Get Angry

Women come from different backgrounds and cultures where emotions are expressed or repressed in different ways. Because of this there’s a lot of misunderstanding when women come together to form intentional female-only communities. The lens through which we’ve been socialized will often lead to problems in communication arising. Even though I’ve read feminist literature talking about this its still not a problem that is really addressed or dealt with.

When it comes to the great work of self-transformation, the onus is often put on the less privileged to change when in fact, they are often much better rounded and advanced in their understanding than women from more privileged backgrounds who they offend.

Emotional expression has been historically associated with the working classes, the landed gentry made a great show of controlling their emotions in public, not crying at funerals etc. A modern example of this was Queen Elizabeth II not crying at the funeral of Princess Diana. Many made her out to be “cold and uncaring” because of this but it has been ingrained in her from birth that one must control these type of emotions and show strength through that means. Now I disagree strongly that that is a healthy way to be, but it is the case that that is her “culture” if you will. We all have cultural backgrounds which inform our personalities and how we express ourselves to the world. While there is room for individuality there are also very obvious cultural tendencies.

Working class and poverty class women are accustomed to expressing a full range of emotions and also arguing from a place of passion. It is our culture to do this, this is not a “problem” it is a way of being but time and time again I see women alienated from feminist spaces for being themselves and in fact, being far more advanced in the practice of their feminism than the women alienating them. It is the middle classes who mainly try to keep everything “nice”. This of course doesn’t mean they are nice people. Many of them engage in serious betrayal, gaslighting, abuse of power all while maintaining a “nice” veneer. Because they do not get upset or express emotion they are viewed as being the more balanced when in fact they are completely unbalanced. This sort of behavior drives women from lower class backgrounds insane because this is the sort of treatment many of us received from those who brutalized us growing up.

That being said I’ve noticed that women from different backgrounds, especially lower-class backgrounds really are trying to communicate with their sisters. One example that I’ve noticed is Bev Jo who is demonized within radical feminist spaces when in fact she’s one of the most patient women I’ve ever seen with explaining herself, trying to get women to see why what they’re doing is harmful to other women etc. I’ve got absolutely no patience and will just disengage from women who behave in ways that I’ve seen her still trying to get through to them. She does this because she knows that women can change and that they need to.
I’ve also seen Bonnie, a black feminist,  get very angry with a group of white feminists recently, come back and apologize and admit that she was deliberately trying to get their goat because SHE CARES what they think, this is despite being subjected to racism and ostracism time and time again. This woman still has enough love for her sisters from other backgrounds to try to wake them up to understanding where she is coming from. That is real love.

Anger isn’t a bad emotion, it is an impetus to change, it often comes about when love expressed is not received. “Tough love” from one woman to another is still love, it is merely being expressed another way with an emphasis on change needing to occur. Women need to be able to allow one another to be angry with one another, its not as if anger is occurring for no reason either, often its about exclusion or betrayal of political ideals,  which is not “nice”. We can’t be full human beings and not ever get angry with each other, it will happen.

We had a discussion recently about lesbian spaces and how they’re not really protected from predatory men posing as lesbians often and even though many women are uncomfortable with the presence of these men they say and do nothing because the cultural tendency is middle class. They say nothing and hope problems will go away or pretend it isn’t happening. They would rather keep the unpleasant situation unspoken than confront it. Well that doesn’t work as we’ve clearly seen.

There are real consequences to not expressing one’s anger in a direct or healthy way because believe it or not, its still obvious when middle class and upper class women are angry, because they become very destructive and passively aggressive. You don’t need a PhD to pick up on that.

For far too long the onus has been on the wrong women to change, it is the same issues of race or other forms of oppression, the work is so often done by the women experiencing the oppression when really it needs to come from above.

Further reading:
Therapism and the Taming of the Lesbian Community

The Lesbian Revolution & the 50-minute Hour: A Working-Class Look at Therapy and the Movement

Separatism is Not a Luxury

An ode to bad lesbians and the rest of us who fail in “niceness”

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30 responses to “Get Angry

  1. Reblogged this on A space to share our joy. and commented:
    I love the way there are parallels with the piece I just wrote and so many more layers to consider – anger is beautiful.

  2. I am shocked and upset to here that my friend Bev Jo is demonized within the radfem community. Bev is a truly wise woman who has taught me more about feminism than many, many other “wise” women. I owe her a great debt for her patient and intelligent teaching. She deserves better.

  3. oops. I meant to write “hear”, not “here”.

  4. I started a Facebook group about arachnids recently and Bev Jo joined it. I find her to be deeply loving and respectful towards nonhuman life. It is a pleasure to have her there.

  5. Black Metal Valkyrie

    Perhaps radical feminists take issue with Bev Jo simply because they disagree with radical lesbianism. Radical lesbians are not honest with newbs about the differences between radical lesbianism and radical feminism which is a problem. It leads to women being confused and dare I say misguided because calling yourself a radical lesbian *feminist* is misleading when you do not emphasize the importance of women as a class but instead focus on issues like socioeconomic status which pits women against each other when we are all victims of male violence. Radical lesbians reject important feminist theory like heterosexuality being oppressive to women and instead believe that heterosexual women being raped regularly and owned by a man are somehow privileged. New feminists think radical lesbian “feminism” and radical feminists are the same and this is untrue. Continue to use misleading language and you will continue to have conflicts because women know in their hearts feminism is for the liberation of ALL women, not about playing oppression Olympics.

