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Old 08-25-2011, 09:49 AM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Default Place of B in GLB: ancient history

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Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
... 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~~
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Last edited by trueRiver; 08-25-2011 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:13 AM
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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.

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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.

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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.
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Last edited by BlackUnicorn; 08-25-2011 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:37 PM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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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~~
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:58 PM
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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?
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:20 PM
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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.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:26 PM
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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.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:16 PM
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...'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.

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...'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.)

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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?

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Originally Posted by trueRiver View Post
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.

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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.

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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).

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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 !
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:52 AM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Which book?
The sceptical feminist - by Janet Radcliffe Richards: in the first post of this thread is a link from the book title to the Amazon page for the book - that link takes you to a phone-sized page: for the full size Amazon page click here or for the googlebooks page click here instead

Quote:

Anyway, nice to see other Quakers around !
Are you a Quaker too?

Or are you saying there have been other Qs around these pages?

River~~
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I hope other British Quakers who are poly (or wonder if they are) will contact me here, thanks, Friends.

Last edited by trueRiver; 08-26-2011 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:42 PM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Default most gender/sexual oppression is phobic, which justifies none of it

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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 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 ... gay population
ouch!

@BlackUnicorn: you have a gift for pushing my buttons. If I did not believe that God had brought us both into this thread for my healing I would be angry with you for the things you say.

I accept, experiencing fear is not evil, but what you do with it can be, and stirring up other people's fear certainly is.

Let me be clear: nobody has the right to use any fears as an excuse to hurt, hate, or deprive another person. If the fears are rooted in actual events they have the complete right of protection from the real perpetrator, but not to project the perp's evil onto allegedly similar others. The temptation is understandable, but to collude with that temptation in another is wrong.

The ethical support that someone in that position needs is gentle loving support in the process of learning (or re-learning) that not everyone in group X behaves as did the perp. To collude with the fears (beyond the fear of the actual perp) is to hurt the person further, to keep them as victim rather than help them become a survivor.

@BU & everyone:

Let me explain where my strong feelings on the above come from, because this use of understandable fear as an excuse hooks right into the things I was saying before.

So does the nonsense of the RadFems preventing transfolk using the gender appropriate facilities for their transformed gender. Good grief, even the surgical removal of the relevant apparatus does not rescue a man from being called a rapist.

I was abused at age 11, just the once and outside the family and (as abuse goes) I was 'luckier' than many in that I could prevent it happening again: 'all' I needed to do was to give up a regular activity that I had enjoyed. That makes me enormously better off than the majority of victim/survivors. I never had, as many do, the continuous fear of wondering when/whether it would happen again.

I did not tell anyone till age 29. When I did start to get help on my feelings about the events, I realised that one thing I needed to work on, and in fact the absolute priority, was to make sure that I never did anything to hurt anyone else as a result of having been hurt myself. That meant two things: first, not to do to others what had been done to me (a temptation that many but not all abuse victims face), and secondly, not to cast blame for the abuse wider than the actual individual concerned (a temptation that I think all victims face). I was lucky to have counsellors who led me that way (to some extent) and who supported and applauded me when I pushed myself in that direction myself (to some extent).

In contrast, let me tell you about someone else in my life.

A history, which is not mine to share with you, but where it is understandable that she is wary of men, suffering from depression, anxiety, social phobias, panic attacks.

Just as the story starts she is pregnant with our child, a planned pregnancy. Both of us are broody, I have been for lnoger than she.

For whatever reason, she comes concerned that I might be harbouring inappropriate aspirations towards a specific ten year old child.

So where does she go for help? To people who believe that all that anxieties about men are always well founded. Who refuse to look at any evidence because they do not need to: the anxiety is evidence enough. So she is encouraged to run away to another country within the UK (ie a bit like crossing a state line in the US) to get away from me, and lives for 9 months in a refuge, where she gets more of the same kind of 'help'.

There have been investigations and investigations and three times the papers from the investigations have been reviewed by a judge: not one jot of evidence has come up that shows any grounds to support her concern about me.

We got close to a resolution in 2008, when her legal representatives apparently convinced her to ease up on her anxiety: I had had regular contact with my daughter but handovers had always been frought. On this one and only occasion, thanks in my mind to her legal people's influence on her, she was happy and relaxed,handover both before and after contact was pleasant and we hung on, enjoying our daughter together. She was 2yrs 4months at the time, and the new word she had just learnt was 'wet', so we heard this delighted voice say 'wet' when mum's can of coke fizzzzzed all over the two of them. I honestly thought the nightmare was over.

Mum and daughter got back on the bus, back to Scotland and the ongoing counselling ahem 'support' from Women's Aid, and by the next contact, only three weeks later, when I travelled to Scotland mum was back in a state of fear, anxiety, suspiscion and hostility. From that state it is understandable that she did what she could to disrupt contact, where only three weeks before it had been a joy to both of us.

Things went downhill over the next 12 months. I do not blame my ex at all, I blame those who have kept her in a state of androphobia because that fits in with their own androphobic beliefs about men. I kind of see where BU is coming from, it is not the androphobia itself that is evil, but the conscious choice to let it rule the lives of people they claim to be helping.

I last saw my daughter 23 months ago.

She is now five and a half: she has now lived 44% of her young life since she was last allowed to see me. I fear she will not remember me when I finally see her next, and can only hope when that might be.

The social workers accept that I have done none of the things I have been suspected of; but they will not let me see my daughter because her mum's phobic response "has to be respected". And, I say, it is a phobic response that probably is rooted in the behaviour of some other man/men in her past, but that has been deliberately fanned and exagerated by the mode of counselling she received, in contrast to the way I was encouraged to handle my past by my counsellors.

And I say, Women's Aid do an essential service when they physically remove women and children from actual abuse; but at the same time they do a huge amount of damage to their own clients when they use counselling that encourages and develops androphobia, rather than giving their clients support in setting rational boundaries around their fears. They do it because they too are androphobic: they do not set out to hurt their clients, but to protect them from the men they unconditionally and unthinkingly regard as rapists. They honestly believe that what they do helps. But they hold themselves out to be experts, and for an expert to persistently to harm is evil.

This evil is more damaging now it appears in a counselling setting rather than a political one.

And once again, just as when I arrived at Uni, I find myself accused of being a rapist when I am not: indeed during my own transformation from victim to survivor I put a huge amount of effort into making absolutely sure I never would be.

And this time, its my daughter who is losing out, as well as me; and my adult son who was looking forward to being a kind of uncle figure to his half sister is losing out too. And worst of the lot, I suspect that mum is being encouraged to bring daughter up to become androphobic herself.

There is a reason the original political --phobia was called phobia and not some other greek ending. Homophobia, the oppression of homosexual people, almost always originates in fear of those people or fear of what they may do. The name is apt. The fact that the fear may be understandable (as in an 11 year old boy made to take part in a homosexual act) does not justify that person (me) as an adult taking part in Gay oppression. Not even slightly.

I really do not understand why so many people, men as well as women, make an exception in the case of androphobia.

@BlackUnicorn: I think you will now realise why your posts have pushed buttons for me. It is good that this has happened at a time when I am able to use the stimulus constructively. It hurts. It is the pain of healing, not the pain of further damage. Thank you.

River~~

I really hope anyone who has experience of 'healing' advice that includes the enhancement of fear or anger against a whole group of people will feel free to
contact me by private message here, thanks.

And likewise anyone who finds themselves cut off from family due to unfair allegations.

Last edited by trueRiver; 08-27-2011 at 06:04 AM.
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