'Offensive' is Not a Feminist Value

For the record, I don’t think that not giving a shit if you’re offensive to other feminists is something to be proud of, or something to admire. I don’t think that being trollish is something to be proud of, especially when one is trolling one’s own community. There’s a difference between examining an issue and advocating your morality as the only correct path, and frankly the latter does not encourage the former.

And, you know what? I’m really, really sick of the way that the A-list feminist bloggers shit on our community. I know saying that makes me sound like a bitter nobody. And, hey, I am a bitter nobody. But I’m not out there pulling a Hirshman by telling women what they (should) want. And I’m certainly not out there repackaging the “it’s just a joke” defence as “playing devil’s advocate” in order to excuse the real hurt that a fellow feminist blogger has done to the women out there who don’t feel the same as she does.

And by posting this I’m being angry, and I’m being divisive, and I’m sorry. I really am. But, damnit, people! I love this community. I love all the good work we do. I love the way that we support each other against the seemingly endless tide of misogynist trolls who want to destroy us because we scare them. And when I see women hating on each other rather than hating on the institution that oppresses us, it kills me.

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14 Responses to 'Offensive' is Not a Feminist Value

  1. Loosely Twisted says:

    When this first happened, I didn’t take offense at all, (het/bi female), but then again I never expected one of my favorite blogs to attack people who were different then her. After reading all the posts and comments about her actions. I still can’t find the whitherall to care about how she accomplished her goals. Which I believe was to wake up a portion of her community who were becoming placent. I have been reading Twisty now for over a year. Everyday I waited patiently for her thought provoking posts.

    This post was perhaps quite strong in her belief as usual. But see, after reading for a year, it didn’t exactly come off as an attack to me, more like a request, and spoken in at aleast an assumption of ‘What are you girls thinking??’ type of question. So when I answered, I made sure to keep the same tone she used.

    Call me naeive but I believed her intentions were both true to form and funny. Also, the fact that not 3 days prior to this post she had announced some very bad news. Call me blind, but I honestly expected something like this, because of how Twisty does NOT like admitting what she is going through. It matched her personality that she places in to her blog and it seemed a natural progression to the post your referring.

    It could be that I help people who are attempting to deal with cancer, and I see them lash out and do not ever blame them for it. You can’t. Most of the time they haven’t the slightest Idea that they have lashed out until it’s over, and all they can offer is what they honestly thought they were doing before hand. *shrug* Maybe I am just that laid back and easy going that I decided not to be offended when I otherwise should have been. But I still don’t have any anger, resentment or anything towards Twisty at all. Attacking her for being provakative isn’t conductive to the feminist movement either. Divided we fall. Even if it’s just one person who lashes out at injustice that she perseives, it’s still dividing.

    I think Twisty needs more love and understanding, not less, and certainly not being anylyzed as a batshit crazy woman. (Even though she might be) I am not saying you are saying that at all. I am not articulate enough to describe what I need to say in less words. I need analogies.

    I have been over at Pandagon, Feministe, and the other blogs, they have gone apeshit over Twisty’s post. I feel it’s a sad day for us when we act like the “man” with a spur in our midst instead of offering the hand that Twisty obviously needs and refuses.

    Just my opinion Shrub. No offenses intended.

  2. tekanji says:

    I’m sorry Twisty has cancer, but this is not the first time she’s done this. I don’t buy it as an excuse for her lashing out at women. And it most definitely does not excuse or explain why Amanda would use the defence for her that she did, and that you are — that it’s just humour, that it’s a wakeup call.

    Attacking women because they are different than you — no matter the intention — is not funnuy, edgy, or cool. It’s divisive and it’s what the patriarchy does, not us.

    I think Twisty needs more love and understanding, not less, and certainly not being anylyzed as a batshit crazy woman.

    I really hope that you did not just say that I in some way called or implied that Twisty was crazy. I think it’s quite obvious that she’s an intelligent woman who is very aware of herself and her writing.

    I’m saying that she’s abusing her power as a popular feminist blogger. I’m saying that she’s been abusing it for a long time. And I’m saying that Amanda is jumping on the same wagon, though her choice of ways to defend Twisty is just the most recent example of it.

    And I’m saying that I’m sick of seeing popular feminist bloggers who are supposed to be blaming the patriarchy blame women instead. I’m sick of seeing them tear apart a community that I have come to love. And I’m sick of seeing people making excuses that amount to “come on, it’s just sarcasm!”. There is no excuse for telling women that they are bad people because they are different from you.

    These bloggers have power, and I am very angry at the way they have chosen to use it.

  3. Winter says:

    There is little that upsets me more than the sight of feminists hating and screaming at each other in blog posts and comments. Trolls? Fuck em. I don’t give a shit. I do care about feminism and other feminists though. Even though I feel it’s important to get a handle on the souce of these disagreements, I can hardly bear to read the arguments – so much hate and anger. No wonder the backlash caught us with our pants down.

  4. Mary says:

    I have to say, I don’t really understand what’s going on here. Some feminists wear makeup? OH NOES. Some feminists dress “sexy”? THE HORROR. Some feminists give blowjobs? WON’T ANYONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN. Yes, like Twisty, it galls the shit out of me when women aren’t as hardcore as I am about feminism, because OF COURSE deep inside I think my brand of feminism is the best and only one. Of COURSE I think that. I’M HUMAN. But beating up women who care about other women is what men do, and the last time I checked I had an innie and not an outie, so fuck a bunch of that who’s-a-better-feminist shit. No one’s a perfect feminist. We all do crap that leaves us open to criticism because WE ALL HAVE TO GET BY. There’s always someone more or less hardcore than you. And this infighting foolishness isn’t for shit.

