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.


John D

Why is it when I see "radical feminism" I immediately think "bitter screwed-up lesbian"? (Nothing against lesbians in general just the ideological sex police.)

carbon based lifeform

Funny how no-one over there mentions love. Sorry, "love".



Perhaps it’s a reaction to the success of mainstream feminism and the assimilation of what was once deemed radical. Those who see radicalism as an end in itself - or as vital to their self-image - may have to seek out ever more marginal causes and concerns. Hence the tendency towards ever more bizarre, paranoid and obstinate claims. Sheila Jeffreys, for instance, seems to imagine we live in the 1950s, which may help explain why she still blathers on about how “feminists who sleep with men are collaborating with the enemy.” To register the changes in society would undermine the theatre of it all.

Broadly speaking, the extremity of the posture has little to do with Western society supposedly becoming less tolerant and more oppressive, but precisely the opposite. The more accommodating society becomes, the more extreme a radical person has to get, if only to continue playing the role of being radical.


"if you have a problem with American black women, have the decency not to sully the comment threads on our posts. If you think American Black women are oppressing you, as a Western nonblack woman, there are more things wrong with you than I would ever be able to address in a blog post. So, just don't even bother."

Wow. Victimhood poker. Can anyone play?

carbon based lifeform


"Victimhood poker. Can anyone play?"

No. Those are the rules.


There should be no doubt what the nature of the regime that feminists would like to have govern us all. What strange perversions they will compel, and how murderously?


These are the rules:


But where would lesbian feminists be without heterosexual women? Where would any of us be? Talk about ingratitude.

Horace Dunn

The really depressing aspect of this is when you realise how much energy and imagination is being expended fruitlessly. If these people focused their energies on getting useful results rather than on getting bogged down in blame and victimhood and arbitrary notions of fairness, then something useful might result. But what we have here is onanistic grandstanding. Sad.

Mr Eugenides

One wonders if Ms Jamison has the same cultural resistance to having her pussy licked as she does to my having my dick sucked. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that, conveniently enough, she does not.

Perhaps if we found some way for men to receive oral sex while on their knees in front of a standing woman, we might manage to square the circle on this one and make everyone happy. A tall order, but don't worry; I've got an infinite number of monkeys rearranging an infinite number of tangrams as we speak. We'll work something out.


I had no idea that what a woman "feels in her head" is "influenced mandatorily by male supremacy". I must've missed that memo.



“But what we have here is onanistic grandstanding. Sad.”

It’s sad insofar as it can be all but impossible to communicate with a person who holds such views. It becomes quasi-religious and impervious to revision. Once you’re being told that “female ‘heterosexuality’ is not a meaningful concept” (due to women not knowing their own minds) and that “men” (presumably all men) want “the subjugation of women,” then there’s little scope for realism or rational debate. And if women who dispute this formulation are “masquerading their sheep-hood as independent thought,” that rather illustrates the point.

Other than that, it’s a reliable source of inadvertent comedy.


It's very convenient that anyone who disagrees with you is either A) a male who is seeking to dominate you or B) a female who has been brainwashed into helping a male dominate you.

Ergo, you cannot ever be proven incorrect. Brilliant!!! (/clank of Guinness bottles)


"It doesn't matter whether a woman liked it or didn't like it – any more than it matters that certain white people don't *like* being white. It doesn't matter whether a woman situates her experiences closer to one end of the rape spectrum than the other."

So my marriage is part of a “rape spectrum” now? Sweet fucking Jesus.


There's only one way to deal with the utter self-serving, self-justifying stupidity of this woman: ruthless mockery.


Question: By this "logic", whom is subjugating whom in a male homosexual relationship?


I keep telling my wife to get a crewcut and wear a down vest and Keens. If she complies, is she part of the problem, or part of the solution?


“So my marriage is part of a ‘rape spectrum’ now?”

According to Ms Jamison, the specifics of your marriage (or anyone else’s) 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 seeing exactly *how* guilty the husband is. And by extension, how guilty *all* husbands are.


I had two anthropology professors, women, in the early 70s when all this feminist take was just catching hold, who wrote a paper saying that all our mythical females--Annie Oakley, Belle Starr, Calamity Jane, etc.--were the product of male-dominated frontier society, indeed that it is only in a male society that women can be themselves. Why? Because men have no concept how to socialize women; women socialize women.

