If the Eight of Cups were a Blog Post about Feminism, This is How it Would Read


I’ll admit that, when that woman accused the Duke Lacrosse Team of raping her, I believed her.

And I’ll admit that, as it became obvious that her story was “problematic,” I kind of just refrained from writing about it because I was secretly hoping that the prosecution had evidence that the rest of us have not seen, that would back up her claims.

That doesn’t seem to be the case.

Slate has a story up right now about how the New York Times has all but convicted the three suspects. Here’s the part that made me feel kind of sick to my stomach:

Imagine you are the world’s most powerful newspaper and you have invested your credibility in yet another story line that is falling apart, crumbling as inexorably as Jayson Blair’s fabrications and the flawed reporting on Saddam Hussein’s supposed WMD.

This is, as you may note, the opening paragraph of the story. It’s pretty much down-hill from there for a girl who believed that the Duke Lacrosse Team was the epitome of evil.

Tangentially, can I just say that I’m reluctantly in the “You just can’t trust the New York Times.” camp?

Anyway, this is not about blaming the New York Times, this is about taking stock of where we are and then some side notes about how I feel about feminism.

So, where we are. In some ways, we’re neck-deep in the same shit we’ve always been neck-deep in. It’s easy enough to assume that groups of young men will easily do evil. It’s easy enough to assume that sex workers are untrustworthy and fucked up. That cops lie and that the justice system isn’t often actually about achieving justice.

I was thinking about how one in twenty-two college men admits to having forced a girl to have sex with him. I was thinking about Plimco* and my other friends who’ve been assaulted and how I can count on one hand the women I know who’ve never felt they were in danger of being hurt by a man, at least once.

Most of the women I know who’ve been attacked never reported it to the police because they were afraid they wouldn’t be believed.

I think, at least for me, it’s hearing all these stories over and over again told by women I deeply love that makes it very hard for me to believe that any woman would ever lie about being raped. It’s such a horrendous thing and the aftermath can be gruesome and the justice system is perceived of as no safe place for rape victims–it’s hard to imagine who would ever claim to have gone through a rape knowing that the scrutiny the claimant faces is also its own kind of hell.

And yet, I’m now convinced that this is my own blindspot–that I don’t believe women are capable of lying about rape.

I’ve gone off here before about this very danger: about how traditional ideas about women are that we’re either idiots in need of a big strong man to guide us or that we’re morally superior to men (at least, I believe this to be the dynamic on the ‘Madonna’ side of the Madonna/Whore dichotomy). And I do believe that feminists have a tendency, while fighting against the idea that we’re innocent idiots who need male guidance, to gladly latch on to this idea that we’re morally superior to men.

And, frankly, I think that’s what I did in this case. I thought that a woman wouldn’t lie about being raped and that, of course, a bunch of entitled jackasses at a prestigious school would feel entitled to her body if they wanted and that they’d then protect each other. In other words, I believed her to be morally superior to them.

It’s more than a little embarrassing to admit that and to take my lumps from those of you who will line up to do the lump handing-out, but I think it’s necessary.

As for feminism, I’m still a feminist. But I have to say that I’m kind of at the “what the fuck?!” point with other feminists. I’m a feminist because I want to live my life in as pleasant a manner as possible. That’s my goal. I find being a feminist pleasant, for the most part, because I like being smart, funny, obnoxious, and independent. I like knowing that I can take care of myself, if need be. I like having a set of theoretical tools to help me understand certain societal dynamics and to help me work on dismantling the ones that get in the way of my pleasure.

Where I went wrong with the Duke case was clearly to react out of fear instead of proactively moving towards increasing my pleasure. I don’t mean that in some “why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” way. I mean it in some sense of the deep satisfaction that comes from striving for wisdom**.

I don’t think that it’s just me who’s not trying to strive towards wisdom (though, honestly, I may be the only feminist in the world striving towards the pleasure of wisdom–whatever I might mean by that). I’m not being clear, in part because I’m just watching from the sidelines and it’s not all clear to me. But I love I Blame the Patriarchy and even though I thought that Twisty’s post about blow jobs was ridiculous, I thought it was supposed to be ridiculous for the sake of making a point.

And I love Pandagon and have learned a shit-ton from Amanda Marcotte.

And I love mocking the stupid as much as the next person.

But I wonder if they’re happy. If happiness is even a goal of their feminism. Maybe it’s not and that’s fine. But maybe I need to stop reading so uncritically feminists whose goals don’t align with my own, even if I adore them.

