means to be a woman, or if such things are created, everyday feminism will see to it that they never see the light of day. Everyday feminism blames females for male violence – arguing that our ability to know our own bodies, or to know the danger of male persons (much less name that danger) is a form of bigotry. Everyday feminism tells women and girls that the First and Second Wave Feminists were evil, prejudiced bitches (never mind the actual, tangible social change those women brought about). Everyday feminism tells gender non-conforming dykes that they might as well be men, and that those who don’t want to transition should definitely consider dick as an option – especially if the dick belongs to a dude who calls himself a woman. So yes, Everydayfeminism.com is an incredibly apt name for what that publication is – misogynist rhetoric wrapped up flimsily in a package labeled “feminism.”

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24 thoughts on “Everydaymisogyny.com

  1. Ya think they’ll be happy once they mandate burkhas, harems and our not being allowed out in public without being accompanied by dudes with laydee brain? Because that’s where this ultimately goes, this business of disappearing women. And it’s nothing new.

  2. Reblogged this on phonaesthetica and commented:
    “he assertion that dykes – females who form romantic attachments to other females — actually exist, that female reality exists and not as some hypothetical notion, not as some accumulation of “feminine” ephemera, not some hunch – all of these assertions have been rendered hate speech. We now live in a society where it is hateful for women at a “women’s college” (quotes now warranted) to put on a play about vaginas. Think about that for a minute. And think about who benefits from that form of censorship. (Hint: not women.)”

  3. They banned me from the site while replying to their claim that pregnancy and abortion effects MEN’S body’s too now. WFT??? I never seen a site so offensive to women’s rights in my life. Their whole goal is focused on how actual women should bend over to benefit the feelings of men, to claim how men are equally raped by women, & other such total MRA nonsense. To call it everyday feminism is a “slap in every woman’s face” which is what they should really should name that site.

  4. Maybe I’m just noticing, but I’m seeing more and more references (on soi-disant liberal sites) to pregnant “people.” Not pregnant women, because special snowflakes, but pregnant people. So inclusive, don’t you know, so lacking in any understanding of, oh I don’t know, Biology 101. Thanks for another very fine essay that feeds my rage and gives me hope all at the same time. Brilliant.

    1. Yes, we are not women or even females anymore – we are “people with vaginas.” Kid you not. It is now “not inclusive” to use the terms “woman” and “female.” To describe women and females.

  5. This paragraph:
    “Ultimately, though, on an individual level, marriage has some tremendous benefits. There’s the financial/tax-breaky stuff (which, admittedly, I don’t fully understand because that shit bores me to death), and then there’s the – to me, at least – more important benefits like if I lapse into a coma, my partner, the person who knows me best, is able to make decisions about my life instead of, say, my dad who, though well intentioned, probably couldn’t tell you with any degree of certainty, what I do for a living.”
    That people can desire to live with each other in exclusivity for the rest of their lives, fine, but that we partake in the patriarchal institution called marriage for its benefits, I find that disturbing. I would have liked to have all those perks, but as a single, I don’t. Those perks were originally created by patriarchy, for the propagation of patriarchy, to favour reproductive units, because patriarchal society is always eager to grow and conquer and for that, capitalism needs always and ever more babies to enslave.
    The real solution would be that our governments NOT have perks for reproduction. The real solution is that ALL individuals should be able to assign terminal care-givers, death-arrangement makers, inheritance recipients, NO MATTER their sexual and intimacy choices. As a female bi, I’ve never felt that “the movement” had anything for me. One could remove B from LGBTQBIID alphabet and it would not make an iota of difference. And for a bi to marry a single individual… not a very bi thing to do…

    But as radical feminist, I wish you had ranted longer about Mount Holyoke. I also am not a great fan of the VMs, I saw them performed only twice, and found it more of a sad statement of bad sex ed on the part of parents and schools, rather than emancipatory for women. But I still view them as an important part of female public discourse. I am APPALLED at Mt. Holyoke. I reckon the founder must be spinning in her grave.

    As for young whatever-feminism… there is one, and only one, lesson to be learned from that… is that sex is pretty much inevitable for 90% of the human race in the 20 early life intensely hormonal years. And all talk about how sex is evil and painful and harmful, is not going to connect with youth. Every week it seems there is a post about the ageism disconnect between older feminists and younger feminists. And everyday there is a heteronormativity post.
    For feminism to regain any power in society, and have a chance to take down patriarchy even a few inches, I do find it important to not alienate female youth, and to not alienate the 90% of females who are not lesbians. I do not mean to condone PIV as a safe practice, it is not, nor mountain climbing, smoking, drinking, racing, and many other exciting things in life. I feel the solution is not the constant rave against sex (whichever the rave) but the teaching of all the pros and cons to all types of sex, with the full knowledge that lesbian sexuality is the absolute safest sexuality out there.
    We live in puritanical religious times, where sex is once again becoming a taboo, of fear that we might offend some asexual somewhere.
    I want to take down patriarchy, but to do that, radical feminism (not whatever feminism) has to reach more women.
    Here are some points usually omitted from discussions on taking down patriarchy:
    1.boycott reproduction
    2.boycott labour for rich elites, live frugally, it is possible, specially with no offspring, or boycott work altogether, jobbing it is so neoliberal
    3.boycott religion
    But who am I, I am just nobody… a nobody like so many other women under patriarchy…

    1. “The real solution is that ALL individuals should be able to assign terminal care-givers, death-arrangement makers, inheritance recipients, NO MATTER their sexual and intimacy choices.”

      Yes. Because the current arrangement is based on seeing humans as property of humans in some manner.

  6. What Tnt666 and Miep said!

    The whole long fight for gay marriage benefited no one but couples who were well off enough to marry. More money for the bridal industry, not remotely a step forward for the rights of gay and lesbian people.