Wonder if they would see feminism is just another example of women trying to control the behavior of women?


Let me guess, she has always been supported by my tax dollars, right?


David, I think you must've bumped Jamison's blog traffic. Have you seen the latest post over there?

She's "glad that the radical feminist word is being spread". Oh boy. Like you say, impervious. And check out the tags:

"Fascism, Hierarchies, Hypermasculinity, Hypocrites, Losers, MRAs, Male Identification, Male Terrorism, Male Violence, Misogyny, Patriarchy, Power Plays, Prejudices, Preserving the Status Quo, Privilege, Propaganda, Racism, Sexism, Stupid People, TFKG, White supremacy, Whiteness, heteronormativity, homophobia, male supremacy"

So I guess that means we're all fascists, racists, terrorists, misogynists and homophobes (hah!)…

Wm T Sherman

More male oppression:


It's comforting to know that billions of years of evolution — whose Prime Directive is "Reproduce, Dammit!" — has bypassed human females so thoroughly. Evolution, The Compassionate, The Merciful (pbui), precluded human females from desiring sexual contact with the only beings who can impregnate them.

Too bad Teh Patriarchy had to come along and screw things up (so to speak).

Bad Patriarchy! Bad!

Wm T Sherman

Does Jamison have a job?


Very amusing. Related item - same sex marriage meets radical feminism:


Another entertaining post - Margaret continues in a similar, but I suspect less medicated-at-the time vein.

Apparently that white man you're married to and love (sorry, "love") is at the very least buddies with other white men who 'rape 12-year-old black strippers on the other side of town, or jet-set across the world to rape nonwhite little girls and women in poor countries' and burned Tawana Brawley at the stake (yes, of the famous rape hoax allegations), even if not guilty himself.

So there you go.


And of course naturally and predictibly enough given her insane bigotry, she also supports genocide:

"I will rank the following three scenarios, options, if you will, in order of my preference:

1. Male infanticide.
2. Female infanticide.
3. Females continue living as males’ slaves.

Of course, these are not the only three options available, though they do seem to me to be the options most likely to occur with any lasting *effect* (with full recognition that numbers 2 and 3 concur).

But, yes, I believe male infanticde to be the best of those three options."

Elisabeth Kay


I thought she was referring to me about the MRA-readers...the one titled "Led By Wolves" is a direct response to a comment I left there.

I've been blogging about this nutjob for the past couple of days. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.

Elisabeth Kay

"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."


That's exactly how I feel. I posted on her blog, basically "how dare you call me derogatory names because I love my fiance and want to marry him, and how dare you accuse him and his friends of raping 12 year old black strippers" (btw has anyone ever met a 12 year old black stripper?) and she changed my comment to something obscene and won't take it down.

Like I've said for awhile now - feminism wants to save "women" by destroying one woman at a time until "women" is what feminists think it should be.

And they wonder why there's so much antifeminist backlash.



Thanks for the link and additional material. It helps answer the question of where politics becomes role-play, then pantomime, then a mental health issue.


“So I guess that means we’re all fascists, racists, terrorists, misogynists and homophobes (hah!)…”

Anyone who takes exception must, simply must, be all of the above. What other motive could there possibly be…? Heh. (Though I’m not sure what an “MRA kracker” is. Maybe Elisabeth will enlighten me.)

The problem with Jamison’s psychodrama is that it’s so dense with false or objectionable assumptions it repels analysis. It’s beyond tendentious; it’s absurd. Every point is just asserted, with other assertions piled on top, as if each claim were somehow self-evident and unassailable. The premises aren’t questioned or verified, they’re simply repeated with varying degrees of volume. We’re told, baldly, that “men want the subjugation of women” and that “men hold a position of dominance over women.” Well, who exactly are we talking about here? Which men, and how so? Presumably we’re supposed to accept that these claims apply to all men, everywhere. But I don’t know any man fitting that caricature. And when someone starts talking about heterosexual relationships as a “rape spectrum,” (because “all penile intercourse” is “rape”) it’s hard to know where to start. I realise the example being discussed is fairly extreme, but it follows a standard pattern, one we’ve seen before:

This is what gorging on identity politics does. The effects are cartoonish and grotesque. It’s like spray-on idiocy. And note Jamison’s frequent use of the word “radical” – apparently being seen as radical is quite important to her, which may help explain the imperviousness to reason. We’re not dealing with a position that’s amenable to argument. It’s psychodrama and theatre, performed for others with similar inclinations.

