Feminists question everything we are told we have no choice about, including one of our most important, life-changing decisions, which is whether to love other women with passion as Lesbians, be bisexual (betraying women to men), be celibate, or be het. This issue brings up some of the most bizarre enraged responses I have ever seen, yet who does it serve to insist that women have no real choice in one of the most important decisions we will ever make? Men.
I recently heard that I’m being called a “homophobe” and “heterosexual” for saying I chose to be a Lesbian, by someone who is twenty years old. (Of course this coward and slanderer isn’t saying this directly to me where I can reply.) I’ve been a Lesbian from my earliest memories, but it’s still a choice, as women who switch back to men show us. It is the natural state of girls and women and I do not believe any woman or girl would choose heterosexuality if there was no patriarchy offering massive rewards (acceptance by family and society is only one part of the pay-offs, as well as feeling “normal” in a culture that despises us.)
Do the women who don’t bother to learn our history really believe what our worst enemies, the psychiatrists of the Fifties, trained the schools, media, families, etc. to believe about us? Experience the hell and ecstasy I’ve gone through to be a Lifelong Lesbian, never once quitting, and tell me I’m “heterosexual” and “homophobic.” (What’s with the ridiculous “phobia” charge? Lesbians are not homosexuals and I’m not afraid of gay men.) Stop lying about and erasing me. And stop taking away the power and courage of my choice to love other girls and then women.
The arguments against our choices are bizarrely convoluted. Some women deliberately confuse rape with voluntary het sex as a way to claim they do not or did not choose heterosexuality. One online group was actually called “PIV Is Rape,” which not only trivializes the horror of actual rape, but defines it out of existence. Of course being fucked by men is harmful to women on many levels, but these women have to know that many liberal “feminists” brag in pornographic detail about loving it. Meanwhile, women who refused to be het are either said to not exist, or are called “lucky” and patronized by the term “gold star.” No, those of us who always said no to men and chose to love other females are not “lucky.” That trivializes the hell we have gone through, including lifetime harassment from other women, which includes “feminists.” And no, the women who did choose men are not more oppressed, but are more privileged because of the status they get. Do they think we don’t remember other girls betraying us for males?
We also remember girlhood friends turning on those of us who refused to join the het cult, name-calling us to cement their new het membership status. Unfortunately, we are now going through a bizarre new version of being punished for saying no to men, only this time it’s on behalf of men who insist they are Lesbians and women. These men would have very little power to harm us, if women were not helping them. I can’t believe some of us have to experience a second time being betrayed by friends and other women over men. https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/chapter-two-heterosexualityselling-out-is-not-compulsory-2/
In the past, when feminism meant questioning all our choices, women’s groups supported each other to leave their men. Anyone saying that women were victims with no choice but to be with men would have been laughed at. Women still with men were quite proud about having gotten a man. Many feminists who came out still endlessly bragged or complained about their ex-husbands and boyfriends, making sure everyone knew it was definitely a choice in order to separate themselves from us “perverted” Lifelong Lesbians.
Politics and movements do not always advance over time. In the Seventies, Lesbian Feminists proudly said they chose to love other women, yet liberal feminists don’t seem to know that the “born this way” theory they so vehemently believe actually originated with our enemies, psychiatrists, who lectured that most women were born het, but a few were born Lesbian because of genetic abnormalities or family trauma. That’s why Lesbians are still questioned about what “happened” to them, such as being sexually assaulted in girlhood – as if that doesn’t happen to the majority of girls.
Only when feminism was overshadowed by later genderqueer/gay male/trans pleading pleaded for equal rights from hets was the “born this way” propaganda reinstated. We still see this “they can’t help it” throughout the media as the main reason given to bigots for why they should accept Lesbians and gay men. (Somehow bisexual choice is ignored in the plea for rights based on pity and so is the fact that most Lesbians once chose to be het.) The old Lesbian Feminist pride of taking responsibility for who we choose to love has almost been completely erased. (Of course loving other females feels natural to us because it is. That doesn’t stop most females from choosing men though, out of fear or to get the status of being “normal.” Never underestimate the powerful pull of being accepted as “normal,” which is even more powerful than the pull of the massive privilege in resources that many het women get from men.)