*Sorry, Plimco, maybe I should have warned you about how having a forum sometimes seems to be a catalyst for dealing with things you’d rather have left behind you.

**Well, well. I had until this moment no idea that I so closely linked wisdom and pleasure. That’s interesting.

25 thoughts on “If the Eight of Cups were a Blog Post about Feminism, This is How it Would Read

  1. Did I miss something or did Nifong drop the case?In my years as a participant in and follower of college athletics, I’ve seen my fill of cases like this, high profile athletes at high profile institutions being accused of rape. I’ve seen enough fakers to be able to judge fairly well when the thing will turn out to be BS. It isn’t just my virulent hatred of anything Duke (except for one to be unamed woman basketball player from long ago) that makes me say, I think something went down there in Durham. Now, looking at the Slate piece you cite, I don’t find it at all convincing. "Problematic" cases go forward all the time and often get convictions (Perry March). What all the detractors of the case do is make an assumption that rape in this case equals penetration with a penis, that there *must* be some kind of DNA evidence on the alleged victim’s body. That isn’t true. "Rape" encompasses a number of acts (classes of felony charges) that don’t always include what most people think of when they hear that word.Considering that there is testimony about a broom stick, that there is evidence of DNA in the bathroom (that the defense is curiously mum about) suggests that there could have been some sexual assault there that just isn’t what we envision.

  2. This is a very thought-provoking post. I think you’re mixing up pleasure and happiness, though. The pursuit of wisdom gives you pleasure + feminism is a tool you use in your pursuit of wisdom => feminism helps bring you pleasure. But pleasure =/ happiness. Now, you may also say that increasing the experiences of pleasure in your life brings you closer to happiness, or keeps you happy, in which case feminism is a tool to make/keep you happier. But I don’t think happiness is ever an absolute, changeless state. So I’m thinking that Twisty probably takes immense pleasure in writing her witty, funny, provocative posts and in interacting with her commenters. She’s got to be taking pleasure in her own creativity, and in making her anti-patriarchal points. But the woman is only borderline cancer-free, has lost major parts of her body and IIRC is soon going to lose more, and has bone chips in her ankle to boot. If she’s not happy (and I have no information on that question), I don’t think it’s necessarily because of the insufficiency of her variety of feminism. Isms can’t make a person happy; they can only let a person know what to try to change and what to cherish in order to be happy. IMO, of course.

  3. GM,"Something could have happened to somebody, by somebody" is a pretty wide net to throw, and that’s assuming the ‘victim’ didn’t make the whole thing up, which is what I tend to think.Don’t forget that one of the accused had an airtight alibi, substantiated by witnesses and ATM receipts.

  4. I’ll have to think about this more. My first thoughts, however, was that feminism is a set of theories and practices and methodologies that explain/analyze why and how social inequality is structured by sex in a particular society. I know I get booted repeatedly for saying so, but it’s my take that feminism isn’t really about anyone’s personal empowerment per se. It’s a way of understanding the world — and if you can and do use your knowledge to live a more insightful life and to create a more equitable shake for yourself, to get angry and busy in equal measures, and to seek justice, do mercy, and all that, then good for you. You’ll probably be a happier person for it. On the other hand, if your feminist practice is limited to merely the blaming (Twisty is a big kidder — she is more an articulate namer and lampooner than a blamer) or feeling embattled or getting angry without getting busy, then you’ll probably be embittered and frustrated and feel stuck in a system you can’t influence. That would make anyone unhappy, feminist or not.It’s often might be more pleasant not to be a feminist. But it wouldn’t be nearly as pleasurable for me.

  5. Yes, that "set of theories and methodology" thing is what I was trying to say about isms not making people happy. I’m just not as articulate about it as Bridgett.

