Blog of Feminist Activism

The feminist activism of charliegrrl and co

When is Feminism not Feminism?

Posted by charliegrrl on March 30, 2007

We get told that we shouldn’t object to the actions of other feminists, as this is being narrow-minded in our acceptance of what is feminism. We get told we don’t have the right to say what is and isn’t feminist to other feminists. But I think there has to be a line drawn somewhere in the definition of feminism.

I was browsing through the workshops of Ladyfest Leeds, to find a workshop entitled Feminism, Censorship and Pornography. Here we go I thought… So I did a bit of digging to find that the workshop is being held by two women who both have signed the petition against the criminalisation of the possession of extreme violent porn. The workshop is about criticising the recent legislation to criminalise the possession of extreme violent porn, and considering if this contributes towards women’s liberation or women’s repression..?

A few of us objected. Why do we need to discuss if criminalising the possession of rape and murder of women is a good or bad thing for women? Of course it’s a good thing. Oh but of course, criticising the workshop is censorship and that’s baaaaaad…

**The blurb to advertise the workshop was going to be this…

How many feminists fantasise about rape play? Is “pornography the theory, rape the practice”? How many of us are turned on by the idea of restraint and pain? Is SM just a space for abuse? What does pornography mean to feminists in contemporary society? How has porn affected OUR lives and sexual experiences?

In our 90 minute workshop, we will be hosting an open discussion exploring issues surrounding feminism, pornography and censorship. As the Home Office prepares to pass new laws over the ownership of extreme adult pornography, we question whether this form of censorship contributes to women’s liberation or repression. And we want to hear your views! We hope to host a lively and informative debate, and welcome ALL viewpoints and perspectives on this often controversial topic.

‘Rape Play’? What the fuck!!!

They have since seen sense after complaints and edited this blurb to omit ‘rape play’ and amended the line-up to include anti-porn discussion. I’m still not convinced.

One of the women hosting this workshop gave a speech at The Feminist Fightback conference, about how she fantasises about being raped and she enjoys being whipped, strangled etc… Many people went to this workshop expecting to hear postive speeches about women’s sexuality, not to be told that enjoying sex means pain and submission, and to hear people condone eroticising rape. As a woman left in tears comforted by her friends because all this talk of rape as fantasy was too upsetting, this left me thinking, is this feminist..? Is it feminist to hold a workshop at a general feminist event, eroticising violence against women, talking about ‘rape play’ like rape is a bit of foreplay..? I really don’t think so, but yet I get told I need to embrace all forms of feminism… This aint feminism to me.

I understand that women may eroticise rape after being attacked, and from suffering abuse, as a means of controlling what has/is happening to her. I’m not saying that if a woman ever has erotic thoughts of violence she isn’t feminist- women’s submission is so deeply ingrained, we are taught to eroticise our own submission. I do however object to women holding workshops at general feminist events, promoting the eroticisation of violence against women and not considering that this may upset women attending who may be survivors of violence and abuse. I also object to them using their enjoyment of violent porn and protecting the civil liberties of a minority sub-culture, as arguments to justify not taking action against violent porn for the greater good of women.

If inclusive in the definition of feminism, is promoting the eroticisation of rape and other forms of violence against women, doing ‘rape role play’ with men and enjoying porn in which women are being abused, how are we to ever envisage a world free from male violence against women..?

* I am only criticisng this workshop and the opinion of two organisers who I have had correspondence with; there are many other interesting feminist workshops and bands playing at Ladyfest Leeds.

** The blurb cited was a draft version found on the blog of one of the workshop speakers, and was not approved by Ladyfest.

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48 Responses to “When is Feminism not Feminism?”

  1. Camryn said

    I do however object to women holding workshops at general feminist events, promoting the eroticisation of violence against women and not considering that this may upset women attending who may be survivors of violence and abuse. I also object to them using their enjoyment of violent porn and protecting the civil liberties of a minority sub-culture, as arguments to justify not taking action against violent porn for the greater good of women.

    I think this is key. Anyone’s freedom should stop where it hurts others. If feminism isn’t about the basic right of women to live free from male violence (we’re talking about human rights here!) what exactly is it fighting for?

  2. stormy said

    I think you said it all with “‘Rape Play’? What the fuck!!!”
    I don’t think I could have put it more succinctly than that. 😦

  3. Linda said

    Supporter of violent pornography often refer to cenorship as preventing ‘thought crime’. Well the Criminal justice bill actually isn’t aiming to criminalise what people think or their completely private sexual behaviour. What is aiming to criminalise is people making violent pornography which is then available publicly. Which is not a ‘thought crime’ because it affects other people. And of course a lot of it also depicts real violence – which is why the possession of child porn was criminalised. Having a market for something creates a demand for it – no one bothers to make stuff no one will buy because they’d go out of business pretty quickly.