  7. When you talked about your search for representation of lesbians, that really resonated with me. I have a copy of The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For that I’ve read over and over to the point where the book is falling apart and I have most of the dialogue memorized. Unlike the L Word, it represents real, true-to-life lesbians. I cling to that like it’s a security blanket.

  8. Tnt666 made some good points. Stop the infighting or telling women how, when and with whom to have sex and in which ways…but also I like the whole boycotting reproduction thing and I AM glad to be Lesbian. Perhaps many more womyn would be if they saw Lesbianism as a true alternative and not pressured into hetero sex and hetro marriage.

    I for one AM glad I could marry my partner and we DID NOT partake of the Bridal industry in the least. We did it the first time at sf city hall in 2004 and when those 4000 were annulled in 2008 at the Alameda County Recorder’s Office. It cost us less than $200. But we moved to Nebraska because after 30 years I could no longer afford CA in its lousy economy after the Great Recession and high rents.

    While I miss the SF Bay Area, I do not miss the whole “Lesbians can have penises and men can make babies” trans crowd. Where young butchy/tomboy women were transitioning at an alarming rate and born males forcing themselves into EVERY Lesbian and womens community milieu. While FTMS wanted their new found “maleness” acknowledged on one hand while on the other destroying EVERY Lesbian space and business with their collective presence. On both sides of trans.

    We lost ALL our women’s/ Lesbian bookstores and most of our Lesbian businesses in the Bay Area and gathering places. Everyone is referred to as “queer” or “pansexual” while many decidely ARE NOT…villified for insisting on ANY single sex space. Including the sold out SF DYKE MARCH where theres even a Trans March the night before…Mills College adopted many of the same policies as Mount Holyoke.

    Whats the POINT of a Women’s college if it is not BY AND ABOUT AND FOR bio Fale WOMEN?????

    -In Sisterhood,
    -FeistyAmazon

  9. Bio Female womyn…that is…
    Another thing is we got sick of those THINKING they were polite referring to one or another of us by male pronouns when WE BOTH ARE FEMALE PROUD BUTCHES…A RARER AND RARER SPECIES IN THE BAY AREA..OR MAYBE EVEN NATIONWIDE!!!

  10. I love this article! Let me guess, that college is no longer female-only due to special snowflake males protesting it, right? That shit pisses me off. I support female-only colleges and all female-only spaces. I bet once the rape rate there skyrockets they’re going to continue to defend the males.

    I do not like hets preaching to me how lesbian politics should be because they have not fucking clue. “LGBT” organizations are male supremacy organizations that hate lesbians/women and consider the fact that lesbians do not love men and do not want to be fucked by them a political issue. They hate that lesbians love other women enough to risk all the backlash, because that means supporting women over men. At least if I went to the Baptist church down the road they would be more direct about their lesbian-hating instead of using the mind-screw post-modern rhetoric that “woman” means whatever men want it to mean.

    I did see the Vagina Monologues once and while I could critique it, I liked parts of it. I would never try to censor it, and that is what these people are doing. It’s censorship and it’s the same old vilification of a piece of media created by a woman about women’s experiences.

    Also, heterosexuals, please don’t lecture me about marriage. I am aware that marriage isn’t a wonderful institution. That said, hets can give up the rights and privileges of marriage first. I am also not going to knock any lesbian couple who marries to gain legal protection from lesbian-hating family members.

    I agree, every day feminism is not empowering. These women have accomplished nothing and are often actively harmful to women, especially lesbians. This is way I usually specify that I am a lesbian feminist because I want to make it clear that I do not support the trans cult and I am not a nutjob who thinks porn and BDSM is empowering.

    I would also like to say that I find this concept of “hormonormativity” interesting in a “wow-that-doesn’t-make-sense” way. The current narrative is that lesbians (especially) and gay men are genital-obsessed bigots. Even in so-called LGBT spaces, they don’t like lesbians. You cannot be an out and proud lesbian, you have to pay lip-service to the idea that you would sleep with a trans “woman” (aka a man with a sexual fetish) . Even many gay men do not like that lesbians love other women and won’t fuck men.

    I am interested in lesbian activism, which there isn’t much of because the “L” is only included as lip-service. Also, I think that special snowflake genderqueer/poly/demi stuff is stupid. It’s mostly hets trying to get attention. I don’t like postmodernism; it’s so illogical.

    Calling women “people who can get pregnant” and “people with vaginas” pisses me off. If the women who pulled that shit were the ones having trouble getting access to abortion, I wouldn’t care but it’s poor women and women of color who are most affected by the abortion bans. Constructing abortion as not being a woman’s issue is just absurd and it pisses me off when women care more about catering to speshul male feels that about actually doing something about this issue.

    (I will also say that I do not believe in the victim idea. The trans cult cannot flourish without handmaidens and women who support them in their effort to directly or indirectly harm women are traitors and sell-outs. The trans cult is a minority; women are a majority and “people who get pregnant” could not have spread with the help of sell-outs.)

  11. On the topic of marriage … there was an article in a German feminist magazine about two elderly straight ladies who married each other to have support in their old ages. That was rather cute. And I think, marriage equality could benefit straight women too – even if it’s only those straight women who are old enough to not ever want to marry a male again. (Of course there was nothing “queer” about those women. Just boring, regular old ladies.)
    There is a reason why the conservatives are so adamant against marriage equality. That’s because marriage is meant to be used to take money away from (single? But housewives also don’t have their own money) women and give it to men who are married to women. (Whether those men are actually straight is not important. I think the reason patriarchy hates openly homosexual men is that they don’t fulfill their role in helping to oppress women where we are most vulnerable – at home.)

    Getting rid of marriage altogether is not something that is likely to happen in the near future, so I think everyone being able to marry is the second best thing.

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