    • I just got into a discussion of this on her blog. Let me just say in her book she recognizes that het women do suffer from heterosexuality, but that their choice to be heterosexual has oppressed and still oppresses lesbians. I completely agree with her that women choose to be heterosexual for the privilege because it is what I’ve seen. Heterosexuality wouldn’t lead to privilege if heterosexual women weren’t upholding het supremacy and supporting men’s idea and practice of sexuality. As for radical feminists she says the ones who insist they hate men and criticize heterosexuality still are with men or will go back to men and I have seen this to be true. What are these women who stay with men doing for you and other women who have been hurt by heterosexuality?
      Now, I also imagine there is a number of women who just go with the flow and become het because that’s the ‘natural way’. Again, how are the women who know better and choose to be het for societal acceptance and economic stability not hurting those women who feel they have no choice? How do those who claim heterosexuality is only oppressive and hurtful explain those women who are heterosexual and talk on and on about how they enjoy various kinds of sex with men including intercourse? Heterosexuality is a stamp of approval on all that men do, because no matter how they brag about getting off on the humiliation of women how they are destroying Earth and how they are killing and abusing females of all species the vast majority of them still have wives and girlfriends. Heterosexuality does come with economic and cultural rewards and always has. Women need to stop supporting men, it is our responsibility since by now it must be clear that men will not change. I’m absolutely sure that when Bev talks about women who need to stop supporting men she is referring to those who have the freedom to do so, to suppose otherwise I think is at best an argument of semantics at worst ye old victim mentality which has paralyzed every true radical movement since…always.
      And ‘socioeconomic’ oppression leads to violence, abuse, ill-health and other real material badness. It’s nothing to sneer at. Socioeconomic awards are why many het women choose to marry men, and in doing this they keep up the status quo which is that women are at a disadvantage to men economically. This creates a reality where women do have no choice but to have sexual encounters with or marry men. Get it? Also your use of ‘socioeconomic’ as an elitist pithy sneer sort of dismisses all those women–such as prostitutes or non-whites–whose entire world of oppression is a direct result of economic oppression.
      The reason I responded is not because I wanted to/think I could school you but because I agree with Bev but also understand and partially agree with your point of view. And this post is about emotion (anger yes but still) and I want to stand with you as a women not ignore you because of a disagreement which may in time prove to be temporary (as is the nature of understanding and perception) (and I always presume I have much to learn). I think radical feminists and radical lesbians (of which I am neither) share the basic idea that everyone is pressured into heterosexuality and those who fall short of it are punished. Also that men act the way they do because they are males not because of cultural influence. I wish we could talk about this and reconcile these two different views or get past the difference and work together. Real feminism that can change the world needs all the women it can get and for us to be divided is a real shame. We’re all damaged, even as a lesbian who has never had a real sexual encounter with men my ability to relate (in terms of lovemaking) to and love women is broken. Many aspects of me are broken, and I assume every women is in some way (all ways?). Not just heterosexual women. Not just lesbians. When we come at these politics from that place instead of ‘my experience was worse than yours’ everything changes. Oppression Olympics indeed. Bev is wonderful but has 40 something years of oppression on her shoulders, oppression she rightly attributes to women who choose men. But she’s only human and perhaps has a blind spot. Perhaps a new generation of women can rise up in understanding that many women choose to be het and this hurts both lesbians, and het women who never knew they had a choice. Isn’t that the point?

    • Most intelligent lesbians (regardless of whether they r even RF) know full well that u will never be free of male oppression if u r still in intimate relationships with men. They know women in het relationships can never truly support their sisters while still having the internalised misogyny tht enables them 2 continue having relationships with men. Only the most naively optimistic of lesbians believe that women who still worship men (r having intimate relationships with men) can support women 100%.
      On the contrary lesbian radical feminists DO believe heterosexuality is oppressive to women hence we don’t subscribe to it at all and encourage women to leave it. We do not believe heterosexuality is literally compulsory tho as that is ridiculous, we as lesbians wouldnt exist it if was. Yet we do exist, heterosexuality is compulsory in the sense that u will be severely social punished if u dont comply: ostracism & stigma, but its not literally compulsory. Most women r not kept prisoner & shackled to the wall unable to leave. Certainly women who blog these ludicrous notions of literal compulsory heterosexuality r not, if they r, how r they able to blog, why r they not sending a email to the police? Twisting things to suit ur agenda doesnt make it true. Its called gaslighting. Using abuse as an excuse of why het women stay with men is pi$$in on all the lesbian women who have bin abused & still chose to be lesbians. The same goes 4 saying lesbians must b privileged to be “able” to be lesbians, women in extremely misogynistic countries like iran, saudi, certain parts of africa in every horrible situation imaginable have chosen to be lesbians, so its an insult to them by saying they r just privileged. The main goal of radical feminism is not to excuse women from responsibility & convincing them they are helpless victims. RF exists to reveal the truth of how women r oppressed by men & to empower them through the knowledge that it doesnt have to be that way. They do hav to do something for themselves (& other women) tho & that is hav the courage to leave men & make an effort to undo their internalised misogyny. Sheila Jeffreys knows this, thats why she wrote “love your enemy?” with the leeds womens group & she has been trying to get women to leave men ever since. She knows that women who stay with men hav eroticised the power dynamics of dominance & submission & find sex with men pleasurable & men desirable as partners because of this. She certainly believes women can leave men if they make the decision to. Maybe you think she isnt a radical feminist either?

      • As for the attacks on Bev Jo there is a particular blogger who has a clearly disturbed personality. It is NOT Bev Jo who is showing strong narcissist traits of (seemingly) extremely effective manipulation: like gaslighting women to think racism, the class system, het privilege, antisemitism ect doesnt exist between women. Or pulling reversals like saying lesbians are privileged over het women & painting herself as the victim when she has shamelessly attacked other groups of women. Or being passive aggressive or evasive when being called out on it. These r all strongly narcissist traits which Bev Jo has NOT shown.

        It is not Bev Jo that is a dangerous influence to women coming to RF it is this person & her sycophants who show strong narcissist traits: extreme manipulation, envy that other groups of women are getting attention. Attention is what a narcissist craves so other groups of women bringin up issues that r not the narcissists removes attention from them 4 a bit, they cant stand tht so claim the issues don’t exist. As to a narcissist they don’t exist, as they dont effect them personally. They see this as just attention seeking as they think everyones motives r the same as theirs but they r not. Lesbians dont bring up het privilege to get attention. We r not narcissists like the woman who said that & who has done the above things obviously is. Since narcissists r incapable of empathy, they can not be reasoned with & can never understand sum1 experiencing sumthin they dont. They truly think only their situation of oppression or thoughts, feelings ect matter. Women new to RF r particularly vulnerable to falling for THIS narcissistic persons manipulations.

        It is not Bev Jo that wants an elitist movement (thats really just a social club) of white, middle class, gentile, straight women who do nothing but complain about their husbands/boyfriends and do nothing to change anything in their lives. It is NOT Bev Jo that is trying to convince women they are “fem bots” or “Stockholm Syndromed” or “trauma bonded” to men with no intelligence or courage to leave men & cant be empowered through RF to unlearn their conditioned response (attraction) to men & internalised misogyny & truly value themselves & other women if they really want to.

        So who really cares about ALL women & thinks women can be liberated & who does not? Which brand of radical feminism is truly embodying the real principles & ethics of radical feminism & which is not? For anyone who has not bin hoodwinked it’s obvious!

