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A Graphic Response

February 18, 2011

in the interest of saving precious blogging time…i present “a graphic response”.

copy and paste this response wherever it seems appropriate.  particularly useful in the comments section of teh fun-fem blogs, where everyone thinks they are special.  can also be used as a graphic depiction of a nigel.  i like his tie, because it evokes both chivalry and breadwinning.


  1. February 18, 2011 2:06 am

    has this already been done? if so, disregard. i might think of something more original in a future installment of “a graphic response”.


  2. FAB Libber permalink
    February 18, 2011 2:26 am

    I love it. There are many special snowflakes out there.
    All with their own special snowflake genders too.

  3. February 18, 2011 1:22 pm

    LOL, an illustrated nigel! It’s perfect. Love your work, FCM.

  4. February 18, 2011 2:25 pm

    Ooooh! This is poster image of Male Exceptionalism!! YAY! I love the fucking snowflake face.

  5. February 18, 2011 3:04 pm

    Copy and paste, everyone! Use it on your blog if you want UP. It’s freeware. Using internet images that I don’t own and I didn’t pay for. Heh.

  6. FAB Libber permalink
    February 18, 2011 3:29 pm

    I like the way Nigel is standing there, so proud that he is a special snowflake. It cracks me up.

  7. FAB Libber permalink
    February 18, 2011 3:30 pm

    You might wish to make the companion graphic…
    As above, but with the red circle and diagonal line, as in “No special snowflake Nigels allowed”

  8. February 18, 2011 7:09 pm

    Besides evoking chivalry and breadwinning (LOL), the tie also has a certain phallic symbolism to it. PERFECTION.

  9. February 19, 2011 2:07 am

    I like the way Nigel is standing there, so proud that he is a special snowflake. It cracks me up.

    this cracked *me* up fab libber. thanks!

  10. February 19, 2011 2:10 am

    also, someone mentioned the phallic-tie thing somewhere else…maybe on one of UP’s clothing threads? and i admit that i never thought about that before. thats hilarious.

    i think this “anon” graphic with the suit and tie is from 4chan. anyone know?

  11. FAB Libber permalink
    February 19, 2011 2:17 am

    Yes, I put my hand up on the tie = phallus connection.
    It probably was on a thread at UCP’s.

    The connection really did not hit me until I thought about business dress, and the difference in business dress for females even when you are basically following the pants suit model – women just don’t wear ties.

    If they do, they are seen as aggressive, ursurping ‘masculinity’, and trying to be a manz. It seems that menz like to protect their symbolism and turf fairly aggressively. mmmm.

  12. thebewilderness permalink
    February 19, 2011 3:06 am

    Whenever ties come in to fashion for women they are usually made into a bow so you look like you are gift wrapped.
    The fascinating thing about mens ties and fashion is the way the go from long and narrow to short and wide and then long and wide and round and round sometimes with flags and disney characters but always symbolizing from a distance that here comes a bepenised person.

  13. February 19, 2011 7:53 am

    The connection really did not hit me until I thought about business dress, and the difference in business dress for females even when you are basically following the pants suit model – women just don’t wear ties.

    The other thing is the way women’s suits make a big point about being WOMENS (!one1!!) suits. You know, with the nipped in waists and cropped jackets and fake fucking pockets. Cause we have to be clear that the person wearing the suit isnt actually a real human, its just a woman pretending to be a real human for the sake of employment. It pisses me off. I actually like suits, but i hate the feminine markers on womens suits. One day, if I am rich enough I plan to get a man’s suit made up, tailored to my size.

  14. FAB Libber permalink
    February 19, 2011 12:49 pm

    Yes, it is very difficult to get a woman’s suit that is not a mere imitation of the male suit concept. Short jackets, very fitted jackets, lots of fussy elements like extra pockets and exaggerated buttons and crap.

    It is possible, sometimes, to find those suits that are a rough equivalent of the male suit, tailored but not fitted to exaggerate womanliness, no fancy crap etc.

