Author Topic: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'  (Read 4970 times)

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Offline Nero

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'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« on: June 27, 2009, 11:10:05 am »
http://takesupspace.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/patriarchial-violence-and-womens-penises/

by 'Cedar'
Taking Up Too Much Space
Nov, 3, 2008


"“A [woman's] penis is a weapon. A sword. A knife. Dominance and sexism incarnate.”

Yes–a weapon against her.[...]"



Found this article interesting. What do you think about the symbolism here? Thoughts?
Nero was the Forum Admin here at Susan's Place for several years up to the time of his death.

Offline tekla

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Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2009, 12:01:25 pm »
There is a lot of good writing and analysis that has come out of Woman's Studies Programs, almost enough to make up for this kind stuff and the style its 'written' in.  A psudotrendy (Oh, Look At Me, I'm not using capitol letters when I should, I'm so farking radical, yeah, right there, e.e.cummings did it in like the 19teens) grammar damaged that yet retains every single thing about academic writing that renders it the least read (yet most written) stuff in the history of reading and writing.

But, then again, I have a real visceral hate and loathing of the particular misuse of the word and idea of a patriarchy unless you are talking about Classical Rome, Feudal Europe or an Islamic theocracy. 

I also hate big sprawling epic statements meant to speak for all people though all time - use of things like constant royal 'her'.

People reveal a lot about themselves that they don't intend when they write, at least to people who know how to read.  And I sat in colleges for years reading things - many just like this - and thinking, 'geez, I hope you're getting some therapy for this.'
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Offline barbie

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Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2009, 12:21:17 pm »
I heard that some people argue that high heels symbolize p*n*s. Also heard that Freudism is resurrecting under the name of science. Whether it is science or pseudoscience, IMO, Freudian symbolism is still so much influential. Natural scientists maybe still would not buy Freudism.

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Offline Arch

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Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 01:59:14 pm »
Sorry, my head was spinning so much from the comma splices (what starts where? what ends where?) that I was having trouble following some of the content at first. From what Tekla said, I was expecting the writing to be some sort of academic-ese/experimental-ese hybrid. I guess it was, but the punctuation was all over the place. (My mind is pretty dogmatic about punctuation; imagine how much fun I have reading student papers.)

I feel that a few good points were made, even if the writing is a bit over the top...hysterical? Well, overly dramatic. The post did remind me of a question I've been asking myself a lot lately: why is it that transmen can change their sex legally with top surgery only, whereas transwomen must have genital surgery? It all goes back to men and penises.

What symbolism are you referring to, Nero? Symbolism used by the author, or the author's discussion of what the penis symbolizes?
"The hammer is my penis." --Captain Hammer

"When all you have is a hammer . . ." --Anonymous carpenter

fae_reborn

Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2009, 04:36:24 pm »
Punctuation aside (and yes, there's a lot of mistakes, run-ons, etc.)...

This is a pretty good piece for discussion.  I believe the symbolism that Nero is referring to is the fact that the author is speaking with regard to MtF pre-op or non-op individual who retain (temporarily or permanently) their "penis," "Phallus," or whatever they wish to call it.

The author makes some good points, but they are making a lot of generalizations with regard to the transwoman's body.  The transwoman's penis (or any penis) is not inherently a weapon to be used against anyone, though it can be.  The penis is not an evil symbol of patriarchy and male dominance, it is simply (in the case of the MtF) a deformity which can be corrected if she so chooses.

In short, the penis is simply flesh and blood; an organ designed for pleasure and procreation.  How one decides to use that organ, is up to them, and that individual alone is responsible for the consequences of such use.  That does not make all penis' inherently evil or somehow construe them as misogynistic symbols of the patriarchy.

Quote
Before transition, her penis, symbolizing patriarchial violence and sexism, symbolizes her body as dangerous and unsafe, threatening to women–including her.

The penis does not represent nor symbolize patriarchal violence or sexism; these are social constructs that were created, not by the penis, but by individual men over time.  I majored in Women's Studies in college...Personally, I think this article is transphobic, and is as damaging to the MtF individual as radical feminism's views on <not allowed> people in general (think Michigan's Womyn's Music Festival's policies on "only womyn-born-womyn may enter."

Teknoir

Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2009, 05:04:39 pm »
I want to beat the word "symbolizes" out of their head with a 6ft long rubber penis named Igor.

I think the author has more penis issues than the transwomen they have been talking to. I have to wonder if this person has GID, or is just a first year Women's Studies student that's been drinking a little too much of the kool-aid.

I fail to see the inherant "violence" of a body part that is soft, squishy, and looks silly with sunglasses on it.  ;)

Offline FairyGirl

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Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2009, 05:41:05 pm »
I want to beat the word "symbolizes" out of their head with a 6ft long rubber penis named Igor.

I think the author has more penis issues than the transwomen they have been talking to. I have to wonder if this person has GID, or is just a first year Women's Studies student that's been drinking a little too much of the kool-aid.

