RADFEM 101 (I simplified this from http://www.radicalhubarchives.wordpress.com – feel free to copy and share)
Below are the themes that sum up men’s oppression of women, and how men create and maintain power over us.
Patriarchy is the system that benefits men and oppress women. It includes law, medicine, and religion- which give men power at women’s expense. Under patriarchy, which is worldwide, many men murder, torture, and rape women, but it’s not seen as genocide like racism- we admit many whites target blacks for being black, but not that many men target women for being women. The misogyny (woman hating) behind the witch burnings still exists worldwide, but its link to crimes against women is ignored.
Why? Because…Femicide supports male power. Men, as a group, are destroying women. Some countries have fewer women because baby girls are killed, so men get more resources, power, and control over women through forced labor, rape and mandatory PIV (penis-in-vagina sex, which can cause pregnancy, pain, disease, and emotional dependence on men). Cultural images of “strong” women hide the fact women- like “powerful” witches- were really powerless victims of murder, torture, and rape. Patriarchy’s gynecology and psychiatry cut, sedate, pathologize, medicate, and torture creative or freedom-loving women. Images of “scary” witches ‘n’ bitches hide the fact women are the victims.
Fetishize female vulnerability
Patriarchy makes women economically/sexually/physically vulnerable to men by brainwashing, exploiting our impregnability, and discrimination. This weakness is portrayed as “sexy.” (Sexy to whom?) Male-invented “women’s fashion” is restrictive and painful. We can’t run from rapists and dresses expose us. Men mutilated our feet historically because healthy feet mean freedom. The risk women are put in turns many men on; this is why “feminine” clothes are pushed.
Why? Because…Female vulnerability supports male power. If men didn’t weaken women there would be no prostitution, porn, etc. Men have more power and goods because women are expected do unpaid housework and waste money on the pill, makeup, and other fuckability mandates (things women must do to be desirable). Women also have to give PIV to survive, because we aren’t always paid enough to live alone.
Handmaidens of the patriarchy
Patriarchy makes us fight over men and get other women to be fuckable and support male points of view. Enforced heterosexuality keeps us from marrying women. Making us enforce male rules makes us look guilty and turns us against women, not men.
Why? Because…HOtP support male power. By getting us to do their dirty work, patriarchy invades our minds so we can’t escape, and hides the fact men have the power, not women.
Harm reduction/refusal to name the agent
We’re expected to erase male damage. The context BC, abortion, mace, and staying home at night are in is ignored; without male attacks, we wouldn’t need safety strategies- mere damage control in a world that says men preying on women is inevitable.
Why? Because…Harm reduction/refusal to name the agent supports male power. To increase power, men hurt women/children with war, poverty, and sex. Not naming men as the agent benefits men. Harm is seen as causeless bad luck women should “get used to.” We spend time/energy on survival and have none left to fight patriarchy or analyze its creations, like gynecology, enforced heterosexuality, porn, and marriage.
Joke’s on women
Our experience, POV and conditions we suffer are “comedy” in male-created sitcoms. The “bumbling idiot husband” joke is actually against us: in real life, we often accept them as the only option. Men scaring women is a trend in advertising; their fear is then made “funny.”.
Why? Because…“Joke’s on women” supports male power. TV men who are lazy or bad in bed get women they don’t deserve. This “comedy” normalizes PIV sex (which can cause pain or dangerous pregnancy) and men leeching off our lives and work. It’s perversely “funny” to male viewers who think any man should be able to “get” a woman, and male selfishness seems harmless when the studio audience laughs at female characters’ angry response.
Male bonding over misogyny
Many men bond over woman-hating behavior, like harassment, groping, shared prostitutes and strippers, gang rape, and murder of women.
Why? Because…Men bonding over misogyny supports male power. Men teach each other misogyny and celebrate their power through male bonding (F.E. companies having meetings at strip clubs). It creates a group identity where they remind each other they’re not weak sex slaves, rape-objects, and pregnant house servants: women are.
Patriarchy gives men more work success and physical safety. Even losers are entitled to these “privileges,” like leeching emotionally and materially off women, being inconsiderate to others for “fun,” and PIV sex, no matter how much it hurts their wives/girlfriends.
Why? Because…Male entitlement supports male power. If a man is denied what women are 24/7, it’s a horrid injustice. Black/working class movements want white men’s “rights” (to oppress others; sexual access to women). Many men are overconfident and expect unearned praise so this trait is seen as good and men (however incompetent) get hired more. Male entitlement means patriarchy won’t punish men for demanding sex or labor from women.
Mansplaining/calling women’s perspective wrong
Mansplaining is “explaining” things in a way that benefits men, like trying to “disprove” women’s opinions on porn or PIV. Doctors mansplain by diagnosing women who dislike PIV, though dislike is very reasonable. Many things men like hurt us, so they call our opinions are “wrong,” though opinions aren’t right/wrong and ours come from centuries of experience.