    I have expanded on the subject at my blog.

  15. February 19, 2011 12:51 pm

    it seems true that the only clothing that hasnt crossed over into being even somewhat gender-neutral is the necktie. there has to be a reason for that. the fact that its a visual marker from very far away makes perfect sense.

    also, womens suits are so fucking uncomfortable, and i never thought about them being “nipped in at the waist” and cropped and all that, but they are, arent they? honestly, i have long thought that if mens suits were as uncomfortable as womens suits, men wouldnt wear them. EVEN WITH THE TIE. and they all complain about the tie, if they complain about their clothes at all. they cant stand to be constricted at all, and ties arent even constricting. meanwhile, women are wearing latex tourniquets around our chests every waking minute of every day. and thats just our bras.

  16. February 19, 2011 1:01 pm

    and now, we have spanx.

  17. February 19, 2011 1:28 pm

    they cant stand to be constricted at all, and ties arent even constricting. meanwhile, women are wearing latex tourniquets around our chests every waking minute of every day. and thats just our bras.

    ha! I actually had an argument today about this with the friend I am currently staying with. He remarked that the first thing I do when I get home is change into my “house clothes” and I was like YEAH, fucking DUH. It’s because of the bra, who wants to wear that restricting piece of shit any longer than one has to? His response: “Dont wear a bra if it’s so uncomfortable”. Yeah, great. And then be subjected to the unwanted stares and comments of random men on the train.

    I love clothes. I put a great deal of thought into what I wear. I hate uncomfortable WOMENS (!!1one) clothes though, and patriarchal fashion mandates.

  18. GallusMag permalink
    February 19, 2011 2:08 pm

    “Whenever ties come in to fashion for women they are usually made into a bow so you look like you are gift wrapped.”
    LMAO Bewilderness, good one

  19. Sargassosea permalink
    February 19, 2011 2:52 pm

    When I was in high school I has this far out black leather tie (it was a skinny tie; it was the 80s after all!) that I’d wear on Fridays to rock my usual uniform of jeans, boat shoes and a men’s white button down shirt. Loooking gooood!

    I caught so much shit for wearing that tie; I, and my tie, were an affront to femininity!!

  20. February 19, 2011 4:30 pm

    rock on s4!

  21. GallusMag permalink
    February 19, 2011 5:55 pm

  22. SheilaG permalink
    February 19, 2011 6:38 pm

    I find wearing a vest and jacket makes bras unnecessary Miska. But I’m a very butch dresser, and most women would be afraid to dress as I do. They couldn’t take the social hostility, but also I find friends as well 🙂

  23. Sargassosea permalink
    February 19, 2011 7:10 pm

    That video? OMFGLOL!

    That is all.

  24. February 19, 2011 9:45 pm

    suzie snowflake! LOL

  25. joy permalink
    February 20, 2011 1:06 am

    One thing that keeps occurring to me: how many women actually dress in “gender-conforming” ways?

    I know I don’t and never have. It’s been baggy shirts, trousers, and practical flat leather shoes for me. If it’s a skirt, it’s heavy, voluminous, and reaches down to at least my knees.
    If appearance factored into a job to the extent that a boxy blazer and slacks would not be “feminine” enough, then I passed over the job. It’s better, to me, to lose out on some earning potential than to spend half of what I make trying to “stay feminine.”

    Male acquaintances, when I had them, would always ask me “why don’t you show more skin lol!” To which I would ask, “What’s in it for me? What would I get out of it?” and other than “Feeling more sexy lol!” they obviously could never provide an adequate answer. Other than that, it’s been all right. I caught some shit about it from other women when I was younger (a teenager) and cared what people thought, but obviously “dyke” as an insult doesn’t really carry much weight with me.

    The point is: how many independent women in real life actually put the hours and hours and hours of maintenance into their appearances that patriarchy requires? Womanhood, actual physical womanhood, is not the 24/7 effort that, for example transwomen live.

