Shorter Twisty Faster: “It’s OK to be condescending to women… as long as you’re a woman”

Sigh.

I’m not going to write about the Spitzer mess at present, it requires more concentration and I am sick and swamped with work, but this quote in particular stuck out at me:

I suspect that the rampant willingness among young feminists to deny this grim truth stems from the wholly untenable position into which it thrusts ’em. They’re young, they’re fit, they wanna boink; who can blame them if they just aren’t ready to accept that nothing short of an exhaustive, uncompromising overthrow of the social order will put them in complete control of their own selves?

If a man condescended like this to women, we’d rip him a new one. But a spinster aunt? She is cheered, or, at the very worst, ignored. Ever notice how much of Twisty’s writing is preoccupied with criticizing those silly straight women’s sexual habits? You have to wonder who she’s really pissed off at… the patriarchy? Or someone else? Either way, it’s more double standards from a person who spoke about “capitalist pigs” in the same post that contained her announcement about buying a horse (I assume the horse was bought with capital, of course… If it was bartered for, I apologize) – this may seem like gratuitous snark, but the truth is, we all engage in our little hypocrisies, and Twisty is no different (and neither am I). It’s what makes us human. Problem is, my personal is all political, while Twisty’s is just personal. See the contradiction there?

This type of feminism is like standing Original Sin on its head (thanks, Belle, for the tip-off). Original Sin terminology, which is very much alive today, is all about “men = good, women = bad” (they don’t usually spell it out nowadays… Usually, this is couched in rhetoric such as, “but, you know, Eve sinned.” Speaking of which, I really ought to do a translation of a hilarious Russian Orthodox Taliban-type I found on APN.ru recently). Now it’s “men=bad, women=good” and the same rules for Salvation apply: sex has to be re-codified, a withdrawal from the mainstream is necessary, you must proselytize, abstain from teh evil, etc.

Twisty’ also wants to tell us that one day, we’ll be sorry, which is the classic tactic of fire-and-brimstone preachers everywhere.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but my personal response to such statements is mirthless laughter.

It’s probably true that things will get worse for me at some point or another. In this world, things always seem to get worse. Most of your illusions fade as time passes.

But when people like Twisty Faster attempt to talk down to a group I am a part of, it makes my coffee go straight outta my nose and onto my keyboard. O Wise One, tell me more, ’cause I have no idea! I’ve never encountered male violence and abuse. I don’t know what it’s like to have my very self-worth and humanity questioned on the basis of my gender. I’ve never begged a man to refrain from hurting me. I never screamed and cried in terror when encountering male violence at an age when I should have been playing with dolls… *ahem* non-gender-conforming comfort objects. I’ve never been molested, groped, assaulted, threatened, told that I “deserved” all of the above and more, and called a “stupid w(ho)re” on top of that. I never had a man throw bottles at my head after having his crude advances ignored. I’ve never been offered to join an honest-to-God harem. I’ve never been told that my ethnicity makes it OK to do all sorts of unpleasant things to me. I’ve never seen and experienced the sorts of things I couldn’t even begin discussing on a public blog that has my full name attached to it. Oh no. Not me. Please, waiter, more nuggets of “grim truth” for this table!

Experience has taught me to read between the lines: this “overthrow of the social order” is really just an elaborate cover-up for “when the feminist revolution comes, I will tell you what to do.” It’s not change, it’s exchange. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. I’d rather be doing shots with a guy dressed up as a pe(ni)s at some lame frat party than endure sermonizing from Big Sister who’s not at all like Big Brother, really. Or hey, I’d rather be hooked up with people who are influencing real positive change.

And while I’m at it… Why the assumption that it’s just us “young” feminists who are fit, or, for that matter, enjoy a good boink? Are older women utterly asexual? Do they not have desires? Do some of them not *gasp* engage in sex-work? Do they not count at all?

What does the above have to do with prostitution? Well, nothing much. I was lucky to have escaped being trafficked, as I’ve said before. My views on prostitution are not simple, or so I like to think. And I am usually happy to discuss them (provided Alien isn’t about to explode from my sinuses and deadlines aren’t looming on the horizon like Godzilla), but not with someone like Twisty.

Her icky little pats on the head are more than enough. Condescend to someone else for a change, Twisty. We’re all stocked up here.

9 thoughts on “Shorter Twisty Faster: “It’s OK to be condescending to women… as long as you’re a woman”

  1. It’s sort of fascinating – in a trainwreck way – how so much feminist discourse is about attacking women, womanhood, femininity, and expressions of femaleness lately. Not all of it, obviously, and I wouldn’t even say most of it. But there’s these militant voices for whom feminism is about controlling women’s choices, not allowing them.

  2. Experience has taught me to read between the lines: this “overthrow of the social order” is really just an elaborate cover-up for “when the feminist revolution comes, I will tell you what to do.” It’s not change, it’s exchange.

