What’s Current: Former detective who investigated sex crimes against children charged with possession of child pornography

Former detective Craig Wattier

Former Peel Cop admits to watching films of child sex abuse while charging overtime. Craig Wattier pled guilty on Tuesday to child porn charges.

Canadian female politicians expose sexist abuse: 

“Increasingly women are having to face very real — often online but not exclusively — cyberbullying and it’s really hate filled misogyny in many, many cases that really underscores a lack of comfort and an intolerance for the role that women are increasingly assuming in public life,” Nancy Peckford told the CBC.

Madrid honours a lost generation of female writers, intellectuals, and artists silenced by the Franco regime.

Convicted sex offender assaults Calgary woman at bus stop. Chase Collier, 25, targeted the victim while she was still on the bus and proceeded to grope her once she exited.

The owner of Toronto Bar Locals Only has apologized after a staff member made a sign reading, “No means yes and yes means a***?” behind the bar. The staff member responsible will be fired.

Jess Martin
Jess Martin

Jess Martin is a public relations professional, an aspiring writer, and an assistant editor at Feminist Current. She prefers to write about feminist topics, disability, or environmental issues, but could be persuaded to broaden her horizons in exchange for payment and/or food.

In her spare time Jess can be found knitting, gardening, or lying in the fetal position, mulling over political theory that no one in their right mind cares about.

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  • Raksha38

    I’ve often wondered how many pedophiles get themselves assigned to investigate child pork so they have a legitimate excuse for why they were looking at it and how many cops develop a taste for it after having investigated it, since we know exposure to pornography desensitized and reprograms you.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I know. The firing thing is a joke, imo. I seriously doubt staff culture at the bar didn’t play into this message (and bar culture, in general… and culture culture…) Maybe use this as an education opportunity for everyone on staff, instead of pretending like firing one guy resolves the issue?

    • Zuzanna Smith

      As well as the fact that this is not the first time they had those kind of messages. “Dry slump? Do the Trump” yeah ok, Mr. De Sastris, you’re so devastated this happened while you were on vacation, what a joke.

  • calabasa

    Reading that article made me cry. “If you’ve ever had to hold a woman who can’t stop crying…” That’s all men see. That’s it. They don’t see the way it curtails your life, your achievements, your relationships–I’m not going to say “if you let it” because you have to FIGHT IT to not let it. They have *no idea* how what they do to us hurts us. Rape is the most visceral reminder of what a lot of men really think of you (which is to say, they don’t think of “you” at all–you are not a “you,” you are a fuckhole and a despised, exploited object that exists only to frustrate and incite them to masculinity–oh, oops, I meant to say “violence”).

    I am quite sure my ex-boyfriend, fraud that he is, believes that slogan. He pressured me into sex on our first date and took my definite “no” about anal sex as a challenge (even though, at the time, he anxiously assured me that it was perfectly all right to say no to this, and he would not ask anymore). As the slogan further implies, if a woman engages in consensual vaginal intercourse with you, you have the rights to penetrate her anally, without asking, without warning, despite her “stop,” to hold her down and do it–after all, she gave up another of her bodily orifices. This is how some men think (that we are “holding back” what should be their “right” if we have otherwise chosen to engage with them). I’m sure that’s how he’s justified his raping me.

    Fuck them. Seriously, fuck them. The way they view sex and sexuality makes me think that not only are they missing a key ingredient in their humanity (namely, empathy) but that they should all die in a fire.

    And anyone dares to question whether rape culture really exists? “Grab them by the taco,” indeed.

    • Exactly. I just completed the rough draft of a blog post on songs that promote rape culture. People who question whether rape culture is an actuality or mere ideological propaganda espoused by radical feminists should listen to the lyrics of songs like “Blurred Lines.”

      Your analysis of (hetero)normative male sexuality is concise and correct. You write:

      “Rape is the most visceral reminder of what a lot of men really think of you (which is to say, they don’t think of “you” at all–you are not a “you,” you are a fuckhole and a despised, exploited object.”