Why on earth would any kind of feminist want to join with medical and genderqueer misogynists by believing the con that Lesbians are an aberration – other than that it releases het women from the responsibility of admitting they are making a choice rather than believing the lie that they are just “normal?” Interestingly, this game is played in reverse when feminists do start questioning why they chose or choose men over women. Suddenly, they insist they had a traumatic childhood as an explanation for being het. Yet how many of these women still secretly wonder if a Lifelong Lesbian is “that way” because of terrible childhood trauma?
One of the most dangerous examples of anti-feminist het-supremacist propaganda about how all women are helpless victims of all-powerful men – not because of male violence, but because of how “attractive” men are – comes from a much-praised “radfem” blog:
Even to this day if a man is kind to me or just smiles I can still feel this “attraction” and gratefulness that I’d feel before and tried to get rid of, which simply means that men are still our captors and there’s no way we can completely get away from stockholm syndrome so long as they hold us captive. Which is precisely why I know I have to stay away from them as much as I can…
The reason so many of us trauma-bond so instantly and intensely to men in our proximity and sometimes to just any man that crosses our way, whether we are lesbian, celibate, separatist or “het”, is that we are programmed and groomed to react in this way to male threat since birth.
If I hadn’t seen this kind of woman-hating masquerading as feminism reflected elsewhere, I would have wondered if it was written by a man because of its worship of male power. I have never known a feminist to describe men like this. In the Seventies, men were acknowledged as dangerous, but even liberal feminists wrote about men as repulsive weak fools, delusional in their assumption of women being attracted to them. Mainstream films, like “Nine to Five,” from 1979, depicted men as pompous buffoons who had institutionalized power, but were easily dealt with by smarter and stronger women working together. And that was het feminism. Lesbian Feminism was even more scathing towards men.
This new “radfem” attitude is disturbing on many levels. This writer is so determined to appear as a helpless victim, not of male violence, but of her own uncontrollable “attraction” to men, that she reads almost pornographic in her masochism. She says she must keep away from men, not because she hates them or recognizes how dangerous they are, but because she can’t control herself around them.
Men reading this will love it. It’s bad enough that we have the male media bombarding us with images of women swooning over men, and presenting them as being so powerful that they can just take a gun from a woman’s hand because she is crying too hard to shoot them in self defense. (This scene is never shown in reverse or between two men.) Why would any woman calling herself a “radfem” want women to feel so helpless around men or promote the woman-hating propaganda that all women are captives of men?
Even worse, how dare she implicate Lesbians, celibate women, and especially Separatists in her pervy obsession with men? Any man in front of us and we “trauma-bond?” I don’t know any woman who reacts that way other than the most male-worshipping of women. How dare she erase those of us who do not obey men? Victim Feminism means not taking responsibility for loyalty to males over females. Why can’t she control herself around men? Why isn’t she naturally repulsed by them? And even worse, how dare she completely erase the existence of women who do not feel equally obsessed with men by saying “men are still our captors.”
This is classic mind-fuck/gaslighting. Note she puts “het” into quotes. She ignores the real reason she was with men, which is for the privilege. And saying that women choose men because of “trauma bonding” denies the existence of women who refuse to bond with men in spite of suffering horrific girlhood abuse. The girlhood sexual assault theory again makes Lifelong and Never-het Lesbians as well as many other Radical Feminists invisible. https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/chapter-three-heterosexism-among-lesbians-is-lesbian-hating/
Patriarchy teaches us we have no control over our attractions and choices, but we do. In fact, most girls do feel attraction/love for other girls that they stifle, and then systematically teach themselves to go against nature in transferring those feelings to males. True feminists would never say that women have no control of self-harming or other sado-masochistic feelings that they’ve learned. Anorexia and bulimia aren’t accepted as natural. The assumption is that women must fight those impulses, knowing how and why they came about, and that they are not innate.
She says she is still “aroused” (the word she uses earlier) by pricks. Since most longtime Radical Lesbian Feminists I know rarely think about or talk about men except to acknowledge one more horror they’ve committed, I believe women pushing these victimizing politics are continuing to obsess about men as they have done most of their lives, and are only pretending to want to be done with them. I believe this “radfem” is actually bragging on some level, and is likely to return to the men she can’t stop thinking about. (I’ve certainly seen enough “man-hating” ex-het women do that.)
She actually says: “Sure, PIV is pleasurable, but the political and social prices are not worth it.”
Make up your mind – is it horrific rape or is it a “pleasure” that you choose?