  5. tekanji says:

    Winter & Mary: All I have to say to that is “Word.”

  6. curiousgyrl says:

    Question: what “power as a popular feminist blogger*?”

    I hate to jump on the “just a joke” bandwagon–because I think Twisty is both funny and serious, but this outrage at her anti-cocksucking stance seems to miss the premise of her blog. Thus the tag line “Prepare to be thrown, white male supremacy!” The take of the blog in its entirety is basically a comic but honest (in the sense that I think she really believes this) view that everything bad is caused by “the patriarchy” and there is little we can do about it, besides document and discuss its various incarnations. In this scheme, blowjobs, lipstick and tiny purses are an expression of women’s subordination, as is EVERYTHING ELSE. Twisty does not suggest that that not blowing guys is a threat to patriarchy; in fact, she never seems to suggest that anything is a credible threat, as far as I can tell. Except maybe once in a post about women who got together to attack a rapist. But I think the end result was Kafka-esqe torture at the hands of the patriarchal legal system.

    I don’t agree with Twisty on this basic score, but I get where she’s coming from. Certainly she’s spot on when it comes to blogs-as-political-acts having little power to change the anti-pussy alignment of the known universe.

    If you do still want to be outraged, please save it for something deeper than funk-filled whatsists. I’d aim for the pathetic (as in full of pathos) acquiescence to the patriarchy that Twisty’s humourosly nihilistic analysis reflects.

    *In honor of Twisty, I spellchecked. Just to prove my point about the significance of the feminist blogosphere at present, I’d like to mention that MS Word doesn’t recognize “blog” or “blogger.” That said, I cannot vouch for my grammatical correctness, nor MS Word’s. Just one small element that will be different after the revolution initiated by IBTP developing the magical powers suggested by TF’s most recent post.

  7. curiousgyrl says:

    one last defense: blow jobs are gross. As is stinky cheese. Unlike my blogorific guru, I submit that both may be enjoyed in moderation.

  8. tekanji says:

    curiousgyrl: I don’t have time to give an actual reply to your comment, as I’m late for school.

    However, lines such as these:

    If you do still want to be outraged, please save it for something deeper than funk-filled whatsists.

    are inappropriate on this blog. You do not get to dictate what I or any of my commenters can find objectionable. Please review the discussion rules before you post again, because this will be your only warning.

  9. Winter says:

    “Word”?

    Am I missing something?

  10. curiousgyrl says:

    sorry about that. I’ll admit I read the rules after I posted and realized I was out of line. Apologies. I was merely trying to point out that I think Twisty’s fatalism is more wrong than her bj stance, and that I find the latter funny but the former just sad.

  11. tekanji says:

    Winter said:

    Am I missing something?

    Er, that’s netspeak for IAWTC. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) What it means is that I agree with what y’all said and am showing solidarity.

  12. tekanji says:

    curiousgyrl: Okay, now that I have some time I’m going to give you a proper response to your comments. :)

    Thus the tag line “Prepare to be thrown, white male supremacy!” The take of the blog in its entirety is basically a comic but honest (in the sense that I think she really believes this) view that everything bad is caused by “the patriarchy” and there is little we can do about it, besides document and discuss its various incarnations.

    I understand her blog, and I understand the value in being snarky about the patriarchy. We all gotta vent sometimes. But what crosses a line with me is when she stops blaming the patriarchy and starts blaming the women who are a part of it. Her BJ post is only the last in a small series of those posts that have pissed me off.

    The first one that came to my attention was the anti-BDSM one where she, once again, used her own personal morality to judge the sexual lives of other women. She’s more than welcome to disagree with my choices and question my reasoning, but it crosses a line (a feminist line, in my opinion) for her to play mind reader and tell me that I really don’t like these things. I’m a big girl who has had 23 years to run the gammut of “things I don’t like” and it hits a very, very personal nerve to be called names because she can’t emotionally understand my sexual preferences.

    Conflating her personal tastes with feminist discourse, I think, is both dishonest and detracts from the ability to examine sexuality within a patriarichal context.

    Honestly, every time I look at the kinds of things she’s said and the way she’s said them, it reminds me of the year and a half I spent being emotionally abused by my first boyfriend. The tactis are exactly the same. Do you realize how sick it makes me feel to see that same kind of argumentation style being applied in the feminist blogsphere aimed at other (feminist) women? This is my community, too. I care about it. It hurts me when we fight amongst ourselves. It hurts me when we hurt each other. But I’ll be damned if I sit here and let another feminist blogger do that shit again. When I said “never again” I didn’t just mean “never again from a boyfriend” or “never again from a man”, I meant I wouldn’t take that shit from anyone — not the patriarchy, not a man, and most certainly not another feminist.

  13. curiousgyrl says:

    I think it goes beyond an inablility to emotionally understand your (or my) sexual preferences. Twisty is essentially a radical feminist, which means that under her ideological take on the situaiton, our indiviual choices–particularly having sex wth men–prevent us from engagning in meaningful feminist collective activity. this analysis sucks in my view, but its resuced ala twisty, in that her nihilism doesnt allow her to take any hope for collective activity seriously at all, thus reducing our choices to a series of objectional ones. the down side, however, is no collective activity. thats where i’d rather fight her. not on the ‘to blow or not to blow’ question, though thats obviously where she’d rather start sh*t.

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