And gosh, how radical is that?


It is interesting that when the right-wing-nuts do this sort of thing, we just ignore it, because we all know that it is just blather, and cannot gain any real traction. But when it is done by the feminists or the marxists or the greens, a larger discussion is provoked in the blogosphere and even in the MSM that comes to the same conclusion that David has reachedm but the remnants of the discussion linger in the soil, so to speak, to be allowed to germinate and grow when the environment becomes more conducive.


Where, exactly, do hermaphrodites sit with all this?.Feminist definition of a perma-bilogical cold war I suppose...I'm just asking.


Or a hermaphrodite with a dissociative identity disorder with the male psyche being gay and.....well, you get my drift....many variables here...

john Kelly

So Matriarchal, matrilinear, matrilocal or avunculocal societies (yes, I had to look up what they mean too), where women have political, financial and/or sexual power are bad too then? After all, the women, despite being in charge and 'wanting it' are still being porked by 'rapists'. The fools!


This is so fun - I have not dived into ms Jamisons blog yet, but I'm all tingly with expectation.

In the meantime, I hope for a little help with a dilemma I have. In particular;

My problem is that I've become so attuned to this kind of progressive idealism, that I'm not able to determine if mr Pena is a bit on the... 'idealistic' side of progressive activism, or if he is trying to make fun of the progressives.

Help, please?


sackcloth and ashes

I posted the following on her site - see if it survives moderation:

'So to put this in a nutshell, Margaret, if you're not a lesbian there's something the matter with you. Is that a fair summary?'



“…or if he is trying to make fun of the progressives.”

Yes, I see how it might be difficult to distinguish from parody. Maybe it is parody, but if so it’s not funny, so I don’t see what the point of the parody would be.

Pena says, “[T]he only solution is to reduce whites to a minority wherever they are presently a majority (USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, etc). The sooner whites are reduced to a minority, the sooner the world can be remade into a unified global society based on justice & dignity... a world free of war and conflict. In such a world, the natural instincts inherent in people-of-color (eg. sharing, justice, peace, fairness, etc) will then finally be free to flourish.”

It’s ludicrous stuff. But if you search the archives here you’ll find plenty of so-called “progressives” expressing similar thoughts in total seriousness. Professor Noel Ignatiev at the Massachusetts School of Art wants to “abolish the white race” because “whiteness is a form of racial oppression.” (Ignatiev is of course white.) Or Bucknell’s Professor Geoff Schneider, who despite a lack of evidence calls his students “unconsciously racist.” Look at the noxious race fantasies of Wahneema Lubiano at Duke, or Lani Guinier, who insists that standardised testing is “racist” because “talent is equally distributed among all people.” Or Dr Shakti Butler, who tells unsuspecting students that, “The term [racist] applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States.” Or Dr John Reid who wants to sterilise “affluent populations” by “putting something in the water.”

These people are unwell, but quite serious.


I wonder what "our" feminist would make of this?


What's really sad about all this is that it ends up making no one happy. The anger and bitterness of these "women" is palpable and I'm not sure why any man would want to be a part of that, so no wonder they console themselves with (I think?) the idea that lesbianism is the way forward for women. It's also sad that younger and more impressionable girls come across some of these misguided "feminist" diatribes and take them to heart, thereby insuring a good few years at least of unsatisfying, one-sided interactions with males. Speaking as a woman (or am I a "sheep"?), the article AntiCitizenOne linked in the comment above has a lot of truth in it. I would not want to be with a man raised by a feminist - yikes! Too gay for me (homophobe!) The answer given to that question is spot on.

R. Sherman

I was wondering if I should e-mail Ms. Jamison with a tip regarding the identity of "The Patriarchy." It would seem it's influence is more pervasive than most of us believe:


Mars vs Hollywood

"Rape spectrum"? Oh, for crying out loud.

People who throw terms like "rape" (or "racism") around so casually don't take the actual thing as seriously as they pretend.

