Does being a RadFem mean that you can't like anything to do with males and PIV?

(85 Posts)
TheFeministsWife Thu 09-Feb-12 14:21:53


I would class myself as a Radical Feminist, (but now I'm starting to think I may have been deceiving myself). But after reading this blog post now I'm not so sure.

I'm married and have been for a long time. I like PIV, I love my DH I don't think I'm trauma bonded to him. hmm He's never forced me into sex, or made me feel guilty if I don't want it. I enjoy it, I like the intimacy and also the orgasms of course.

I don't want to ridicule what the blogger has said, (I read a lot of her blog posts and like them) but I'm struggling with this one. Am I fooling myself to think I can be a RadFem and in a happy het relationship? I've commented on the blog a few times (under Angela) but still can't fathom the whole thing. One commenter has said PIV is unnatural. confusedhmm I thought basic biology would prove it was the most natural thing in the world. And another commenter has said things won't be safe until all females live in colonies like we used to. confused

SinicalSanta Thu 09-Feb-12 14:29:21

You can get a range of opinions under one label.
I suppose there's a radfem spectrum also.

Like you, I guess I'd be at the wishy washy end of radical feminism.
I define radfem as wanting to reorganise society to put female experiences & preferences on a par with male, but personally I'd keep things like het pairbonding and PIV. More people like them than not, and there should be no value judgement placed on what way you organise your sex and emotional life.

SinicalSanta Thu 09-Feb-12 14:32:57

Though very interesting article

<mulls over>

BasilRathbone Thu 09-Feb-12 15:14:38

LOL great article.

Wht's missing from it, is an acknowledgement that for most PIV sex (I hope) what women don't feel is terror, but lust.

I think she's falling into the old trap of believing the cliche about women becoming emotionally attached to men after sex. That assumption is just wrong I think - women are every bit as capable of having meaningless uncommitted PIV sex as men are and then moving untroubled onwards afterwards. If there is any truth in the cliche, then I'd argue it's because of patriarchy's demand that women be the gate-keepers of sex and the shame and guilt and loss of good reputation that it has imposed on women who have PIV sex outside of patriarchy -sanctioned circumstances - a much more likely scenario IMO, than trauma bonding.

However, I think when it comes to rape, she has a point - many rape victims are trauma-bonded to their rapist - but again, I'm not sure if that's an inherent response re PIV, so much as an emotional/ social response re not wanting to self-identify as a rape victim.


ForkInTheForeheid Thu 09-Feb-12 15:41:45

Hmm. I think there's a fair bit of conflating going on in that post. Yes, you can see the act of PIV sex as "endangering" towards women, but putting oneself in a vulnerable position without fear is part of an intimate relationship isn't it? Further, women taking part in PIV sex with a fleeting partner, in a one night stand for example, providing they are fully consenting are doing so out of lust and can do so without forming a close "war-buddy" like attachment.
The blogger also seems to deny that there are situations where men are more attached than women (other than as an owner of a possession). I would disagree with this position.

I mean, letting someone else drive you around is putting you in more danger than PIV sex (I would have thought) and while we may trust our partners more in this regard we also let many other people do it (e.g. taxi drivers, bus drivers etc.).

FarloRigel Thu 09-Feb-12 15:47:10

So... by extension... does that mean my DH only loves me because of becoming 'trauma bonded' to me each time he samples my cooking grin?

Sorry to lower the tone <slinks off>

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 09-Feb-12 16:25:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoreBeta Thu 09-Feb-12 16:41:02

"you see, any man who demands PIV or engages in it for that matter is making himself dangerous to women, by definition. and when a woman trusts a man to keep her safe…if that man demands or engages in PIV with her, he is exploiting that trust.

....... because the sad, sick truth of it is that every single man with whom we have ever had intercourse is just some tool who laid pipe, at our expense.."

I'm taking a wild guess here but I surmise she has never experienced a loving relationship with a man. What she said may be true of her experience but cannot be generalised to the vast majority of relationships.

SardineQueen Thu 09-Feb-12 16:43:09

Dittany used to say that liberal feminists wanted to work within the current system to effect change gradually, while radical feminists believed that the whole system at the moment is inherently rotten and it needs to be swept away and replaced with something new.

I haven't read the article (yet) but I wouldn't have thought that having heterosexual sex means you can't be radical. I guess the blog is one person's opinion, as opposed to an official rule!

SardineQueen Thu 09-Feb-12 16:44:17

I mean IIRC that was how dittany said the definitions worked, how I have phrased my post looks a bit funny there somehow.

SardineQueen Thu 09-Feb-12 16:45:09

We had a thread about this same blog post before I think. I will see if I can find it.

