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Women’s Liberation

May 23, 2008

Quite a while ago and older lesbian sister said that she was not a feminist and it got me thinking. She said that ‘Feminism’ was a word that she viewed with suspicion, that it felt to her as though the word ‘feminist’ was coming from the universities, that grassroots wimmin were women’s liberationists, that ‘feminism’ and ‘feminist’ were words that did not gel with her when she first encountered them.

Back in the 1970’s there was this incredible, world-altering, mind-altering phenomenon. It was called the Women’s Liberation Movement. The women who participated in this movement were not feminists, they were women’s libbers. They were radical women, they were angry women. They were pissed off, dykey, frigid, man-hating, hairy, militant and they were loud. They were low-class wimmin, they were Black, Native and migrant wimmin, they were wimmin with disabilities, they were wimmin that men have tried to erase from HIStory. But I remember them and I honour them. They are the women whose footsteps I follow. They are the women whom I owe for my own existence.

So this was meant to be a post about why I am no longer calling myself a Feminist and how I am now a Women’s Libber. It is my thoughts on Debs’ post combined with my feelings after listening to SheCodes, Attorneymom, Professor Tracy and Tami on The Queen’s Council Podcast. I think Heart had a hand in it. Oh, and I suppose I should also credit the many, many Athena’s who have linked to my Joss Whedon posts too.

I’m not sure why the rational essay I was writing in my head turned into this. But it did so… read on if you dare.

***

And now, as I come to remembering mySelf and the Goddess. As the full moon rises anew, drawing the night sky, the stars and the dark mother calls. I know who I am.

I have never wanted to be Zeus or Dionysus. I do not follow the destructive path of Yahweh or Jesus. I hate the trinityfathersonholyspirit forged on the broken, twisted memory of the Triple Goddess: Crone, Mother, Maiden. I know who I am. I remember.

I know who she is. That Dark Mother. She is me, she is all women. Re-membering. Knowing. Be-ing. Be-coming. And her name was never ‘Feminist’.

This candyfloss feminism. White, narrow, male-stream, patriarchy-pleasing, dance to Dionysus’s beguiling music, bow to the thunder of Zeus almighty. I know who she is too. Athena. Athena. Woman without self. Woman dis-membered. Woman without memory.

I know her anger. She who. Loves her God the Father. Whether his name is Jesus, Daddy, Husband. Whether his name is Joss Whedon, Che Guevara, Zeus Almighty, Henry Jenkins. I know her hate. It is connected to my own. That mirror that shows up herself and her sisters. We will never be measure to man. Woman. Hate. Woman. Athena, I love you still. Though I bleed from the wounds you are forced to inflict on me. Athena. You are not The Dark Mother.

Shall I name, She whose eyes pierce through solid darkness? She who clears the mind of fog and confusion. She who walks in Darkness. The skin of her, wearing the night sky, woman and earth. Earth and sky. I can believe.

That woman. Her name. Is Afrekete, Kali, Hecate. Her name is Metis, Spider-Woman, Mother Eingana.

My name is feminist no longer. I walk as a woman, just a woman, hand in hand with the Dark Mother. We walk together, as women, towards liberation.

I do not seek equality with those who wouldst rape. I do not seek equality to those who would plunder for the sake of pleasure, laugh at destruction. I do not seek equality with those that would murder, buy women as sex, wank to women’s dis-memberment, take pleasure from the destruction of Our Dark Mother.

I do not seek equality with killers, with those who hate my kind, my grandmother’s skin, my mother’s rage. If I name myself, if I am named, feminist, I am not whole. I must deny. That Dark part of me. I must deny/hide/pretendpretend… She does not exist. I do not exist.

But I am woman. I am whole AS I AM. I am equal TO MYSELF. I am hand in hand with Darkness. Manifesting goddess. Hecate of the Underworld, Kali of Chaos, Spider-Woman, who weaves the Earth, Afrekete, the Unruly, Eingana, the Serpent mother, life and death. Who are you Athena? Why do you seek equality with those who hate you? Why do you seek equality with him that harms? When you are Goddess, when Our Dark Mother calls, why do you seek comfort from Dionysus? How do you answer Zeus Almighty, when he calls?

And in your ignorance, you turn away from She, who knows that there is elementary power in a closed fist and Elemental Power in and open palm. And in your ignorance you seek what you cannot afford to gain. There is no beauty in the places that you seek fulfillment. He. Man. He does not love you the way that She can.