      Exactly. Radical feminist writers such as Lierre Keith have drawn attention to this necrotic project of reducing a subject to an object by ridiculing and reducing the female body upon noting that “Under patriarchy, the female body is loathsome” (290). Keith goes on to point out how patriarchy is a system that sexually subordinates women by noting that “Gender is who gets to be human and who gets to be hurt. That has to be made clear because men know what they are capable of. They know. They know the sadism they’ve built into their own sex. Do it to her, is what they say to each other. Not to me, the human being. But her, the object, the thing” (292).

      I respect and acknowledge the fact that these realities brought you to tears. The necrotic project induces a wide range of negative emotions within me as well. Mostly disgust. But also hope because, as Keith noted in pointing out that the patriarchal system of sex is “a mass circle jerk of autoerotic asphyxiation” (297), the brilliance of feminism is that “we figured that out” (297). Knowledge engenders authority and agency, namely our ability to collectively act against the horror of rape by naming the problem and devising solutions. Some solutions include the use of consciousness-raising groups to help women understand their victimization in rape culture so they can stop eroticizing their domination, the formation of woman-only spaces, and entry into the spheres where dominant discourse “rules” and “reigns” for the purpose of providing the masses with an alternate framework through which to view and interpret reality.

      Thanks for your post.

      • Raysa_Lite

        You said:
        “Gender is who gets to be human and who gets to be hurt.”

        Exactly.

        My mind boggles at how we are obviously treated as objects on a daily basis. And object to reproduce, to cook, to clean, to fuck.

        My closest friend lives with a male. I saw her this morning, and she told me about the disagreement that they are having because she “owes him a blow job”.

        Never mind that he refuses to work and she pays for everything. Never mind that she is tired, or sick, or just not in the mood.

        It’s sickening to me that males have built the entire concepts of “sexy” and “passion” and “romance” around their own wants and have left our humanity and feelings completely out of it.

        Tired isn’t sexy. Having a period? Ick, not sexy. Sick? Just give birth? Totes not sexy.

        Sexy is being available as a fuck hole when ever a male demands IT, and you better act like servicing him is making you really hot because otherwise? Not sexy!

        Our feelings, humanity, wants, needs, all not acknowledged because it’s not sexy. Because only humans have valid wants and needs. And that’s males. Women are just the objects.

      • calabasa

        Thank you for your comment, Jocelyn.

        I’ve heard that slogan before (it might headlines for being shouted by male college students). It was actually the man who is pictured (notice it is a MAN who is pictured, not the original woman who complained after making staff explain the sign) who says “if you have ever had to hold a woman who can’t stop crying…” That a so-called “good” man, this is all he sees– a woman crying–THAT made me cry. How little a “good” man understands what it really means to be raped, as a woman, under patriarchy (and for many of us, to be raped again and again). Crying is just one outward manifestation of it. Crying says little of the devastation to our well-being, of the erosion of our trust and our own capacity for hope; it doesn’t even began to plumb the depths of the despair we feel after being raped, the way in which we believe this strongly worded unspoken message of hate–yes, we ARE objects, there for men’s abusive amusement; yes, we are NOT people, we are loathsome objects (as Lierre Keith notes), and love is just a lie that is sold to us from birth to keep the enslaved wedded to their captors.

        Rape is second only to torture in terms of causing post-traumatic stress disorder. It causes pervasive dissociation (that is, a feeling of distance from oneself and the world; when you are stripped often enough of your humanity, you come to believe you are not a person in the way that others are). In its acute phase, it causes nightmares, flashbacks, paranoia (also known as “hyper-vigilance”) and a pervasive feeling of horror; in its chronic phase, a constant, low-grade depression, distrust of others, feelings of low self-worth, and yes, that pervasive dissociation from the self (as if the self has gone into hiding; shamans would say it “fled” at the moment of violence, for its own protection). Cognitive behavioral therapy is a kind of soul-gathering, a sort of affirmation that the survivor of violence is, indeed, a person, and that the ritual of hatred enacted upon their bodies had *nothing to do with them* but with the person who did it (and that person is the person who is, in fact, lacking in humanity, not the victim). Most people in the therapeutic profession are women (as opposed to the psychiatric profession–which wants to fix emotional problems, traumas, psychic wounds, with drugs–of course these people tend to be men). Right now my therapist is an African-American woman, single and about my age, with a physical disability (she is in a wheelchair with both legs in casts right now after two surgeries; I forget what she said she has, something that causes brittle bones) who is the lead counselor at the rape crisis center where I go for counseling.

