Fuck Laura Mulvey

My name is Mish and I am a feminist. I have not had a feminist rant in 3 weeks and 3 days….my name is Mish and I have a problem. My problem is not that I am a feminist, as a feminist I believe that women should be accorded equal status to men. I see that this is a good thing for both men and women. My problem is not that I am treated as a second class citizen in my home country, at least not until I declare my feminism.

My name is Mish and I am a feminist. I have a problem and that is that I am not a femnazi. If I were a femnazi then I could subscribe to the utter crap that seems to be western feminism today. If I were a femnazi then I could join my sisters in proclaiming that all men everywhere always automatically treat women like shit. If only I were a femnazi then I would feel no guilt about my statement of feminism, about my beliefs. But because of the existence of these militant, not always (sadly) ignorant women I do feel guilt over my feminism.
By the early nineties in Britain most of the inequalities between the sexes were, at least publicly, levelled. By the early nineties in Britain most male attitudes were in favour of these inequalities being levelled. I do not live in the same world as my mother, I most certainly do not live in the same world as my grandmother or great grandmother (a left wing political activist). So why the hell am I still standing here clutching to the feminism like it was somehow needed?

Because it is. Because I have a problem. And my problem is that I believe that an identity cannot be stereotyped, that people are all influenced by social factors but that the core of identity comes from within.

My name is Mish and I am a feminist. I have not had a feminist rant in 3 weeks and 3 days. I have a problem…if I were a transexual I would not pass most doctors ideas of how I should be living as a woman. (according to two MTF transexuals I met on the train the other day) I don’t look womanly enough, I don’t dress girly enough, if I wasn’t born with boobs and bits there’d be nobody to give them to me.

My name is Mish and I have a problem, in order to defend womanhood, what it meant to be a woman was narrowed, cosolidated and declared as the truth and now in the west all of those lovely feminist theories take it as read that being a woman only means being one thing and being a man means one thing and all inter-gender relationships are based off these things. We are boxed in by the labels our elder sisters gave us to try to save us. We are enclosed by the femnazis slowly destroying all meaning inherent in both genders. We are more than our bodies true, but gender is encased in our bodies, encoded in our physicality and our identity though shaped partially by our bodies and our society comes from a place far deeper within us than either our genitalia or family background.

My name is Mish and I have a problem; I don’t conform to anyones idea of what it is to be a woman. I don’t view art according to male gaze theory, and you know what? I never met a man who did.

Identity and theories of identity are stifleing the feminist cause. The world is full of bigotry and real crimes against women and when we as feminists try to open our mouths to try and defend, to try and inform, to try and prevent then we are stifled. We are stifled by the femnazis, by the women who read some critical essay by Laura fucking Mulvey and believed it to be the truth. Not only that but believed it to be the only possible truth and now our cause feels almost lost because the feminist voices are drowned out by the screams of the femnazi who is slowly killing the multiplicity of the female identity with her shrill cries.

27 thoughts on “Fuck Laura Mulvey

  1. I disagree Jason, certainly we are more than ‘this crude matter’ but we are also of it as well. Bodies matter, souls matter and I think that discounting one for the other (whichever way round it goes) is just as troublesome for the individual identity concerned.

  2. true, partly, but by making a song and dance about skin colour, genitalia, sexuality, class, or anything else that segregates one soul from the next ,we are straying away form the key issue; that each of us is equal in worth underneath.

  3. But people use those issues to divide one soul from the next, surely by making a song and dance about precisely those things we are saying it’s ok to be black, white, green, male, female, androngynous, gay, straight, bi, asexual and everything else. How else are we supposed to fight predjudice and segregation based on those terms?

  4. Daaang. That makes me want to write this:
    My name is Skimble and while I don’t call myself much of anything, I suppose you could say I have feminism tendancies…if that is such a thing. I prefer to be more vague on the whole issue. I like categorizing about as much as I enjoy watching paint dry in the rain.
    But I wholly support anyone elses opinion…so long as you do not ram it down my throat or force me to chant it. To each their own!
    Mish….you make my head spin when you write these things.