  6. No, you’re right. I am conflating pleasure with happiness. That’s sloppy of me. Especially because I do think that happiness is kind of like rain. It comes when it comes and you can sometimes predict it and sometimes are surprised by it, where as pleasure is something different than that.Bridgett, I both agree with your definition of feminism and think I use the word that way sometimes, but I also believe that my feminism has a goal–to help me understand and counter harmful gender bullshit that hurts people I care about, including me.I’ve been following the whole Random Bird incident, which seems to me to be something of an offshoot of the blow job incident(http://pandagon.net/2006/08/29/fuckholes-of-the-world-unite-and-demand-orgasms/)and here’s what I can’t decide about.Say Random Bird has a handful of readers. I don’t know how many she might have, but I read a lot of feminist blogs and haven’t ever heard of her, so I’m going to say that it’s safe to assume that she’s got quite a few fewer readers than Twisty or Amanda. Is it unfair of the bigger blogs to gang up on her? Would it matter to me except we’re all supposed to be feminists, which means we all might assume we’re working towards similar goals?I see the point of Twisty poking fun at her. But I’m not comfortable with Amanda also getting in on it. And I’m torn because I do believe that, if you put something out here online, you’ve got to expect that people will read it, even, occassionally people who have thousands of readers (Perhaps Gandalph could speak to this, seeing as he’s just gotten a nod from Alas) and that the much bigger blogger might disagree with you.But it seems to me that the skirmish was rightfully between Twisty and Random and if Amanda wanted to get in on it, she could have commented over at Twisty’s place and been a part of the discussion over there.Once she brought it over to Pandagon, though, it felt to me like she was inviting the Pandagon readers not just to check out the fight (because lord knows I love to point y’all to a good fight when it’s happening), but also to laugh at Random.Who, I should say, I do kind of find insufferable.But it felt to me like a line crossing and I don’t know why.I guess because I think there’s a difference between teasing someone to point out where you think they’ve become misguided and laughing and pointing out how misguided someone is.I’m not sure where that line is or how clear it is, even for myself. And I worry I tromp all over it in graceless ways.

  7. ARgh, Ex, I hate it when people pick out a snippet of what I write without taking the entirety into context. I clearly alluded to the "something" and the "someone." So, one of the suspects has an alibi. We don’t really know how airtight that is because all we have is the defense crowing about that, proclaiming that it is airtight. Those highly paid defense lawyers did a good job of doing exactly what needs to be done in high profile criminal cases, start spreading the seeds of reasonable doubt.

  8. I wonder — and I offer this only as a speculation — if it is because we (meaning you and I) hold ourselves to be accountable, honest, and generally compassionate that we expect these to be core values of feminism. But I also wonder if this isn’t where you (and I) sometimes feel a little cheated by the behavior of other women when they are mean or they lie or they let down the side. (If there’s a side to be let down, which is a core assumption of feminism on which a lot depends.) That said, I can’t see the point of doing a public ridicule of someone with whom you don’t agree, feminist or not. It won’t persuade them of their errors and it makes you look petty when the power inequality is so huge, as in the case you describe. If we’re looking to blame, RandomBird is way down the list of "problematic people who need schooled." I’m not ignoring your skepticism about the Duke case; I’m still processing it and am probably closer to GM <hey, no surprise…it’s the law thing> in accepting that rape at law can perhaps look a lot different than the "vaginal penetration plus emission" stereotype that we carry in our heads. It’s also my experience in analyzing sex-encounter suits that there is no unitary Truth to tell and there is no such thing as a disinterested actor anywhere in the legal system.You’re asking some weighty questions about feminist ethics, though. Any feminist ethicists out there?

  9. No feminist ethicist here, unfortunately (I wish). But I will chime in and say that I agree that it did feel like Random Bird got ganged up on once the kerfuffle made it over to Pandagon and PunkAssBlog. Which is a tad weird considering how feminists are supposedly so tuned in to power dynamics and the ways they are abused. That’s not saying Random didn’t deserve to be taken to task for her ridiculousness, but it seemed like a battle best fought between the two original sparring partners, as opposed to the whole Red Rover team. Know whut uh mean?

  10. "So, one of the suspects has an alibi. We don’t really know how airtight that is because all we have is the defense crowing about that, proclaiming that it is airtight."We also have still pictures of the timestamped ATM video showing his face, as well as the cab driver’s statements.http://www.lesjones.com/posts/003250.shtmlhttp://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/430681.htmlAs far as the lack of DNA evidence, the dancer claims she was raped orally, vaginally, and anally for 30 minutes by three men who didn’t use condoms. At one point she told police she spit out semen. Since I don’t believe that’s possible without leaving seminal DNA, I don’t find her story believable.If you’ve read Taylor’s piece you know about the dancer’s contradictory statements and the improper photo lineup that was all members of the lacrosse team with no dummies. If you believe the dancer’s story, on what basis do you believe it, other than her ever-changing word?