        I feel blessed that she is helping me (obviously life has not been so easy for her, but she is highly intelligent and persevered and now has dedicated her life to helping survivors–mostly other women, of course, at a rape crisis center). I think these kinds of centers where women are helping women rediscover their own humanity are essential. You’re right; the brilliance of radical feminism is how we “woke up” to, as you put it, the “massive circle jerk” which is patriarchy (and all of society) right now. It is men showing off for other men, and women are little more than masturbatory objects. The main difference between the right and the left is whether men want to masturbate alone (own one woman) or masturbate together (pass women around).

        The long-term effects of PTSD and C-PTSD are not just psychological (which of course means lost productivity, impaired relationships, lost work hours, etc). They are also physical: higher risk of substance abuse, diabetes, stroke and heart attack. The longevity of victims goes down significantly, and their quality of life is also significantly impaired (of course, I believe this can be reversed with self-affirmation, meditation, therapy, community, and eventually by helping other women going through the same process). But women who don’t get helped–it’s grim for them. That all a so-called “good man” could see was “a woman who can’t stop crying” made me feel despair. They have absolutely no idea of the reality (so, I think, don’t many women who have not been raped, although all women have some idea, from sexual harassment and sexual entitlement of partners and the sexual harassment that is society and the media–namely, the trauma of being a woman under patriarchy).

        Another consequence of being raped or sexually abused, especially young–a consequence that ticks all the boxes: spiritual, psychological, physical–is your much-increased risk of being raped again. Revictimization is an extremely common and little-studied (and even less known about) phenomenon. If one out of five women is raped in her lifetime, well, exactly how many times and by how many different men? Does the CDC ask that, or just if she has been forcibly penetrated by a man in her lifetime? Does the CDC keep statistics on revictimization? Probably not.

        Add to that the constant rapey nature of a lot of what passes of heterosexual sex, and all women are subject to this all the time (unless they have the foresight when they are young to be *extremely* careful, in spite of all cultural conditioning to the contrary, and the luck to choose the partners wisely and be correct in that wisdom). Another writer on here wrote about that–the “I just couldn’t control myself” boyfriend, the “oops I slipped it in” type we have all experienced, the constant, low-grade harassment, the constant touching and sexual innuendo we are always subject to as women. (My brother, at Christmas, got a slight taste of this when my parents’ older female friend–in her 60’s–kept calling him “so handsome” and kind of perving on him. He felt objectified and refused to see her again; she has been a family friend forever. Our parents’ male family friends, needless to say, have been far worse to my sister and me since we were small girl children).

        I agree entirely with Lierre Keith. Gender is about who gets to be human and who gets to be hurt. But it isn’t just gender–it’s EVERY hierarchy. Class is about who gets to be human and who gets to be hurt. Racial stratification is about who gets to be human and who gets to be hurt. Every hierarchy positions every one us in an abuser/abused dichotomous paradigm. And as George Orwell notes in “Shooting an Elephant,” the tyrant is a cipher, a puppet who only exists as long he is seen by the oppressed; without his subjects he himself fails to exist.

        This is the paradox of patriarchy. Men grow up believing they are superior and yet with a great sense of fragility, as the entirety of masculinity is based upon a rejection of women. Without women, men as a class would cease to exist. Men also want women desperately, so any reminder of our autonomy is loathsome to them; and the way that they want women reduces them to their basest instincts–not love, but animal desire–and so they see women as “loathsome” and sex as “dirty” (it is not women who came up with the idea of sex as dirty). They resent us for wanting us. They resent us for needing us.

        To add to this, the whole “love” thing which is designed to keep the patriarchy rolling is confusing to men who believe women are objects to be owned. How can you *fall in love with* an inferior? When men who truly think this way–this misogynist way–DO fall in love, they freak the fuck out. Women should not be better than them, should not be more than objects of their fantasy wish-fulfillment, should not have power over them.