  5. "It’s okay for me to have a vagina." screams the feminist. "I have a vagina. vagina. vagina. vagina."

    reinforce the fact that there’s a difference and you’ll be playing catch-up forever. As the those who consider themselves superior will forever demand proof that you are their equal.

    "We’re all the same fudemntally equal in worth and power."

    Underminds the dominant ideology by not focusing on difference, but by focusing on whats the same.
    Jeez, it was the moral of the first Pokemon movie. So its obviously not hard for ten year olds to understand.

  6. It’s not the difference that should create the notion of superiority or inferiority.

    Concentrating on the similarities is something I’ve understood as being the first step towards equality.

    Admitting and taking pride and pleasure in the differences between us, which add to the interesting diversity in which we live, should be, I think the next step.

    We know we have things in common, but we are not all the same. We should not live in a society that automatically assumes difference = inferiority/superiority.

    I think that in the UK we have taken that ten year old’s step, and I think that its past time to move on. Knowing that we’re all different in a variety of ways and embracing that difference whilst still acknowledging that we are all of equal worth should surely be a worthy goal now?

  7. "It’s not the difference that should create the notion of superiority or inferiority." Agreed. But sadly, it is.

    By trying to prove that your minority is equal to the oppressors majority, you are fighting on his terms. he is directing the battle and you are striking only whilst he allows.

    By saying that his majority is no different than your minority, the oppressing force has nothing to stand on.

  8. It would also be lieing. My minority is equal to the majority.

    Do you really think we aren’t ready to take the next step? Concentrating on the similarities will get us part of the way certainly but until we can celebrate the differences we are not truly living in a world without segregation.

    By giving the oppressor nothing to stand on we are not making and effort to change his mistaken belief that difference is a reason to discriminate. Surely we would rather educate to change beliefs rather than ignore them . The last thirty (and more) years in the West were spent educating in similarities.

    We have a base, now lets celebrate the difference, there is a base.

    In other parts of the world sure it’s still a case of educating in similarities but there is comparatively little discrimination across enough of the Western Nations to start understanding difference rather than ignoring it in favour of similarities.

    I have a vagina, you have a penis, under the skin theres no difference in value but theres a visible difference and that’s what caused the discrimination in the first place. So lets figure out why people think that visible differences make a difference in worth, and lets change that.

  9. what next step?! Who the fuck mentioned a next step? getting everyone to agree that the different sexes, colours, races, beliefs are equal is a step behind waking up and realising that we are all brothers and sisters, equal in worth.

    I think you need to shut up about penii’ and vaginas and look at what counts. Minds, and hearts and humanity – something relevent that matters, something that all humans have equal potential for and access to.

    addendum; you do know what segregation means right? Celebrating difference is a reinforcement of segregation. A possitive one, yes, but still a segregation.

  10. This is fascinating stuff…even though I don’t get half of it.

    Jason, can you tell me in whose eyes you believe we are all equal in worth? Or is that a philosophical or deist sort of point of view?

  11. I mentioned a next step, earlier in this conversation.
    I said that I believed that focusing on what is the same was the first step in, as you said, undermining the oppressing majority.
    But then I stated that I believed that that was only a first step in dismissing segregation from our society. By concentrating on whats the same you get people to admit that the same things have equal power and worth and that mind and heart and spirit, as you said, are equal in whatever packaging they come in.

    But, when we are all saying yes we are equal we are ignoring the packaging differences which is what people had a problem with in the first place. We have samenesses yes, we also have differences, celebrate the similarities I see as a first step towards integrated society, celebrate difference as well as (not instead of) the similarities thus providing more tolerace and more diverse mixture of tolerance and we have my second step.

    Segregation as I understand it means separation (of chemicals or people) usually along boundaries of actual or percieved similarities.

    Celebrating difference within a single community would not be separation in my book but rather integration. We are two souls, our similarity within a process of segregation brings us together. You are male I am female, our difference within a process of integration brings us together.

    It is easy for people to like what is alike to them, so I think the first step towards integration is to bypass the differences, it is harder to like or tolerate what is different (though that becomes easier after understanding that there are samenesses as well as differences) so I think that makes a second step.