Feminist can be your name Athena. I want another name. I want a name that bleeds her guts for women. I want a name that bares her teeth for women. I want a name that does my rage justice. I want a name that re-members our ancient mother.

MySelf.

Goddess.

Women’s Liberation.

23 comments

  1. Aleccto, I love you. “Why do you seek equality with those who hate you?” is such a great, fundamental question. I really want to know what the answer would be, what the Athenas would say to that – what answer could there be? That by becoming equal with them they will no longer hate us? It will never happen.

    “I want a name that bleeds her guts for women. I want a name that bares her teeth for women. I want a name that does my rage justice. I want a name that re-members our ancient mother.”

    Me too, me too. This is such powerful writing. I love Spider Woman, I first read about her in my 20′s, and Hecate, Kali, all the crones, the death goddesses. Changing Woman’s pretty awesome, too. Anyway, sorry, I’m wittering about goddesses now! Great stuff, Allecto – really, truly, great inspiring writing. xxx


  2. [...] Respect, Sisterhood, Women-Only by Debs on May 23rd, 2008 Charlie’s had enough and Allecto is no longer a feminist.   I am in full agreement with what both of these women say.  It is in the nature of women to [...]


  3. I can’t help wondering if it matters what we call ourselves? Are we now going to enter a new stage where those of us who still use the term ‘feminist’ are going to be looked down upon for not being good enough, because the name we use doesn’t sound like it ‘bleeds its guts’ for women? :/


  4. Awesome and thought-provoking post, Allecto. Thank you for that. It gives me pause.


  5. Debs, love back. :)

    Hey write about Goddess’ all you want. I still don’t know nearly enough about womyn’s spirituality.

    Yeah, I wonder what that Athena’s would say to that. I think the answer is obvious though. They want power and liberties that they don’t have and they see men as having that power and liberty. But men’s power is not true freedom.

    Anji said: I can’t help wondering if it matters what we call ourselves?

    No, I don’t think it really matters.

    Are we now going to enter a new stage where those of us who still use the term ‘feminist’ are going to be looked down upon for not being good enough, because the name we use doesn’t sound like it ‘bleeds its guts’ for women? :/

    No. That was not the point of this post. Nor was it what I was trying to say. I was being critical of the would feminist, but to me radical feminism IS women’s liberation. My sisters are still women who call themselves radical feminists. I still am a radical feminist. I really wrote this because many, many women have told me that I am anti-feminist and that they are the real feminists. That is ok with me. I do not need to own the word feminist. The Athena’s can own that word if they wish. Honestly, I couldn’t care less what other women call themselves. It is what they do that counts. If you are a feminist working towards women’s liberation then you are a women’s libber too.

    Thanks Lara.


  6. Allecto, hello again you brilliant writer; I’ve posted (and emailed you) as JB, not lately on Heart’s blog (perhaps for the same type of reasons you’ve here displayed). It’s been a few months since we communicated online but your words remain compelling and strong. I deeply honor where you’re going with women’s liberation. What if we joined consciousness as women for women around the world in the name of the Dark One, She Who Stirs the Cauldron of Change? At the time of each full moon, and every night before we fall asleep… Spiderwoman, Hecate, Kali, I agree, we seem to be having a powerful synchronicity.

    Today, before finding this link to you, I felt moved to read women-for-women’s blogs and made a long, yet-to-be-approved post at “maggiehaysagainstporn” which ends with:

    Wherever we live, we can join together in the best of all intentions to end patriarchy and its chief sacrament, porn. Metaphysical practitioners use the tools of consciousness to change outward circumstances. What could it hurt to follow that lead, our own way, to cast out patriarchy from our own consciousness, and claim cosmological power instead to live and love, in freedom and dignity. It’s not religion, but a form of spiritual protest by consciousness, to invoke the infinite energy. Or if you want to use an image from women’s spirituality (and the culture of India), what would Kali do? Erase porn, replace patriarchy, restore womankind. Empower us to live in happy peace. We can join together in this best of all intentions, all around the globe. Freedom for womankind, a meme of our own.