Elisabeth Kay

Hey David - I *think* I can translate...MRA=Mens Rights Activists, people who fight for things like equal child custody, the right to an equal say in whether a child they fathered is aborted or adopted, and the right not to be called a rapist if they didn't actually rape anyone. Krackers I have to assume is a misspelling of "crackers" so either she's talking about white people, or someone tried to hack her website. Meh.

I think it's funny how all their complaining about the 'patriarchy' is done over computers and the internet...both invented by men. And they call themselves "separatists" and say the only reason they don't go away is to protect the daughters of women who love men...aka the daughters they wish were killed ('female infanticide is better than patriarchy').

In other words, they're cowards and hypocrites. Go, if you want to go, or shut up already. Reminds me of all those people who would loudly whine "I'm moving to Canada" in 2000 when Bush was elected but...they didn't. Big surprise.

Also that advice column totally resonates with me. I would never, ever, ever date a man who self-identified as feminist. Not just because of the annoying guilt-inducing emo sex (I know guys are trying to be sensitive when they ask "did you come" but it is the biggest turn off in the world. No wait, second biggest, the biggest is "are you close?") but because I pride myself on being the woman in the relationship.

In HS, my best friend and I had a term for "sensitive" guys like that - whiny little bitches. And I can't stand the advice columnist's tone, saying "women are confusing because they say they want this and now they want that." NEWS FLASH: not all women are feminists. Some of us NEVER wanted 'sensitive guys' around. I am so not taking the blame for a bunch of hatemongers attempt to castrate the males of the species.



Thanks for the translation.

As I said, I don’t see Jamison or her readers as being likely to engage with serious criticism. From what I’ve seen, in tone it’s almost a cult and remarkably impervious to realism. And most avenues of dissent are anticipated and closed off with accusations of misogyny, racism, “male terrorism” or whatever. It’s so much easier to play the role if everyone who disagrees is fiendish by default.

Though I can see its appeal as an example of unhinged theatre, or pathology.

Elisabeth Kay


I love the unhinged theatre idea. I'm thinking...witches of Macbeth, kill all the men in the drama to stop the evil patriarchy...and then realise they made Lady Macbeth the leader by default.

Tragic comedy at its finest.

The Private Me

Hi David,

Couldn't agree with you more. In fact, if you go through any amount of the posts and articles there, it is basically a little 'we are special' coven of maybe four or five women. There are no real guests, no supportive comments from site visitors, nothing but their own self-sustaining hate-circle.

These women have admitted straight out that they are not interested in intellectual discourse, they are right and that is all there is to it. If you don't agree you're a male oppressor, and therefore have no valid opinions, or you're a brainwashed female subjugate and therefore have no valid opinions. The only right minded, right thinking people in the world are radical feminists.

If you do speak out against some of the rudeness or derogatory comment from such women, you apparently aren't rejecting what they have said on the basis that it is utter rubbish, you're unfairly and unjustly attacking oppressed women around the world. This is the armor they have crafted themselves and it is practically impervious to all forms of reality.

In the end, these women aren't actually out to change anything. It is the radical feminist identity that is important to them, the 'I am aware and enlightened, and you are not' parasitism on real issues that other people are actually working to address, rather than just talk about. You may remember the influx of 'witches' during the heaviest goth phase, the search for identity and individuality by extremism isn't unique to radical feminism in any way. In my opinion, that is all this is; in the past such identity seekers performed rituals and spells, while proclaiming past lives in which they were burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials. The more extreme delved into imbiding of each other's menses, killing small animals, cutting, and anything else that could be used to proclaim "I'm more hardcore than you.". All in the name of sustaining an identity that they themselves know is fake.


"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."

Don't fight it, luv.


Re: David, August 03, 2009 at 14:55
Actually, there's a word for people who espouse these policies- Nazis.


“…they are not interested in intellectual discourse, they are right and that is all there is to it.”

Well, that’s generally how victimhood poker works. That’s the point. It’s a complicated game and there’s a lot of hierarchal role-play to bear in mind. And it’s important to remember it’s not reciprocal. There are several examples in the archives here – see, for instance, this:

“What really makes me angry about this whole situation is non-trans people deciding what is and is not transphobia… The sentiment of this [press] release is blatant transphobia, and the section calling it otherwise is just rhetoric. I don’t really believe that anyone has the right or ability to accurately gauge their own actions as phobic or not. The community being harmed is the only one with the perspective necessary to make that distinction.”