    But we are argueing from two opposed viewpoints J, as far as I remember you think that soul is more important than body and I think they are of equal worth in each lifetime that the soul passes through. You think that everybody is the same, I think that everybody is the same and different. This could be a long argument my friend.

  12. as far as I can tell, your stance is that men have penii, women have vaginas, so lets celebrate that difference.

    My stance is penii and vagina’s are both something that humans have, so why make a fuss?

    You’re right. this will not end anytime soon

  13. Why make a fuss? Because they’re a part of what it means to be human, they’re fun and beautiful and I want to tell the world how fantastic it is to be human. To have a body and a soul in all their many forms.

    I truly believe that if more people thought it was fantastic to be a human being, to have and enjoy their bodies then there would be less violence and crimes against those bodies.

    By crimes against those bodies I mean assaults, rapes, murders and general violence.

  14. so why not celebrate ear lobes. Like Vagina’s some people have them and others don’t. Why don’t the lobed humans nonce about in the street flapping their ear lobes crying ‘huzzah! huzzah for my superfluous flap of skin and fat’

  15. Would you object just as strongly to the celebration of the earlobe as you seem to the vagina? Or is it the fact that it’s genitalia rather than it’s part of the physical body that bothers you?

    Personally I celebrate and bejewel my vagina and my earlobes…however to answer your very specific point:

    I happen to think that the vagina is more important that an earlobe. Its a part of the body that defines gender, something that plays an important role in self-identity within our society. Its a part of the body that allows the birth of more humans. Its a part of the body which can enjoy sex (either as precursor to birth, covered by my previous point, or just for fun and pleasure). As a practising wiccan I also find perculiar magical significance in the vagina as well as other parts of the body, however that is not of general relevance.
    As a very physical signifyer of gender I find the celebration of the vagina in particular also of political relevance.

    But as a more general point I don’t believe that the vagina should be celebrated exclusively. Obviously one of the problems with it being celebrated exclusively is that it does carry overtones of sex (not that I object to that!) and to see the body in purely sexual terms is just as bad to my mind as seeing it as inferior to the soul. However the vagina has other tones as well and I believe that they are not lost to the sex issue in the celebration of the vagina.

  16. Yes, if someone started a parade for earlobes I would be equally offneded. ‘We have earlobes look at us’ would rattle my cage just as much. This has nothing to do with prudishness or even the act of sex at all.

    Quote: "I happen to think that the vagina is more important that an earlobe. Its a part of the body that defines gender, something that plays an important role in self-identity within our society."

    So, you’re saying a vagina is more important than an earlobe. It defines us. So not only do you judge people by their physical apparatus, you pay special atention to the genetalia. Precicely how does that make you any different to victorian men claiming that the lack of a penis makes a human (read as woman) les able to understand science?

  17. Vaginas are nothing but a moist hole, designed for the unique purpose of putting penises IN, and taking babies OUT. Whether or not the vaginas owner chooses to do this or not is completely up to her – And no-one else but her! If she chooses to never ever have babies, or never ever have sex, or be a lesbian, or enjoy a number of vibrating tools, that is completely up to her. Same for me. If I want to use my eyeballs as conkers, I can, but it doesn’t change the fact that eyeballs were designed for seeing! Vaginas are NOT a source of womanly power. They are not a conduit to any spiritual or transcendental energy. They are a wet hole. Semen in. Babies out.

    They don’t define you as a woman. I dare you to find a non-surgical transgenderal and tell HER that she is not really a woman because she hasn’t got a vagina to define her. (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it)

    Fashion magazines, television, parents, peer pressures and advertising take care of the whole definition process (boo hiss)

    Vagina’s don’t make you want to play with dolls or wear dresses any more than a penis makes you macho or mkaes you wanna blow shit up!

  18. At no point did I say that the vagina alone defines us. At no point have I said that the body we are in defines us.

    "Its a part of the body that defines gender, something that plays an important role in self-identity within our society."

    I was saying its something that plays an important role in how we define ourselves not the be all and end all of us but its something that matters.

