Well……. Hello :-)

Goodness, hasn’t WordPress changed since I was last here?!

I’m revisting today via a circuitous route, prompted initially by mention of my ‘Witchy-Woo hat’ a couple of days ago and ending with a lazy read round the blogosphere this afternoon. First off, thank you to everyone who’s left comments asking how I am and wishing me well. Life is good – better than ever, in fact – hope yours is too. I haven’t written here for over a year because real life has moved on apace and there simply hasn’t been the time to devote to regular blogging – there probably still isn’t! But I’m still radical feministing – currently heavily involved in a Europe-wide project around women, domestic violence and mental health as well as my work stuff (which is the same) and my volunteering (also the same). Yep, there’s still a neverending stream of women abused by men out there. Some things haven’t changed.

Which is the point of this post really. I haven’t really read any blogs for twelve months or more till this afternoon. I was heartened to find some new radfem bloggers prepared to take on the world – excellent writers positing logical arguments and brimming with conviction – the cyber-movement is safe without me. Phew! I was somewhat disheartened though to find the same old counter arguments being wheeled out – by many of the same old bloggers and commenters. It’s like a stuckness, a stagnentation that disenables any kind of forward movement for anyone which, I guess, is part of the point if you’re happy with the status quo and reluctant to embrace change even if it’d partially achieve some of your stated aims.

I was also by turns amused and stupified by the continuing radfem bashing that goes on on the blogosphere. Some bloggers, punters, pimps and enablers *still* appear to consider the personal vilification of certain radfems fair game in their quest to take over the world. Begs the question, why? Seems to me that if one is a dragon there’s little need to be fearful of a spark. Or is there… the bun fight post on this blog still receives an inordinate amount of hits and it happened *four years ago*! (And most of the radfem commenters on that post are no longer posting.) I find that really, really sad.

Personally, I can’t be arsed with rehashing the same old arguments with the same old monikers. Hats off to those who are hanging in there – keep up the good work – but I get easily bored by egos that think they’re bigger than arguments. I haven’t missed it and I think that, if I’m to begin regular blogging again, I need to re-evaluate my comments policy.

Wow. Just noticed – my blogroll is *so* out of date! I’ll get to it….

Quite cross…

I’ve just been reading over at Reclusive Leftist – often a fave of mine – where Violet Socks is delighted by Iceland’s decision to ban strip clubs – you know, those places where women are paid to get naked in order to publicly reinforce men’s social and personal power over females? I’m delighted by the decision too. Way to go Iceland!

But I made the mistake of reading the comments thread.

It was ok at first; funstuff about elves and the pros and cons of living in very cold temperatures, but then it seemed to get low-jacked by an ex stripper with a hugely inflated sense of the value of her extremely limited experience who started banging on about…..you guessed it – CHOICE and “removing women’s livlihoods”!! OMG why are these people *so* predictable! Why are they *so* incapable of seeing the big picture? (Rhetorical question, in case you’re a newcomer.)

Anyway, said ex stripper – who offers such a reasonable sounding contribution (disregarding the fact that the woman has an agenda, of course) comes out with this classic:

IMO, by shutting down clubs, the most vulnerable women will get hurt. People like me, educated and with other options but eager for a quick way out of massive school debt, will simply go with the other options and possibly miss out on the chance to escape jobs we don’t like to explore ones we do, but would still be OK. Women who are poor and who depend on the enhanced $ stripping can bring over other options, without other ways to handle the bills, will be forced into less savory and protected sex work environments.

Essentially saying that we really need to keep the *poor*, vulnerable *ignorant*, thick women in the strip clubs reinforcing men’s power for their own good!! Can you believe that?

And then this:

There will likely be no kindly radical feminists around to pay their bills or offer them better jobs. Those well-meaning feminists will sigh a relief that this stereotype-enforcing (or yes, stereotype-creating) SC [strip club] thing isn’t around anymore to hurt our cause. But I fear our relief will be on the backs of women who now are less visible, but whose lives have been made more difficult to make us feel good about progress.

I have to ask, what would someone who is *so* male identified know about what any “kindly radical feminists” (how fucking patronising is that?) will do? Or even does do, come to that. She seems to think that radical feminism is all about making radical feminists somehow “feel good” and strikes me as the kind of person who’d say “you’ve made your bed, you lie in it” to women seeking to escape from violent and abusive partners back in the day – and look how far we’ve come from that idea.

Her comments are a wonderful demonstration of how a good education is wasted on some people.

What’s made me cross is the fact that Violet Socks closed comments on this thread before I got the chance to say my piece directly. I’ve been too busy making myself “feel good” by working with women to enable them to live their lives as they actually choose, free from fear, helping them to get out from under that male boot on their necks, helping them realise their potential as valuable human people rather than objects of derision (yes, sorry, heterosexual men deride their own sexuality and make women the easy object of their unease – you understand patriarchy; it’s not rocket science) – not to mention the political activity aimed at elevating the status of all women to that of our esteemed commenter… Oh, you know, just being kindly, obviously. And, yes, it does make me feel good when a woman gets her life back – of course it does – but that’s not why I do it.

I do understand why Violet Socks no longer wants to entertain such dialogue on her blog – there’s only so much of this mindless, ignorant, repetitive crap one can take, after all – but these things need to be said somewhere – everywhere – all the time.

In memory of A.D. – been on my mind all day.

Well you know what? I say fuck that.

Instead of totally annihilating the fucked up system we live in, people would rather suck the dickteat of so called “freedom” and so called “equality” and be complacent and just fit in with what’s available.

Fabulous post from anti social butterfly (IMHO) where she links the writing of Andrea Dworkin – the truth and honesty of which some people seem unable or (more likely) unwillinging to acknowledge  – with the everyday lived reality of women.

I, too, say “fuck that”.

Ring those bells….

Aaah… they don’t make ’em like that anymore.

“No one can take my female status away from me”

So how come you think you’re able to take my female actuality away from me, Mr Mark John Jones? You’re not female. You’ll never be female. I’m taking your “female status” away from you right now – because I am female and you’re not.

You’re XY, I’m XX. And yet, somehow, you think that by having surgery, wearing frocks and painting on the clown face that makes you female? I don’t think so, Sonny Jim. If just that shit makes you “female”, what does that make me, a natural born and lived female – superwoman?

What’s more, you attempted to rape another human being after having murdered your boyfriend because he wouldn’t pay for your gender reassignment surgery. Females understand what rape is, the powerplay involved and the trauma that results. Males use rape as power and coersion to get what they want. You’re male.

And now the powers that be (male, of course) have agreed that you should be placed in a “women’s” prison because you, tender flower that you are, believe you’re “female” – even though you tried to rape someone! Talk about putting the fox in the henhouse….

I realise hands will be thrown in the air and cries of “transphobic!” will echo around the world but people assigned female at birth are my concern and I’m never going to apologise for that. I’m guessing that there must be quite a few transgendered people out there thinking that Mr Jones has let the side down somewhat too.

Filched from my dear sister V…

…a bit of pointless  relief.

1) Bold those you have read.
2) *Star the ones you loved.
3) Italicise those you plan on reading.”

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien*
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte*

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee*
6 The Bible  (bits of)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien*

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame*

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis*
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis*
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini*

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere (three pages – couldn’t stand it.)
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery (and the rest…)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood****
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert*
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett*

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker*
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White*
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton*

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

So what does that say about me then?

Feel free to have a go…

Women, united, will never be divided…

sheila is my sister

Hat tip Allecto