This propaganda is destroying the feminist movement. Why do too many feminists want to deny the reality of the choices on all levels, weakening and disempowering women. Choices are still being made now.
Another “radfem” online commented:
“The fact that all us womyn are thoroughly immersed in Societal Stockholm Syndrome by virtue of having been raised in captivity does NOT mean that we are to be blamed for not freeing ourselves! Always remember that it is the ABUSER, not the victim who is to blame for the abuse, even if the victim has been inculcated into capitulation as her primary mode of coping with her captivity.”
“I don’t see women who support men against women as victims. All women are NOT “thoroughly immersed in Societal Stockholm Syndrome” or none of us would be feminists. Many of us said no on various levels.”
We are the victims of those women. Victim feminism has so diluted real feminism that the politics of understanding about collaborators versus resistance fighters is lost. Those who are blamed are those who are the resistance fighters. And of course I never say that women who choose men choose to be abused. I’m saying they choose men for many reasons, including because it means going with the flow, fitting in, feeling normal, etc. A few say they were attracted to men, but the majority I’ve heard say that it was the thing to do and they didn’t question it and they went against their own feelings and so they crushed their love for other women. Some even talk about breaking the hearts of girls who loved them.
What is also forgotten in all this gaslighting is that women who choose men are often quite vicious in competing against other women for men. Women and girls often choose to look grotesquely and unnaturally male-identified feminine not as much to attract men and boys, but to win them against other women and girls.
Again, who most wants women to think we have no choice about our most important choices? Men.
But of course in the new parasitized version of Radical Feminism, no woman is ever to be criticized. (Unless she really IS a Radical Feminist and then she is fair game to be slandered, banned, lied about, etc.) Just keep those women with the most privilege from being disturbed. In fact, forget they exist, so that the most privileged het women, secure in being rich, owning companies and property, having political power and Radical Feminists and other women as servants, must be erased from the mind. Forget you see them in the media or out in the world or in some of your families. Forget the rich women who are film stars who keep helping to increase porn in mainstream films and television. Yes, they make less money than men, but many still make millions. Some of these women are producers, directors, writers, and actors, like Lena Dunham, who normalized the most disgusting scenes imaginable in her television show, “Girls.” Lena’s character’s beloved boyfriend, who continually sexually abused her, is shown graphically wanking off on a woman’s chest while calling her a “whore,” as the woman yells at him to stop. This acclaimed series is lauded as “feminist” and Lena is in full charge.
And then there are women like Miley Cyrus who are continuing the pornographic selling of females to make fame and fortune, in the tradition of Madonna, except that she has far greater influence on young girls, having been a girl media star. These women know exactly what they are doing. But what power they could have to reach girls and women if they stopped selling out.
A Radical Feminist posted in our Radical Feminist group about women who sell their little ten year old girls to men who hire them out to be daily, multiply raped. This is so premeditated that the women first pay to get their daughters medically certified as virgins because then they will make more money selling them. One little girl escaped and went home, but her mother sold her again. Some of the true Radical Feminists in our group responded with outrage, saying they would sell themselves first rather than ever sell their daughters, but others actually lectured us about how oppressed the mothers were, they didn’t have a choice, etc. I wonder at what point they would hold a collaborator accountable.
I’m not surprised by male violence or, at this point, the women collaborators. What is still a shock is women claiming to be Radical Feminists who target us for shaming when we dare to name these crimes, as they lecture us that the collaborators are victims. How do they think that makes the real victims feel? Do they care? Why are they choosing to identify with women who help rapists rather than their victims?
Did this promoting and protecting abusers start with pretend “feminists” or with men? A few years ago, I was at at rally for the fifteen year old Richmond, California girl who had been gang-raped for hours outside her high school dance where a large group of boys and men had texted for their friends to join in. One of the rally organizers said in his speech that “the rapists are victims too.” I did not hear one objection but he was loudly applauded. Can it get worse than this?
We see a parallel with women now defending the US nazis and klan who are becoming a much more serious public threat. I am actually hearing/reading women describe gangs of some of the most privileged men in the US (yuppie young white men) as being “in pain,” to explain their motivations, rather than it being racism, classism, etc. This is extremely similar to the excuses made for rapists and murderers as having been victims in the past, ignoring that if violence were dependent on past trauma, most women would be serial murderers. It is all about turning the oppressor into an oppressed victim. Loss of privilege or imagined loss of privilege does not make someone oppressed.