    I said it was a part of the body that defined gender and in no way meant to imply that the body was the be all and end all in terms of the gender question. A vagina matters as much in a non-surgical MTF trangender situation as much as in my situation, physically the same gender as my inner self. That is not to say she feels incomplete with a penis but it’s usually going to be a question she’s addressed. (This is purely based on my conversations with various transgenders, feel free to dispute it.) The body and living within it is a part of self-identity, just as much as living as a soul is.
    If all that mattered was soul then why would she (FTM transgender) dress/otherwise live as/know she is the gender she actually is. If body didn’t matter then why would there be surgical transgender options?

    I have nothing against changing the physical to match up with the soul. I have nothing against people realising that the physical does not match the soul and choosing to deal with that in whatever manner suits their personal circumstances. But if the physical did not matter then why would they bother? If the physical meant nothing then people would not choose to live as women/men/androgynously.

    I am not saying that it is better to live as any of the choices, I am not saying that having a vagina makes you superior or inferior to those living with a penis or at the various stages in between/combining both. What I am saying however is that gender is an important part of identity make up and that is a partly physically defined characteristic.

    You know I’ve had issues about how much the body defines gender in the past. In objecting to how much gender matters in this society and how much people seem to need to cling to stereotypes. You know I’ve had issues with being a woman, because I have found myself unable in parts to look past the stereotypes, to look past societal dictates of ‘the woman’, this is why I have had to come to terms with the fact that my body does play a part in my self-identity, I am a woman and have no longer opted out.

    (In fact part of your objection to my opting out was,I believe, the fact that my body had boobs and bits. If the body means nothing then why would you say that to me?)

    How am I different to a Victorian man claiming the lack of a penis makes someone unable to understand science? I am not making special claims for the vagina other than its actual special claims;
    ‘Its a part of the body that defines gender… Its a part of the body that allows the birth of more humans. Its a part of the body which can enjoy sex’
    (Please note that these facts can be applies to the penis, I feel this makes neither penis nor vagina lesser in its existence.)

    Do you dispute that the vagina can do all of that? Because those are the claims I have previously given for it. I allowed that my magical perceptions were not of general relevance but we can discuss them if you want to. I did not at any point say that the vagina should do any or all of those things, I have in no way meant to imply that the design of the vagina infringes upon the choice of the woman it belongs(???don’t think this is the right word!) to. But nor do I think any of the choices you mentioned change the vagina from being a particularly unique and wonderful part of the body.

    Vaginas are part of the physical body, and I enjoy the physical as much as the spiritual.

    ‘Fashion magazines, television, parents, peer pressures and advertising take care of the whole definition process’

    I disagree I believe self-identity (and within self-identity, gender) is self-defined and you can choose to varying degrees which influences to accept and which to discard and that includes accepting or not the physical characteristics that you were born with but they should at least be considered.

    ‘Vagina’s don’t make you want to play with dolls or wear dresses any more than a penis makes you macho or mkaes you wanna blow shit up! ‘

    I at no point claimed that they did. Being a girl doesn’t make you want to play with dolls or wear dresses anymore than being a boy makes you macho or want to blow shit up. My claims for the importance of the body are based on the body itself.

    ‘Vaginas are NOT a source of womanly power. They are not a conduit to any spiritual or transcendental energy.’
    I have not brought up any magical practices or spiritual beliefs in this conversation Jason, I have stated that my own are not generally relevant. Those above statements imply that you believe these to be my core spiritual/magical beliefs, they are not. We can discuss the physical body’s position within my personal magical practise or my own Wiccan belief system if you would like to?

  19. *snip*

    (In fact part of your objection to my opting out was,I believe, the fact that my body had boobs and bits. If the body means nothing then why would you say that to me?)

    The point is, YOU believe that boobs and bits in part define gender, therefore it IS impossible for YOU to drop out of the gender debate. For by your own admition YOU are (in part) defined as a WOMAN by YOUR genetalia.

    Its not hypocracy for me to expect consistency from you.

  20. I’m sorry, I didn’t realise it was such a personalised remark, I had assumed that you believed it to be true generally.
    In truth at the time of my opting out I was having some issues in reconciling my beliefs in the importance of the body with the notion of self-identity.

Leave a Reply