February 16, 2006

Rapeseed Oil.

Cathy Young and Jeff Goldstein are trying to have a serious discussion of rape, and how to address the current inequities in law/custom without going back to the old inequities in law/custom.

Oddly, they are each experiencing a high noise-to-signal ratio. Hm.

Next week Jeff will take another crack at abortion, and Cathy will respond. Doctrinaire gender feminists will be just as helpful in that exchange.

I can't stop thinking of the time I read aloud in my writer's group from an autobiographical piece that discussed my first experience of sexual intercourse, which happened to be by force—but by a boy I was dating, and knew would not kill or seriously injure me.

One of the women in the group was profoundly shocked at all this, and simply could not believe that the people who knew about it didn't do more to help me.

"You know," I responded, "that was pretty small potatoes compared to all the other things that were going on when I was a teenager."

This woman had heard enough from my autobiographical pieces to know that I was homeless multiple times during that era, not to mention getting attacked with a club by a close family member. Etc.

And yet, in the tradition of extreme feminists everywhere, she regarded me as simply a walking vagina with arms and legs attached to it.

How did sexual politics come to this? When did we get this far off-course?

Posted by Attila Girl at February 16, 2006 05:52 PM | TrackBack

"The notion of a universality of human experience is a confidence trick and the notion of a universality of female experience is a clever confidence trick." - Angela Carter

"Mother goddesses are just as silly a notion as father gods. If a revival of the myths of these cults gives woman emotional satisfaction, it does so at the price of obscuring the real conditions of life. This is why they were invented in the first place." - also Angela Carter

Posted by: beautifulatrocities at February 16, 2006 06:55 PM

I didn't think it was possible, but Patterico has been having a very civil and extended discussion of abortion.

it gives me hope, even though people don't see eye to eye, the 'noise' is minimal!

PS Let me know when you're ready to enjoy a pitcher of margaritas! Take that DC taste of what passes for east coast "mexican" food outta your mouth.

Posted by: Darleen at February 16, 2006 10:37 PM

1) Wow. I'll have to head over there to P's Pontifications.

2) Couple of weeks would be great. Just have to catch up with a few things around the house, and take care of a few clients. Something like first weekend in March . . .?

Posted by: Attila Girl at February 16, 2006 11:08 PM


COOL! Couple of weeks will be very nice.

Now, please beat me about the head and shoulders for trying to have a civil discussion with 'extreme' feminists about The Vagina Monologues.

I just got told (because I don't fall down and worship the play as ART) that I'm anti-female-sexuality and I let men own my vagina.

I keep thinking that sweet reason can be a place even those will disagree can meet.


Posted by: Darleen at February 17, 2006 03:18 PM

Actually, I've never seen it, but I've heard a few quotes. I've always figured it was an excuse to get the word "vagina" into the media, because if that happens we will have officially Achieved Freedom. I'm afraid is sounds like pap, though I guess I ought to see it once.

But, really: what an unsexy word, "vagina." And to pretend that a mere canal is the "ringleader" in female sexuality isn't very smart. The vagina more or less goes with what the frontline decision-makers want . . . the brain, clit and vulva are really in charge, IMHO>

Posted by: Attila Girl at February 17, 2006 08:07 PM

Very nice post, AtillaGirl.

"A walking vagina with arms and legs attached to it" -- isn't that what we, as women, were supposed to want to get away from?


Posted by: Cathy Young at February 18, 2006 02:40 AM


I haven't see VM, but I've read the play. I can't bring myself to suffer 90 minutes of really bad, trite writing know matter how "empowering" it's supposed to be.

The author, Eve Ensler, has written a new play based on conversations with her stomach.


If you see yourself as a "whole" woman, and you don't embrace and become your vagina..you are letting men own it. You are stifling your sexuality.

It's really weird. Extreme feminists have now offered themselves up as the answer to a 15 y/o boy's wetdream.

Posted by: Darleen at February 18, 2006 01:00 PM

Somehow, I've never been tempted to over-identify with my genitals. My fetching cerebral cortex might be a different matter, of course.

Posted by: Attila Girl at February 18, 2006 03:15 PM

I have had some discussions with radical feminists, and during one discussion, I mentioned that having sex with someone you're not married to, and as a matter of fact might not even love, allows her to be used by the man. She replied: "Well, I'm using him too".

So the new breed of radical feminists has institutionalized what I had always thought feminism was opposed to... the objectivation of women.

Posted by: Tony at February 21, 2006 08:40 PM

It's okay as long as bothsexes are brought down to the lowest common denominator.

Posted by: Attila Girl at February 21, 2006 09:49 PM

Every time I try to talk to a "real" feminist about the Vagina Monologues, I'm told that I'm just repressed. Or a spouter of right-wing propaganda. I can't stand the fact that on my campus, and on campuses around the country, this play is the pinnacle of liberated womanhood. Strange, I always thought that feminists took issue with the objectification and oversexualization of women. Silly me.

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