    Total agreement. And I find it incredibly frustrating just how popular these voices are and how many other feminists just giggle and talk about how great it is for someone to be telling it like it is this way. The level of discourse becomes really watered down, because the presumption is that others can’t possibly have anything valuable to contribute, so brainwashed are they by the patriarchy.

    And yeah, she’s just one voice, but it seems to me more and more that there are certain people who are just beyond critique in these conversations, and nobody benefits from that mentality.

  3. Re: dolls

    i agree with you – i hate the “anti girly” intensity – i loved dolls – i still collect them today – and it’s ok to say “dolls” and its ok to wear a dress in both formal and informal settings and it’s ok to like “frilly” things.

    Is that the sound of some people screaming?

    No, Must’ve been the wind…

  4. Oh yes, Twisty. Well, it is sort of comforting in a way, how some things never, ever change; two, maybe even three years ago I was writing like this exact same post, only with I think a lot more swearing.

    But yes, I really value her opinion as to what does and doesn’t make for -real- radical revolutionary change, you know. Perhaps we can all ride there on her horse.

    It’s just sort of sad, I guess, because in some ways she -is- quite smart, but the extreme solipsism/narcissism/whatever it is doesn’t just render her unpleasant, it’s a serious cognitive flaw.

    And also, in the end, makes her extremely dull.

  5. P.B. Austin, us crazy feminists don’t think it’s a sin to like dolls and dresses. It’s how our culture ENFORCES these choices that we find so maddening.

    It’s a huge coincidence that I hated shopping with all my soul and never found shoes fascinating until I moved to the United States. And I’m incredibly resistant to cultural pressures, as a rule.

    Much as certain people might lambaste Twisty for being uncritically loved, there are other fan clubs on the Internet that some visitors here worship at and who also cannot be criticized. Neither side is without sin and both sound silly when they pretend to be full of intellectual integrity.

    (This not directed at you, Natalia. I’m merely using your blog to vent my spleen in a veiled and bitchy way. Sorry.)

    Twisty is funny and writes extremely well. That’s enough to forgive much condescension, if that is what it is.

  6. Can’t agree with you on Twisty, Apostate. Despite nodding in agreement to a number of points she has made, and continues to make, overall I find her sexist, classist, and a general bigot on top of that. None of us are without sin, but Twisty really is too smart to say a lot of the things she says.

  7. Sexist? Classist? Bigot? Really?

    She tends to be over the top in her expression, but I see that for what it is: rhetoric, which makes for good writing. Do I honestly believe she’s anything but a kind hearted person who really cares about women and who is, to boot, fucking brilliant? Yes. Definitely.

    I don’t agree with every particular of Twisty’s theories, not least because I know REAL patriarchy, and it ain’t 21st century America. We have a ton of sexism around here, but we do have some control over our lives and bodies. They’re doing their damnedest to take it away, but we do have a few things we can call our own.

    On the other hand, because I have experienced full-fledged patriarchy — and because of her age, Twisty has too — I think that fundamentally, she’s correct. I wouldn’t go as far as she does, but fundamentally, she’s got the right idea.

    I don’t for a minute believe she doesn’t have as subtle a grasp of the issues around prostitution as you do. I don’t find her condescending (and I’m a young woman who likes to boink). There are plenty of young women who don’t “get” it about feminist issues, particularly that the social order they find themselves in, in the here and now, is NOT a state of affairs to be taken for granted. Their guards are down. And they infuriate me, not because I hate women or young women, but because I know they’ll get hurt. All of us are going to get hurt — but it would be nice if some of us at least saw it coming and could do something to fight back.

    Finding those young women infuriating is not the same as finding you or me infuriating — so why take it so personally? I don’t get mad every time someone rails against shallow apathetic 20-somethings, because I’m not one. Not every young woman is me.

    I started out on my blog intending to criticize feminism and other feminists for not doing feminism the “right” way, which often involved stuff like what you wrote (it used to make me mad as hell that anyone could blog against sex, for instance). But the more I read feminist blogs, the more I realized how bad things are and how much worse they’re going to get, in this country.

    And I just couldn’t be bothered criticizing those who are essentially on my side. Twisty will never endanger my right to choose. Others I could name, will.

    It’s a matter of priorities, I guess. Older feminists I might not agree with on every point are still admirable people who believe more fully in my humanity than any amount of people who never say anything I can actively disagree with.

    Of course, I’m not disputing your right to write whatever you want, just explaining more fully where I am coming from in not finding Twisty offensive.

  8. I think you’re perfectly entitled to your opinion, A (I tend to use letters and diminutives for people when I speak affectionately to them, but I often find it’s a cultural thing that doesn’t translate into American culture all that well, so feel free to tell me to stop it).

  9. Of course you despise and revile Debs. She doesn’t want women’s only spaces to be invaded and occupied.

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