Why? Because…Mansplaining supports male power. It forces men’s POV on us, turning us from our POV and discovery of our oppression and how to fight it. It puts women adopting a female POV “back on track” to giving men what they want.
Boys/men are obsessed with death. Mary Daly called it necrophilia. It includes sex with corpses, but also focus on guns, murder, war, torture, neglect, abuse, rape, forced pregnancy emotional pain, and vampirizing off women, who nurture life because we have to or face punishment if we don’t- ironic because men work hard to undermine our nurturing!
Why? Because…Necrophilia supports male power. Men torture and kill animals, females, and each other. We must clean up, with no energy left to build a women’s culture. Men do this on purpose. Unusual slightly nurturing men get huge praise, but if we can’t do high level caretaking perfectly, we’re shunned, though men’s necrophilia forces us into caretaking.
Abuse and neglect is made normal by the “idiot husband” theme. Marriage, based on PIV sex and our economic dependence, replaces female relationships. Men don’t care for their own children, pets, or even houseplants, and admit faking idiocy to get wives to do it. Men’s dangerous stunts hurt them and others; women must clean up. This is considered “comedy.”
Why? Because…Normalizing abuse/neglect supports male power. It makes us accept male selfishness, think we “love too much” (not men love too little), and put up with men rather than consider being spinsters or lesbians. Bad men are seen as isolated bad luck cases, rather than a pattern caused by a culture that benefits men.
Pole dancing and anal sex are now common. Porn is invading regular culture and gets more violent and woman-hating. Pornstitution is even sold to kids, like baby beauty pageants.
Why? Because…Normalizing porn/prostitution supports male power. It centers sex on the penis, ignores our pleasure, and causes pain or pregnancy. Normalizing prostitution, which most women are forced into by kidnapping or poverty, normalizes male sexual power over us. If we don’t “succeed” in life- which includes “pleasing men” anyway- we’re forced to whore ourselves out. Prostitutes make men rich, but their earning potential decreases the more they work, so it’s exploitation, not a “job.” Normalizing pornstitution makes us look through men’s eyes, never ours. If we did, we’d see fear, disease, violence, rape, kidnapping, poverty, addiction, unwanted pregnancy, and murder. Unlike many men, we don’t find this sexy, but negative view aren’t counted, however common or reasonable. Victims- and abusers- are made invisible.
PIV (penis-in-vagina sex with goal of male orgasm) is the bedrock of heterosexuality, despite women saying for centuries we don’t prefer it, except for pregnancy, a female-specific consequence. Normalizing PIV includes hiding its dangers.
Why? Because…PIV and PIV-centric sexuality support male power. PIV’s dangers- disease, unwanted pregnancy, trauma bonding- are worldwide, often backed by woman-hatred. Some women enjoy PIV, but even they waste energy dealing with consequences, so public space and resources are more open to men.
In patriarchy, pregnancy is dangerous. 500,000 women a year die. Some get disease or fistulas, causing “leakage,” so their “loving” husband ostracize them. Poor women must raise kids. Every bit of this shit is directly caused by PIV, consensual or not. Almost all rape is PIV, so normalizing PIV normalizes rape- we’re supposed to accept penises belong in vaginas no matter the context, with consequences made to look “positive.”
Women needing PIV for pleasure is a fantasy, even in places with Pill and abortion, which are also unsafe. Equating PIV with “sex” or “fun” tricks us into ignoring dangers and benefiting men, in and out of bed. Because PIV has affected women and our place in society in all times and places, “sex” may be the foundation of patriarchy itself.
Though men try to hide it, PIV is political. Patriarchy’s “Big Three”- religion, medicine, and law- all clamp down on our bodies and lives the moment we conceive. Feminists who spoke for decades about the link between PIV and state control of women are mocked or silenced, and since the link was made on purpose, men definitely won’t discuss or fix it.
Here are 6 tactics that promote PIV, hide its political nature, erase dangers to women, and lead us into an unescapable meatgrinder, where we’re literally “sleeping with the enemy,” suffering harm only women can suffer that only men can cause.
- Goal is to “land a man.” AKA mandatory heterosexuality. The endgame is a straight relationship, where PIV is required for it to continue. It’s literally the normalization of PIV, its dangers, and female submission. Landing a man is not success, but doom. Female relations are replaced with husband-pleasing, PIV, and pregnancy/disease scares. Included are femininity; unattainable/unavailable men; wasting energy “trying to change” a “bumbling idiot husband”; (serial) dating; fuckability mandates like clothes and makeup; competing for male attention; and marriage/pregnancy preparation.
- Normalize exaggerated/simulated female pleasure. This equates female pleasure with PIV and hides the dangers. If real life women see fake orgasms on TV, but dislike PIV, they feel faulty, even though billions of women for thousands of years have disliked it. Included are movies; TV; porn; faking it; sex positions to make us like PIV; pathologizing our “inadequate” response to it; mansplaining; saying bad/boring PIV is unusual; claims of painful sex bringing higher female pleasure; female pleasure in non sexual contexts, like Dove chocolate commercials; and female sexual aggression.