  7. Probably, in my tech-un-savvy, I didn’t correctly post the above-referenced comment on the “maggiehaysagainstporn” blog … Kali help me, it may take a miracle for me ever to really like computers and not make mistakes. Ah, well, Allecto, in case you’d like to put my words here with your eloquent appeal to the Dark Mother and Her Multi-faceted Demonstrations on Our Behalf as We Are Who She Is, the first part of the comment had (lengthily) read:

    Folks who do not recognize global patriarchy’s misogyny are inclined to wring their hands and ask, “what were they thinking to … [publish some new example of misogyny as hateful image against womankind, be it porn, adverts or T-shirts].” Instead of asking “how could they,” we can all decide to see [about porn], as Andrea Dworkin did before us. (Would those women who read and are moved by the truth of Dworkin’s words be disparaged as “Dworkinites” if oppressors and tokens were not trying to shame other women away from reading Dworkin’s truth about misogyny?)

    To see the truth, spend ten minutes online. You no longer need to pay to see the degradation. Check out some online porn (woman as holes for penetration, to be taught a lesson of punishment by male violence). Free to men worldwide, online, you’ll see the truth.

    In the scale of public persuasion, where pictures say a thousand words, the violent-porn-hatred of the worst of men against all women is trumping feminist sensibility and normalizing masochism by women (just another form of misogyny). The fundamentalist religious types come out against porn, but push another form of male supremacy in the name of an exclusive Him-ness and male leadership. 180 degrees from sick is still sick.

    Violent porn’s power in the male mind as anti-woman propaganda is confirmed by media attempts to normalize porn as harmless fun. Recent popcorn movies, for instance, falsely make porn seem like a happy romp in the adult play room where nobody gets hurt. The Bank Job, for instance, set in London, a major market, features a gently likeable male character as a porn-film actor whose filmed exploits put him between two laughing, buxom belles. Drillbit Taylor, set in LA, shows a Santa Monica freeway-driving mom giving an attractive young male bum a buck with instructions to the effect, “not for food, buy some porn.” As if porn is no more than bouncing bosom laughter for immature dudes who need a positive vibe.

    Outside the movies, in major-market LA, publicly funded sculpture features the woman’s torso (punching bag) without head, limbs, feet and hands in Venice, CA, a “progressive” stronghold, Beverly Hills and UCLA (in the name of art). There is no equivalent public sculpture of a headless, legless, armless male torso, breast and penis on display. Tell that to the pomo and sex-pozze brigade next time any of them tell you we’re past gender as problem.

    Men in charge know. They simply lie about what they know they’re doing. They call it art or free speech in the system of patriarchy they made and they maintain. (And, yes, of course hierarchy in patriarchy pits some men against other men, but in terms of gender, all but token or compliant women are the enemies of all patriarchal men.) Make no mistake that men run their own game and do not intend to change. Otherwise, they would never keep it going.

    Women are so innately powerful that only by culturally oppressing us as gender caste to the point of soul-shattering trauma can the patriarchy stay in charge. Violent porn is one powerful tool of cultural oppression, perhaps the most powerful agent against womankind as a whole because it materially infects the minds of men, meme-style.

    Porn focuses less on sexual “fun” than on bondage of women, punishment (“discipline”) of women, roping, raping, cutting, spitting and splitting, mouth-anal-vaginal penetration by three men to one woman, gang banging, choking, gouging, branding with hot irons, and every day, newly devised ways to hurt women proliferate online. A ten-minute online survey will show you the truth, and set you free. Freedom to see what they were thinking when they published that latest hateful image takes the “hard” out of facing global misogyny.

    From the misogyny of the global patriarchy we still have the courage to name, women indeed deserve liberation.


  8. Thanks for the explanation Allecto, I think I ‘get it’ more now. :)


  9. I’ve read this maybe 20 times now.
    No great commentary to add allecto, you’ve covered it.
    Marvelous.


  10. Thanks pisaquari. Now I’m blushing. :D


  11. Pisaquari, me too! I keep coming back for another look, “was it really that good?” *reads again* “bloody hell, yes it was!” Allecto, I might print this off and put it up on the wall somewhere I will see it everyday. :)


  12. I also find comfort in the dark Mother, the milisecond before consciousness, before birth. The place where there is no such thing as equality because it’s not even a concept that needs a word.

    Beautiful writing. So much I need to take in from that.

    PS. Thank you for the entry of my site on the Blog Roll as I will return the favour.

    Sisters Forever

    ~ Digital Dryad


  13. Oh, you are all too nice. Honestly, I hate publishing my creative theory. I think that women will think it is stupid or cheesy or something. Your praise means a lot to me so thanks heaps.

    Welcome Diana, I hope you enjoy reading. I certainly enjoy your blog.


