“From an early age I knew my ambition was to be in a plot. Or several plots–I thought of it as a career. But no plots came my way. You have to apply for them, a friend of mine had told me. He’d been around, though he hadn’t been in any plots himself, so I took his advice and went down to the plot factory. As for everything else, there was an interview. So, said the youngish bored man behind the desk, you think you’ve got what it takes to be in a plot. What sort of character did you have in mind? He was fiddling with a list, running his felt-tip pen down it. Character? I said. Yes, that’s what we do here. Plots and characters. Well, I said, I might as well try out for the main character. Or one of them–I suppose every plot needs more than one. You can’t be a main character, he said bluntly. Why not? I said. Look in the mirror, he said. You’re an exotic. What do you mean, an exotic? I’m a respectable person. I don’t do kinky dancing. Exotic, he said in his bored voice. Consult the dictionary, Alien, foreign, coming in from the outside.”
“Plots for Exotics,” Margaret Atwood
Maybe you’re curious like me. How do people get from place to place, idea to idea? What’s their story? I’ve fascinated with the details of people’s personal journeys ever since discovering online feminism. The idea for interviews this time around is nothing more than my curiosity given a voice. I’ve not set out to prove any major trends between radical feminist stories–rather the opposite. You will find some similarities, perhaps every 2 interviews, but nothing notably more conclusive than the words themselves.
This has been such an enjoyable process–I will say it again and again: thank you wimmin, of the time and mind, for coming forward and sharing these personal journeys. I did not expect a great response at the outset–I anticipated an introverted bunch, not used to talking about themselves, shying away from the idea their life story was of any value (doesn’t that sound mean?). There are probably still a lot of those out there (note for future hosts: I am happy to pass along the interview website admin info should you wish to reel these wonderful wimmin in for future carnivals).
However, I am happy to say 9 wimmin eventually tip-toed their way into my inbox! Their stories are linked here, laced in with the rest of the wonderful submissions. Enjoy!
I felt like being smart was all I had as a little fat girl who didn’t conform to femininity particularly well, who wasn’t attractive or charming or athletic. My attachment to book knowing is apparent on the website, although hopefully I’ve been able to transform loyalty to patriarchal knowledge into loyalty to feminist knowledge.
Radical feminism was a deep, long lasting kind of intellectual stimulation. Reading a couple points had my brain buzzing for days
Suzie at Echidne of the Snakes explains further why interpretations of drag (re: huge learning curve) under a patriarchy are not as subversive as some may like to believe.
Some people think drag subverts gender by bringing its performativity into the open. But parody works only if people get it. A straight man at a drag show does not necessarily think: “If that man can look and act like a woman, then that means my girlfriend and I are just performing gender.”
I’ve always been a radical feminist. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t see that there was serious dominance/submission issues in male/female relations.
Nine Deuce at Rage Against the Manchine takes an ice pick to the issues and concepts differentiating “rights” and “privileges” for porn use. She even later goes onto assert men in relationships who deceitfully use porn are being emotionally abusive. Daring!
Deciding what falls under the rubric of “rights” is a difficult task, and gaining any kind of universal consensus (even on the most basic of human rights) is nearly impossible because the discussion is landmined with the participants’ conflicting cultural and religious values. Fuck, we haven’t even reached the point where we can agree that we all have the right to not be murdered.
Well, that day I was feeling bad. I discovered that there was a dimension of this world that i hadn’t known about. It seemed ‘mechanical’ and ‘inhuman’ to me; these are the 2 words i remember thinking.
Amananta at Screaming into the Void shows off her songwriting chops in a political parody of South Park’s “Blame Canada.”
White guy 4: My son could’ve been a doctor or a lawyer rich as me,
But he flunked out when he saw Hillary’s ugly face on tv
Everyone: Should we blame his study habits?
Should we blame his ADD?
Or the teachers who didn’t do their jobs?
White guy 1: heck no!
Everyone: Blame Hillary!
When you’re in your anti-porn star shirt seriously discussing plans to humanure while ripping up old political placards into the compost pile for your organic garden, American affluenza seems more like slow suicide than a normal lifestyle.
They are black women and girls, they are indigenous women and girls, they are women and girls who have be fucked as children, they poor women and girls, they are homeless women and girls, they are addicted women and girls – mainly they are women and girls who have forgotten that they can hope.
Each time a man chooses to rape a prostitute, each time a man uses a prostitute as real-life porn, each a man batters a prostitute, each a man kills and throws away a prostitute – it is a slow destruction of all women rights to be fully human.
I am stubborn, strong-willed, and as my mother and father can attest to, if you tell me to drop it, I’m going to continue talking about it.
Dr. Violet Socks at Reclusive Leftist scarily but beautifully recalls the day her once carefree hiking trips became a reminder of the inevitable: no woman lives free.
I turned back to the trail, deliberate-like, not running, trying not to be scared. Nothing very bad is happening here. I’m just going to continue on my hike. I will continue on my hike and I will drive home and I will make dinner. When I reached the trail I turned around. He was following me.
How did I bring feminism to the countries I lived in? By being a woman on her own doing what I wanted. Traveling alone in Brazil was very rare for a woman, so was hiking, running…
Sonia at el parador califas tells of her own experiences with domestic violence and how the silencing effects manifest as an epic erasure of it’s pervasiveness.
my self-esteem was at issue, but that’s a setup. women having low self-esteem doesn’t occur in a vaccuum, and it’s not resultant of pms, or high levels of emotion or just being chicks. low self-esteem in women is a requirement for the social status quo.
Although I guess I was always feminist, inside. I have never met a woman who believed that the world was fair to women. I suppose the difference is in how women handle that.
Marcella Chester at abyss2hope reveals yet another mindless imbecile who sees his self control astonishingly dependent on womens’ actions.
He wants to be seen as no more responsible for his behavior than a TV is when a woman uses a remote control device. Yet I doubt that he sat as still as a TV when women turned him on.
If something really offends me, others may think that my reaction is extreme, but it’s usually the culmination of dozens of slights that just can’t be ignored anymore.
And for a good dose of laughs we end with a little preherstory lesson presented by none other than the great Phemisaurus.