  6. I thought that emotion has taken on a completely new place in culture in the internet age and among youth culture. Now most people may not be a part of youth culture but they are the loudest and many people pick up their trends and language without even spending time online. It’s amazing. But of course online any emotional reaction is up for mockery if it goes too far–in the eyes of the subjective observers, mostly males who spend the majority of their time on the internet. The only emotions that will not get you ridiculed on the internet are a satirical sort of annoyance and cruel or apologetic amusement at anothers’ expense. Also it is common to see false emotions, meaningless trite comments like “my heart goes out” and “I’m literally in tears” and “I’m crying right now”. This also is related to the trend where you are what you say you are not what you actually are doing.
    But you have given me excellent background on this. Of course hiding emotions is tied into classism and imperialism. Most footage I see of traditional indigenous cultures show them openly emotional. They are laughing fully and smiling with all their teeth. Mostly you see loud crying when they mourn instead of quiet moping and explosive yelling and outrage rather than seething.
    Anyway I have been thinking of this a lot since I read Bev Jo talking about intense lesbian emotions. and other things. Definitely there is a certain way in which our culture deals with emotion–either ridiculing intensity or over blowing our reaction and making us ashamed for relatively moderate reactions.

  7. Black Metal Valkyrie

    Dear Lilly and Resistance: Heterosexuality is an institution which upholds male supremacy. I do not believe that women benefit from heterosexuality because its literally a relationship based on rape. I did not use socioeconomic status as a sneer term I’m just saying they are still oppressed as women. If we are going by that argument than all people in the 1st world are privileged. I don’t see anyone arguing black men aren’t oppressed because they live in the 1st world because men’s humanity is respected. We are erased and lumped in with male oppressors. I do believe 1st world privilege is a thing btw. I don’t believe in compulsory heterosexuality, all women should cease relations with as much as is possible and as for lesbian privilege, that is a foolish concept I also reject.

    • Well as ever 1st world privilege is a complicated thing, probably not given as much attention as it should. Obviously women who are heterosexual are oppressed, but a lot are quite happy. This is what confuses me: radical lesbians say heterosexuality is about rewarding women who choose men–the idea of it, not the actual happening which is why they lie about the rampant abuse of women in the media; whereas heterosexual women say they enjoy having sex with men. When radical feminists butt heads with het women who insist heterosexual attraction is real and inevitable are they not running in to the very ‘het women betrayal’ radical lesbians are talking about? Back to my earlier point it’s the lure of the idea (which is a lie) of heterosexual privilege which attracts women in the beginning and then they discover the abusive nature of men. Originally it is the lure of privilege (of belonging) for which they choose to be het. Also, there seems to be a problem of dogma going on around here. Obviously not every woman has had a bad experience with men and they fight adamantly against analysis of heterosexuality, so where is their ‘real’ oppression? The problem with them is only how their approval of men hurts those of us who see the truth of men and want to escape them. Likewise, obviously there are so many women who don’t realize they have a choice to not be heterosexual or who are psychologically groomed to be so. I just don’t understand why it has to be one or the other. I agree by the way with the idea of heterosexuality being oppressive and while many women make the choice to be so most don’t really have that much of a choice. But I definitely agree with Bev that those feminist women who defend men and are hopelessly heterosexual hurt us all.

      • You are correct that of course het privilege exists. However what Bev said in her book was ex het radical feminists who maintain they hate men usually have male partners or will go back to men. The reason for this is because they are coming to radical feminism and lesbianism because of a hate of men & not out of love for women. Just hating men does not make a woman a lesbian radical feminist is what she was saying. In order to become a lesbian or truly value women a woman has to work to undo her internalised misogyny (as well as her worship of men). The way you worded that cud mislead ppl into thinking that she was saying radical feminists who criticise heterosexuality are going with men & that is not what she said.

        Bev Jo as you said has suffered oppression for a long time i think someone would of pointed out any “blind spots” to her by now & she would of worked them out by now. Bev Jo is part of radical feminism so any radical feminism that exists will include her or else it wouldn’t be radical feminism. The way you have worded this could be interpreted as being passive aggressive & manipulative.

        As you said: you “feel” you have no choice. Just because we feel like we have no choice in something doesn’t mean we actually have no choice, it just feels like that. Het women talk about how much they like het sex because they DO like it as its a conditioned response. Once they hav eroticised the power dynamics of dominance & submission they find sex with men enjoyable, it is a conditioned response. Het relationships are S&M at the core. It doesnt mean it has to be overt S&M like whips & handcuffs, it cud just be fantasying about the man being powerful or being owned or being humiliated by him ect it is all S&M. Which is why women write books like 50 shades of grey & why they are so popular with other women. In order to be het you have to devalue yourself & other women & worship men. Being a lesbian is about valuing yourself & other women & not worshipping men. The two sexualities are not the same one is liberating to women & one is not. The only people who benefit from the idea that sexualities are innate & unchangeable is men.

        Women can undo their conditioned attraction to men as the brain is plastic and can form new neurone pathways but it takes effort: motivation, persistence & determination. The same as overcoming any “psychological addiction” that triggers a physiological response, such as overt S&M, gambling, watching porn, “comfort eating” ect. Its important that women trying to unlearn their conditioned response to men don’t fixate & obsess about their attraction to men tho as that will just ensure the conditioned response remains. No doubt it will be hard at first, but it is possible with enough motivation & perseverance, het women are not doomed to a life of the S&M that is het intimate relationships.
        Sometimes lesbians feel emotionally attracted to women & then physical attraction follows, even when lesbians hav a one time thing our attraction to women at its heart comes from a place of wanting to be close & intimate with other women as we love women. So if a woman has worked on her internalised misogyny & worshipping of men there is no reason why she couldnt love women also.

        Women always know there is a possibility of not being het, girls know about lesbians & “old maids” from a very early age, it is one of main reasons that girls are het in the first place, out of fear of being ostracised for being thought of as a lesbian or man hater. That doesnt mean that women are necessarily conscious of their decision to be het, if they had “crushes” on other girls or had past experiences with other girls when younger sumtimes tht is repressed or put down to a “phase”. Women who say they never knew there was a possibility of not being het are not really being truly honest with themselves, it takes a lot of guts to be honest with yourself & even more to actually make a decision to act on the self realisation that your original decision (however unconscious) may have not been the best one. Many women are not prepared to summon that courage, but they do possess it. Sometimes ppl feel they have to be perfect & admitting mistakes or imperfections can sometimes feel shameful. There is however absolutely no shame in admitting making a mistake, we all make them sometimes, especially when we are under considerable pressure, we are all only human like you said. I very much admire people who can admit their mistakes, it takes great courage & integrity. This is particularly hard for a person with certain traits, it is however the only way such a person can begin to heal & develop a more healthy way of relating to others. The link below talks about how important it is be truly honest with ourselves & others & take responsibility. http://www.manipulative-people.com/bearing-the-burden-of-responsible-living/

