rebecca l. eisenberg on Tue, 17 Jun 1997 11:37:11 +0200 (MET DST)

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Re: <nettime> Translation: The vagina is the boss on internet

I just wanted to note briefly, that there is hardly any statement that I
find more insidious and offensive, when not outright simplistic and
apologist, to insist that "usually feminists are transplanting their
>>accidents, their personal experiences, i.e. misunderstandings with their
>>partners into common market."

Feminists are reponding to *institutional* sexism, and fighting against
sexism constitutes neither the airing of dirty laundry nor the promotion of
sexism itself.   Many people are feminist before they even have any
"partners" to be "angry" about -- for example, my first feminist awakening
involved the way that *teachers* treated me in math and science classes in
my pre-teen years.  There's no bitterness over boyfriends there; rather, it
is justified anger at a world that assigns females a presumption of
incompetence while assigning males, at the same time, a presumption of
competence.   The goal is to break down barriers and promote equality, and
I think that you badly misrepresent feminism as it is known to the great
majority of people, both male and female, who identify as feminist, by
insisting otherwise.

That said, I did actually have an objection to the circulated "Vagina"
post.  In my opinion, as well as my best understanding of the nature of
biology and human sexuality, the female body part that is most analagous to
the penis is the *clitoris* rather than the vagina.  It is a fairly common
complaint among feminist scholars (and has been for a while, in particular
in reaction to Freud's terrifyingly absurd assumptions about female
sexuality) that a focus on the vagina, rather than on the clitoris or the
vulva in general, looks at female sexuality from the point of view of a
penis in search of a hole.  This is not to insist that the vagina is
irrelevant to sexuality for all women, but rather, it is to make the
argument that, if you are going to reclaim space for women, and then
identify women with the sexual organ where their sexual response is
generally considered to be located, the clear choice would have been
clitoris rather than vagina.


At 9:11 AM +0200 6/17/97, Anne de Haan wrote:
>At 16:06 16-06-97 +0200, you wrote:
>>Good explanation of the thing I'm more and more calling sick. More of it
>>I don't understand, but usually feminists are transplanting their personal
>>accidents, their personal experiences, i.e. misunderstandings with their
>>partners into common market. So their goal is make war not love (I'm not
>>hippy, so don't worry), if it's not another woman, of course. So is this a
>>form of solidarity or just a way of expressing their sexual behavior.
>>Plain gender, pure sex and nothing else. I don't think relationships
>>should be built or focused on that. It's very animalic. And even less, I
>>don't think excusses on political or social engagements should be raised
>>from plain personal - intimate thing. It takes (at least) two for any kind
>>of relation, communication. And here goes Internet, interactivity, etc.
>>There's never just one who takes the blame, even when it's man.
>>And I'm ignorant to all 'women only' projects. It sounds like 'white
>>only'. Sometimes I'm mad, sometimes I'm laughing at it. When women are
>>pointing out just their vagina (like feminists do) they make a very bad
>>reputation of themselves, and all women of course. This is plain racism
>>and pure agression. Make them read Camille Paglia.
>>Where are there heads, their brains, their feelings, their emotions, if
>>just vagina or penis is all that matters? So feminists are making animals
>>out of women, even if I think that animals are more intelligent than some
>>of them. Yes, I like Duchamp, I like Gertrude Stein, I like Orlan,
>>I like Stelarc, I like Beatles, I like Spice Girls, I like ninties, the
>>age of transsexuality and androginity and nature, that made genders. I'm
>>heterosexual and I'm not pointing it out whenever I'm talking to audience
>>I'm not making my political state out of it. It's ridiculous to be based
>>just on sexual orientation or even sexual needs, on something between our
>>legs. There are many 'hot lines' for that. Let's be civilised and maybe


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