  26. February 20, 2011 5:26 am

    Joy, I agree. But also I think a great many women do put a lot of effort into maintaining appearance, but it slips under the radar because its just something women do, and isnt counted as work, or something which requires any effort. Take something as simple as eyebrows. A great many women perform some type of eyebrow maintenance, whether it be plucking a few stray hairs once a month, or drawing them on from scratch every morning. Yet most men go their whole lives without doing anything to their brows or even noticing them. It’s not just the physical time this takes up. It’s also the mental effort that matters, eyebrows being just one more thing (of many) that women have to pay attention to, that men dont have to even think about, ever, if they dont want to.

  27. joy permalink
    February 20, 2011 11:28 am

    Yes, there’s that too.

    I’ve never plucked my eyebrows. They are soft and lush like caterpillars. I did shave my legs and underarms, once upon a time (between ages 13 to 23), but now that I no longer do that, I have a shitload more free time. Five to ten minutes every day or every other day really adds up.

    Though I’ve never done makeup either (except as a little kid playing around, which is where I realized it was way too much work to bother with), I know that is another hidden “obligation” that’s a total time suck. Watching my het, gender-conforming former roommate getting ready to go to work or on a date (puke) was an exercise in horror (the shaving, the plucking, the making-up, the coiffing, the endless outfit changes) and I made a game of privately seeing how much I could accomplish while she was getting ready. It was an awful lot.

    The point of the previous comment, I guess, was really just to see how many radical feminist women still gender-conform. It blew me away over at IBTK once when I realized that many of the commenters still did makeup, shaved, etc. After a little extrapolation, I realized that many women, even feminist and radical feminist women on the internet, operate under the assumption that other women (even ALL other women!) are doing all of these invisible time-sucking things (grooming, dressing, etc) in the name of gender compliance.

    It seemed like evidence of a very complete mindfuck and truly floored me — I still haven’t wrapped my head around it. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the “queer” bullshit appealed to me when I was younger; this is the beginnings of a much more complicated thought and it’s early in the morning here! But in short, I’m really wondering how many of us actually DO all of that.

  28. February 20, 2011 1:11 pm

    i do some of it. FOR WORK, and for work only, i wear makeup. basically its the “5 minute face” that i literally spend 5 minutes on (bare escentuals and clinique, everything else i react to), and i put product in my hair (its short). air-dry in the summer, blow-dry in the winter. i recently stopped using hair dye thanks largely to UP’s post where she mentions how toxic it is (thanks UP). i have used hair dye and changed the color regularly since grad school, where i took it up as a cheap hobby and creative outlet since i didnt have the time or energy for anything else. i also used to cut it myself, but dont anymore. and i shave my pits daily for the smell.

    in the summer i USED TO shave my legs and “maintain” pubic hair because we go to the beach alot. but since i stopped having PIV i stopped having any interest in doing the pubes and the last few times we went to the beach last year, i didnt even wear a bathing suit. which was an interesting development, partly i was sick of feeling exposed, even at the beach (this only came up post-PIV which was interesting) AND i didnt go swimming the last few times because i kept getting ear infections. so i wore boxer shorts and tank top. which was totally comfortable, and i loved it.

    i also file my nails down to a short “rounded square” every 2 weeks or so. its a professional look, whatever the hell that means.

    its more maintenance than i would like. nigel makes our lunches in the morning because we both know that it takes him 15 minutes to get ready in the morning (including a shower) and it takes me longer. i got sick of seeing him online enjoying a second cup of coffee while i was having to groom myself and still having to make my own lunch, so now he does it. he is bald. its THE ultimate time saver. i know, because i shaved my head once in college, and i fucking loved it.

  29. February 20, 2011 1:40 pm

    and regarding clothing, i have made it a point the last couple of years to only buy neutral colors and to mostly have everything go with everything else, and have everything be machine washable. so no endless oufit changes and mix-and-match nightmares where nothing goes. and nothing fussy that needs ironing or to go to the cleaners. womens suits of course continue to be a problem, but i try to avoid them as much as possible.