Note the denial of reciprocation and objective criteria. One party is simply not *allowed* to determine, or help determine, whether their actions are “phobic” or not. Thus, injustice can be defined, unilaterally, by feelings, or claims of feelings – and by opportunist leverage. Phobias, prejudice and oppression become whatever the Designated Victim Group or its representative says they are. And the basis for apology, compensation and flattery becomes whatever the Designated Victim Group says it is. The practical result of this is egomaniacal license and the politics of role-play: “Feel my pain, now do as I say…”

In the example linked above, the “blatantly transphobic” press release was a polite attempt to explain *why* a particular judgment had been arrived at regarding the Designated Victim Group’s behaviour and claims of entitlement. By daring to offer an explanation – in the most painfully polite terms – the party in question was being “disrespectful” and compounding the original sin of daring to disagree. You see how it works?

Likewise, the following pearl of Jamison wisdom inadvertently sheds light on the benefits of professional victimhood:

“[T]here is no such thing as a ‘hostile’ response by oppressed women to the gall of privileged women to assert their sheer ignorance and hubris as fact. There is only retaliation, counter-attack, deflection, or retreat, all of which reactions to such a transgression are entirely warranted.”

Put simply, once you assume the role of victim-by-birth, you can react to any questioning of your arguments – or to any statement of fact - as aggressively or dismissively as you wish. Dismissal, even of fact, becomes your unilateral prerogative. By virtue of belonging to a Designated Victim Group - as defined by yourself - you’re allowed to denounce all disagreement as either heinous or ignorant, irrespective of the particulars and motive in any given instance. Thus, realistic discussion is all but impossible and public refutation can be safely ignored.

It’s quite an indulgence. And no doubt appealing to a certain kind of person.

Craig Mc

Shorter version:

"The bitch wouldn't have sex with me."

Don't Tread On Me

Bullseye, David.


"the extremity of the posture has little to do with Western society supposedly becoming less tolerant and more oppressive, but precisely the opposite. The more accommodating society becomes, the more extreme a radical person has to get, if only to continue playing the role of being radical."

Consider yourself bookmarked. :D

sackcloth and ashes

Ms Jamieson seemed most unwilling to include my second post on the thread, and basically quoted one sentence of it, that 'you also seem to be saying that female heterosexuality is simply an intellectual construct, and isn’t a part of a woman’s intrinsic identity'.

Ms Jamieson's response:

'I never said anything about intellect [good job, really - S&A] Heterosexuality is a construct of MALE SUPREMACY. If it were so “intrinsic,” they wouldn’t have to teach heterosexuality in schools, or suppress lesbianism through social sanctions.'

I would like to have followed up on her statement about heterosexuality being 'taught in schools', and lesbianism being suppressed through 'social sanctions', asking here if she'd like to substantiate those claims with something we male chauvinist pigs call 'corroborating evidence'. But I've been banned. Maybe it was because I told her that in implying that heterosexual love was artificial, she was occupying the same ground as all those evangelical Christians who say that homosexuality is a 'sin' that should be 'cured'. It seems that some sensitive souls out there prefer censorship to actually having their ideas criticised and subjected to debate.


Sackcloth and Ashes,

"But I've been banned."

At least you've been locked out of the asylum. Imagine if you were trapped inside it.

Spiny Norman

S & A,

Attempting to debate such a subject with Margaret Jamison is like trying to argue that "Jihad is a personal internal struggle" with Ayman al-Zawahiri.


I am an old 2nd wave feminist. After shaking off the definitions of male society and seeing that some women who call themselves "feminists" were trying to define ME in their terms using the same arrogance as the patriarchy, I decided that I would be a "post feminist" woman. That is to say, I will define myself for myself, thank you very much. And being a generous person, I encourage each person to define themselves in terms of themselves. Just because this "control freak" uses "feminist" in her definition of herself, doesn't mean she is one, in fact by her action of trying to define others she proves that she didn't get the memo. And that was what happened to the feminist movement.

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