Interesting reading - what do you make of this?

(202 Posts)
NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 21:39:00

Hello

The Pullman thread sent me down a Twitter rabbit hole that stalled when I got to this

mobile.twitter.com/alisonphipps/status/1411387723034902531

Some extracts from their book are there- have a read (not sure how to put the text here!).

I found the extracts totally fascinating. If I knew nothing about this topic, I'd think well. IMO clear, succinct. Persuasive in the confidence of the points/ arguments.

Thing is it's... I suppose maybe true for an American USA context for the religious right who I would imagine fit what's written more or less.

Of course it's referring to all women who think sex is a thing that matters.

Would love to discuss if anyone wants?

OP’s posts: |
NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 21:50:05

And further down the rabbit hole.

I looked for a definition of ' reactionary feminism ' and this was near the top.

Another fascinating read.

reason.com/1994/10/01/reactionary-feminism/

Those two links taken together are very enlightening. I am starting to understand a bit more about what is going on at the moment.

And it's not good news...

OP’s posts: |
ShagMeRiggins Thu 22-Jul-21 21:53:38

Being half American and half French, I thoroughly object to her use of the word bourgeois.

Most Americans won’t get it, and most French will will reject it.

Other than that (and I haven’t read the book), it comes across as unclear and not cited well.

I suppose it could be persuasive for some, but this will not reach the majority of Americans.

ShagMeRiggins Thu 22-Jul-21 21:56:35

Also, I find myself objecting more and more to white women feminists telling other white women feminists that the thing that’s wrong with feminism is white women.

Why not STFU and listen to feminists everywhere, from all races and countries and cultures. Then—maybe—cite your sources and form a point of view.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 22-Jul-21 22:01:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk guidelines.

NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 22:16:47

I found it quite well written tbh.

A small number of the parts that jumped out for me in the first link.

I have no idea whether the author defines 'reactionary feminism' but from the content I take it to include those who believe sex is important, and second wavers in general.

The linking in and focus on 'anti sex work'. The reason sw**f and te*f go together has never been explained as far as I can see.
This positions those who think selling sex is invariably exploitative, very dangerous, and drives all sorts of harms to women and children around the world.
As actively wanting those selling sex to be criminalised and harmed.

hmm

OP’s posts: |
NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 22:22:03

What are termed as 'attacks on intersectionality' is explained - 'class privileged' women are concerned about others demanding their share of economic privilege.

I think this means that any women who thinks prostitution is not a fab job, and sex matters.

Are only interested in sex mattering because of wanting to keep the privilege (??!!) that comes from being in the group called women.

Again hmm

OP’s posts: |

Advertisement

NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 22:30:53

In the end it's a very interesting and lengthy, I'd go as far as slander (?) of women who disagree with the author's views.

The accusations are serious.

Wanting women who sell sex to be harmed. Criminalised. Wanting the Holbeck zone closed because of wanting those women out of sight.

Concerns raised being based in a fear of things in place due to colonialism being changed, any change causing anxiety. Fear of loss of privilege.

Concerns about self ID etc being related to a desire to bring back 'race science' and also (alluded to) eugenics.

Women are not being silenced on the trans issue, quite the reverse.

OP’s posts: |
NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 22:35:13

Oops that was the second extracts.

From the first.

Unfairly policing the words woman/ lesbian to keep them for ourselves

Excluding 'sex workers' from the group 'women'...???? (No explanation given for that!)... Neither the unnatural or not respectable women are seen as women... (!?)

OP’s posts: |
ShagMeRiggins Thu 22-Jul-21 22:35:25

Out of respect for your general posting, NiceGerbil, I’ll read the tweet excerpts again and have a think. But not tonight.

Tonight, for me, it’s poorly written and its important—as you said—to understand this comes from an American cultural and political point of view.

JustSpeculation Thu 22-Jul-21 22:35:42

There are links between different groups and beliefs asserted, but none actually demonstrated. I don't know to what extent it's wrong, but it's not interesting. There is nothing to get your teeth into. That makes it useless to my mind. Or perhaps the argument is in a different part of the book. Is she really a professor? At a university?

NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 22:36:28

I won't go on unless anyone interested grin

OP’s posts: |
Megasausagehead Thu 22-Jul-21 22:49:21

Utter twaddle.

It's b/s that anti sex work attitude are othering prostitutes. They are women, by sex. Equally important.

Sorry I cannot bear to read beyond that point. I have zero respect for this author after that reach.

NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 23:13:44

Shame.

I would love to discuss with someone as for me they have given a (pretty scary) understanding of the scope of what's happening. And it's way wider than the trans issue.

OP’s posts: |
NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 23:15:36

Shag and just-

I found the first link 4 excerpts combined with the link in my second post really eye opening.

This is all much much wider than I realised and not in a good way, not at all.

OP’s posts: |
irresistibleoverwhelm Thu 22-Jul-21 23:19:12

Just read the extracts you posted. It’s total made up horseshit; complete bollocks. I wouldn’t waste a moment more time on it. Everything about that “argument” was predicted and debunked by feminist writers from forty years ago.

NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 23:23:34

Yes I know grin

Try the definition of reactionary feminist.

Maybe I'm not being clear.

Reading all that it made me realise that what is being attacked, dismantled. I had thought what I knew about had a wide scope- our words our spaces our stats. The normalising public displays of male sexuality. Etc.

I realised from those two links that the scope is way way broader than that and way worse.

OP’s posts: |
NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 23:31:40

The side point is that plenty of people ARE consuming this sort of thing and finding it persuasive.

I'm big on understanding what arguments are being made across the board. As if you don't know it, then how can you fight it?

That's a side point. The fact is that this sort of thing is being happily consumed by apparently a lot of people. And for those people the arguments we make simply will not work.

And that's a problem.

These pieces contain reasons - esp the second one- 'explaining' why the fundamental harms that we fight against do not exist. We have made then up for selfish reasons and reactionary oppressive reasons.

I did not know that this had gone this broad or this far and it concerns me massively.

The end game here is not words and spaces etc. It's that but also dismantling every piece of support for women at all, rewriting us, our lives to have no issues at all. Bye bye everything and anything that exists for our needs, irrespective of whether they have gone mixed sex. The end game is NOTHING.

OP’s posts: |
Belleager Thu 22-Jul-21 23:33:10

She's doing an awful lot of lifting with analogies. Fear of trans women is like fear of migrants. Magdalen laundries worked with fallen women and so does another group now. Women fear erasure and other people have feared genocide.

But they are just broad connections and comparisons. I could pick parallels for anything from any period in history. But I should be alert to differences, and if I don't explore those differences, why should the comparison matter?

You could compare Helen Joyce's point that trans rights movements looked to many people like gay rights movements, but examined more closely, the parallel doesn't work.

I agree this is confidently written but it seems to me to be the kind of confidence it's easy to project when you're not acknowledging pesky details. Very interesting to read - thanks.

irresistibleoverwhelm Thu 22-Jul-21 23:33:39

Also, in relation to the really mendacious claims that extract makes about radical feminism being the ultimate in capitalist oppression — really? No one with one iota of sense would believe this for a second. A few women with “adult human female” placards are the ultimate in colonialist oppressors? Yeah, right: it’s the middle aged women reading Andrea Dworkin who are the really evil colonialists in our society. Load of old made up bollocksy twaddle, as usual not actually engaging with what radical feminism actually is, or any of its writings; just making up what they want to believe it’s about.

Am shocked to see a U.K. university actually employing this person given how bad-faith that piece is (however Sussex has always been known for having a fair few weirdos with dodgy theoretical takes around the place).

EyesOpening Thu 22-Jul-21 23:35:36

I read some of it, it's over my head, so I would appreciate someone explaining it.
I certainly didn't understand saying that GC feminists think that sex workers are "withheld from womanhood" because of women's safety.