        A lot of this has to do with the power/powerlessness hypothesis of masculinity. I think we are ALL abused under patriarchy, and men grow up identifying with/wanting to be the abuser (because if they identify themselves as victims they are identifying with the “feminine”), whereas women think such abuse is normal and internalize it (also identifying with the abuser, but in a romantic way; they become masochistic/self-objectify and seek to “please” the abuse and believe abuse is “normal”). Much of what passes for parenting is abuse. Much of what passes for normal in relationships is abuse. And so on and so on and so on, down the hierarchies.

        I think this power/powerlessness hypothesis extends to all raised to be in the superior position of a hierarchy. Sometimes the promise of power is more dangerous than power itself. When men grow up believing they should be powerful, but are disempowered by abuse or by certain circumstances in their lives, they seek to regain that power by abusing others. Even if they have all the power in the world, there is always someone who has MORE, and life is always a competition; to maintain the appearance of their superior position they must maintain control of those objects around them, including their women (how many men do you think lose respect for a powerful man who appears to truly love his wife? Wasn’t Obama called “feminine?” I don’t think it was just because he believed in good nutrition–yes, health is so feminine!–but because Michelle Obama is such a powerful woman and he clearly loved and respected her truly). I think the same is true, as Orwell wrote, in all hierarchies. The elites depend upon the plebs for their very existence. Their position is at once powerful and tenuous. And those who believe they “should have power”–(do Trump voters–disenfranchised whites–come to mind?) can become abusive to others.

        Anyway I know this was a long response, but thank you for your words. We certainly do need to do more to help women with consciousness-raising (although once aware, the reality can be depressing as fuck; I understand why more women don’t *want* to become conscious. To choose to go without male companionship is difficult, even if the alternative is often suffering through an unjust or even abusive relationship).

        So-called “good men” need to recognize how patriarchy benefits them materially at the cost of their humanity, and oppresses all women materially by denying them the full measure of their humanity. “Good men” need to recognize the institution of marriage for what it is: a protection racket. “Good men” need to address the terrors that masculinity wreaks upon the world, upon all living creatures, upon other men and upon women and children. “Good men” need to understand what rape is and the way it strips women of their humanity. “Good men” need to do some conscious-raising too, and we can’t do it for them.

        Women walking away from men and male institutions is a start. It’s hard–I mean, I still believe in love, and that some individual men do truly love women. At least we can walk away from male institutions like marriage and the world of corporations. We can fight for the rights of the marginalized and the oppressed and recognize that we all have a common battle.

        We don’t HAVE to be a hierarchical species. We are remarkably plastic (that is, socialization has an incredible effect on our brains–on their functioning, on our desires and needs and how we operate in the world. Socialization changes our brains). We can choose to be more like bonobos than chimpanzees. There is no need to live as we do. If it’s not too late, we can still change. Certainly women waking up and refusing this treatment is absolutely necessary as a start.

        Men need to wake up and refuse this treatment too. They should be pissed not only for our sake but for their own. How can they love those they most desire if they do not believes women are their equals? How can even homosexual men love if they are raised in the feelingless cult of masculinity (unless, already taboo-breakers, they step outside the boundaries of that construct)?

        I still feel sorry for men who abuse. They may blame everybody else, but they, too, lose. Abused women, if they aren’t killed, can eventually get away from them. Those men can’t get away from themselves. They move through life like leeches, soul-sucking parasites, the king Midas of refuse. Everything they touch turns to shit.

        I still feel sorry for my ex. I think he is truly mentally ill, and the monster he is fighting inside of himself is his father (this kind of behavior is passed down intergenerationally, father to son). I don’t think he knows why he did it either. If he was scared when I no longer seemed like enough of an object for him to project his fantasies onto; if he was scared when I seemed more human than he was. If he was scared that love might eventually end, if he was angry that I was better than him, if he was confused that I was not supposed to be smart and talented, if he felt both drawn to that and frightened by it, if he could not stop hating women and wanting to love them all at once. He has also been hurt by the wholesale lie of the love industry under patriarchy. While I was throwing up on Valentine’s Day, remembering how he abused me, he apparently was making Valentine’s hearts and cards with his grown college students, and took a picture of one a student made for him with his name on it. I don’t know which is more pathetic, that he did this or that I looked at his Instagram, wondering what his experience of Valentine’s would be this year or what his memory of the nightmare (as I experienced it) of the year before was.

