Being Disagreeable is the Worst Thing a Woman Can Do

The other day on twitter a woman I follow shared the resolution the New Turns Feminism Conference passed to no-platform feminist writer and activist Julie Bindel.  In the resolution she was referred to as “vile”.  Now this is immediately not a professional or appropriate way to refer to a woman, regardless of how you feel about her.  It smacks of personal bias and not a legitimate excuse for no-platforming someone.  The same woman looked up the definition of vile and shared with us that one of the definitions for it was “disagreeable”.  How interesting!

Because yes, she is disagreeable to quite a few persons out there.  But being disagreeable is what feminism is about.  A disagreeable woman is a good thing.  That is unless of course you believe that it is a woman’s job to be agreeable.  This my dear readers is what I’d like to tackle today.

Third wave feminism/modern liberal feminism today has taken up the platform of promoting transgenderism.  It is considered to be the height of feminist activism.  Male transgenders are regularly given speaking arrangements, book deals and generally sought out as the go-to experts on feminism.  Julie Bindel was no-platformed because she takes a critical stance on the medical practice of transgenderism and follows the “old school” feminist understanding of gender being a social construct.  A harmful social construct which was created to designate women as inferior and subservient to men.  Because she takes this approach she is “disagreeable” and thus not welcome in any debate or discussion.

On my last post a woman in the comments section brought up that a good deal of the anger women receive for being against gender is that we are violating the gendered belief that women exist to have what she calls practical use.  Because Radical Feminists do not fulfill the male fantasy of woman as compassionately accommodating to every whim we are thus “vile” aka disagreeable.  This is why we consistently hear the charge of biological males making “better women than us”.  Of course.  Because in the misogynistic male imagination if a woman is not justifying her existence through being useful and accommodating to every male whim we aren’t actually women.  We’re an aberration.  We are wrong and need to be punished or just admit that we’re actually men or some such sexist shit.

There is no such thing as a man understanding what it feels like to be a woman.  It is the utmost of presumption.  What they are doing is projecting their beliefs about what being a woman is onto our entire sex.  When we do that which disrupts the fantasy.  Like say not being “compassionate” enough or not going along with anything without question we become “vile” and therefore silenced.

Modern liberal feminist projects like the New Turns Feminism Conference are participating in the silencing/punishing of women who do not conform to properly gendered behavior.  The feminist community really needs to have a big think about where all of this GGG agreeable stockholmed girlfriend shit is taking us because this certainly isn’t the feminism our foremothers fought for or most of us even signed up for.

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16 responses to “Being Disagreeable is the Worst Thing a Woman Can Do

  1. Hi, Terri, you’re putting out some great postings lately, keep it up!

    It is very disturbing that Julie Bindel is being censored and denied an opportunity to speak because she is critical of some aspects of transactivist theory. This is as we all know part of a concerted campaign to prevent feminists who question any part of transactivist theory from being able to carry on their work even in other fields. For instance, as you know, there is an ongoing campaign to stop Lierre Keith, a radfem and trans theory questioner, from speaking at an prominent environmental conference in a few days, and we still don’t know if she will be able to do so (pielc.com).

    I just want to comment on your statement that Julie Bindel is being censored for, on one hand, being trans-critical, and on the other, for being a social constructionist. You talk about the two positions as if they go together. I would describe myself as critical of some trans-theory, and supportive of adding biological predispositions as a basis of human behavior back to feminist theory. My position is consistent, as there is no reputable scientific evidence that trans people have any biological differences from others of their birth sex, but plenty of evidence that women and men are different biologically right down to our stem cells. In other words, whatever gender people are socialized into or perform as, they retain their biological sex.

    To say that one is both trans-critical and a social constructionist puts one in a logic bind, as I see it. If it’s all socialization, then trans women can claim they are now women, because they are performing as women (and increasingly being “socialized” from an early age to do so, since young children are being called “trans”). I don’t see how one can aver that trans women are still men biologically and also say that biology is irrelevant, at the same time.

    Not saying this too clearly today, but I remain puzzled by this idea that we can say it’s all socialization and at the same time say that trans women aren’t “women”.

    • I too believe that gender is a social construction. Meaning I think gendered ideas and roles are not innate but created in order to maintain male power. I hold this belief whilst also knowing that men and women are inherently different.
      Transgender activists do not agree that gender is a social construct. They believe that it is an inherent identity we all have and that the oppressiveness of it is that they got put in the wrong box. The fact that the box exists is totally fine to them. They just wanna be able to choose their own box of acceptable gendered behaviors.

