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-   -   Place of B in GLB: ancient history (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13890)

trueRiver 08-25-2011 09:49 AM

Place of B in GLB: ancient history
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn (Post 99032)
... there was furious head-butting back in the day ... over the place of "B" in the GLBT. It used to just be gay lib, then girls got invited too, and then some of the girls thought it was wrong to let the bisexual crowd in...

hi, I was around and adult during all that, and it was even more complicated than that.

Gay Lib originally included all Gay women and men.

Some of the RadFem Lesbians objected to the label Gay as they said it did not apply to them, to be a lesbian was not anywhere near the same as to be a Gay man. (Remember the RadFems were pushing the line that all men were rapists in the mid 70s, which I still hate them for ((you are right, not a Quakerly attitude, but sadly true))

It took me a long time to understand that they did not speak for all feminists, and for me that understanding came from reading The Sceptical Feminist

Many men who faced that allegation still have not realised that the RadFems were not representative of most feminists, just (for a while) the most noticeable ones.

But, back to the story: So we had GL...

No. Someone else did not like that as the Gay wimmin got counted twice, and yet others insisted that women should come before men, so we had 'Lesbians + Gay Men' for a while which was not allowed to be abbreviated (I forget why).

Then in the mid 1980s we had the flagrant heterophobic hatefest of the RadFem Lesbians, who denied their own 'sisters' the right to choose partners of both sexes. When I got together with my gf, she had a male husband and several female gfs. Husband was tolerated by her RadFem friends as an understandable way to compromise with the evil patriarchy.

When I got together with married gf, didn't get any flak from anyone about being poly; but gf told me about getting 'betrayal' shit from the RadFems: having a second bloke in her life proved she actually liked men and wasn't just pretending.

The Good News in this story comes at the end, and is the thing I really don't understand: a heartening example of the triumph of human decency over hatred, and its the fact that poly also came out of the same RadFem critique of marriage as patriarchy.

And when the RadFems had got somewhere close to what we now know as poly, the B was firmly in place in GLB (still no T) and the B wimmin were allowed by the L wimmin to share the idea without further criticism.

The RadFems were the Fundamentalists of the Feminist movement, and just like all other Fundies they brought their own cause into disrepute, and just like all other Fundies, their hate-free reasonable colleagues still seemed reluctant to disown them.

And yet, despite all the above, out of that came poly, which in its 2011 form is totally hate free, everyone accepted for who they are, not just accepted as far as it supports a policital point.

((maybe it is time to stop hating them RadFems after all))

My perspective is that of a man raised by a feminist mum who came to Uni expecting to support the feminist movement and being rejected and insulted by that very same movement. Inevitably my slant on some of it differs from that of women and wimmin who have written about it. But on its own, herstory is no more complete than history.

River~~

BlackUnicorn 08-25-2011 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trueRiver (Post 99042)
Gay Lib originally included all Gay women and men.

I think it's important to remember that most of the women who joined lesbian feminism in the 70's came from entirely heterosexual backgrounds. Many of the women who IDed as lesbians pre-Stonewall remained suspicious of lesbian feminism because it rejected the biological model of sexual orientation and butch/femme roles.

Quote:

Originally Posted by trueRiver (Post 99042)
Some of the RadFem Lesbians objected to the label Gay as they said it did not apply to them, to be a lesbian was not anywhere near the same as to be a Gay man.

The point seems to have been that lesbian feminists wanted to organize separately from gay men and straight feminists, because they felt marginalized by both communities. They felt that both movements wanted them to participate and organize for things that were essentially not in their immediate interests as lesbians, for the sake of solidarity.

One of the "worst kept secrets" of lesbian feminism was that many women involved continued to relate to men on a sexual and partnership level, while publically dismissing such associations. The central driving force behind lesbian feminist organizing was the belief that any woman can be a lesbian - that sexual orientation is a learned response, going sometimes as far as insisting that for example not choosing to engage a "sister" sexually because you did not find them attractive was discriminating and women should "re-train" themselves to put patriarchal ideals of beauty behind them and engage in sex for the sake of solidarity.

Understandably, many women eventually left the movement to marry men, among them some of the most vocal advocates of "every fuck is a rape". People change.

Quote:

Originally Posted by trueRiver (Post 99042)
Then in the mid 1980s we had the flagrant heterophobic hatefest of the RadFem Lesbians, who denied their own 'sisters' the right to choose partners of both sexes.

