Dear Radical Feminist Internet:

So, now women who aren’t at least reasonably affluent, “normal”, and white can’t play?

Or we can play, but we have to shut up about it and play nice?

And you say it’s we disabled, lower-class, and/or brown women who are “forming clubs” and “being petty.”

A more beautiful demonstration of relative privilege would be hard to come by.

Of COURSE none of us are more privileged than any given man. Of COURSE even the richest woman’s position is tenuous. (Who even thinks it isn’t?) And of COURSE I don’t hate (or envy? are we in high school?) you.

But for shit’s sake, this “radfem hub” thing is like a country club. “Excuse me … you rabble? Over there. Yes. You poors, cripples, and browns. Your relentless presence is making it hard for me to enjoy my filet mignon. You’re going to have to either tone it down and conform, or get out.”

So can we just … not do that? Or are we going to miss the point (and fulfill stereotypes that men make about us) yet again?

Because as it stands now — Remember that one little internet blog we all have had gripes with? Right now, you’re Jill. Just on a different issue.

Thank you.

– The poors, cripples, and browns of radical feminism

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20 Responses to Dear Radical Feminist Internet:

  1. Cathy Brennan says:

    I don’t get this post. Has someone been excluded from posting at the Hub website?

    • joy says:

      The Hub is made up of the women who opposed discussion of how disabilities, race, class, etc. can impact a woman’s standing in society. It speaks for itself.

  2. Cathy Brennan says:

    Although the idea that the Internet or a blog page is like a “country club” literally made me LOL. Which, like, I needed because I am getting a mammogram in a minute.

    • joy says:

      I’m not sure if you’re trying to say I’m stupid and/or overreacting or not — but either way, I’m not offended and I hope your mammogram goes well. Those things are never pleasant.

      • Cathy Brennan says:

        Thanks. I don’t know you, so I don’t know if you are stupid.

        The mammogram went swimmingly, thanks! All women need to get them “of a certain age.”

  3. joy says:

    In short, I thought one of the purposes of this hub was to provide a starting place for women who might wish to gain exposure to radical feminist ideas.

    On one hand, in that case, I can imagine not wanting to shock or frighten women who are white, “normal”, affluent, etc. Baby steps, you see. But isn’t that what IBTP is for?

    On the other hand, say a woman is brown, or disabled, or lower class, or all of the above. (Like myself and other radical feminists I know.) Maybe this woman is *already radicalized* in other arenas and is looking for the keystone, if you will. Why insult her intelligence? Why coddle and baby her, just to avoid hurting Whitey’s feelings?

    Why not provide a place where women can talk about ALL pertinent radical feminist issues facing women? Why must the rabble talk amongst themselves while the upstanding citizenry converse at the Big House?

    Think metaphorically. I’m not stupid, and I used the country club metaphor (because it was and is a metaphor) on purpose.

    Personally, I wouldn’t belong to a country club if I could (and the metaphor extends here too). I don’t belong to a pity party/Extra Specially Oppressed Club either, nor would I want to. What I’d really like to see is women talking honestly amongst themselves and possibly trying to face issues that women face, instead of brushing it under the rug, hiding the dirty laundry, ignoring the elephant in the room, and pretending the problems aren’t problems.
    (And/or are all in our heads, we’re just imagining them. Because -that’s- certainly an original tactic we’ve -never- seen before, or anything.)

    (Cathy, for the record, I’m not saying that’s what you did or are doing. This particular comment is not directed at you but at the general readership.
    Also, like the patriarchy, this is not a conspiracy or what have you. It’s just a simple fact that discussions of problems like race and class are being shut down and stifled because they apparently make people uncomfortable.
    Yeah, recall the great big trans breakdown of Early 2011? See a parallel? And nobody can tell me that this is different because race and class issues don’t matter or aren’t relevant — unless you want to look like a racist, which … if you think that way, you might be a racist anyway and probably should not admit to it on the radical feminist internet.)

    • Cathy Brennan says:

      I am a real life person, with real life opinions. I’m not a blogger. I love reading blogs though. I haven’t seen anything at the HUB blog that would lead me to the conclusions you have drawn, so I am wondering if your concenrs have their root elsewhere.

      It’s a big Interwabs – there’s room enough for everyone.

  4. Noalias Eversticks says:

    Hey, thank you for writing this. Soothed my rage a bit. I can comment more when I have time, and probably will if this comment thread turns to shit. It needed to be said.

  5. Eve's Daughter says:

    Unfortunately, this isn’t new. There was a minor blow-up on the radfem blogosophere about this issue some time late in 2010, too.

  6. Mary Sunshine says:

    Let’s see what develops over the course of time.

  7. FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel says:

    Yes, it is a bit of a country club.
    It certainly is not a ‘hub’ promoting any and all radfem blogs, only a select few ‘approved’ blogs. It is quite obvious from the contributor list, bloggers who frequently comment at most blogs are missing from that list, and bloggers who hardly comment/active anywhere are included?

    At least I can stand out as one who was very publicly excluded.
    Not exactly sure why I deserved such a special honour.

    It’s a clique. All terribly ‘high school’.

  8. Pingback: Life, the Universe, and Everything | Eve Bit First

  9. Greetings from a working class, disabled, not money or job or property privileged, not queer not trans,
    female born radical feminist., should I add vegan/veggie and anarchist and mixed heritage/ethinicity/race etc to that too ? :>)
    I’ve been in and out of the radfem (&sep) world for many years and Lesbonauts criticism is justified.
    BUT……………………………
    I am watching radfem hub with much interest, because it is super important that it exists. I do have criticism of it though so not blanket supporting it. I have only just started replying there. I don’t know the backgrounds of the radfems who run the site, I am saddened that one guest blogger has been invited as a guest knowing
    from personal experience and the experience of friends , how she has very viciously emotionally abused and attacked and trashed other lesbians for disagreeing with her. Well it’s the old your a genius in the world of theory but at home and on the street your a monster………………..

