Did you ever just boggle at a comment? This snippet is from the ‘Dear the People’ blog.  DtP and I are having a discussion of sorts about radical feminism and what it purportedly is, and is not.  The discussion is quite, erm… interesting as DtP doesn’t seem to realize that they live withing a patriarchal society and it has, whether they acknowledge it or not, shaped who they are and how they act within said society.

Read the quote, the statements in bold are mine.

Feminists realize though that each woman must strike her own patriarchal bargain within society and do what she must to survive.”

Will you die if you don’t strike a bargain with this purported patriarchy? I’m a female. I don’t find myself harmed by the so-called patriarchy.

“The choice women face is how to deal with the fact that they are treated as the submissive class in society and their base humanity is always in question

Really? When in American history did women ever face a question to their humanity? If women are viewed as so sub-human, why is it that crimes against females are considered much more horrifying than those committed against men? Yes, women are submissive – to the law. Men, women, children, adults, old, and young must submit to authority of one form or another.

*record skip…*

How does one even get to this place?  Asserting that patriarchy hasn’t harmed them personally and what is the big deal with it?  Where does one even start with that and what society did you grow up in? I want in.

Let’s be clear here, this is not to criticize DtP for the views she holds.  That is not our place, but rather, how can the case be made respectfully to illustrate how patriarchy affects us all, and there is little to be gained from not acknowledging its role in society.

I think that in many cases it is easier to choose not to see the systematic obstacles and biases that severely curtail the experiences and life trajectories of women in our society.  After all, who wants to plumb the depths of their subordinate status, witness their oppression, and realize that they are not regarded as fully human in society?  Certainly not happy rainbows and unicorns revelations, but is it worth the psychic energy necessary to sublimate these societal realities into a happy patina of ‘things are okay in society and I’m mostly not a part of class of people who are treated as less then human’?

Patty Ramsen wrote this on internalized misogyny:

“Women all over the world are dealing with internalized misogyny that puts them in opposition with other women and themselves. Some of them think less of women as a whole and place their faith in the opinions of men. Others have been raised to believe that men are superior and women are inferior. Women receive misogynistic messages from all fronts, so battling against it is constant. The fight never ends. You can excise your misogyny, but first, you have to admit that you have it so that you can pinpoint the toxic behaviors and belief systems that created it in the first place.”

And of course, Andrea Dworkin from Right Wing Women:

     “Right-wing women have surveyed the world: they find it a dangerous place. They see that work subjects them to more danger from more men; it increases the risk of sexual exploitation. They see that creativity and originality in their kind are ridiculed; they see women thrown out of the circle of male civilization for having ideas, plans, visions, ambitions. They see that traditional marriage means selling to one man, not hundreds: the better deal. They see that the streets are cold, and that the women on them are tired, sick, and bruised. They see that the money they can earn will not make them independent of men and that they will still have to play the sex games of their kind: at home and at work too. They see no way to make their bodies authentically their own and to survive in the world of men.

     They know too that the Left has nothing better to offer: leftist men also want wives and whores; leftist men value whores too much and wives too little. Right-wing women are not wrong. They fear that the Left, in stressing impersonal sex and promiscuity as values, will make them more vulnerable to male sexual aggression, and that they will be despised for not liking it. They are not wrong. Right-wing women see that within the system in which they live they cannot make their bodies their own, but they can agree to privatized male ownership: keep it one-on-one, as it were. They know that they are valued for their sex— their sex organs and their reproductive capacity—and so they try to up their value: through cooperation, manipulation, conformity; through displays of affection or attempts at friendship; through submission and obedience; and especially through the use of euphemism—“femininity, ” “total woman, ” “good, ” “maternal instinct, ” “motherly love. ”

    Their desperation is quiet; they hide their bruises of body and heart; they dress carefully and have good manners; they suffer, they love God, they follow the rules. They see that intelligence displayed in a woman is a flaw, that intelligence realized in a woman is a crime. They see the world they live in and they are not wrong. They use sex and babies to stay valuable because they need a home, food, clothing. They use the traditional intelligence of the female—animal, not human: they do what they have to to survive.”

Andrea Dworkin, Right Wing Women

   I couldn’t find who said the quote about women not wanting to accept the reality of their situation, only because in doing so would only reveal how deeply misogyny is rooted in society.   Feel free, kind readers to help me out. :)