    • Women benefit from heterosexuality as they receive social approval for conforming to the universal requirement that women must have men as intimate partners. Privilege is just taken for granted by those who have it, you don’t realise you have it, its only when you havent got it that you know it exists and you are on the receiving end of being discriminated against then you know for a fact it exists. These are the ways het women are socially privileged: Het women do not face being thrown out of their home by their families because they are het. Het women do not have to fear losing friends because they are het, het women do not deal with constant insults cus they are het. Het women are not considered sick, disgusting, perverted or sinful just because they are het. Het women don’t have to deal with little to no media representation of their real lives. Het women are not thought of as just a pale imitation of men. Het women don’t have to worry about other women thinking of them as creepy or predatory. Het women don’t have to worry about being outed. Lesbian women are shamed constantly by conforming het women & the whole of society for their love of women. Which can lead to anxiety, depression & substance abuse problems and even suicide. Het women are not ostracised because they are het. In other words het women do not have to face the stigma of being a lesbian. Lesbians are often considered to not even be “real” women as “real” women worship & have sex with men. Het women benefit from having a male partners income as men are usually paid more, so having a male partner as opposed to a female one usually means more economic security. These things are what we are talking about when we say het privilege. Black men & black women are both oppressed as black people, but black women suffer from a double oppression as they are oppressed again as women. There are multiple ways a person can be oppressed. They have to endure the hate thats directed at them as they are women and then on top of that they have to also endure the hate thats directed at black people. The same is true for lesbians, we are hated as we are women and we are hated again as lesbians. Both black women & lesbians are thought of as not “real” women as “real” women according to western patriarchy are white, straight, gentile women (who are preferably married mothers).

      Heterosexual sex that the woman agrees to is not rape. I slept with a male when i was very young i chose to do it, it was not rape, it was not pleasant, i did not like it, but it was not rape as i chose to do it, no one forced me to do it. I soon realised that it was not what i wanted so chose not to do it again. I can accept & admit that doing that was a mistake, i can say i was only young, i was curious, there was social pressure ect but still i admit that it was a mistake that i made myself. That is a far cry from actual rape. It is incredibly disrespectful to women who have actually been raped to try and make out agreed sex is literally rape. Men see no difference between sex & rape that is true, but most women who have been traumatised by actual rape know the difference between having sex with their boyfriends/husbands when they have agreed to it & actual rape (they might hav flashbacks ect when they hav agreed sex with their male partners, but still agreed sex is not actual rape). Most het women enjoy sex with their male partners, they enjoy it as they have eroticised the power dynamics of dominance & submission, it is conditioned response. They need to undo that conditioned response if they want to be free of male oppression in the personal sphere. Arguing that all sex is literally rape is very similar to arguing that heterosexuality is literally compulsory, it’s ludicrous. I think women who say this feel guilty or ashamed, it lets them think they have or had no choice but to hav sex with men. They have no cause to feel guilty or ashamed they have been conditioned to enjoy those power dynamics, but there does need to be honesty & taking of responsibility instead of excuse after excuse trying to justify why women either went with men in the first place or continue goin with men. An explanation is different from an excuse that is often used to justify continuing to engage in said behaviour, or that is used to avoid responsibility for past decisions.

      • I really like your work, I know all this is the culmination of years of feminist work and all but I like how you write down to Earth, which is why I like Bev also. When I said Bev has a blind spot I didn’t mean to be passive aggressive I just meant, without hopefully getting into individualism, that women have different experiences. I’m not saying I was right, that’s just what I meant. But she would have worked it out by now wouldn’t she have? That’s a very good point. Thanks

    • How can women cease relations with men if all heterosexuality is just being a rape victim?

      • Black Metal Valkyrie

        They can leave the relationship if at all possible. Men are dangerous and messed up and women should hang around women as much as possible and not interact with men if they can help it. Especially intimate relationships!!!

  8. Sadly, I don’t get notices for the few wonderful blogs that I want to follow, so I missed the comments mentioning me after Terri’s great post.

    I really appreciate the supportive comments, but have to say that my experience with you, LakeLily, at my blog is that you are missing some basic feminist and certainly Radical Feminist politics and awareness. Anyone who wants to see my responses to LakeLily’s comments at my blog will see what I mean.

    What “blind spot” do I have? I and a very few others are saying exactly what has weakened our movement and what has been serious flaws in understanding female oppression and male supremacy — as well as answering why most women still support males against females. We don’t expect males to change and it’s not our job to teach them how to be more clever in manipulating women. But we do expect women can change, which is why we write about that.

    I think LakeLily is threatened by my politics and wants of course to go at me, but it’s hard where I have support. So be specific and I will answer, though I’m guessing I already have already.

    What is most revealing is when LL hopes that a “new generation of women will rise up” as if that is not already happening and she really just wants me to disappear. She ignores that there is no generational difference among real Radical Feminists. The differences are among liberal, reformist, or right wing “feminists,” of all ages. The only ones who want me gone are those who are threatened by my politics and the truth.

    As I said, stop the name-calling and be specific with the complaints.

    • “I really appreciate the supportive comments, but have to say that my experience with you, LakeLily, at my blog is that you are missing some basic feminist and certainly Radical Feminist politics and awareness.”
      Well that’s completely true, that’s why I’m trying to learn. It may seem like I disagree with you and ‘want you to go away’ but actually my feelings are the opposite. I’ve read and re-read your book and posts many times and each time I see I understand better, but your politics are also refuted across the blogosphere and there’s a lot more out there that says differently than you do. It shouldn’t matter but to me it does. I can’t believe what I don’t believe, even if I want to. But with each day I spend reading I get it more. As for a specific complaint, as ever like in all “movements” it seems so-called radical feminism is a place were dogma wins out over nuance. we’ve had this discussion before, and it’s not the politics but your assumption that me questioning the politics means I already have politics of my own in conflict with yours. But me trying to wrap my mind around these concepts is not me disagreeing. Certainly not me disagreeing because I want you to be wrong. But it’s hard (for me at least) to believe in something that seems to have been dismissed by many as untrue. i.e this recent post and discussion http://bigboobutch.com/2015/04/21/political-and-born-this-way-lesbians-why-the-battle/ where it is established that women are born het or lesbian. I can’t believe that or not just because I want to. witchwind writes in a way I find off-putting but some of her theories seemed reasonable. In one post she says that freeing the mind from heterosexual conditioning takes time and isn’t easy. If I disagree with that without considering it deeply, what’s the point? And too much is being read into ‘blind spot’ all I’m saying is that there are catholics who have believed for 40 years it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But that’s not a criticism it’s an explanation for why I still have doubts, me personally the confused moron. I know I’m all over the place but that’s no reason to suggest I want you to go away. With all the jerks around who think they know it all I’d have thought feminists like you would be open to people who are open-minded. Even if it is to the point of infuriating inconsistency. I’m not threatened by you, I’m threatened by my doubts. And by new generation I meant after mine. Sorry for the frustration.

