Friday Ephemera
Another Great Moment of Academic Clarity

In the Church of the Sisterhood

I don’t generally think that women are too feeble and befuddled to know what they want. I tend to assume that the women I meet are autonomous and know their own minds, much as I know mine. Others, however, disagree. Radical feminist Margaret Jamison, for instance:

I know I’ve said before – here and elsewhere – that female “heterosexuality” is not a meaningful concept to me. That is, politically, and with regard specifically to radical feminism, I don’t believe that whatever a woman feels in her head (influenced so mandatorily as it is by male supremacy) about her own sexual inclinations really matters in the grand scheme.

Hear that, straight ladies? Your heterosexuality – sorry, your “heterosexuality” – isn’t meaningful. The male supremacy has you duped. Whatever it is you feel – and by extension whatever it is you think – is of no consequence in the “grand scheme” of Margaret Jamison:

An internal self-assessment just really doesn’t matter in comparison with the external interactions, and the way those interactions reflect and perpetuate male supremacy.

Ah. Compared to “external interactions,” your feelings are irrelevant - indeed they most likely aren’t your own. Cynics may already be amending the object of Ms Jamison’s assertions and pondering the likely reaction: “Female ‘homosexuality’ – so-called ‘lesbianism’ - is not a meaningful concept to me. I don’t believe that whatever a woman feels in her head about her own sexual inclinations really matters in the grand scheme.”

Readers may recall similar sentiments being expressed by the Guardian’s Julie Bindel, who insists desire should be reconfigured to comply with ideology. And it’s no use protesting to the contrary. Whatever you might say, you’re collaborating with the oppressor:

Women wanting what men want – the subjugation of women – doesn’t mean that women’s subjugation is now a female desire. It simply means that some women want what men want. They are men’s women. 

If your desires should coincide with those of a man - who, like all men, desires your subjugation - you become his property. I do hope you’re following this.

So long as men hold a position of dominance over women, having desires that coincide with theirs is simply complicity in male supremacy, not a female-derived interest that must be taken into account by radical feminists.

It’s always handy not to take certain things into account. It makes being unassailably correct so much easier. What with free will being so tricky and all.

I don’t care to re-frame this complicity as being a legitimately, or primarily, female compulsion. It would be nice if women who want to cooperate with men would simply say that, instead of masquerading their sheep-hood as independent thought.

Collaboration with the oppressor is a compulsion, see? A manifestation of false consciousness. If you desire men, or love a particular man, that isn’t a sign of your autonomy or independent thought. It’s just your “sheep-hood” showing. And how embarrassing is that? And remember, ladies, the particulars of your heterosexual relationship – whether it’s loving, reciprocal, supportive, etc – are “absolutely irrelevant politically.” The only possible interest is in terms of seeing how “each unique female experience of male supremacy fits into the larger scheme [of male supremacy].” Note that “male supremacy” is simply assumed as a default in all marriages and heterosexual partnerships. It’s just a matter of determining the exact degree of male guilt.

Or, put another way,

It doesn't matter whether a woman situates her experiences closer to one end of the rape spectrum than the other.

It’s only fair to warn you the articles linked above and subsequent comments include the obligatory references to “acts of resistance” and “ensnarement in male supremacy.” If you’re thinking of joining the resistance movement, you may want to acquaint yourselves with the terms and conditions. (Thou shalt not “present an argument in terms of its benefit, appeal, or sensitivity to males.”) Though readers who can stomach such doctrinaire bloviating may marvel at a “vision of female liberation” that entails negating the preferences of individual women. Who, unlike Ms Jamison, don’t know their own minds at all.

Margaret Jamison has been “making women wonder why they’re still sucking dick since 2002.”

Via Counting Cats in Zanzibar.