Many of the women who had continued associating with gay men or joined the lesbian feminist movement only to leave disillusioned a few years later came together in the 80s with their gay brothers in the wake of the AIDS crisis. They insisted that it was time to put divisions in the gay lib behind and unite over AIDS issues. Many lesbian feminists declined the invitation, insisting that AIDS had nothing to do with them and this was yet another attempt to co-opt their energy to support a cause with little practical relevance to their lives. During the 80s, lesbian feminists and queer feminists continued to divide over issues like pornography, bisexuality, prostitution, SM, butch/femme etc., sometimes referred to as the Sex Wars. With such deeply controversial topics, I think it's understandable that arguments overheated and sweeping generalisations were made on both sides.

So what I'm trying to say is that you should let go of the hate :). A lot of good things came out of lesbian feminism - it's hard to imagine the concept of "queer" ever coming to life without their critique of essentialist understanding of sexual orientation.

trueRiver 08-25-2011 03:37 PM

hi BU,
Thanks for the reply: my feelings on this are profoundly turbulent; that is a mix of very negative and very positive responses. Your post on the other thread, quoted in my first post here, pushed a lot of buttons for me that I had forgotten I had, unresolved issues.

Can I say first that this is a Good Thing; a chance to look again at past hurts (and which in some ways I am not going to disclose in public, links to present conflict in my life). It is not a comfortable one.

Your last point is where I had got to by the end of my first post. My attitude shifted between the first double bracketed line (( ::: )) and the second: a reliable sign that stuff is shifting. Yes, thank you for confirming my inner direction: I do need to work on this hatred.

But.

There is also the fact that if someone attacks me for something I have not done, purely for reasons of political ideology, that is unacceptable.

If someone attacks my then gf for choosing what the attacker perceives as an unaaceptable choice of adult consenting partner that is unacceptable.

Before you ask me as a man to understand where these wimmin were coming from, what I need to hear is the preamble that says 'of course androphobia is evil, but it might help to understand where it was coming from'

Before you ask me, as a hetero partner of my then gf, to understand where those wimmin's actions originated, I need to hear you say 'of course heterophobia is evil, but it might help...etc'

The thing that was special about the book, The Sceptical Feminist, was that the author applied the idea of equal standards for both the sexes (or both genders). She did not refer much to Gay issues, but had she done so I feel sure she would have done the same.

I find what was said to my then gf to be as offensive as any homophobic remark inspired by politics: the fact that the politics is radical rather than conservative is no excuse for hate politics.

The contexts are different, I accept. The. reactionary hate political attack is (usually) supported by a wide power structure that makes the political hatred more effective and hence more damaging. Even so, the offensiveness of the actual remark (considered in itself) remains for me identical.

I wonder if you are able, as The Sceptical Feminist was, to 'those kind of remarks were wrong', before also making the valid points that you understand where they came from, and as well as pointing out the good that came in parallel.

And I don't know if you realise, the position taken was even more extreme than 'every Fuck is a Rape'. I, as a virgin on arrival at uni, was already a rapist. Simply because I was a man. Regardless of anything I had ever done or ever would do.

Are you able to say that, however understandable in the political context of Autumn 1974, that was a Bad Thing to say to someone?

I want to drop the hatred, now I have noticed I have been carrying the anger from that conversation for almost 37 years; anger and hatred are not useful things to carry longterm. Can you see, though, that there is some justice there as well?

On a brighter note, one of the things I really enjoyed coming into contact recently with polys, was being accepted unconditionally. Nobody is shouting at me, as they used to in 'right on' environments, for the nonminority roles I carry (male, hettie, vanilla). Things have moved on and I am glad they have. There, if nowhere else, I think we will agree. As you say, people change.

River~~

Magdlyn 08-25-2011 03:58 PM

In Massachusetts, we are ahead of most of the country in claiming rights for lesbians and gays.

However, there is bill going up for the vote now, addressing gay rights, but leaving out public toilet rights for transpeople. Gay activists managed to cut that out of the bill.

2 dykes involved in that cut wrote a letter to the UN (!) explaining why transwoman can not be allowed to use public women's rest rooms. The old tired saw, to paraphrase, "Transwoman have penises, or had penises. This makes them men. All men are rapists. Many transwomen using ladies' bathrooms are not going there to pee, but (naturally bc of their dreaded penii) to rape."

Godammit. Maybe they just need to fucking pee, and don't want to do it in the bathroom for men, where they would stand a good chance of insults, a beating or a rape themselves! Ya think?