  9. Its not “established” people have been arguing that they are “born this way” for years doesn’t mean its true, so whats new? It feels like your “born this way” as a conditioned response to something can feel so strong that it feels like you are born with this compulsion, but you are not, its like saying i was born with a desire to eat fried chicken, i eat it & crave it when i think about it, but i wasnt born with this liking or desire to eat it. I know i like it as i tried it & there is not a cultural taboo around eating it. I dont crave to eat animal brains for example as i have not tried it & the cultural taboo about doing it has made us have a disgust for it (which may feel like a instinctive disgust) it doesn’t mean we couldn’t learn to get over that feeling if it was for our own benefit & learn to appreciate it. People in other parts of the world like it where there isn’t a culture of disgust associated with eating it. So you see culture shapes our behaviour & reactions to things, but that does not mean those feelings can not be changed, it certainly doesn’t mean those things are innate. Almost all the ancient greek men used to have relations with each other & many many roman men did also there were rules that had to be followed (same old dominance & submission), but it proves it is a cultural thing not a innate “born this way” thing.

    We know it isn’t easy unlearning a conditioned response, that is OK, we dont think badly about people who are trying to unlearn their het conditioning & haven’t succeeded quite yet, they will succeed tho with enough commitment & perseverance. There is no need for women to feel bad about themselves because of that, they just mustn’t fixate & obsess about their attraction to men as that will ensure their conditioned response to men remains.

    Sometimes people think (especially ppl with certain traits) that they are competing with someone else in a battle of wills. To make it personal about Bev is wrong, it is not just Bev that thinks these things many of us can see the truth & think the same too. Het women want to believe that they were “born this way” as it means they don’t have to put any effort into changing things in their lives, they can just tell themselves they are victims of circumstance. It is a way of justifying their decisions.
    The link below explains how ppl with certain traits try to get out of taking responsibility, these are some of the ways such ppl cope with stress ect, but they are unhealthy ways of dealing with & interacting with ppl, people who display these traits need to recognise them in their self & make an effort to not fall back into using them. Otherwise said person will always be manipulative to others & we really dont need those behaviours in our movement.
    : http://www.manipulative-people.com/the-mechanics-of-genuine-cbt/

    • Actually it wasn’t so much the topic at hand so much as that ‘it doesn’t matter what we believe let’s just stop arguing and get along’ thing I despise. (But your point is excellent) And what I admire best about Bev is that she has her convictions 100 percent. It’s just that when I ask questions to see how her/your politics apply to things she/you didn’t mention in her book it’s taken as a refutation. Which is understandable seeing as she has probably spent decades having to defend herself.
      In my first post I was trying to discover why disagreeing with Bev’s contention that all women can and have and do choose means completely rejecting everything she’s said. I doubt just the idea that all women were aware enough as little girls to choose. However I don’t then just dismiss everything else she’s ever said. A good idea is a good idea. And I wasn’t trying to be manipulative, I meant what I said. I mean she/you says she’d/you’ve had these politics since she was 19 (was it?). Others of us have been part of other groups or went along with the mainstream way of thinking. That’s hopefully not saying the same thing as when lesbians are accused of not being part of the real world, it’s more about your insight having more weight. Which I don’t agree with but most other people respond more to a person who’s ‘been there’.
      In my reply to Bev I got sort of annoyed, I admit that. But you were acting like I was insulting her/you but I was just being honest. I wasn’t even suggesting I was right. Everything I say comes with an invitation to enlighten me. So if I say ‘following the politics of one group all your life limits your perception’, and I’m wrong just explain to me how I’m wrong there’s no need to act like I’m defaming your character. This is what annoys me, these politics should be about the objective truth and logic and frankly it’s people taking it and things personally that has held back resistance and revolution. At least some part of it should be impersonal. I seriously apologize for any personal insults or criticism I unwittingly throw out, I just don’t think of it as personal but clearly others do. But I don’t apologize for the ignorance nor insight that causes me to say what I say or for saying what I really thought. I especially don’t regret it cause I was called out and realized I came down on the wrong side here. No matter what niggles I have with Bev’s politics at the end of the day the world as envisioned by women like Bev and Resistance is a world actually different than the one we live in today. Also, now I agree that all that other stuff is just faff and making excuses; anyone can leave men. Really it’s hard for me to take seriously anyone who thinks being sexual with women is such a big deal. How pathetic that they don’t see this for the misogyny it is. As if in the jungle a female homo sapien would be repulsed by another’s genitals. Bonobos. Speaking of getting angry, I think it’s really wrong and shitty that these women, the ‘oh I won’t get work if I don’t wear make up and high heels’, the hopelessly heterosexual, and the my children (poor little neurotics-to-be) are my life, that they barge in and shit all over our resistance and hope and try to enforce the same old traditional conservative crap on us as well.

      • If it wasn’t the topic that bothered you why argue about it at all? I believe it was the topic that bothered you just as it bothers most (maybe all?) het women. It’s understandable why that topic bothers het women, but all we can do is tell them what we believe about it & then they have to decide for themselves whether they believe it or not. Radical feminism isn’t a dictatorship where a group of women force other women to accept what they say, we can only explain what we believe & why, the rest is up to the woman herself. About arguing, there comes a point where if a woman refuses to acknowledge what many believe is plainly evident even after having it explained to her why we believe it, then yes we do have to say we’ll agree to disagree. Someone who flatly refuses to see what is obvious to others has to eventually be left to arrive at that conclusion in their own time, as at this point in time it becomes clear that they are not open to see it yet. Carrying on trying to make them see when they are not open enough to see leads nowhere, just to frustration & anger on both sides. The only thing is to leave that issue with that person until they become open enough to explore others ideas & possibly approach it with them again at a later date. That is why many radical feminists will say lets agree to disagree for the moment, as thats the only respectful thing to do in that sort of situation. You say you have changed your mind & that is great, but if you hadn’t there would of been no other way to end the same things being said over & over with no resolution other than saying lets agree to disagree.