NonnyMouse1337 Thu 22-Jul-21 23:36:37

Sorry, I only read the very first image and it was full of the usual queer theory jargon.
Commonly accepted and understood definitions of terms like woman and lesbianism are framed as 'policing categories'. Terms like 'political whiteness' borrows from CRT. And it conflates any and all opposition to prostitution and the sexual exploitation of women with a disgust and hatred of the women involved in such situations and activities. Yes there are people who oppose prostitution and also look down on prostitutes, blaming them for 'leading men astray' rather than place responsibility on the men themselves.
But it is disingenuous to say that radical feminists are the same. The women I have come across who campaign actively against sexual exploitation have a deep concern and care for the women who find themselves in these circumstances. Criticism is always against the pimps and the johns, never the women.

I can be opposed to zero hour contracts, slave labour and sweatshops etc without looking down on the people who are trying to make a living in such positions. Being against prostitution, trafficking and exploitation is the same. If I put pressure on companies and governments to ditch zero hour contracts or sweatshops, it doesn't mean I am seeking to cause harm to the individuals working under such conditions. The solution is not to let zero hour contracts or sweatshops continue as they are, but to completely overhaul the systems or eliminate them, while introducing better alternatives and working conditions for those involved.

NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 23:44:45

No you won't understand it because it's a load of statements that are not backed up in any way because they're drivel.

What I found interesting was the level of reversal, the total apparent pause in asserting really extreme, essentially evil motivations on presumably any and all women who think sex matters. And are??? at rapists in women's prisons etc.

That's an awful lot of women cast into one mould.

I found it actually a bit difficult to read. Because the author is without a moment of reflection saying yes you and women like you want other women to suffer and die so you can protect your 'privilege'.

OP’s posts: |
NiceGerbil Thu 22-Jul-21 23:48:36

The second post talks us through why any focus on women as victims of (whatever) is also a lie...

Go on someone read the second one. Grit your teeth.

Put them together and you have 2nd wave type feminists (those who wrote books started shelters marched to reclaim the night etc etc. All of it to which underpins a lot of gains made in law etc).

As working AGAINST women and everything they fought for needs to go. Essentially.

It's scary.

OP’s posts: |
irresistibleoverwhelm Thu 22-Jul-21 23:49:03

Belleager

She's doing an awful lot of lifting with analogies. Fear of trans women is like fear of migrants. Magdalen laundries worked with fallen women and so does another group now. Women fear erasure and other people have feared genocide.

But they are just broad connections and comparisons. I could pick parallels for anything from any period in history. But I should be alert to differences, and if I don't explore those differences, why should the comparison matter?

You could compare Helen Joyce's point that trans rights movements looked to many people like gay rights movements, but examined more closely, the parallel doesn't work.

I agree this is confidently written but it seems to me to be the kind of confidence it's easy to project when you're not acknowledging pesky details. Very interesting to read - thanks.

Yes - the key thing is that the comparisons she makes aren’t actually true. Fear of trans women is actually nothing like fear of migrants; if you actually pursue her “colonialist” analogies seriously, you’d have to conclude the trans women are more like colonisers than migrants. It’s not only disingenuous; it deliberately reverses the analogy in bad faith by pretending women are the equivalent of colonial oppressors. But colonialists don’t actually want to keep migrants out; they want to go in to other spaces belonging to other people, and colonise and oppress people who want to keep them out. …But wait! you cry: that makes it sound more like the trans women are the colonists… oops.

Women fearing encroachment by an oppressor class, are not at all like oppressor classes trying to oppress people. Are women more like, then, a Postcolonial state trying to keep migrants from its former colonies out? Well, to make that analogy work, women would have had to have been the dominant oppressor at some point, who have violently controlled and repressed men and now won’t let individual men cross over into their privileged post-colonising fiefdom. Except that…we all know that that is total and utter horseshit.

Women are not the oppressors of men, who now very unfairly won’t let the men join the great land of their privilege.

That’s why I call it a bad faith and mendacious argument: it deliberately erases the absolute key aspects of the analogies it uses - the asymmetry of oppressor and oppressed - in order to make comparisons that are not just specious, but actively misleading.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in