Policing Radical Feminists who refuse to obey the rules of Victim Feminism erases the existence of many of the most oppressed who have made good choices. What happened to feminists encouraging each other to be strong and take pride in their decisions, instead of playing helpless victims?
If they are honest, most women admit they will not leave men because they don’t want to lose the significant rewards which the rest of us do not have and never had. It’s not just money and property, which can be substantial when so many Lesbians are homeless, but status, including how you feel about yourself with a man on your arm. If a woman can’t bear her family and friends to think that she might be a Lesbian if she leaves her man, what is she thinking about us?
I’ve actually been called “misogynist” and reprimanded for “blaming the victim” when I’ve said that women choose who they love. A bully who gave me the usual patronizing lecture about how women are with men only out of fear, and Stockholm Syndrome, turned out to have her own ”unicorn,” as she calls her man. (Having such a rare man makes her the exceptional woman, doesn’t it?) So how is she a victim? Interestingly, she, like a number of radfems who constantly talk about how evil men are, rarely admit they are with men, deliberately concealing their obvious conflict of interest.
One “radfem” who was posting extremely man-hating posts told the group one day about how nice her husband was. I said, “I’m guessing you are going to be honest, unlike some others, and at least admit that you, as a Radical Feminist with a husband, are choosing to be het.” She actually started to waffle and say she had “Stockholm Syndrome” to make sure she didn’t step out of the cult line of het women as victim only.
It’s as if women no longer believe in an actual right or wrong. We wrote about some of the more outrageous cases of women betraying women and girls for men in our book, like the women who lined up to marry serial rapist and murderer Ted Bundy when he was on death row.
Ted Bundy confessed to murdering 23 young females in four U.S. states. He’s suspected of actually murdering over a hundred. He usually vaginally and anally raped his victims before murdering them, and in at least one known instance he forced one girl to watch while he raped and murdered another, before killing her also. Many of the bodies were found decapitated and otherwise mutilated. It’s believed that his first victim was an eight-year-old girl who he killed when he was 14. After he was in jail for two years, a woman named Carol Boone married him. The night before his execution for murdering 12-year-old Kimberly Leach, his mother told him, “You’ll always be my precious son.”
In 1987, Robert Chambers strangled 18-year-old Jennifer Levin. He claimed she was forcing him to have “rough sex” with her and he killed her “accidentally”! Since his family is rich, he was let out on bail. Before the trial even began, he went to a “slumber party” consisting of just him and four women. A videotape of the party, shows the women laughing, dancing, and playing sado-masochistic games with each other and with Chambers. At one point, he holds a Barbie doll up to the camera, twists its head around and says, “Oops, I think I killed her.” In another scene, one of the women plays at being a baby crying and tells him, “I’ll tell everyone.” He says, “I’ll say you’re lying. I lie and they believe me.” These women were also Jennifer’s friends. One of them, Chambers’ new girlfriend, was interviewed on TV. She said she “loved” him, that he was “warm and funny,” and that everyone at the party knew he’d confessed to the murder. She said he’d received over 400 letters of support, many from women. When asked how she felt about the murder, she said, “I don’t feel it’s really my business.”
What about the laughing woman on YouTube who was concerned her fifteen year old son had been raping chickens since he was eleven, not because he was torturing innocent small animals, but because he might get an STD. The boy was shown stroking the chicken as if he loved her, calling her cute, and then showing her cloaca where he rapes her. The announcer says that chickens are easier to get than “girls.” Throughout the video, comparisons are made with consensual heterosexuality. Finally, his mother says she should get him a prostitute, even though she thinks he might have STDs.
A lot of women have experienced horrific abuse as girls by males that their mothers allowed or encouraged for the rapists’ benefit. The rapists are often the victim’s father, step-father, brother, grandfather, uncle, etc. Calling the women who helped the rapists “victims” is a direct betrayal of the real victims, many of who are still vulnerable to these cruel, sadistic women.
Even in patriarchal courts, it’s sometimes acknowledged that the men who help the actual rapist are equally accountable. Of course we reject pleas that the men are victims too. But if excuses are made for women who help men against women, why not excuse the men also? Just as you cannot love both the real victims and their rapist/murderers, you cannot support both the victim and the collaborator.