  30. February 20, 2011 2:04 pm

    How timely, Joy. Because recently I too was wondering how much appearance-maintenance other radical women do. I was even thinking about writing a post asking women to share, but thought it might have come off as impertinent, lol.

    As for me, I try and spend as little time/money as possible on appearance. I very rarely wear makeup. I havent dyed my hair in years, and dont use product on it. I cut it myself, but that is mostly cause I’m never happy with the way hairdressers end up doing it. It’s fairly long at the moment I confess, but I wear a lot of hats, so it means I dont have to think about it much. I’m lax about shaving. My occasional concession is work, but mostly my legs and pits arent on display there anyway.

    As I mentioned, I do think a lot about clothes. I have a sort of androgynous hipster look though, which means I dont do humiliating, uncomfortable femininity. Lately I’ve been interested in the idea of developing a “capsule wardrobe”, which means you have a minimal amount of classic items which can be combined for the maximum number of outfits, thus avoiding having a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear. I think fashion is one of the greatest patriarchal money-sinks for women. Along with the beauty industry.

  31. February 20, 2011 2:54 pm

    Oh, you didn’t! Here I go.
    I quit make up about 6-8 months ago. I was doing the 2-3 minute deal: powder on nose, cream blush on cheeks, add mascara. Done! It wasn’t much, so I wasn’t spending much time on it. Usually while driving to work…so I was multi-tasking! HA! At first, it was kind of uncomfortable to just stop wearing all make up. I felt so casual! Or naked. Or something. Plus, I love BIG EYELASHES!! But they aren’t real. They’re fussy and they need to be reapplied and they make a mess on your face. I’m acclimated now and I feel really good about it. I just don’t. wear. makeup. thankyouverymuch.

    I shave my armpits a few times a week. Maybe 60 seconds in the shower per time. I’ve grown it out before, but it feels funny! It scratches, kind of, when I move my arms, you know? I can feel my leg hair too. It blows in the wind when it gets long! I do shave my legs, but sporadically. I’m not committed. I let it go for weeks, even months, at a time. Then I shave when I finally get the desire to and I have at least a full half hour to do it. In fact, IN FACT, my wife is in the bathroom right now doing a leg-shaving project. When it gets to full length, it’s a project to remove! When it’s just stubble, you can shave it off pretty quickly while you’re in the shower. Some women are very fast about it.

    And I obsessively pluck my eyebrows. It’s a compulsion. I do a little bit every day, maybe 2 minutes, at night before I brush my teeth. I have to limit myself before I start doing things I shouldn’t. A-hem. But listen, I have a natural uni-brown. Sorry. And I just can’t live with it. Oh stop, you all know I’m very narcissistic!!1!11! I have a reputation to maintain!11!!!
    I don’t dye my hair. I am very proud of my abundant greys! Very. Through most of my twenties I had been dying it, over and over and over and OVER. But I quit that about 3 years ago. I have very short hair that I mostly cut myself. Which makes me feel super badass, thankyouverymuch. Oh, and my Product! Honey, I need to perform my 2 minute hair paste ritual. Otherwise, I’m miserable. Thank you.

    Always keep the nails short. Lesbian duty. (I paint them about once or twice a month. Depends on my mood.)

    I love a woman in a tie! LOVE. But maybe I shouldn’t, then? Because it’s a phallic reference. Boo! I like ties! (menz detour: They’re often the only interesting thing a man wears! If I have to look at men, let there be a little slice of pattern for me to rest on my eyes on! Sheesh. Men are ugly, you know.) I also love a vest! About the bra. I have small breasts, so I’ve recently discovered that if I wear a loose blouse top with a busy pattern and a cardigan over top, I can get away with no bra. I love it. I just wear that with some trousers and flat shoes, I’m set. You could wear a blazer, instead, I suppose. Oh, but the dry cleaning! Hate suits. Hate lawyers. I’ve been through a million and one suit combos. Hated them all. But in general, I love my clothes. Love clothes! Maybe I’ve mentioned that before…?