  4. Yes Linda, I frequently see this around the blogs–that this is an attempt to police peoples private sex lives with the invasion of the ’morality police‘ I am sure they must really know that this is to prevent the manufacturing of violent and publicly available pornography. Mmm much straw men floating around *cough* and well said Charlie.

  5. Rebecca said

    It is hard to how this can define as feminist, when it appears careless of the harm that their leisure has on other women.
    I know that their play does harm, especially mentally, women. Rape is not a joke, unless you hate women.
    I find the misuse of if “porn is the theory, rape the practise”, very offensive. For, I have experienced men using the contents of porn to rape me. Only now, do I feel that I speak out. Before, I felt silenced by shame and shock. Also, I was brain-washed to believe that it was liberating.
    So, I find that this leaflet is shocking, for it speaks of “play” and fantasy of sexual, as if if has no real impact. This is rubbish, and is not feminist. For, it takes no responsility for the harm it put in to the world.

  6. Laura said

    I despise the oxymoron that is the term ‘rape fantasy’ (I think that’s the form of rape ‘play’ they mean). We have complete control over ‘fantasy’ but NONE over ‘rape’. ‘Rape fantasy’ cannot exist. I suspect that the term is carelessly thrown about by those who actually mean ‘submissive fantasies’ (albeit taken to an extreme) which are still controlled by that person’s mind. Rape is the demonstrable stripping of control from a person by a rapist.

  7. Lee-Anne said

    I’m not saying that if a woman ever has erotic thoughts of violence she isn’t feminist- women’s submission is so deeply ingrained, we are taught to eroticise our own submission.

    Exactly.

    By the way, Rape = the crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts” (involuntary) so someone (voluntarily) dreaming of being raped cannot possibly be dreaming of rape in its truest sense.

  8. No it is not feminist to eroticise violence against women because in fact that is not only condoning male violence against women, it also reinforces the hierarchy of power and violence against women. So, apparently it is acceptable to eroticise the domination and control of some women over other women. These heterosexist and patriarchal ideas emanate from many men who consider it their right to dominate and sexually control women. To advocate women committing violence against other women is simply imitating male-defined ideas. In plain language it is about abuse of power. Only this time it is about normalising women abusing other women. Is feminism really about the right for some women to sexually abuse other women in the name of supposed freedom? Freedom for whom – all women or just elite women?

  9. Daisy Puke said

    Any woman who likes to act out rape has been conditioned by the culture (or have been viiolently abused themselves) that feminists are fighting in the first place. Any woman who likes to be liberated by being a sexual slave has issues, not only acting out rape, but actively promoting this to other women is absolutely obscene. Even if I engaged in this type of activity, I would not base my life on it nor form a workshop around it – it would not be SO important to my life (and from what I gather, many other women’s) lives that I would need to campaign against a piece of legislation which has been long-overdue and which will be a message, a small step in the right direction, to protection of women and children. Is this SO important that the protection of the majority or women who do not hold these views is compromised? I smell “menz” cologne.

  10. Ok, so there’s lots of criticism online of me by the BDSM crew for writing this criticism of the workshop.

    I will not publish their comments. This is a safe space for women and pro-feminist men to express their anti-porn stance. And to be honest, the comments are quite boring.

    I will respond though…

    1) Suprise suprise, much of the criticism I have received has come from BDSM men. These men who watch violent porn and enage in violent and domineering sex with women, tell me that I’m not a feminist- I’ve got it all wrong you see. Apparently, according to these men, women should have the right to enage in submissive violent sex with men, and objecting isn’t feminist.

    Let me tell you this… Don’t you dare, as men who eroticise and act out violence against women, try to interpret feminism to me.
    Women’s liberation is not about reaching ‘liberation’ through orgasm, being tied up as a slave, performing rape role play with you fuck-heads.

    2) To the women who argue for their right to engage in BDSM… Fine, do it, but don’t shove it in our faces. Don’t do workshops eroticising violence against women at general feminist events. Don’t expect women to be supportive about you engaging in violent sex with men. And don’t allude that it is feminist.

    3) To all those BDSM crew who are worried that they will get a 3 year prison sentence and be on the sex offenders register for possessing photos of themselves engaging in BDSM, it’s nice to know where your priorities lie- and it isn’t with the women who are raped, mutilated and killed in porn and in real life by porn-loving misogynist men.

    The proposed legislation to ban the possession of extreme violent porn clearly states it will ban the folowing…

    necrophilia
    torture
    rape
    bestiality

    …made with the intent to arouse.

    It will ban what is already illegal to make and publish. It is the result of a campaign by Liz Longhurst, whose daughter was strangled, murdered and raped by a man obsessed with strangulation porn. He watched such porn, and carried out his sick fantasies on her body after he had killed her.