Dworkin Thu 09-Feb-12 16:47:26

No of course not but this from that link does sum it up for me because I too have had this experience (along with the same lightbulb moment).

"Collective trauma bonding: YES. I found myself at work the other day in a distressed state and when one of my older, more senior male colleagues spoke soothingly to me and asked “is there anything I can do to make things easier for you?” I felt an inexplicable sexual tenderness toward him. I wanted to curl into his protection and despite the fact that I had never had a sexual feeling for him before (in fact the very idea horrifies me) this feeling was inextricable from sexual connection. The sexual bonding happened specifically because of my distressed state and was triggered by him speaking soothingly and offering to alleviate my suffering. I couldn’t make sense of this til now, but these posts have clarified it for me. I am trauma bonded to men as a group because of patriarchy and my own experiences of hetero relationships and PIV."

My bold. Just because you have a trusting relationship with a man doesn't mean that you can't be RadFem - Andrea Dworkin had a trusting relationship with her second husband but her first was abusive to her and she also spent time in Holland as a prostitute.

what is PIV?

To say that any man who engages in consensual sex with a woman is a potential risk is ludicrous. It is also essentially saying that i can't be a feminist if i also enjoy sex with a man.

or am i missing something?

Dworkin Thu 09-Feb-12 16:55:58

PIV is Penis in Vagina. Also there was a quote from Tom Gunn, who decided to remain celebate rather than risk his life with anal sex during the AIDS epidemic in America in the 80s. I think that actually puts it into perspective.

However, no one is saying that RadFem's are bitter, dried up old hags and lesbians who need a real good screwing to 'fix' them (well except MRAs and lefty doods who love their pornified 'liberal' society. No PIV is just an alternative viewpoint.

OnlyANinja Thu 09-Feb-12 16:58:00

There's no official definition that I know of...

Anyone who says "I am an X" without clarification should expect at least 20% of the people listening to think that they said something that they didn't. (depending on the audience, of course)

sonicrainboom Thu 09-Feb-12 17:20:18

Does being a RadFem mean that you can't like anything to do with males and PIV?

No. However if you aware of radfem analysis you might not find sex and relationships with males under patriarchy as unproblematic anymore. That blogger points out all the things that are dangerous and problematic about constant/compulsory PIV as standard for het sex, and I think it's very important. Never see anyone talk about that anywhere else. More here:

lollygag Thu 09-Feb-12 17:40:54

Stick to your RadFem principles and cut off any PIV sex.If he loves you he'll understand.

callitwhatyoulike Thu 09-Feb-12 18:04:58

Does being a RadFem mean that you can't like anything to do with males and PIV?

pretty be a radfem, from my extensive reading of blogs and websites on the subject, you just need to be a bigot and prepared to ostracise yourself from the rest of society.

sonicrainboom Thu 09-Feb-12 18:13:12

lollygag, I know you're joking, but...
There is alot of women who do not enjoy PIV. They might not find it pleasurable, or they might even find it painful for one reason or other. Their husband might demand it constantly and they feel obliged to do it. It's a pretty common problem actually. If PIV is giving you more problems than pleasure, you have the right to give it up even if you are in a het relationship. A man who loves you should - maybe not understand - but not want to harm the woman he loves.

sonicrainboom Thu 09-Feb-12 18:14:44

That said, there is no reason to give up something that only gives you pleasure.

There is no check list for being a radfem.

gothicmama Thu 09-Feb-12 18:23:23

Radfem has not been defined its boundaries move dependent onglobal mores as with anything
Until there is equality for all any organisation will cast ifrom those in control those who have the power and this way sucessive waves of fem have failed to make a significant impact on society

lollygag Thu 09-Feb-12 18:40:16

Sonic: Yes,and that's perfectly reasonable,but op seems to be coming from a philosophical rather than a physical standpoint.

gothicmama Thu 09-Feb-12 18:51:35

Are the two not interlinked lolly
It would be interesting to see what society would look like if the matriachal influence had been maintained rather than the need to know who was a true male heir

MooncupGoddess Thu 09-Feb-12 19:18:35

It's odd that this post doesn't acknowledge PIV carried out for the purpose of procreation - it sees pregnancy as a horrid affliction involving puking and possible premature death. Now obviously unwanted pregnancy IS terrifying and pregnancy does carry risks, but it's only one side of the coin.

sonicrainboom Thu 09-Feb-12 19:22:34

But how often do you think PIV is carried out strictly for procreation these days? With condoms and the pill, couples can have it constantly with minimized risk for pregnancy. However, using the pill has A LOT of health risks.

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