When a dear friend was seventeen, her mother invited a six foot four foreign military man to stay in her daughter’s room where he raped her until her bed and the walls were bloody. My friend remembers her mother being so set on making her het that she had bought her birth control pills before the extended rape, acting like everything was fine, and afterward mimicked the man’s accent, telling her how easy it would be for him come back and open her window to get inside to rape her again. But that mother is a victim too? Isn’t it clear that excusing her is a horrific betrayal of my friend?
“Victim Feminism” is about patronizing women as too weak, too damaged, and too oblivious to be given credit for and held responsible for the choices that we make all the time. It is the opposite of the empowerment of Radical Feminism. This is partly why the feminist movement seems to have lost much of the incredible sense of excitement and pride in ourselves, as well as and hope for the future.
What I’ve learned from being in Radical Feminist community since 1970 and from moderating Radical Feminist groups online is that there is a major difference between women who really care for other women and the women who use feminism to get power and to bully. If women could recognize the difference, they would be less likely to give up from heartbreak. It’s like recognizing the person you loved for years is not only unwilling to love but is a sociopath. Painful, but far more freeing than believing their lies.
Don’t forget about agents when thinking of the worst betrayals:
When I was first in the Lesbian Feminist community, it was understood that there were government agents reporting back about what we were doing. For those who ridicule this idea, you need to learn our history.
After the US government was embarrassed by not knowing about the Symbionese Liberation Army and the Weather Underground and the Lesbian members, they were not going to let that happen again. If I hadn’t lived in the Bay Area and met Pat Soltysik and Camilla Hall, who joined the SLA and later were burned alive by the LA police, I would have thought that organization was a bizarre joke with their offensive, racist, and even silly “communiques.” Later a Dyke Separatist friend of mine in Wisconsin described being briefly held by the FBI because they thought she was Kathy Soliah from the SLA. Another friend said her ex-lover, the Lesbian singer/songwriter, Kathy Fire, had been raped by men from the FBI, also in the Midwest. When I saw a documentary about Malcolm X where it was mentioned that most of his bodyguards were FBI agents, I was more surprised by them crying about his assassination than that they were FBI agents. (Agents are not always dedicated patriots to right wing governments. More often they will be people wanting money for reporting what they convince themselves is not likely to be relevant information.)
I knew that the French Secret Service had blown up a Greenpeace ship in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand (killing a photographer) to stop them protesting French nuclear testing in the Pacific, which was increasing the cancer rate. (I remember the slogan, “If it’s safe, test it in Paris.”) I only recently found out that the agents got credibility in the NZ Leftist community when one of their women posed as a Lesbian, to get into the Lesbian Feminist community. So why wouldn’t agents be in our online Radical Feminist community? Some of the worst trolls fit all the classic agent behavior, from having multiple aliases, game-playing, lying, trolling, posting opposite politics within a few days, targeting some of our most courageous activists, etc.
As Amoja ThreeRivers has written: Please pay special attention to this–There is ALWAYS infiltration of progressive groups by govt agent provocateurs, whose purpose is to create & facilitate inter-group & intra-group chaos, misinformation, enmity, violence & destruction. Anyone who has lived thru the era of Civil Rights, the Black Panthers, the anti-war groups, the Farmworkers, AIM & Cointelpro, & is NOT paranoid is either woefully uninformed or mentally ill. Anytime people try to organize around the betterment of their communities, there is going to be infiltration. You can count on this. I’m not advocating for mistrust, but for awareness. Some of the politics around trans issues, especially as it relates to feminism might be an example of infiltrator mischief. Pay attention, y’all. I’m Old & I can assure you that the day may be different but the shit is still the same.
Another longtime Lesbian Feminist activist wrote:
…you could almost always be sure of an agent somewhere. The other thing we learned they did, from our close relations with other radical groups, was to try to damage and destroy groups. They did this by infiltrating with one to two members, creating dissent, often one proposing a crazy action and the other opposing it. So groups self-destructed. Never be naive. We are being watched, these days probably on the internet too. It’s also police and even corporations who have agents in radical communities. Several women environmental activists were in relationships with some of these agents, including one woman for six years. First, her boyfriend was working for the English police and then for a private agency, reporting on her and her activist friends. This was taken seriously enough that a police commissioner made a public apology and gave compensation.