  32. Sargassosea permalink
    February 20, 2011 4:11 pm

    I’m super lucky in that I am self employed and primarily work from home so I can wear whatever the fuck I feel like wearing which these days has been a pair of long underwear and a t-shirt.

    I wore make-up and shaved for about 7 years from 13(!) to 20 but at some point I just stopped because I realized that it was a waste of time and that I‘m I simply don‘t have time for bullshit. All of the jobs I’ve had in the time between being 20 and being self-employed were *traditional workin’ man jobs* or cooking in restaurants so, you know, who cares what I look like.

    Here’s an interesting thing though: I continued to shave my underarms for years and years for odor reasons, and I have some odor issues! Well, I stopped about a year ago in solidarity with the kid and guess what? I’ve never smelled better AND I don’t sweat as much. I hardly have to use my (natural crystal) deodorant. It seems that in my case that hair IS actually there for a reason.

    Sing it with me sisters, I LOVE MY PIT HAIRZ!

  33. joy permalink
    February 21, 2011 1:02 am

    Sargassosea, hell yeah on the pit hairs!

    I find the idea of “pit odor” to be just more body fascism, along the lines of “intimate [ ie, vaginal] odor”, and thus view deodorant the same as douches. Our bodies naturally give off odors, and in their purest state, they’re neither good nor bad. The idea that we need to camouflage our odors and view them as ‘bad’ or ‘dirty’ is just more body hatred.

    Once someone gets to know her natural odors, both vaginal and armpit smells, they’re a good indicator of health. (You know how you can tell if you have a yeast infection, or if your body is too acidic or basic, or at what stage of your menstrual cycle you are, simply by smell? It’s so cool!)

    Likewise, when people stop scrubbing with chemical soap and using chemical deodorant (and shaving — at least, my armpit sweat smells acrid when I shave), their sweat stops “smelling bad”.
    Everyone’s unique, but if one isn’t ill or eating toxic foods, then pit-sweat typically smells like salt, bike grease, and/or something kind of like cilantro. You can tell if you’re nervous, or getting sick, or eating the wrong things, if your smell changes. If you’re going out in public and worry that people will look at you funny, you can slap on some scent that pleases you and your body chemistry (I personally go with a patchouli-pine oil) and no one can tell the difference.

  34. February 21, 2011 1:48 am

    yes, i never said any of this was feminist. i agree that the armpit-odor thing is just pure unadulterated body hate.

    i am still living with the consequences of choices i made a decade and more ago. as are we all. to go to school, to work in the field i am in, to have all the debt that goes along with it…its still survival for me, and it will be many years before i am out from under it. there are things i do because i feel i have to. i have made some changes, like getting rid of fussy clothes, and not spending money anymore on very many things at all, just the necessities. i will probably continue to make changes, and change back if it doesnt work, and adjust. i dont know what else to say about it. i wish things were different, in literally hundreds of ways. but you cant discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy, and you cant wear patchouli and pine oil under your armpits, in every workplace. thats just not how it works.

  35. joy permalink
    February 21, 2011 2:07 am

    Which blows. Fuck capitalist misogyny, and the fact that education is an extension of capitalism (and misogyny).

    Can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m definitely not judging you, FCM.

    One of the definite benefits to my life is that I’m poor and anticapitalist and am happy with a lower standard of living than most. I also get disability benefits from severe PTSD, which means I don’t have to deal with misogynist dickwits at work. I advocate revolution. Truly.

  36. thebewilderness permalink
    February 21, 2011 2:23 am

    I have have all manner of excuses for doing what I want to do. I wouldn’t need them if it weren’t for people presuming they have the right to demand explanations all the bloody time.
    I stopped wearing make up back in my twenties when I started wearing hard contact lenses.
    So that was my excuse, contacts. It wasn’t my reason, but as an excuse it worked splendidly to shut people up.
    I didn’t have an excuse for why I didn’t shave. If anyone dared to ask I just gave them look #397 with a cocked eyebrow for emphasis.