      Julie Bindel does have a problem with biological essentialist views like the ones I put forward in my blog and any contradiction between her position as a strict social constructionist and gender critical feminist is for her to answer to, not I.

  2. This is great.

    Women having to be of ‘practical use’ made me think of something I’ve been pondering lately – women are brought up to be relational – to define ourselves in relation to others – how much they like us, how helpful we are to them, the roles we play – we often define ourselves as mothers, wives, girlfriends, best friends, daughters etc. It can be really hard to describe ourselves in terms of who we actually are – our qualities – how bold we are or how intelligent or how funny or how strong or creative.

    It’s a form of annihilation – we’re invisible to ourselves.

    We’re interchangable.

    And that is objectification. It also describes the role many liberal feminists seem to take – smiling nicely and being agreeable at functions rather than having an original voice and taking risks and actually advancing thought and action in terms of women’s liberation from oppression.

  3. Pingback: When we stay on the bus after most women decide to disembark… | A space to share our joy.

  4. I clicked “like” even before reading the post. I liked the title. Thanks for addressing the problem !

  5. I’ve read it and I see that you mention this idea of a “practical use” of femininity. It’s not one I invented (I wouldn’t dare), I found it on the website you linked, « the house of sissify » (ugh)(was trying to forget). On this funny kinky website, the trans-authors aim to give advices and directions to other feminine men aka “sissies” aka « princesses » who “strive to attain the highest knowledge and practical use of the feminization process” (their words). It’s a caricature, but it tells a lot, you’re right, of the gender roles women should perform to please some men. Feminization is practical and must serve something (or is not worth anything). On this site, the female-wannabes are told that if they don’t give up all control, if they do not forget themselves, and be totally passive, soft, giving, self-effacing, they won’t be considered real women by their master (men). To embrace your womanhood, you have to live for others, not for yourself. Men (masters) live for themselves. Not women. That’s the beauty of it. They also say that it makes women “superior”. Our superiority is in our servitude, in us looking pretty, all groomed for the pleasure of men. Get it ? No ? no. Shit. I don’t neither.
    Maybe they dig these rituals is an attempt to erase their male-inflated-ego, like a religious shit. A cult of some kind. Entering the void of femaleness. Don’t fucking know.

    Anyway, for ladies/sluts/sissies who wouldn’t know, these guys explain that valuable feminine qualities are, of course, agreeableness, but also: « loving, receptive, emotional, care-giving ». Blowjob-giving, also. These characteristics make the female gender somehow “superior”, and real women accept disciplinary measures and humiliations as mere helps to cultivate these valuable qualities. (Mean and imperfect women don’t understand) (and lesbians, obviously, who keep telling masters to fuck off)(not feminine at all, to male’s desperation).
    It must be noticed that , in this gender sexual dynamic, if women must dedicate themselves to be the disciplined keepers of all these precious things, all the things men are not, men can continue to be the perfect assholes they were always supposed to be. Kind of cool. It’s funny that this site, by exaggerating the sexual roles, finally reveals what you can find in softer forms in other places, especially in websites “transplaining” about what it means to be trans. (They say things like “if you didn’t understand, read again, maybe more slowly”) We obviously are treated like total idiots, in need of a rewiring of our brains. Our cultural simplistic framework is the wrong one, the one that can’t be trust, we even don’t realize it, end of the discussion.
    As a side note, if we trully want to understand the male perspective, I think it can’t be ignored that some men really get off to this infantilizing tone, they enjoy to be told what to do, taking cared of, bossed around, being allowed of losing control, vilified, all the thing they imagine women enjoy (what they call their « privileges »). They want to be a « doll », what a perfect doll they would be, if only they could be a girl. It’s a kink, funny stuff, sexual stuff, that keep them entertained, and that women-born-women don’t always understand. Women-born-women can be such a bore. They kill all the fun. Sure, men sometimes sublimate these underlying sexual urges and gender prejudices to make them look a bit more socially acceptable, but they often don’t even bother.

    I agree, the so-called “new” feminism should distance themselves of this “GGG agreeable stockholmed girlfriend shit”. (ah ah, very good, AF. And to the point).
    I’m grateful that there’re women and radical feminists who still reject existing cultural policies, and call men on their shit. It breaks this circle of polite and smooth behavior, self-disciplined behavior, that is really debilitating, silencing and alienating for a lot of women. I like that women can be able to articulate their discourses, without the help or acknowledgment of men !

  6. sorry for the rambling. New to this. I have to measure the length of my comments and stay focus. xoxo

  7. On “practical use”: this is such an important concept because it explains so much and I think is broad and deep in misogyny. I’d like to add some thoughts, and I apologize in advance for going on so long.