        Ok first i didn’t have anything to do with Bev’s book. I’m a completely different person, who just happens to appreciate Bev & other women like her. There are certain things I believe that i’m sure Bev does not, but that does not change my admiration or appreciation of her. On the vast majority of points made in her book I couldn’t agree with her more (even tho some of the things she says in her book are uncomfortable to recognise in oneself sometimes, i still see the truth in them however difficult that may be to accept). No one said that you saying women don’t choose being het as little girls means you disagree with everything she says. I certainly never said that. I personally don’t think its always necessarily a conscious decision, like shall i have a can of coca-cola or pepsi, but it is a decision none the less. I believe most women repress the knowledge of their choice in most cases & when they discover their lesbianism again in later years they usually remember having crushes on other girls when they were younger. I personally know several women who are married with kids who would state vigorously that they are het & have always been het to anyone who asked. I know for a fact they are lying as i have been intimate with them when we were younger, one such woman was the first girl i ever was intimate with & she initiated it. My point is just cus women claim they have never had feelings for other girls doesn’t mean they are telling the truth & i do not think my experiences are unique. Other lesbians i have spoke to say very similar things. I would think its very rare that a woman has never had a least one crush on another girl when she was young.

        I first read about radical feminism when i was 15 (i’m now in my early 30’s) in a sociology book & have always been thankful for women like Bev who have done so much for women throughout their lives. Although i read about it at 15 & consider myself to always have been a radical feminist in spirit after reading that book, I haven’t always necessarily been a very good feminist. (i’ve done things when younger that i would not do now & that i now feel were mistakes) i have read much more about radical feminism since becoming aware of the “trans” fiasco. Not only that i have my own personal experiences & radical feminism conforms what i always thought in a lot of ways. I started reading psychology at 15 also & whilst i reject 80%-90% of it, some aspects of it are useful. For instance identifying clusters of behaviour patterns, this primarily is what its useful for. I also think reading case histories occasionally gives insight into things also. So no i do not think my view is limited. Those that follow the mainstream are usually the limited ones as they usually find it hard to break free from that narrow official way of viewing things, they also tend to hold ppl with academic titles in high esteem, which is folly as these are the very ppl who have a agenda to push & certainly are no friends to women. They also tend to like to have leaders, which is anathema to a movement with one of its goals being egalitarianism amongst women.

        Yes high heels are hobbling devices & can be death traps, i personally think they are the worst clothing item women wear. Yes women that say they are “hopelessly heterosexual” just say that to justify continuing to do it. As for women who say “my children are my life” tho i have never given birth to kids (& do not desire to) i have helped raise them. My aunt passed away at a young age & my cousins were left without a mother they were young & stayed with me a lot during the long drawn out illness & after she passed away, off & on for around 5 years. I understand why some women would say my kids are my life & i do not feel any animosity towards such women. I do not think there is any reason to have kids in this climate tho. Having a child does increase a woman status & she is usually deemed as more of a real woman & more adult than women without children & i think that is wrong.

  10. Thank you, Resistance!

    I don’t object to you, LakeLily, disagreeing with me, which is why I wasted hours at my blog answering your every question in detail, but you didn’t — you insulted me rather than be specific about what you disagreed with. And then you wished I’d be gone, and then played games denying it. (Of course hoping for “new generations” is exactly that and ignores that we have no age divide in Radical Lesbian Feminist politics.) So what is this really about? It looks like you couldn’t think of a way to keep me responding at my blog, so you’ve brought this here, but keeping it so vague there’s no way to answer.

    You are not being “open minded.” You’re just being the usual reactionary against Radical Lesbian Feminist politics.

    As I said, if you disagree, say why. Linking to other writers is cowardly and lazy. Now I should answer their entire posts when I already have in our book and later articles, and when many other Radical Feminists have answered also?

    Of course “born this way” is true for Lesbians because ALL women are born to love other women. We continue in spite of the pressure and oppression that is constant from when we are born to love our oppressors. It isn’t natural for women to become obsessed with men, but the rewards are massive for dong just that, and many women do other bizarre things that have been normalized in patriarchy, like being masochists, starving themselves to death, having horrific plastic surgery, mincing around on painful high heels, etc. None are born to do that.

    Radical Lesbian Feminists and Separatists of course are always in the minority or the world would be very different.

    Anyway, you know I already answered you at my blog, so what is this really about?

    • Well, I don’t know what to say. As I explained above I was trying to figure out why that other commenter disagreeing seemingly with one thing you believe led to her accusing you of being totally accusatory and elitist. As I said all I meant (by blind spot) was ‘a person who is a sort of political leader, or at least an author, has not lived the same lifestyle as you have and maybe she doesn’t know what your girlhood experiences were like’. I don’t know exactly why that was taken as a personal insult. But I sincerely apologize that it was taken that way. I’m not defending myself or suggesting anyone overreacted, if I was wrong I was wrong.
      As for the questions on your blog, you said yourself that you had to pack entire chapters into paragraphs because of elitism in publishing. But you answered my questions which I appreciate. And a lot of your answers changed my thinking which is what I refer to as open-mindedness. I was under the impression (obviously false) that asking questions was how one goes about understanding something. But apparently questions are only arguments. But better an argument than a ‘well it’s okay for you to believe whatever so long as we love each other!”. So again, I must say I appreciate you so much. And I really am sorry. But I’m new to this and I know how insufferable I am.

      • The problem here is you apologise to Bev which is great, but then say “i was under the impression (obviously false) that asking questions was how someone goes about understanding something. But apparently questions are only arguments.” Whether you meant it this way or not this could read like passive aggression & serves nobody, it just gets peoples backs up. Bev did indeed answer your questions & you still kept trying to prove her wrong coming up with various excuses trying to justify women’s decisions (you did the same on her website). When each one was rebutted you simply came up with a new one then linked to a site where women talked about being “born this way” seemingly to try & add weight to your argument. That doesn’t appear like someone who is asking questions, that looks like someone who wants to try & convince others that they are right.

        Radical feminists are never going to agree with each other on everything, but there does have to be honesty & taking of responsibility for actions. You came up with excuse after excuse & when they were all rebutted said radical feminism is full of “dogma” & likened Bev to a catholic (& on her site you also accuse her of being a fundamentalist). When we didn’t accept those justifications & you had no more excuses left you resorted to name calling. This is what i’m talking about when i say personal insults.

