char25 (char25) wrote in mf_unicorns,

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Women's ghettos

From Alas, the new "moderation" policy:

"Instead, I've decided to experiment with makring some posts as "feminist, pro-feminist and feminist-friendly only" threads (such as yesterday's transwomen & feminism post). This is similar to Heart's proposal, but it's not limited to radical feminists, and pro-feminist men are allowed. Also, I've decided to be freer about kicking MRAs and anti-feminists off (although I still don't take requests, so please don't ask). Hopefully, this will address the concerns of folks who felt "Alas" has become too MRA-dominated. We'll see how it goes, and make further adjustments if necessary."


"A section of a city occupied by a minority group who live there especially because of social, economic, or legal pressure.

Something that resembles the restriction or isolation of a city ghetto: 'trapped in ethnic or pink-collar managerial job ghettoes'"

One of the best things about being a male feminist: there's always a good reason to create women's ghettos. Like convenience. Or simplicity. Or the lie that it's about equality. In this case, it's that it takes too long -- longer than 20 seconds -- to explain to men's "rights" activists that they're not allowed free run of Alas (much less the rest of the world). Who knew MRAs had such short attention spans? So the *better* solution is to create a series of little ghettos for women.

Of course, it's helpful for Ampersand that Hearrt made the suggestion first -- from entirely *different* motivations -- so that he can hide behind her skirts. Of course, while hiding behind Heart, Ampersand didn't bother to mention that Heart has since rescinded her suggestion as a bad idea, especially at Alas. Male feminists not only don't have to pay attention to anything for longer than 20 seconds, they only have to listen to, oh, about 1/2 of what's being said.

Does it seem to anybody else here that this "solution" to men being abusive asses is quite a lot like other advice given to women: don't walk alone, get a man to protect you, don't get drunk in public, don't party with men you don't know, don't party with men you do know, don't leave your drink unattended during the party, don't go out after dark, ad nauseum. Now, it's saying "keep out of the majority of the threads here if you don't want to be abused." Of course, it's all for our "protection", so we should be grateful for the ghetto.

What's the solution to *anti-feminist men* running amok on Alas? Segregate the *women* and *feminists* into a smaller space, leaving the men free run of the rest of the world, which is, not incidentally, most of it. How is it that every solution to men's violence or misbehavior makes the world women are allowed to inhabit smaller and smaller and smaller?

The problem with "women's spaces" created by men is that the sole purpose of them is to leave the rest of the world to men. Women get the style pages at the New York Times, and men get everything else. Women get a pink page at Slate - or is it Salon? -- and men get the rest. It's the fundamental problem with a ghetto: you don't get the rest of the world. Nor do you get to control the size, or shape, or living conditions of the ghetto. Of course, in this case, it's Ampersand who decides the shape, the size, and the content of the ghetto. Why does this not reassure me?

And, you know, it's his blog, so it's true he gets to decide what he wants to do with it. But isn't that always the way? Those with the power and the privilege decide who gets a ghetto and what that ghetto looks like. And it seems to me that it isn't enough to point to the power and privilege as the justification for its exercise. Especially so when the one exercising the power purports to be doing it on behalf of the ghettoized group. I thought there were feminist principles beyond "It's my space, I get to say," that were in play here.

In fact, Ampersand has no problem telling women that exercising our power to define ourselves and our spaces is illegitimate. He has no problem saying that transwomen should be considered women, full stop. That women shouldn't control the boundaries of our own identities and communities. In that case, it isn't enough for Ampersand that women say "it belongs to us, so we get to decide." Male privilege -- invisible on all fronts, once again. In this case, the privilege of telling women what space we should occupy.

Well, maybe it's time to burn the ghetto down, like Watts, like Detroit. Maybe the only reasonable and, what's that word I'm looking for --- oh yeah, civil -- maybe the only reasonable and civil response is to destroy the ghettos we're confined to. Maybe it's time for every reasonable and civil woman and feminist man to leave Ampersand and his cronies to the ghettos, empty them of women, just walk away and leave him and his MRA pals to it.

Well, of course, that won't happen. Too many women with personal connections to Ampersand are more than happy to front for him. Yet another benefit of being a male feminist: getting women to do your dirty work.

Too bad. Maybe real sisterhood looks more like recognizing the ghetto you're in, than it does yelling at other women for pointing out the boundaries of it.
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