    I don’t know what to say about clothes. I have very broad shoulders and a narrow waist, so clothing hangs on me the way it is designed to. Except when I wore a uniform, which was uniform, I have always liked comfy plain and simple natural fibers, with pockets. Back in the days of cash instead of credit cards I never carried a purse. I just put money keys and DL in my pockets and used a pouch for kid stuff or shopping and a briefcase like thingummy for work.
    Dyed my hair for a long time to blend the calico look I would get in the summer sun. My friend who was a hairdresser kept me in the chair for four bloody hours bleaching and blending it so I could stop with the dye. Halleluja! Wash and wear hair. I cut it myself but I do go in for professional repairs every six months or so.

    Sorta like Topsy “I just growed” without anyone to teach me all the arcane stuff I was supposed to know about being female. I was visiting my mum when I had my 13th birthday and she gave me an eyelash curler. That sucker hurt. That was in 1959, and I have looked askance at personal torture devices ever since.

  37. Jilla permalink
    February 21, 2011 3:10 am

    Is my 2 pfennig welcome?

    I have never worn make-up, but started wearing lipstick after I was about 55. With my hair gray, and skin paler too (did anyone else who is gray notice that?) I felt like I looked ghostly.

    Many of the things you’ve mentioned here I’ve never done, but I can’t claim my feminist medal. I didn’t need to. My skin is flawless. My hair is bone straight and won’t take a curl or shape, and I have no body hair. Never have. It was a huge surprise one day to see my sister with a pubic hair.

    So I didn’t need to shave or tweeze. But I did about 15 years ago start wearing lipstick. I felt pale. And now I’m thinking of dropping it, because I’ve been reading all your posts, and though I knew it, the discussions (esp at IBTK) really brought it home. Who does this? Everytime I’ve put it on this past week, I’ve stopped and asked that woman in the mirror: what are you DOING?

    I’m a woman I don’t need to wear something that makes me so.

  38. joy permalink
    February 21, 2011 6:13 am

    Ultimately, no one has to get defensive, and I don’t judge women for doing shit because they have to.

    I guess what I’m really wondering is, why the pomo queer movement is chock full of hairy-legged, un-deodorized working women, while a lot of radical feminists still shave and do makeup. It’s not an antagonistic question, and I clearly feel one set’s ideology is much more solid than the other (hint, radical feminism ftw) — but the discongruence really does continue to shock and befuddle me; I was curious and wanted to learn more.

  39. Jilla permalink
    February 21, 2011 11:53 am

    I think the “queer” movement are woman-haters. That’s the way I define the difference. Lesbians are women-loving radical feminists. Queer women are not feminists. Too simplistic? You tell me.

  40. February 21, 2011 12:34 pm

    I guess what I’m really wondering is, why the pomo queer movement is chock full of hairy-legged, un-deodorized working women, while a lot of radical feminists still shave and do makeup.

    Is it really though? I know a lot of queer-identified pomo types, and I would say they pander to patriarchal beauty standards as much as any other group, only they perhaps tend to wear more androgynous style clothes and have more piercings and ironic tattoos. They still do the shaving/makeup thing.

    Not that I dont think this discussion is interesting or anything, cause like I said earlier I was thinking about this topic too

  41. February 21, 2011 12:38 pm

    are the gender queers working women? and do they not do any of the femininity stuff? you tell me, i dont really know that much about them. IF this is the case, i would postulate that perhaps they are younger, less educated, and less in debt? children are always confused as to how the real world works. these assholes on youtube spending countless endless hours feeding their own narcissism clearly have excess leisure time, where did it come from? do they even have jobs? i always wonder about that. they always complain that they cant find work because they are too queer or whatever, its DISCRIMINASHUNNN!!!! maybe its because they refuse to wear a fucking (whatever) or perform (whatever) thats required for the job. you know, like the rest of us have to, to survive.

    are they really working, and in what kinds of jobs, how radical is their nonconformity, and how (INDEED!) are they getting away with it, are all questions i would like answers to.