        This behaviour does not look like someone who is open minded, it looks like someone who has set out to prove that they are right & when they cant becomes angry & frustrated & resorts to insults. The above comment implies that you are still angry at Bev & haven’t really accepted that is what you were doing. Which is a problem as it means it will almost certainly happen again (you also apologised to Bev on her website for calling her a fundamentalist, but you called her one again here with your catholic remark & saying radical feminism is dogmatic). Unless you can identify that the problem is not with asking questions (or debating) but with you trying to prove your right & then issuing insults when you can’t, the situation is sure to happen again. I’m sure that all Bev wants is for het women to be held accountable for their behaviours & take responsibility for their actions without resorting to excuses or insults that is all. The “i’m just a victim who cant help my actions” narrative must stop is what we are saying. It is harmful to radical feminism more than anything else, as it gives no hope of change or women’s liberation. I can understand why many het women don’t want to give it up, but it must go. No one can make someone internalise a principle, in this case that heterosexuality is not “natural” & is harmful to women in many ways & they should refuse to do it. We can try to explain why its harmful to women in general & why its in the individual womans best interests to unlearn her conditioned desire for men. But in the end a woman has to decide that it is the right thing in her own mind, only she has the power to do that, nobody else can accept & internalise that principle for her. Every woman has the option of accepting it or rejecting it, but we will not accept erroneous justifications for rejecting it & say “well thats ok then” as we don’t believe it is ok. That is all we were saying.

      • An example would be a woman who practices overt S&M & who now feels “addicted” to it. If she then joins a radical feminist group & ppl are trying to explain to her why its harmful to herself & women in general she’ll feel a conflict with what she desires to do & the principles of the RF group. She has the choice of either internalising the RF principle that it is harmful to herself & other women, which will lead her to try to break her “addiction” to it. Or she’ll resist internalising that principle, if she resists internalising it she’ll then have to justify in her own mind & to the other members of the RF group why its ok to keep on doing it.
        She’ll do this by”rationalising”: making up excuses & justifications for why its ok to do it, like: “i do it as it helps me deal with bad things that happened to me when i was younger”, “its not harmful to myself or women in general, its just a personal preference that has no impact on anything”, “all my friends do it, so it must be ok”, “it cant be that bad or it wouldn’t be so popular” ect. By “minimising”: saying things like “i only do it occasionally”, “i don’t use whips only handcuffs”, “everybody does a bit of S&M sometimes”, “we reverse roles sometimes, so its not harmful.” By feigning ignorance “i just don’t see why its so harmful” (even tho its been explained why its harmful countless times). By blaming others: “i only do it cus my partner likes me to do it”. By denying its harmful & others are really the problem & are just “old fashioned”, “out of touch”, “dogmatic”, “puritans/prudes” ect for pointing out how harmful it is. Playing the victim: “it is not my fault i like it, i cant help it”, “i’ve been doing it since i was young & didn’t know there were other options”, “I’m conditioned to like it & now i’m stuck liking it”. These are all ways a woman can justify to herself & others that it is acceptable or at least excusable to carry on engaging in S&M & resist internalising the principle thats its damaging & she should unlearn her conditioned desire for it.
        These ways of resisting internalising a principle can be seen in almost everyone (at times) who wants to keep engaging in a behaviour that is deemed harmful (sometimes they are also used to excuse/justify previous behaviours). There are other reasons ppl may use these methods as well, particularly playing the victim, feigning ignorance & the blaming methods they could be used to avoid guilt, shame or blame, to maintain a certain image or a combination. It doesn’t mean they are “bad” ppl, but it does mean that the methods they employ to carry on engaging in a self destructive behaviour are really self defeating exercises.
        The gains of unlearning a self harming behaviour like S&M come later when the behaviour has been unlearnt & the woman then gains her sense of self worth & self respect. Where as the fleeting high a person gets from S&M are immediate, so it can seem on the surface that they are losing something by giving it up & not gaining anything. This is an error of thinking, its just looking at it from a very shallow perspective & not seeing the big picture of the long term gains that come with giving it up.
        It is almost impossible not to see the parallels of women who try to justify their practice of S&M with women who refuse to internalise the principle that heterosexuality is harmful to themselves & women in general. (Of course het women also use “reversals” & “gaslighting” at times too.) Het women also lose some social acceptance if they unlearn their heterosexuality, so it seems even more to them like they are only losing & not gaining. This is not only self centred, but also an error of thinking as what they lose in social acceptance is made up for in the massive increase in self worth & self respect that comes with leaving that male worshiping female hating het mindset & internalised misogyny. We know its hard to unlearn a conditioned response to something, but it is in ALL women’s interests to do so, the woman’s own as well as women as a caste. If as radical feminists we wouldn’t accept the above excuses from women who want to carry on practicing S&M why should we accept them from women who want to carry on practicing heterosexuality? (Heterosexuality is really just S&M at the core, so the difference is negligible.)
        I know you said you realise all those excuses are just faff now & you admit to being wrong about your previous beliefs i think that is admirable that you can admit that. However if you can see that now then you must also realise why we see your catholic & dogmatic remarks as insults & realise the reason why you made them. I believe they were made out of anger & frustration cus we would not accept those excuses, an understandable reaction of someone who is angry, but your claim to not know why we would think those remarks were meant as insults & that they were not made out of anger & frustration is a problem. As thats not being honest. Everyone gets angry sometimes & says things, but its best to admit when we do rather than try to justify our reactions with more excuses. For instance if i say a man can never be a woman & a “trans” argues vigorously that he can, me maintaining my belief is not dogmatic it is simply stating a fact that i know is true. Ppl who use the word dogmatic always mean it as an insult, the same way fundamentalist is always meant as an insult, to claim otherwise is dishonest & is itself manipulative, cus we all know its an insult, to try & claim otherwise is gaslighting & feigning ignorance.

  11. Anger in certain doses is useful. Being angry all the time burns you out, but not overdoing it is useful. Just tell men creeping on lesbian gatherings to fuck off. If you let them stay, then they will keep coming back.

  12. That wasn’t so much passive aggression so much as overt aggression. And perhaps fundamentalism and dogma are always insults, I guess they are, but that doesn’t always mean they are unfounded. I love your sight Resistance, I agree with everything you say. My issue with bev jo stems from her insistence that women choose femininity and heterosexuality as young girls. Interesting on Resistance’s sight she has one one of the best explanations of how women are conditioned into femininity and heterosexuality. Her/your page on transgenderism is the best I’ve ever read also. It doesn’t resort to calling them trannies and making lesbian feminists look like assholes. And she blames the transgender craze on society rather than transgender people. Which I think is more productive in the end. Make no mistake I don’t believe in born this way het-, homo-, a- sexuality. I know universal bisexuality is natural: http://www.queerbychoice.com/againstnature.html And choose to be a lesbian because of the heteropatriarchy.
    I didn’t get angry really, there’s nothing to be angry about. As I said it seems like when someone disagrees it’s treated like they want to disagree instead of doubting. I asked lots of questions and started many discussions because I doubted a lot of she said, but I could see that lesbian feminism is the only thing that will improve women’s lives and really wanted to have that aha moment.