    The “root” concept as I see it is that women are throughout history not considered equally existent with men; our existence consists entirely of our limited uses to and relationship with men. Our very existence is contingent, dependent on male action. We exist in global patriarchal culture as truncated humans: as objects of sexual desire, for birthing and raising children, as a reserve labor force, and as caretakers.

    Beyond these functions, we do not exist. Anything we do beyond these functions, any independent act of will, is at best a valueless oddity and at worst a criminal offense against society. Anything else is unnatural, “vile”, unsettling and eerie, and puzzling, simply not understandable. I think this concept is a patriarchal pillar and is inculcated into every man and woman from an early age.

    How did this concept become a basic organizing principle of society? Because women as a class were subjugated in ancient times, and later some rationale for their subjugation needed to be found. I’m saying that FIRST we as an equal class of human beings were subjugated. Our independence was lost. The basic question of who women are, became, How is she useful to male society? All else about us was suppressed because it was of no “practical use”.

    Then: constant suppression of women’s odd and eerie constant attempts to act like full humans became required. For instance, women kept sneakily figuring out how to read and write, and would attempt to speak. Women speaking is of no use to male society. Men can handle speaking just fine. And in general, when women speak they do not hold the same opinions as men, and they even try to suppress men’s natures.

    Then: women themselves learned that if they wanted to survive, they would have to allow suppression of all else than their use to men. The only value women had was clear, so survival required us to try to be valuable in those few very specific allowable ways.

    Then: male society accepted as fact that the truncated, dependent, subjugated person it had invented was the entire human being, and any evidence to the contrary stopped being seen at all. You can’t see what you can’t even conceive of.

    Then: during the Enlightenment, it began (for many complex reasons) to be expedient to pretend that women were fully human (though no one actually believed this). Over the next few centuries, this notion of “equality” of women entered some legal and regulatory systems.

    Now: We have, after enormous struggle, legal freedom in some parts of the world. And it doesn’t mean jack shit to have this formal freedom, because most men (and women) still think of women, at bottom, at the existential level, as being truncated, dependent beings.

    And from that current situation in developed countries we get: women may speak, softly, ineffectually, and with a smile only; we may lead, as successors to family members who ruled and with male advisors; we may write, but we must write in ways that carefully uphold male culture; we may make art, but it will not be judged as having the same value as male creations; we may try to stop the violence, but we will be undercut by the entire apparatus of male-culture propaganda; we may enter the workforce, but only with male bosses; we may refuse to marry, but only at the price of impoverishment and social stigma; we may report our husbands to the police for rape and violence, but the rape and violence goes on; we may have a discussion with a man, but he will not really hear our words or engage intellectually, he will be assessing our use to him.

    In truth, our equality consists of formal and empty legal equality, a certain percentage of token women who are permitted to succeed because they are willing to become junior males (as Sonia Johnson calls them), an ongoing inability of women to take advantage of their equality and to stop living truncated lives, and an increasing resistance and hostility in men who ask, why the hell aren’t we satisfied?

    We aren’t satisfied because we haven’t changed that underlying concept, that women are a dependent class, not quite human, whose truncated and narrow-scope existence is natural. We aren’t satisfied with the fact that the average man sees it as threatening and strange when we act like independent people with agency. We aren’t satisfied that when a woman does well, society considers that she has illegitimately taken success from some man.

    The real struggle is for restoration of our full powers as human beings, the full scope of our humanity, not passive legal equality, and the struggle for that is going to take a while longer. It’s the revolution, because the missing parts of us, our phantom limbs, are not only useless and irrelevant to men, they are to some extent antithetical to male culture. When this revolution has been won, we won’t be preyed on, or let our children be preyed on. Sexual access won’t be as easy for men. We will compete in the marketplace with men and prove to be formidable. In truth, men’s behaviors will have to alter; they’ll have to accept this. We’re going to bring back all those “useless” women’s powers. That’s what radical feminism is about, restoring our powers, the ones that men have no use for, are frightened of, and thought they had chopped off forever.

  8. This is great greatness, women’s greatness.

    No, not any more. We are superb in our ways. Men’s cutlure is zero.

  9. Great text.
    I can tell you how reality made me laugh recently. Gay man into LGBT and all that stuff played a game with me. I presume he would like to be a father himself, which is obviously not my point of interest. He’d been cornering me so badly about getting pregnant (in general, not with him) I can’t stop laughing. What’s quite important here I didn’t even touch the subject of multiplying as I’m not interested. This is how at least some of them perceive us and when picture doesn’t fit their values they try to make us feel as if we were sexually insatiable prostitutes. What’s worse I tend to think he assumed pregnancy was all I ever wanted.
    Great site and I’ll be back.