  11. Where is the border between "feminists should be compassionate" and "it’s not nice for girls to criticize"? There is one–they’re not the same guideline–but I get leery when I’m told that as a feminist I shouldn’t ridicule someone.On the other hand, I think the piling on Random Bird was overkill. Not because she’s a small blogger, but because she’s hardly the only idiot out there burbling about corsets, blow jobs, what "some feminists" prescribe about sex, etc. And using her–her alone–to stand in for the whole crew makes her responsible for a lot of foolish ideas that probably aren’t hers.On the *other* other hand, if we’re going to start analyzing feminist blogging power dynamics, I see Amanda taking the discussion over to Pandagon as a challenge to Twisty’s blogging power. Maybe B.’s discomfort with that switch has to do with that piece of infighting, not with Random Bird?And on the Duke case: just about everyone will lie about something. But almost no one lies for no reason. If the dancer’s story is a lie, what’s her motivation? I’m not saying she couldn’t have one, but what is it? IIRC, she wasn’t trying to shake anyone down.

  12. The eight of cups has to do with starting out on a journey. If I were reading it (and how I meant it in this case), I’d say that it has to do with realizing when the things you value have become a roadblock to your ability to get where you need to be and the necessity of being willing to recognize that barrier and to turn your back on it and start out in a new direction.I still think that I need to not just recognize that feminism is not a moral position, but actually internalize that.I really feel like feminism has given me a way to live a rich and meaningful life. And since becoming a feminist, I have certainly become a better and more whole person. But I think that I need to detangle the way from the result. Where I am now is better than where I was. It’s hard, but I need to get that this doesn’t mean that the way I got here is inherently good. It’s just a way. The ends don’t justify the means.If I can see feminism as a neutral tool, I think I then won’t be surprised and upset when people don’t end up in the same place I am by using it.I think the other issue here, and it’s one that nm astutely hit on, is that this is all about a very gendered group dynamic.And if these were not feminist women, it’d be a dynamic very easy to read. You could see Random as the outsider who comes to the attention of the popular girls, who is smacked down first by the witty, but seemingly angry girl and then by the Queen Bee, who must make the smackdown extra hard so that not only will the outsider feel sufficiently gotten, but the group dynamic within the popular crowd is maintained.But here we have a group of women who all claim to be and seem to be astute feminists and then we have a larger group of people who are following the situation trying to decide if they should jump in and if so, on what side. And I think all of us are having trouble figuring out what the dynamic is and how we should treat each other.And I, at least, am curious to see if there’s a way for us feminist bloggers to understand ourselves as wrong. I don’t think Twisty ever has to be wrong, because Twisty is a character played by whoever Twisty is in real life. But the line between Amanda Marcotte online and Amanda Marcotte in real life is a lot less clear.A character, maybe, never has to be introspective. But a person who is so insightful on how gender dynamics play out on so many other occassions?I don’t know. I just think that when you have so many commenters all over the place saying "This doesn’t feel right, how this is playing out," that it’s not just that we’re all so ingrained with the patriarchy that we would stand by and let this woman believe she was at fault for feeling coerced into giving a blow-job; that the worry is something else other than that.For me, in part, it’s the second wave feminists in their 50s and 60s I encounter every day who treat the women who are their subordinates like shit. They got some power and they got some breaks and they took them–more power to them–but they aren’t looking to make the way up any easier for the rest of us.And I guess a lot of us are waiting to see if that’s how it’s going to go with this next batch of feminists. I mean, I think I’ve blogged about a lot of stuff and my thoughts about it were not clear or precise or fully-feminist, but I blogged and got it out there and mulled it over and came back to it again and again and I grew from that.And would I have grown from that if some bigger feminist blogger had come along and brought her whole gang down upon me? Probably not.Everyone ought to have the honor of being disagreed with by smart people, but everyone should have the luxury of being allowed to have ideas that are not yet fully formed.I think each of us has sat in meetings or had interactions with men where we felt like we couldn’t get a word in edgewise because he was the man and men talk while women listen.And I think each of us has probably had the misfortune of trying to fight with a man who dismisses our position out of hand because we disagree with him and because he doesn’t have to respect our opinions; he has a dick; we don’t.And I think we imagined that feminist women would not pull that shit on each other when we had disagreements.But, if we don’t fight in the ways we’ve been taught, what will our fighting look like?I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows.And I think that’s why there’s so much anxiety about this particular fight. What exactly is going on here?Are those bloggers falling back into familiar old patterns in order to establish and keep order? If so, will they recognize that and cop to it? If not, why and how is it different?I do think we have obligations to each other, as feminists, and I think it harms the health of the community when those obligations are not met.But I like to mix my personal philosopies–one part feminism with one part romanticized ideas about germanic spirituality with one part other shit which fascinates me, so maybe I’m not in the majority about how we should treat each other.Which is too bad, because, clearly, I’m always right.