    • To be bisexual women would still have to eroticise the power dynamics to enjoy going with men (which we know is conditioned) so therefore that can’t be “natural” either. It does take courage to continue to love girls & then women & to not just dismiss these feelings as unimportant & continue to resist the unrelenting pressure to go with boys/men. I believe all girls/women would cease going with boys/men after the first time if it wasn’t for the social acceptance that comes with going them. It also takes courage to resist dressing in sex role appropriate clothes, which many young girls do including girls who grow up to be het, its only when they get a bit older & the social pressure becomes more overt, that they conform. Some girls continue to resist giving into that pressure. There is a tremendous fear of not being accepted & this fear of being outcast means most girls will conform.

      I have no sympathy whatsoever for the autogynephiliac “trans”. Autos are woman hating misogynists of the worst kind & women have every right to be angry at these men & should be free to express that anyway they see fit, especially lesbians who are the ones they constantly target with the rapey “cotton celling” crap. It reminds me of when some women say “i don’t hate men”. Why not? women have every right to hate men, just cus some men aren’t as bad as others, doesn’t mean they don’t think we are inferior to them, all men think that, they are taught to from birth to death. Women have every right to be angry at men & to hate them, its only natural to feel like that towards them. Autos are men, the very worst type of men.

      I think what you object to is not calling “trans” trannies, but with criticising het womens choices & this is just a way to disguise the issue, so you can say things like “lesbian feminists look like assholes” without saying the real reason why you want to express those sentiments. I think you don’t like the idea that girls/women choose to be het as you feel this is blaming you.

      You mentioned witchwind a few posts ago. I believe that is also the reason that ww launched into an attack on the concept of het privilege, she did that so she didn’t have to feel guilty or to blame. It may have made her feel better about herself, but it harmed lesbians & was a very selfish self serving thing to do. The same when she (& others) said similar things about racism & classism & those who avoid responsibility for everything by citing that gaslighting book that talks about women being “Stockholm syndromed”. It may make her & other women who blog these concepts feel better about themselves & less to blame/responsible (& in many cases free to just carry on absolved of any responsibility. This is of course why these concepts are so popular with het women), but it is harmful to other women who are in those groups, whose oppression by those in the dominant group she/they just dismissed as not existing or of being of no importance. It is a very narcissistic way of looking at things & comes from entitlement: these women aren’t in these oppressed groups & so they have never been treated in ways we have, so to them the oppression doesn’t exist as they have never been on the receiving end of it. Or they so hate to think that they might be blamed that they try to relieve themselves of any responsibility/guilt by saying they are SS, colonised ect & every wrong decision they make/made or any harm they cause to others should just be ignored & put down to these things. The only thing that matters to these women is that they don’t feel guilty or to blame. These women need to develop more empathy for others, take more responsibility & stop only looking at things from the perspective of how it effects them all the time.

      Bev’s book was written for lesbians & lesbians are socially oppressed by het women, you admit this. Bev is allowed to be angry with het women, especially het women who play games with lesbians & say they are lesbian then make remarks about how they love/miss sex with men when they are maintaining to be lesbian. If as a white person i read a book by an asian person that talked about how pissed off they were at their treatment by white ppl, i may feel like “thats not me, i don’t do that”. I’d have to think 1. That book wasn’t written for me or my benefit, it was written for asian ppl. & 2. They were talking about white ppl who do those things & white ppl as a ruling group in general, not me personally.

      • I think you/ww have issues with Bev saying girls choose to be het as you feel like you are being blamed & as you say yourself you are trying to decondition yourself of your het feelings & find it difficult. This is the same for any S&M fixation. I think thats where this animosity towards Bev comes from & i believe this is why you kept going round the houses, i think you were trying to find a way to feel less blamed. I think this is the real reason you don’t like the idea that girls choose to be het/”feminine”, as if you accept that you had any choice in being het/”feminine” that makes you feel like your to blame & i think that is what you find unacceptable.

        In the end whatever you feel led you to be het or dress “feminine” we cant escape the fact that girls & women do make choices & sometimes they come to regret their decisions. We all know there is tremendous pressure to be het/”feminine” most do give in to that pressure. I think the best thing for (ex) het women is look to the future. It is what we do now that is important. We can go on trying to escape feeling blamed/guilty by denying we had choices or making up excuses to justify them or we can take responsibility & say yes ‘i made a mistake (under social pressure) but whatever led me to make that mistake it was still a mistake & it doesn’t mean i’m a “bad” person, it just means i’m human, cus all humans make mistakes, ALL of us’.

        If they really do want to be free of men, then instead of focusing on men, they should focus on women & think about the positive qualities women possess that men do not. Instead of directing energy into men directly or indirectly by thinking about them, talking about them needlessly, making excuses why they went with them ect, it’d be better if they put that energy into supporting other women. Rather than looking at lesbian women (separatists or otherwise) as being against them, they need to look at them as just being concerned, about (ex) het womens motives, commitment, residual internalised misogyny (which is often taken out on lesbians) ect. The main problem is many ex het women still internally identify as het, which is why they don’t see other het women as a problem. If they really want to be free of men then they should stop thinking of themselves as het, regardless of if they want to become lesbians or not. If ex het women feel someone has them wrong there is an easy way to prove that by actions: ex het women can show they are committed to leaving men by stop talking about them needlessly. They can show they’re against lesbian hatred by calling out others that display it & not being a part of it. They can tell other het women why being het is harmful to themselves & other women. These actions will speak for themselves & then any concerns longtime lesbians have about ex het women will evaporate. They can also show they’re against racism & classism by speaking out against it when they see or hear it. The only way to change things is to first admit that there is something that actually needs to be changed, het & ex het women can do that if they choose to.

        Bev doesn’t hate het women, Bev knows they can change. She has seen het women become lesbians & play games with & hurt long time lesbians & she understandably doesn’t like it. By pointing out the ways she has seen ex het women hurting lesbians she hopes that they will learn to be more aware of how their behaviour & attitudes are unhelpful & need to change. You may disagree with some things she says, but she is not your enemy, she really isn’t. Think about it, even tho she has seen how some ex het women can be, she is still not against them becoming lesbians, that shows a real love for women. I don’t think there is anything else left for me to say. I have written this not to upset you, but to try & help you understand that Bev is not your enemy & that your (& other womens) hostility is being mistakenly directed at her. The problem is an internal one that het women have & only they can choose to remedy it. Having a go at Bev is a bit like shooting the messenger.

        Thanks for letting me post here Terri sorry about taking up so much space with my essays. Take care R

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