    But hey serioulsy I have just started my own blog to talk about issues within radfem & sep & anarchist/activist
    communities, the things no one wants to talk about like class, abuse by activists……….
    I am trying to keep the page open to born females only.

    Come check it out, I’ve only just created the blog but I hope it will be a safe place where we can start talking about these issues we’ve been discussing here.

    Femrage Truthteller

    femragetruthteller.wordpress.com

    • joy says:

      Hey, welcome!

      For the record, I too think the radfem hub’s existence is important; I even think the continued existence of “the blog formerly known as IBTP” is important. Everyone (all right, I revise this statement to say “some people”) needs a stepping stone to bigger ideas sometimes.

      My speech at the Stop Porn Culture conference is going to be about where radicalism falls short in terms of feminism, and where radical feminism falls short on radicalism. So we’re probably thinking similar thoughts. I’ll post the contents of my speech here once it’s written.

      * Note for all readers: I haven’t abandoned the blog, I’ve just been away from the internet recently for life reasons. Doing odd jobs, living in places with no internet, not feeling like it, etc. But I’ll update soon, and add to/revise my blogroll when I’m at it. Femrage, would you like me to add you?

  10. Hello & Thank You !
    Yes please add me !
    Can you please tell us more about the Stop Porn Culture conference ??

    I’m based in near the Bay Area – hiding out in the woods with odd trips down
    to the City for diff activist stuff.

    I really hope my blog will take off and all these ‘elephants in the room’ can be dealt with.

    Femragetruthteller

  11. Femragetruthteller, there is a conference taking place next weekend in Boston. More info is at StopPornCulture.org

    Joy, look forward to hearing what you have to say!

  12. Thank You Womononajourney,
    for the info about the Stop Porn Culture confrence.

    Anyway I wanted to add more here about the Radfem Hub………….
    The plot and the stink thickens over at Radfem hub…………….
    I have now had not 1 but count them 2 posts deleted/censored by ‘Undercover Punk’.
    I had replied to ‘Celebrating Womyns Culture and the Defining woman’ postings.
    Both times I talked about classism in the radfem/feminist ‘community.

    In ‘Celebrating womyns culture,
    I tried to leave a comment and talked about NOT being able to afford events
    like Michigan Womyns festival or the
    Feminists Hullabaloo……….and NOT being able to afford to live in
    womyns communities like womyns lands, co ops etc – because I am POOR.
    I talked about being excluded from womyns & most Feminist culture because I am Poor.
    I threw a bit in there about Feminists ignoring the effects of capitalism
    and the language that middle class academic Feminists use. etc etc…….
    I also talked about how womyns & feminist culture was destroyed not ONLY by queer, the backlash but
    also by all the infighting between feminists……….
    the post was deleted and did not show up as a comment………………
    I talked about being a poor & working class Feminist, social justice activist and I was silenced.

    In ‘Defining Woman,
    I left a comment suggest the concept that as Feminists we maybe use the word
    Female INSTEAD of women or woman, to be clear about who we are, and also to\include all
    age groups including Girls/Grrrls. ‘Woman’ doesn’t include girls (or Lesbians for that matter).
    Also rejecting the words & concepts of masculinity & femininity,
    I also talked about rejecting role playing (Femme & Butch) within Lesbian & Gay culture.
    Also use this as a tactic against predatory transsexuals and their fanatical supporters,
    when it comes to legal issues, getting funding, grants and female only space.
    Well this post is STILL up and was not deleted.

    I did get a VERY patronizing response from Undercover Punk, basically saying my
    post was not in the ‘correct language’ — ie middle class or academic…..
    I tried to respond to this, left a comment again about classism, language in the feminist
    community and geeeee wizz wouldn’tcha know my comment was not posted and was censored,
    by Undercover Punk…………..
    I also mentioned that I have been very active in the Radfeminist and the sep community,
    organizing, etc for over 25 years…. But I guess that means nothing since I am poor/working class.

    Don’tcha just love it………….
    Femmreage Truthteller

  13. MedusA says:

    Hi
    I’ve actually had the same problem with Undercover Punk. When I confronted her about her own racism and enlightened her to what a black woman’s perspective on one of her posts might look like, she censored my comment. It’s messed up that in this radfem lesbian sep blogosphere only certain types of people’s voices are allowed to be heard- the rest of us are silenced. Some of these women, for all of their bravado, are actually gutless because when it comes to confronting their own privilege and listening to the voices of different (non-privileged) people they cannot do it. It scares them. And when we’re pissed off they want us to speak about things in a detatched, ‘objective’, academic way, fuck that. It is so ridiculous. Some of these (white) women want to ‘own’ radical feminism. That is what it’s about. The classism and the racism disgusts me.

    It really makes you think though, doesnt it. They’re showing us that radical feminism isn’t really about all women.

    MedusA

  14. MedusA says:

    Oh yeah, FemmerageTruthteller, Undercover Punk is full of shit. She has zero integrity; which means she knows that there’ s nothing wrong with your language, she just needs an excuse to not publish your perspective. See, you’ve got to understand :-)), black/non-privileged people make her feel deeply uncomfortable and she just cant deal with that…

  15. Valerie M says:

    Hi Joy,

    I completely agree with you. When I found the place I thought, hey, cool. Then I saw the names: all the usual suspects of lesbophobic, racist, class privileged ‘radfems’. So this comes as no surprise. Thanks for posting.

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