        On the bright side, days of crying seemed to purge something. I felt more human, less dissociated from myself. For a long time I felt like I was not a person. When men would mistreat me, I would think, “Oh, it doesn’t matter what happens to me, because I am not a person. It matters what happens to other women, but not to me.”

        By crying and crying to the point that I gagged (after writing an essay about my experiences, one I shared only with my sister) I was acknowledging that I am a human being and it has been horrible what’s happened to me. It felt I could not acknowledge that simple fact before because if I were a human being it would just be too horrifying the way that human being had been treated. By crying I was not trying to intellectualize anymore, to think my way out of my feelings. I was wordlessly deep down in my gut acknowledging how much this terrible system and the angry, confused, entitled men within it have hurt me.

        I am actually doing much better now. My ex-boyfriends seems to have stopped his campaign against me. I am moving downtown, to the heart of everything, to a place extremely cheap for the location, living with another woman (younger, but really intelligent), saving money, working. I am making contacts, getting work contracts and learning how to build web pages. I am getting into the world of online teaching and furthering my career, bit by bit. I hope I can start focusing on my writing career once I’m settled, go biking with people with my new touring bike, meet up with my best friend this summer to bike the White Mountains, get in shape, go to the gym, meet new people, have fun, rediscover the joy in life. I am hoping the experience I am getting now teaching at the college level and the contacts and references I’ll be gaining will be helpful in my professional career down the road, once I start publishing and have some years under my belt and can apply for full-time faculty positions at other colleges and universities. I have not yet decided what I will do with my life or about anything, really–including my form of resistance–but I am not going in a bad direction. For now I want to heal, tend to my own little garden, take care of myself, work on my writing. Have fun. The only way to dispel darkness is with light.

        I have been thinking of joining the Sonoran chapter of Deep Green Resistance, though. Even though I am not usually a joiner. 😉

        Thanks, Jocelyn.

        • Exactly. Thank you so much for this post. First, I want to completely dissociate from any potentially disrespectful or misogynistic undertones associated with the slogan you mentioned in the first paragraph. I was entirely unaware that the phrase “moving forward fearless” had been used by someone else in a patriarchal manner. I thought I had made this phrase up myself out of the blue as I was writing. I in no way meant to support patriarchy or male-centeredness by using the phrase.

          Your post was full of numerous insights. I am extremely happy that you are moving forward in a positive way. It’s interesting to note that our life goals and future plans are incredibly similar. I’m actually preparing to be an online writer and educator as well. I just completed my master’s in English and am waiting to hear back from several PhD programs in Women’s Studies that I applied for.

          I am looking forward to a future of community with radical feminists and lesbians. That is how I envision ideal reality. My philosophy towards men has changed over time. I do believe in the concept of shared humanity and demonstrating respect towards all life forms. However, the contemporary cultural climate-which is egregiously androcentric-makes sustained interaction with men untenable and illogical for me. That is my world view. I believe in simply being polite to men when I do business and demonstrating all the other behaviors that many people might categorize in terms of “decency” and “mutual respect” such as making eye contact while speaking and listening to what the other person has to say. But I do not view men, including so-called feminist men, as my allies. I actually do not believe that men can be feminist or allies. I looked the term “ally” up and it carries the connotations of association, connection, and uniting formally. My personal goals do not involve establishing any such system of relations. I have made it my life purpose to ideologically and experientially connect with woman-centered people, and they need to be biological women. I wish men the very best with all of their personal and professional endeavors, but I will not be consciously seeking out alliances or relationships with them. Decency, respect, and recognition of common humanity in passing. That is all. Men, as a power group and class, are a threat to my livelihood. I know this. Theory and experience proves this over and over again. I have to be careful.

          I was drawn to your assessment: “Much of what passes for parenting is abuse. Much of what passes for normal in relationships is abuse. And so on and so on and so on, down the hierarchies.” You are exactly correct. I think I’ve said at some other points that I am adamantly against the androcentric “family,” and this is the environment in which patriarchal, hierarchical abuse thrives. Marilyn Frye discusses this reality upon noting that “Differences of power are always manifested in asymmetrical access…The parent has unconditional access to the child’s room; the child does not have similar access to the parent’s room…The child is required not to lie; the parent is free to close out the child with lies at her discretion.”