I fail to see the inherant "violence" of a body part that is soft, squishy, and looks silly with sunglasses on it.  ;)

OMG soda all over the keyboard :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
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fae_reborn

Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2009, 06:11:24 pm »
I want to beat the word "symbolizes" out of their head with a 6ft long rubber penis named Igor.

I think the author has more penis issues than the transwomen they have been talking to. I have to wonder if this person has GID, or is just a first year Women's Studies student that's been drinking a little too much of the kool-aid.

I fail to see the inherant "violence" of a body part that is soft, squishy, and looks silly with sunglasses on it.  ;)

OMG soda all over the keyboard :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Offline Hypatia

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Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2009, 03:48:49 am »
I think you're all missing the point. She is using irony against the transphobic doctrine of certain radical feminists that trans women are their enemies because the penis is a "weapon" etc. and a threat to them. This piece ironically imitates the language used to exclude and denigrate trans women. Notice how it starts with a quotation at the top (presumably a quote from some transphobic radfem), where she replaces a word to give it an ironic twist, and continues in that vein. Her point is that the penis by its very existence is harmful and threatening not to cis women but to trans women, from the hatred and enmity directed against us because of it. The whole point of that piece is irony to point up who is really being harmed here. If you miss the irony you miss the whole point.
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you may as well feel good;
you may as well have some pride

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CindyJames

Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2009, 04:26:01 am »
I have to admit I failed the irony test.

I also admit that I have problems with considering body parts as weapons, threats or instruments of slavery (mbased y words).

Sadly I recieve research papers and grants from sociology based nursing students; some of whom have excellent ideas. However others seem to be caught in a mind set that is non-scientific; hide their point of view behind dogma and are unwilling to test their opinion (never a hypothesis) with scientific rigour.

They also protest when they don't get the grant.

Cindy

Offline K8

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Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2009, 07:24:29 am »
I have to admit I failed the irony test.

I also admit that I have problems with considering body parts as weapons, threats or instruments of slavery.

Hmmm.  Me too.  (I also find reading this kind of over-the-top polemic very difficult. :P)

I begin to wonder about the poor intersexed.  At what point is the clitoris a penis and therefore a weapon?  How big does it have to be? 

I realize the writer is using the penis to signify male dominance, but I don't buy the idea that because I *still* have a flabby little appendage between my legs I am a member of the hated uber class of oppressors.  <not allowed>.  Can't we see each other as individuals?

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Offline Genevieve Swann

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Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2009, 07:52:20 am »
I think the article went a little overboard. I don't think my penis symbolizes all that. Defintely not a weapon of any kind. Damn! It ain't big enough. Poor little guy has a hard time holding his own.

Teknoir

Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2009, 08:47:49 am »
Now that you've mentioned it, I get the "irony" point, but my point (on the piece being badly written - so much so that it detracts from the author's point) still stands.

Look, the basic premise that a pre-op transwomans penis harms her mental well being more than that of the women around her is a point I agree with, however, the article appears to be cloaked in feminist dogma, and poorly written at best.

When most people reading your article miss your point, then maybe you should consider rephrasing things.

This post may also be poorly written, but I have a good reason  :icon_drunk:

fae_reborn

Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2009, 01:04:03 pm »
Irony or no, I have to agree with Teknoir that the article is not only poorly written, but so drenched in feminist dogma that I can't agree with it, or even see the point of why it was written (and I'm a feminist!).  My own so-called "penis" is neither a weapon that threatens me nor other women.

Offline Hypatia

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Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2009, 04:16:39 pm »
It's a parody of radfem rhetoric. As such it's intentionally strident and over the top, to point up the weaknesses in such rhetoric.
Here's what I find about compromise--
don't do it if it hurts inside,
'cause either way you're screwed,
eventually you'll find
you may as well feel good;
you may as well have some pride

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Offline K8

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Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2009, 07:54:09 am »
If no one gets a joke, is it still funny? ???

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Offline Arch

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Re: \'Patriarchal violence and women\'s penises\'
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2009, 01:54:09 pm »
If no one gets a joke, is it still funny? ???

I think I'd rather contemplate a one-ended stick. ::)

Post Merge: July 25, 2009, 01:59:38 pm
I have no doubt that this piece CAN be read ironically, but I'm not convinced that the author intended to be ironic. The comments might give us a clue--they seem to take the author seriously, and the author responds in kind instead of explaining that she was being ironic.

And in my experience, there is often a fine (often indistinguishable) line between imitation and parody.
"The hammer is my penis." --Captain Hammer

"When all you have is a hammer . . ." --Anonymous carpenter

Offline tekla

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Re: 'Patriarchal violence and women's penises'
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2009, 02:01:54 pm »
You can never explain a joke to make it funny, you either get it, or not.  And despite what people think, real humor is just about the hardest and smartest thing to write.  Pretty much proof of that here.
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