  13. nmyes. I thought about posting about motivation, yet thought better of it. Well here goes. I mentioned that I’ve seen too many sexual assault cases involving student athletes over the years, and I’ve seen a good share of fakes. The fibbers usually have a motivation, crass as they may be (one young woman was out for revenge for getting dumped. Another didn’t want her sorority sisters to know she was gettin busy with a black athlete and bugged out when she got busted). I don’t see any motivation, can’t think of one. She hasn’t been seeking to make a mint from the case, and if any bribes were offered she hasn’t accepted.Les,Even in the Charlotte paper you linked to, the cabbie said it seemed to him like someone could have been hurt. You want this guy on the stand testifying in your defense? Yeah, he verifies he saw Seligman, then on cross, he gets killed. I don’t think so, bud.

  14. Perhaps I’m missing a larger point here, but you say:"I can count on one hand the women I know who’ve never felt they were in danger of being hurt by a man, at least once."You seem to be trying to illustrate a powerless feeling women get concerning men and physicality. I’m not sure feeling in danger of being hurt is a good way to make your point. I’m a fairly large man and I can think of more than once I’ve gotten the feeling some other guy was thinking about doing me bodily harm.

  15. I meant that I only know a handful of women who’ve never been sexually assaulted (though most of those assaults didn’t end up in rape). Most every woman I know has lived through that moment where she knew, unless things radically changed in the next minute, she was going to be raped.That’s the physicality I meant. I don’t mean they were walking down a street and got a bad vibe from a guy. I mean, he had his hands on her and she knew this was going some place very bad.Since almost every woman I know has, at least once, found herself in a position that could have led to rape or did lead to rape, when other women say "I was raped" I just don’t find it that hard to believe. In fact, I’m inclined to believe she’s telling the truth. It’s hard for me to imagine that she’s lying because similar things happen to almost every woman.That’s one of the things I’m trying to get at in this post–that I trust when women say they’ve had this common experience and I tend to believe that women would not lie about it.Maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe I want to believe that women are more moral than men.That’s what I’m getting at.Gandalph, I guess that I’m fairly certain something happened, though not as certain as I was about what that something was. I’m fairly certain that that something was perpetrated by some one on the Duke team, but whether it was one of these three? I don’t know.Why would she lie? I don’t know if she is. I’m just no longer as certain that I know the truth of what happened. But let’s just say that everything else folks have said about the evening is true–that they were in a room full of young, drunk, white guys who were shouting racial crap at them while they danced; that they tried to leave because they were afraid and then were persuaded to come back inside where there was more crap going on.That would have been terrifying and some people react in anger to being put in fearful situations.I’m not saying that’s what happened, either. I’m just saying that I was certain about the case based, in large part, on the NYTimes coverage. If that coverage is flawed, then I feel like an ass for throwing around my certainty.And I wonder how much my certainty was rooted in my belief that women don’t lie about being raped, which very well could be and probably is a false belief.

  16. Please don’t apologize, Aunt B. I think I was fully aware that this was a forum that would be a catalyst to make me deal with shit. That’s why I posted it. Hell, I’m going to be getting up in front of hundreds of people every day for a month who have paid money to watch me deal with it. This is hardly the behavior of one who intends to tuck something nice and neatly behind them… You don’t have to be so careful with me, my friend. I am tough.

  17. I think that often times politics of the oppressed turns into this whole idealization of those whom are being oppressed. In fact whole mythologies come from this. People get this idea that because this group suffers from some person with power they are somehow "better" than person in power. More enlightened. More together. And unified. There is a "We". I think people then get solidly disappointed with this turns out not to be true. Women aren’t better than men, they are just in positions of lesser power. When any person or group gains power, they wield it badly. Also, I think a collectivity that occurs while being oppressed isn’t necessarily long lasting. In the end, outside of this dynamic, people really care about maybe five things and this differs from person to person. And generally this is not some consistent ideology not matter how much they they think about it and use it as a frame of reference. At least so far as I have observed. I think this is what you are finding disappointment in, that women aren’t somehow better than men. That they don’t use the power "for good, instead of evil". But why would they? When does anyone do that really(I think one could argue this occurs possibly in the short term but not really in the long term), anyone as in some collective group that organizes purely based on a reaction of an external force?