          Your post included a wide range of important observations about how women under patriarchy interact with men. As I have been in feminism for some time now, I’ve come to understand that women have many, many distinct experiences and interpretations of heterosexuality. I view it as hell and slavery. I do not view it in any other way, so when heterosexual women talk about seeking pleasure with men, I am sometimes at a loss regarding how to respond. If I say that I think the most successful project against patriarchy would be for them to stop pursuing relationships with the oppressor, they might take offense or think that I am somehow against them personally given that “sexuality” has been constructed as an essential, immutable aspect of identity. If I refuse to openly articulate my deep disgust for heterosexuality, I feel that I am colluding with the oppressor by tacitly suggesting that I think heterosexuality is something worthy of affirmation. I, of course, do not believe this. Therefore, it is challenging for me to maintain relationships with radical feminists who are heterosexual. Honestly, I don’t want to hear about their “boyfriends” or “husbands.” And it’s not because of envy. I enjoy being alone and being able to direct all of my energies into feminist study and working with women. It’s that I feel that listening to other women talk about men is a waste of my time because I am not interested in heterosexuality and view it as the primary problem that keeps the necrotic project of patriarchy intact. I am not interested in “repairing” a slave system by teaching women how to tolerate male oppression and make modifications to their subjectivity so that their attempts at autonomy and agency aren’t interpreted as a threat. This, in my opinion, is what most forms of feminism (including radical feminism at points) seem to advocate. If women would simply refuse men access to their bodies, the patriarchal project would fail miserably. I am now reminded of one of my favorite feminists, the incredible Ti-Grace Atkinson. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from her:

          “The price of clinging to the enemy [a man] is your life. To enter into a relationship with a man who has divested himself as completely and publicly from the male role as much as possible would still be a risk. But to relate to a man who has done any less is suicide…. I, personally, have taken the position that I will not appear with any man publicly, where it could possibly be interpreted that we were friends” (Amazon Odyssey, 90, 91).

          Here’s another quote from her:

          “The institution of sexual intercourse is anti-feminist” (Amazon Odyssey, 86).

          Moving from heterosexuality to one of the primary excuses used to legitimate its existence and operations: love. I am against love. I agree with the radical feminists who argue that “love” is an ideology women are taught for the purpose of justifying the abuse and coercion they experience at the hands of men. Kate Millett drew attention to this reality upon noting:

          “One must acknowledge that the chivalrous stance is a game the master group plays in elevating its subject to pedestal level….As the sociologist Hugo Beigel has observed, both the courtly and the romantic versions of love are ‘grants’ which the male concedes out of his total power. Both have had the effect of obscuring the patriarchal character of Western culture and in their general tendency to attribute impossible virtues to women, have ended by confining them in a narrow and often remarkably conscribing sphere of behavior” (27).

          Another quote I find compelling:

          “The married woman knows that love is, at its best, an inadequate reward for her unnecessary and bizarre heritage of oppression.” (Beverly Jones and Judith Brown, Toward a Female Liberation Movement, p. 23)

          And you are right regarding the “constant rapey nature of a lot of what passes of heterosexual sex.” This is an undesirable reality that, as a feminist who is intellectually committed to researching women’s issues, I come across almost every single day. Most recently, the disturbing, disgusting lyrics of “Blurred Lines” provided me with new insights on heterosexuality. Here, the male singers openly announced that the mode of intercourse and broader system of relations they sought to have with their female partners is “pimping.” This is that form of misogyny some academics have referred to as “spectacular sexism,” meaning that there is no attempt to mask the system of domination and oppression with deceptive language or the ideology of love.

          This is neither here nor there, but I noted that you have been thinking about joining Deep Green Resistance. I just started following them on Twitter a few days ago.

          Thanks so much for your response. I sincerely enjoyed reading it.

        • Exactly. Thank you so much for this post. First, I want to completely dissociate from any potentially disrespectful or misogynistic undertones associated with the slogan you mentioned in the first paragraph. I was entirely unaware that the phrase “moving forward fearless” had been used by someone else in a patriarchal manner. I thought I had made this phrase up myself. I in no way meant to support patriarchy or male-centeredness by using the phrase.