  14. Yep, it takes guts to throw it out there.

    Nice job!


  15. Women’s liberationist, freedom fighter, feminist, woman’s woman. I don’t mind any of these descriptions; but I do think there is a problem of feminism leaving many women feeling silenced, and outside the movement. And we are going to need all women, from all walks of life, if we one day hope to win our revolution.

    Its such a good piece of writing Allecto and fierce. Your Goddess sounds like mine; not about individualism, but about the well being of all things.

    I believe the message of the Goddess is alliance among women;
    in our alliance lies her power.


  16. We need to see, to savor, to satisfy ourselves with your words, Allecto. Thank you for writing about spiritual power for womankind. You have done so, most eloquently.

    I, too, found it appalling to learn in adulthood that the imperialist trinity of Christendom had reversed and engrafted itself on predecessor Goddess trinities. Maybe we still do not know the entire story by what feminist scholarship has attempted to unearth. [Barbara Walker, from a feminist Jungian/mythological perspective, wrote a fascinating compilation in her 1985 book, The Crone (Woman of Age, Wisdom and Power). Put the writing with what Mary Daly has written about Nemesis as change agent, and you shiver with anticipation.]

    It may require unmediated consciousness, synchronicity or luck to reveal herstory that man-made history (and media-morphing modern trendiness) attempts to bury.

    The Darkness of Her Chaos seems another, fourth aspect — beyond Trinity to Quadrinity — which ruling men may have buried beneath the trinity they brought out to be HE-HE-HE.

    She who is (1) the Dark One and (2) our Mother and (3) our Daughter and (4) our Crone (in cycles of caring before life begins anew) will, by her divine Quadrinity, trump the linear limitations of: (1) male-conceived “quarters” (from coins to hovels); (2) four-point crosses to bear; and (3) divisions (against clan circles and spirals of consciousness) into male cruelty that would draw and quarter our bodies, our minds, our creativity.

    My daughter, when four years old, made up a nighty-night saying that made no rational sense at the time (before my awakening to women’s liberation) — but maybe she was dipping into an infinite well when she spontaneously said:

    “Everything to you in quadriplicate and infinity, and everything about you is …” [ she was four, so the words were "cute and pretty," not to get into the societal prevalence of "pretty" privilege --- at that age, she found lizards, dandelions and dust balls "pretty," and still does, bless her].

    For years, it was our nighty-night closing to one another: “ … quadriplicate and infinity … and please say ‘ditto.’ ”

    In every fiber of myself, I feel Her: Wisdom, Kali, aka Divine Mother who must prevail, She who is All of us who dare to face the darkness. She is Every Being that Lasts and Loves … when we recall our past and remember our future.


  17. I think I’m going to have to read you more often. The reason I don’t is because for some stupid reason I keep getting you confused with someone else, with whom I always end up thinking is a total dork.

    Okay, I finally bookmarked you with an extra reminder attached. Should have done that a long time ago.

    I too decided to distance myself from the word “feminist” and even “radical feminist” because neither of them really fit me. I don’t think sexism is caused solely and exclusively by cultural conditioning; some of it has to be arising spontaneously — else sexism would have ended long ago and men wouldn’t fight so hard to keep their bloody porn, etc. I’m tired of pretending.


  18. You know, it just occurred to me that for thousands of years, men insisted women were inherently inferior but still proclaimed to love them. Yet women can’t admit that men are inherently sexist, because then it would mean — what? –That women are loving people who are inherently inferior?

    It’s what men have done for thousands of years.

    Sometimes I crack myself up.


  19. *I keep getting you confused with someone else* on other message boards. And then I think this blog is THEIR blog, and refuse to visit.

    I’m stupid. lol


  20. You’re awesome too Andrea. Hmm I wonder who my less evil twin is?


  21. [...] at Gorgon Poisons, in her post Women’s Liberation, explains why she is no longer a feminist but rather a Women’s Libber: My name is feminist no [...]


  22. Ok I am truly nuts. I found this post, thought it was beautiful, had to say so, and then realized that I KEEP FINDING it again and again and again.

    Should probably just print it out and hang it up somewhere.

    Ah, the “evil twin” is not so much evil, as I am unable to communicate with patience that which is teh slightly stoopid. My problem, really…


    • Thanks so much m Andrea. *HUGS* I’ve really missed your blogging. Hint, hint!!! Please blog more.



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