  42. February 21, 2011 12:40 pm

    HA! yes miska, i was wondering the same thing.

  43. February 21, 2011 12:49 pm

    also, perhaps its as simple as saying that its radical feminist THOUGHT thats truly radical, and doing things like ending PIV in our own lives thats extremely nonconforming. maybe the makeup stuff isnt that important? maybe the key to womens liberation from men does not lie there?

    if you saw me in real life, you would probably be disappointed. you would be able to tell, probably, that there was something different about me, but there is no way that anyone in my real life suspects that i have the thoughts i have. and i am not telling them. the gender queers are all delivery, and no substance. and i dont even think their delivery is that impressive, and i dont believe that they are as nonconforming as you say they are. are they? seriously, you tell me. i really dont know that much about them. if they are out there, they arent working with me, i can tell you that much!

  44. February 21, 2011 2:56 pm

    I disagree about pomos being more hairy and undeodarized than radfems, in general.

    I may not wear makeup or dye my hair, but I’m sorry, leg hair is still SCANDALOUS at my job. So are large tattoos. Little ones OK only. Anyways, pomos choose their choice! That’s all there is to it! They are changing the world by existing in a hairy state!!111!111!!!!! Ha. I laugh. It’s not particularly radical. I use term undercover punk for a reason. And it’s not because I am unable to bring myself to dress “funny.” It’s because we need to pick our battles wisely. In most cases, and unless one is contemplating a violent confrontation to the system, some effort towards apparent complicity allows for more thoughtful and dare I say effective challenges to power. We all need to survive within society to some extent. Causing a ruckus on first sight, based on an extreme manner of nonconformist dress, isnt mecessarily a wise(r) or more revolutionary strategy towards social transformation.

  45. FAB Libber permalink
    February 21, 2011 5:55 pm

    It’s because we need to pick our battles wisely. […] We all need to survive within society to some extent. Causing a ruckus on first sight, based on an extreme manner of nonconformist dress, isnt mecessarily a wise(r) or more revolutionary strategy towards social transformation.

    Absolutely UCP.
    The difference in a radical feminist is that we are conscious of the deliberate concessions we have to make in order to survive in this society. We already get very discriminated against just being female, throw in obviously non-conforming (and therefore ‘uppity’) female, and you will be jobless for sure. Certain industries allow more flexibility, so basically you push what you can get away with to the limit.

    I refuse to shave legs though, so I just wear trousers.

  46. FAB Libber permalink
    February 21, 2011 7:04 pm

    Speaking of body maintenance, check out these figures:

    The £133,000 figure would almost buy you the average-priced UK house, certainly a cheaper one outside the London catchment.

    My ‘beauty’ budget would barely make triple digits (£100 pa), and that is mainly shampoo and soap.

  47. joy permalink
    February 21, 2011 7:48 pm

    I’m not defending the queers and pomos. Their thoughts, as I mentioned above (although in shorthand, “radical feminists ftw”) are not radical. Neither are their actions.

    The point remains that I know more unradical-thinking people who don’t shave etc (though they pander to men in their thoughts and discourse) than I do radical-thinking people who don’t shave etc (though they don’t pander to men in many ways). There is a huge disconnect there, and that’s what I was writing and thinking about.

    But what’s the point of radical thought without radical action? What’s the point of going halfway? Is it just money? If so, is not capitalism part of the patriarchy, and can we not envision ways around needing it so?
    Such as female collectives where likeminded women can live together and function as a community that needs much less money than an individual or a heterosexual dyad.