          This post was full of numerous insights. I am extremely happy that you are moving forward in a positive way. It’s interesting to note that our life goals and future plans are incredibly similar. I’m actually preparing to be an online writer and educator as well. I just completed my master’s in English and am waiting to hear back from several PhD programs in Women’s Studies that I applied for. I am looking forward to a future of community with radical feminists and lesbians. That is how I envision ideal reality. My philosophy towards men has changed over time. I do believe in the concept of shared humanity and demonstrating respect towards all life forms. However, the contemporary cultural climate-which is egregiously androcentric-makes sustained interaction with men untenable and illogical for me. That is my world view. I believe in simply being polite to men when I do business and demonstrating all the other behaviors that many people might categorize in terms of “decency” and “mutual respect” such as making eye contact while speaking and listening to what the other person has to say. But I do not view men, including so-called feminist men, as my allies. I actually do not believe that men can be feminist or allies. I looked the term “ally” up and it carries the connotations of association, connection, and uniting formally. My personal goals do not involve establishing any such system of relations. I have made it my life purpose to ideologically and experientially connect with woman-centered people, and they need to be biological women. I wish men the very best with all of their personal and professional endeavors, but I will not be consciously seeking out alliances or relationships with them. Decency, respect, and recognition of common humanity in passing. That is all. They, as a power group and class, are a threat to my livelihood. I have to be careful.

          I was drawn to your assessment: “Much of what passes for parenting is abuse. Much of what passes for normal in relationships is abuse. And so on and so on and so on, down the hierarchies.” You are exactly correct. I think I’ve said at some other points that I am adamantly against the androcentric “family,” and this is the environment in which patriarchal, hierarchical abuse thrives. Marilyn Frye discusses this reality upon noting that “Differences of power are always manifested in asymmetrical access…The parent has unconditional access to the child’s room; the child does not have similar access to the parent’s room…The child is required not to lie; the parent is free to close out the child with lies at her discretion.”

          Your post included a wide range of important observations about how women under patriarchy interact with men. As I have been working in feminist studies for some time now, I’ve come to understand that women have many, many distinct experiences and interpretations of heterosexuality. I view it as hell and slavery. I do not view it in any other way, so when heterosexual women talk about seeking pleasure with men, I am sometimes at a loss regarding how to respond. If I say that I think the most successful project against patriarchy would be for them to stop pursuing relationships with the oppressor, they might take offense. If I don’t say this, I feel that I am colluding with the oppressor by tacitly suggesting that I think heterosexuality is something worthy of affirmation. I, of course, do not believe this. Therefore, it is challenging for me to maintain relationships with radical feminists who are heterosexual. Honestly, I don’t want to hear about their “boyfriends” or “husbands.” And it’s not because of envy. I enjoy being alone and being able to direct all of my energies into feminism. It’s that I feel that listening to other women talk about men is a waste of my time because I am not interested in heterosexuality and view it as the primary problem that keeps the necrotic project of patriarchy intact. If women would refuse men access to their bodies, this project would fail miserably. I am now reminded of one of my favorite feminists, the incredible Ti-Grace Atkinson. Here’s a quote from her:

          “The price of clinging to the enemy [a man] is your life. To enter into a relationship with a man who has divested himself as completely and publicly from the male role as much as possible would still be a risk. But to relate to a man who has done any less is suicide…. I, personally, have taken the position that I will not appear with any man publicly, where it could possibly be interpreted that we were friends” (Amazon Odyssey, 90, 91).

          She also wrote:

          “The institution of sexual intercourse is anti-feminist” (Amazon Odyssey, 86).

          Moving from heterosexuality and (hetero)sex to one of the primary excuses used to legitimate these institutions: love. I am against love. I agree with the radical feminists who argue that “love” is an ideology women are taught for the purpose of justifying the abuse and coercion they experience at the hands of men. Kate Millet drew attention to this reality upon noting:

          “One must acknowledge that the chivalrous stance is a game the master group plays in elevating its subject to pedestal level….As the sociologist Hugo Beigel has observed, both the courtly and the romantic versions of love are ‘grants’ which the male concedes out of his total power. Both have had the effect of obscuring the patriarchal character of Western culture and in their general tendency to attribute impossible virtues to women, have ended by confining them in a narrow and often remarkably conscribing sphere of behavior” (27).