  18. Plimco, I consider an important part of being friends to be the luxury of being tender with people who don’t need it. So what you’re tough? That doesn’t mean I am not obliged to treat you well.Jacqueline, you’ve got some meaty stuff here I’m not quite sure how to respond to. I’m going to have to give it some thought before I plow through it. But it also then makes me wonder if it’s really so terrible when people say "I’m not a feminist, but…"

  19. Right, but I’m not stupid either, B. I knew what I was doing when I did it. And for you to apologize like I had no idea what I was getting myself into…sort of stung, I guess. Like being over-cautious with a child who doesn’t know any better. I know you had the best of intentions. I’m all about special treatment because of our friendship, but this just came off to me as special treatment because I’m stupid and didn’t know any better. Does that make sense? Anyhow. I’m taking away from what you initially intended to talk about…I’ll get over it.

  20. "But, if we don’t fight in the ways we’ve been taught, what will our fighting look like?"Ooooh, questions like this are why I love this blog. I have no answers to this one, but won’t finding out be fun? Or at least fascinating?I like the speculation here. I like the wit at I Blame the Patriarchy. And there we run into what is probably my own blind spot, as you say that faith in feminists’ goodness is yours. Even though I know that wit is often cruel, I just can’t believe that someone like Twisty, who can do such brilliant extended riffs on foolishness, is mocking out of malice. She’s so enlightening: you laugh, but you also *get it*. Her persona is largely modeled on a zen master, don’t you think? So I cut her a lot of slack mentally, in ways that maybe I shouldn’t.

  21. Ah, Plimco, I see. I meant that more to be a rueful note on the hardest shit that I’ve had to learn, not some overt judgment on you. I think it’s the difference between someone standing waist deep in quicksand saying "Whew, getting into quicksand sucks sometimes!" to another person who’s just stepped into it and someone standing on firm ground saying the same thing.I’m not on firm ground. I wasn’t apologizing to you because I thought you were doing something stupid. I was commiserating with you because you were doing something hard.I do feel bad that I wasn’t clearer, because I wasn’t trying to patronize you.No worries about taking away from the initial discussion. I think this is right on point. How do you disagree with and fight with people you think are on your side?And, shoot, I may be a patronizing jackass.And nm, I do love Twisty, too. So, all of this is very hard for me to sort through my feelings about, as well.I mean, I think there’s something really revolutionary about women’s laughter, and so I support it and love to hear it.But here’s what I think. The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn in my professional life is that I am not my work. I can write stuff that people will tear apart and improve on. I can do stuff and mean well and someone will have to go behind me and clean that up.That’s not about me. I am separate from the stuff that I put out there and the stuff that I put out there is open for discussion and revision.But it sucks at first, to hear that something I’ve done could be better in 80 ways, because it feels like that person is saying I could be better in 80 ways. Of course, that’s not what they’re saying. But it can sometimes feel like that.And when you’re blogging about something deeply personal, something that’s hard for you to talk about, and that you’re not sure how you feel about it?I think it can be terrible to have it held up for scrutiny.Not that it doesn’t deserve to be held up.But I think I’m uncomfortable with how much this current fight is about who Random Bird is as a person (as it seems to be over at Pandagon) and not just holding her work up for mulling over (as it seems to be at Twisty’s).But I could be wrong. I know these fights annoy a lot of people, but I find them fascinating.

  22. That’s because Twisty is a better teacher than Amanda, at least for the kind of learning I enjoy. And because she exerts more stylistic control over her commenters. (By which I mean that her readers self-select for appreciation of her kind of humor, and are more likely to comment in kind.)And I’m going to speculate that when feminists find new ways to fight, we’ll find lots of them. Just like men, we’re going to have a bunch of different styles. Tough/tender, life/work, embracing/rejecting power distinctions are just the tip of the iceberg.

  23. jaqueline,Historically oppressed can succumb to that thinking, often because of the rhetoric that supports their move towards liberation. However, I wonder if that isn’t offset by internalized feelings of inferiority in some cases? Women and POC have traversed that dichotomy pretty well in this country IMO, moving towards a more balanced (for lack of a better word) stance.>When any person or group gains power, they wield it badly.Thought I was cynical . . . dang.

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