- Normalize reproductive stress and pain. PIV as recreational sex would never survive a cost-benefit analysis outside patriarchy. Reproductive dangers prove that harmless, stress-free PIV is a fantasy men sold us, so we’re expected to ignore them. It also spreads the myth that men dislike accidental pregnancies; most men celebrate, or don’t care. The effect is the same- we ignore PIV’s consequences, or see them as positive. Included are talks about “sex,” the Pill; pregnancy problems; vaginal/urinary infections; diseases; abortions; unknown fathers; too many kids; painful sterilization or BC; and keeping fertility secrets so as “not to worry him.”
- Pathologize menstruation. This normalizes PIV by making non-pregnant women (who have periods) abnormal or evil, so pregnancy- unwanted or not- look positive and implies the only “cure” for periods is PIV. Despite prejudice against pregnant women and male-control over birth, it’s considered our purpose. No one says some of us aren’t meant for it. Instead, non-pregnant women, especially with periods, are horrifying angry monsters.
- Pathologize older women and menopause/fetishize female youth. Like with periods, villainizing old age makes only fertile women look normal. It implies pregnancy or BC are our destiny, to get us used to consequences and hide the fact they wouldn’t be there without a PIV-centered society. Aging symptoms are exaggerated and Viagra commercials show grannies having PIV, despite severe vaginal damage, which is medically treated as if something’s wrong with women, not PIV. Old women are villainized because they know about the danger- or at least banality- of “sex” with men. Included are the “evil mother in law” theme; beauty rituals and surgery; reminiscing about youth; “old witch” villains in stories.
- Rape and rape culture. Rape normalizes PIV in all contexts, since most rape is PIV. If rape is normalized, so is chosen PIV; if it’s criticized, PIV is harmless in comparison. PIV means any instance of penis in vagina. Non-PIV rapes are modeled on PIV ones (using objects, bodily holes, men ejaculating). Rape and PIV are almost identical, since “normal sex” is often coerced, by individual men or society’s expectations; both are political, and specifically harm women via pregnancy, pain, and trauma bonding. Included are alcohol or drugs which remove consent; violence and women having to cleverly avoid it; restrictive female clothes; psychiatry and gynecology; prostitution and porn; men feeling entitled to PIV; lying and womanizing; rape apologism; saying women “cry rape”; kidnapping; pickup artistry and seduction; underage sexuality.
Pornify girl children/infantilize adult women
Old women are wise and can refuse consent, so little girls are sexualized and adult women dressed as girls to appeal to men.
Why? Because…Pornifying girl children/infantilizing adult women — and raping very young girls — supports male power. Raping girls makes them accept painful penis-centered sex in all circumstances, before they discover what they prefer. They grow into promiscuous women, caught in prostitution or porn and think painful, forced “sex” is all there is. Men practice abusive “sex” on them and on other women forced into it by poverty.
Primacy of the nuclear family
The nuclear family is privileged above all others, marriage and children labeled success for women, even though many women aren’t satisfied in this arrangement.
Why? Because…The primacy of the nuclear family supports male power. It isolates us from women, and gives us unpaid labor and husband-pleasing. The porny, abusive sex many men like is painful and home is where most rapes occur. We give PIV to avoid homelessness; this coercion is also rape. Women do thousands of hours of unpaid work but become more dependent and poor. Men couldn’t succeed without this free labor. Women even help men with their jobs too, and are often uncredited/unpaid.
The dictatorship in Orwell’s 1984 said FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, WAR IS PEACE, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Men in patriarchy use similar reversals against women.
Why? Because…Reversals support male power. Men say things like “sex decreases stress” and “women are sluts.” “Sex” increases stress for women and men are the slutty ones. Reversals make us ignore who is benefiting and who is suffering.
Another reversal is the state singling out prostitutes for disease control, but not buyers, though men- especially if they sleep with other men- are more likely to infect prostitutes.
Support patriarchal institutions (medicine/religion/law)
The police, military, state, law, technology, education, and finance are almost completely in male hands. Some men are oppressed, but all have power over women. Non-patriarchies are portrayed as alien or fictitious, like in sci fi or fantasy novels.
Why? Because…Supporting patriarchal institutions supports male power. The institutions overlap and support each other- medicine, religion, and law all have special controls that attach to women and only women the moment we are impregnated. PIV “sex” is nearly mandatory, so men can easily control us simply by knocking us up.
Woman as “useful object”
Women are treated like objects to better men’s lives. A woman who doesn’t do PIV, clean, or make babies is discarded, even if she loved her husband. A “broken” woman who doesn’t like “sex” or emotional abuse is “fixed” by a gyno or psychiatrist.
Why? Because…Woman as “useful object” supports male power. Women do unpaid sex, house, reproductive work, and prostitution/porn. This labor allows men to work outside the home, and makes us more dependent. We have no energy for ourselves, yet we are considered insane if we break down. Since housewives’ (and prostitutes’) earning capacity decrease over time, this proves it’s actually exploitation: slavery.