    * Yes, class and jobs do play a factor and I’d thought about that. I should have written that I’d thought about that, but didn’t want my comment to be a year long. Most of the unshaven pomos I knew were twentysomethings working in nonprofit and community-sector jobs, where it’s easier to get away with hairy armpits.
    Such jobs are bullshit because they reinforce women-as-caregiver stereotypes even as they serve to assist other people (mostly women; oh the great double bind!) I’m aware of this. But now what do we do about it? Women still need help, and upper management/business/retail jobs are not helping women as a class. And shaving and pandering in any way is not radical.

    We are fucked no matter what we do, so why do we not all resist in every possible way? Perhaps this is a rhetorical question. Perhaps I’m asking theory. Perhaps I’m trying to contact Dworkin’s ghost. Maybe I’m just sick of fucking waiting.

  48. thebewilderness permalink
    February 22, 2011 12:56 am

    We do what we need to do to blend into the herd when we work as herd beasts.
    In some employment this requires presenting as no nonsense while in others it requires nonsense.
    The only difference I see is that women who have thought about it know perfectly well why they do what they do.
    Had I worked in an environment where I would be required to fake femininity to keep my job I bloody well would have faked the femininity in order to eat.

  49. Jilla permalink
    February 22, 2011 11:55 am

    Really great thought provoking comments here. But I have to wonder where you all live? Women don’t need to dress the way you describe, here. Sure the pomo twinkies are out full force in June-August in their skirts cut to the pubic bone on top and just under the derriere curve eight-inches below that. But women, and really, everyone? Here the ethic is your ski jacket with the lift ticket hanging from the zipper pull, and the rest that goes with that.

  50. February 22, 2011 6:35 pm

    Jilla, I’m not sure what you mean by “Women don’t need to dress the way you describe, here.” What way? High femme? Non-feminized? I don’t follow.

    To answer your question, though, I live in the Boston area. I wear a puffy down coat or a wool coat, but no ski lift ticket. I haven’t been skiing since I moved out of my parents’ house.

    And Joy, I understand your frustration. I mentioned: “some effort towards apparent complicity allows for more thoughtful and dare I say effective challenges to power”. This is obviously not true all the time, but every individual needs some CREDIBILITY in order to survive, and more importantly, to INSTIGATE social CHANGE. If you have no credibility, even the false patriarchy-endorsed kind, your social influence is zero and others perceive you as a wacko not worth listening to. That’s just the way the Game is. Either you do the best you can within your constraints, or you render yourself completely unintelligible (and ineffective). I have been circling around this lose-lose dilemma for as long as I can remember. See the book “Rules for Radicals”, it discusses this in some detail (from what I’ve been told).

  51. Jilla permalink
    February 22, 2011 11:59 pm

    By here, I meant pretty much all of Canada except the four or five metropolitan areas. Most of Canada is rock, bush, water, or farms. Oh no we haven’t been skiing. The lift ticket is just a fashion statement. You (and I) probably got the jacket at Goodwill with the ticket attached. Try for a Sunshine ticket. Others are good too, but what the heck. Go for broke.

    People here dress in tech gear.

    My mother’s assessment of this, my high-fashion Vogue pattern copying mother, says we dress like we’re going fishing. We are.

  52. Jilla permalink
    February 23, 2011 12:04 am

    Yes, UP, if you want to eat and live in a fair neighbourhood you play to some extent. What would be the alternative? Welfare. That’s not something you choose. This play-by-the rules goes double if you have children and there’s no male partner in evidence. Kids are little conformists.

  53. maria permalink
    February 28, 2011 10:35 pm

    I don’t shave, wear makeup, or a bra. It’s important to me that radical feminism be visible, the personal being political and what not. It is not as difficult as I had imagined it to be, but sometimes it is frustrating. I hope that my visibility may give another woman the courage to stop performing gender, that alone is worth it to me.

    Everyone makes concessions, but in the areas where you don’t, it shows conviction and that can spread to others. FCM’s stance against piv in her personal life gave me the self discipline to do the same in my relationship.

  54. March 1, 2011 2:15 am

    Everyone makes concessions, but in the areas where you don’t, it shows conviction and that can spread to others.

    well said maria.


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