BlackUnicorn 08-25-2011 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trueRiver (Post 99072)
...'of course androphobia is evil, but it might help to understand where it was coming from'

Don't want to pick nits, but phobia by definition can not be evil; "misandry" is evil as is any political ideology that is based on hatred and demonization of a demographic group. I have a similar problem with the term homophobia, btw, but my Greek is exhausted at trying to think of an alt term.

Quote:

Originally Posted by trueRiver (Post 99072)
...'of course heterophobia is evil, but it might help...etc'

Yup, again, political ideology that justifies hatred of any group based on their sexual orientation, whatever it might be, fuelled by re-living the real or imagined wrongs members of this group have committed, is evil.

(I think heterophobia/homophobia as terms don't trigger me as much as androphobia/gynophobia, because someone might legimitely have a severe fear of members of a given gender because of traumatic events in the past; I have a difficulty imagining a situation where a similar response might be caused by straight/bi/gay population - but wrangling over terms here.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by trueRiver (Post 99072)
The thing that was special about the book, The Sceptical Feminist, was that the author applied the idea of equal standards for both the sexes (or both genders).

Which book?

Quote:

Originally Posted by trueRiver (Post 99072)
I find what was said to my then gf to be as offensive as any homophobic remark inspired by politics: the fact that the politics is radical rather than conservative is no excuse for hate politics.

Of course not. And one can be a radical conservative, too I guess.

Quote:

Originally Posted by trueRiver (Post 99072)
I wonder if you are able, as The Sceptical Feminist was, to 'those kind of remarks were wrong', before also making the valid points that you understand where they came from, and as well as pointing out the good that came in parallel..

Yeah, sorry. I think I was trying to avoid stating the obvious and thus made you feel like your experiences were belittled.

Quote:

Originally Posted by trueRiver (Post 99072)
Are you able to say that, however understandable in the political context of Autumn 1974, that was a Bad Thing to say to someone?.

Sure. People murder others all the time - I would still, as a pacifist, feel offended if somebody called me a murderer even though it's would be blatantly untrue (well, not necessarily, if we consider all life forms equally).

Quote:

Originally Posted by trueRiver (Post 99072)
Can you see, though, that there is some justice there as well?

Yep, but being right and being happy are sometimes incompatible. If those ladies have not and will not apologize to you and to your then-gf, carrying that bitterness around will probably have little positive effect on anyone concerned.

It took me years to let go of the anger I felt for being abused, something the abusers still fail to acknowledge ever happened. I also read an interesting article on Christian peace-building, where the author pointed out that reconcialition does not equal forgiveness, something I'm not entirely sure I know what to think of.

I think what I'm trying to say is that you don't necessarily have to forgive the women who hurt you, especially since they are unlikely to apologize to you, in order to achieve peace with yourself. I used to think forgiveness is necessary to letting go of bitterness - now I'm not entirely sure anymore.

Anyway, nice to see other Quakers around :)!

BlackUnicorn 08-25-2011 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magdlyn (Post 99074)
However, there is bill going up for the vote now, addressing gay rights, but leaving out public toilet rights for transpeople. Gay activists managed to cut that out of the bill.

Ouch. What would the uncut bill have consisted of? I mean, I'm not very aware of trans issues :(, but I would have thought that by definition, if a toilet is public, you have a right to use it.

Magdlyn 08-25-2011 04:26 PM

this

http://www.keennewsservice.com/2011/...quality-bills/

The last few paragraphs address Mass's bill, but do not mention, not only are conservatives against equal bathroom rights for transgendered people, some RadFem dykes are, as well.

BlackUnicorn 08-25-2011 04:43 PM

Wow. Something tells me I need to get out of my university unisex bathrooms some more.

I did know that some feminists in the anti-porn movement have made strange bedfellows with the Christian right before, but I did not know they are uniting against trans people as well.

Magdlyn 08-25-2011 04:47 PM

Of course, it's the slippery slope argument.

"Transwomen may be women, or otoh, they should only be IDed by their genitalia, which means they are, and always will be, men in dresses.

Even if we concede that transwomen should be IDed as they ID, as women, if we let "them" into ladies' rooms, it will open those doors to all the cisgendered rapist men just itching to put on a dress to get into ladies' rooms to spy and rape."

sigh... :mad:

redpepper 08-26-2011 05:11 AM

Thanks for this very interesting thread. It has really put some perspective on this thread on divisiveness in the poly community


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