  10. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been accused of “acting like a man”, on the internet. It always makes me laugh when I hear somebody in the trans camp whining about being “mis-gendered”; uh, that’s an everyday occurrence for Women Who Dare To Behave Like Human Beings. Ironically, most of this gender-shaming comes straight from the mouths of LibFems; the very same gals who rally for “less rigid gender roles” for men, but turn their nose up at women who choose to forgo body-hair removal, plastic surgery, uncomfortable sexxay clothing, hobbling devices (aka high heels), wacky beauty rituals, etc, etc. Indeed, these gals only support a woman’s “choice” if it jibes with the rules laid down in the Fuckability Mandate. Don’t wanna be a trendy little liberal-dick-riding jizz-toilet? Then you’re not a real woman, or a feminist.

    Note how masculinity is constantly being redefined, to make life more comfortable for underachieving males. As it is, they can basically do whatever the hell they want, look however they want, talk whatever way they want, and still retain the full benefits of male privilege. A man who fails at performing masculinity is still perceived as superior to all women. The lazy, passive-aggressive, doughy, poorly groomed, moob-sporting members of geek culture are basically Exhibit A. You may ask yourself “How can such an extreme violator of traditional manly-man-code become the new male ideal?”. Easy; by proving themselves to be ever bigger woman-hating douchenozzles than the average Joe Shmoe. That appears to be the one-way ticket to Ideal Male status (eg. “my misogyny is bigger than yours”, basically).

    A woman is being “disagreeable” when she refuses to offer herself up as a sacrificial Status Puck™. Men degrade, use & abuse women to impress, and build relationships with, other men. Yes, we are not fully human to them. We are a means to an end, a bargaining chip, an all-you-can-eat buffet, a 24-hour convenience store, a smile dispenser, a public toilet, a peace pipe, somebody’s wife/mother/daughter/sister/aunt, etc… but never fully belonging to ourselves, as previously mentioned in another comment.

  11. Mary Sunshine

    Sugarpuss, your comment was a beautiful thing to read. Thank you. ❤

  12. Pingback: Spiritual misogynists are the worst kind; here’s why. | Your god is a fraud

  13. Stockholm Syndrome. Interesting. I had no idea what this term meant until a good friend of mine brought it to my attention. As I look back on the few men I was with in my past (I always fancied myself to be bisexual), I see that I was indeed a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. I have had a bad sexual and relationship wise past with men. When I was with them, and was having intercourse, it would bring me back to my rape. I realized that I was eroticizing my own rape to have heterosexual intercourse!! Wow. Now, for Stockholm, I would date scary, abusive men, and feel trapped in the relationship. I felt that they may kill or hurt me if I leave, so I was essentially kowtowing to my oppressor! What a realization! I had one guy who was my “sugar daddy” who gave me lots of money, but was abusive mentally (and once sexually). I needed the money, so I faked loving him. Later, someone mentioned” paid rape,” and I dumped him and never looked back. Wow, sooo many realizations come to light when I read other women’s blogs! I thank you for your raw honesty- you are helping women like myself heal…Thank you. 🙂

  14. I will just say that the self-censorship exercised by “feminists” against anyone who’s remotely gender-critical is fucking pathetic, especially when they turn to men who have creepy fetishist ideas about what a woman is. Not all MTTs are autogynophiles, but a lot of them are. Even the ones that started off as gay men like Janet Mock and Laverne Cox have said some really misogynistic shit. If you want a good analysis on that, I’d check out Roslyn Hardy Holcomb’s wordpress:
    http://roslynhardyholcomb.com/

    She has two posts on the first page about these issues and a really interesting perspective that I never thought of before.

    I also laugh (in a wow, really? sort of way) every time people like Lierre Keith or Derek Jensen get no-platformed even when not discussing gender issues. How outrageous is it that the most controversial thing about Deep Green Resistance is not them advocating for the dismantling of civilization, but the fact that they view gender as an oppressive social system designed to reinforce female subordination and male domination? People actually join DGR to try to get them to change their stance on gender; they don’t care at all about the environmentalist purpose of the organization and have no opinion on the dismantling of civilization. If that doesn’t make people hit peak trans and if that doesn’t show that gender politics are self-centered as hell than I don’t know what will.

    I kind of want to start my own feminist organization; it could just be a hang-out group for females only but I don’t really know any other radfems in the area. Anything to counter this pathetic trend.

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