          Another quote I find compelling:

          “The married woman knows that love is, at its best, an inadequate reward for her unnecessary and bizarre heritage of oppression” (Beverly Jones and Judith Brown, Toward a Female Liberation Movement, p. 23).

          And you are right regarding the “constant rapey nature of a lot of what passes of heterosexual sex.” This is an undesirable reality that, as a feminist who is intellectually committed to researching women’s issues, I come across almost every single day. Most recently, the disturbing, disgusting lyrics of “Blurred Lines” provided me with new insights on heterosexuality. Here, the male singers openly announced that the mode of intercourse they sought to have with their female partners is “pimping.” This is that form of misogyny some academics have referred to as “spectacular sexism,” meaning that there is no attempt to mask the system of domination and oppression with deceptive language or the ideology of love.

          This is neither here nor there, but I noted that you have been thinking about joining Deep Green Resistance. I just started following them on Twitter a few days ago. Thanks so much for your response. I sincerely enjoyed reading it.

      • calabasa

        P.s. I don’t feel afraid of my ex-boyfriend anymore. Oh, maybe a little bit–it will be hard when I start going out again and meeting people, the first time I run into him–but not the way I did before.

        • I am so happy to hear this. Fear is a component of the patriarchy that we oftentimes don’t discuss. Experiencing subordination and abuse in a relationship is one thing, but living with the feeling that your life or subjectivity is constantly in danger once a relationship has ended can also be grueling. Men have the tendency to think that once you’ve been in a relationship with them, they somehow “own” you forever. This is one of the reasons I aborted the compulsory heterosexuality project.

          Anyway, I’m glad to see you’re moving forward fearless!

        • FierceMild

          Good. I’m so glad you’re starting to feel less fear.

  • Raysa_Lite

    From the article about the cop watching child porn:
    “His conduct at this moment remains completely unexplained,” she said, adding that Wattier does not need to provide an explanation. But, she continued “the conduct in and of itself is inexplicable.”

    Really? Because it seems to me that this is pretty easily explained.

    See, he had immediate boner needs. Boner needs supercede most other things.

    And he would still be doing it if he hadn’t gotten caught. Because whatever shame he claims to be feeling is NOT over the disgusting thing he did. It’s because he got caught doing it.

  • I cannot tell you how much I am in 100% agreement with you on this topic. This is actually an issue that I have incorporated into a writing project I’m working on regarding a young woman who attains psychiatric services following an extended period of sexual abuse. I am always devastated when women who are raped are taught that they need to learn to start having “healthy” “sex” with men again so they can “restore” their sexuality. There really needs to be a radical feminist intervention here in terms of the patriarchal ideology that undergirds these types of instructions and assessments. I really do view individuals who advance these ideas as purporting the Patriarchal Imperative which ensures that men always have unlimited, unmitigated access to a woman’s body. Teaching that having “healthy” sex with a man is a “healing” for the pain caused by rape in a deeply misogynist culture in which men oftentimes interpret rape as sex and thus subject women to violence in “sexual encounters” makes no sense. But then it does make sense when I consider which ideology shapes the psyche and actions of the masses. The phallus.

    You are exactly right regarding this constituting a form of compulsory heterosexuality that I speak of so often. It also constitutes a form of compulsory sexuality, with this ideology creating a world in which people are constantly told to seek out sex as a form of pleasure. It all strikes me as increasingly absurd the more I study. There are, of course, numerous radical feminist approaches to sexuality. One might argue that there are as many modes of sexual expression as there are radical feminists. Personally, I enjoy the anarchic approach of asexuality.

  • FierceMild

    You have a right to be picky and you can. I support that. I think when we talk about falling in love as if it’s a completely passive act we’re buying into the patriarchal script.

    I love my partner for reasons. Not for feelings alone. The feelings are a result of deep and well-earned respect. It is not, and never was, a pants feelings+liking=love thing. You can and should choose where your love goes. Yes feelings sometimes run away with us, but loving someone doesn’t mean you have to be with them.

    I think I may be rambling. I just want you to know that you can set your bar wherever the fuck you want to and if no one meets it that will be okay.

  • FierceMild

    I didn’s sleep with my husband (boyfriend at the time) for over two years. He survived. Your body is for you, not for anybody else.