    So don’t worry, you can carry on whipping yourselves senseless, because the legislation doesn’t intend to stop you. And to be honest, if you are concerned that your violent sex acts are within the same bracket as necrophilia, torture and rape, then maybe you should consider the ethics of your sex life.

    4) To all those who say banning the possession of extreme violence against women, will not stop violence against women, so therefore there’s no point. Well, law sets a benchmark about what is acceptable and unacceptable. And possessing and masturbating to images of women being raped, murdered and strangled is not acceptable. And, such porn does depict real violence against women and does contribute to a culture of real sexual violence against women and children.

    5) To all those who think cos I’m anti-porn, this means I automatically advocate 100% censorship against anything remotely naked- this is bollocks.

    6) To all those who try to say me opposing BDSM is like me opposing homosexuality- don’t try to accuse me of homophobia, cos I’m a lesbian.

    There is also lots of defamation of my character as a result of this post, by one of the workshop speakers.

    Well what can I say, this is what happens when you speak out against the BDSM pro-porn crew. They ironically try to censor me, accuse me of criminal acts and disseminate lies about my character.

    But will this shut me up..? Nah 🙂

  11. If anyone would like to read examples of the comments left to me, criticising my stance against the workshop and their support for not acting against extreme violent porn, then please visit

    informedconsent.co.uk/boards/activism/ (add http://www.)

    and please post your criticism here

    x

  12. Rebecca said

    Charlie – It is fantastic and so truthful, how you have you laid out your case against BDSM.
    I will never believe that promoting sexual violence as fantasy or play, can be part of feminism. Or how people who make BDSM in to public porn can not take responsibility for the real harm that it can create.
    I think they are so selfish to believe that their pleasure can have no consequences.
    As Charlie said there is real violence involved in the making of violent porn. I agree that hard-core violent porn does contribute to real sexual violence.

  13. Daisy Puke said

    “Apparently, according to these men, women should have the right to enage in submissive violent sex with men, and objecting isn’t feminist.”

    Of course they would poor littew diddums – men have always felt entitled to tell women what women have or have not a right to, and then telling them that it’s liberating – how convenient. Of course pornified men want to define feminism – but that kind of errrrr….. makes it NOT feminism. Are they thick?

    BDSM does underpin and reinforce an increasingly obvious rape culture and women find out too late that “experiementing” with bdsm will fuck your head right up sick street eventually – defining their lives by the fact that they like pain, rape and men’s domination, well, maybe this is all part of their eye-opening process – one day they will see the big picture, meanwhile, denial and “can’t beat ’em join ’em” (or both) is just easier than looking at your internal motivations in the context of a rape male-defined culture as a whole – look past the personal boundaries and open your eyes. I feel sorry for these women (well, not that sorry, they are promoting rape to rape victims) – the men can go fuck and whip themsleves. And let’s not forget, that in this rape culture, coercion, subtle manipulation, throwing the toys out of the pram, and pressure to force women to have sex is also rape.

    Your reply was spot on Charlie.

  14. Laurelin said

    Laurelin’s notes to Informed Consenters:

    1) criticising you, or suggesting that a graphic description of ‘rape fantasy’ is not suitable for a feminist gathering in which there is a good chance that many of the women there will have been sexually assaulted at some time or another, is NOT censorship. Charliegrrl does not have the power to censor you, so stop whining. She does have the power to call you out, and that is what she has done, and will continute to do.

    2) ‘thought crime’ refers to the criminalisation of thoughts, not actions. No-one’s trying to stop you from thinking, from doing what you want in private when you have give Informed Consent. Don’t go all 1984 on us, it doesn’t work.

    3) women are routinely raped and beaten in the pornography industry to make these pictures. Women’s rights to integrity and safety in the world override your rights to look at pictures which may (and probably do) include unwilling participants. Deal with it. If you are more angry about your own ‘freedoms’ than the safety of some of the most vulnerable women in the world, then you have no right to claim to be feminist. Feminism isn’t about just you.

    4) We’re not going anywhere

  15. Well done Charlie for refusing to be silenced by the pro-porners.

  16. Linda said

    Hear hear – yes it does take a person especially devoid of a sense of irony to go on about free speech and then say someone else is libellous.

    Erm and yes people can engage in BDSM behaviour, it’s not illegal, nor should it be in my opinion as long as those involved are consenting and over the age of 18. (However assault and causing grievous bodily harm are, even if consent is given). But as a lesbian I am totally sick of the way the BDSM crew have invaded the lesbian community and keep telling me that if I disapprove of them I am as bad as the people who wanted male homosexuality illegal.

    FACT: consenting male homosexual behaviour does not harm others. FACT: I know people personally who have been psychologically harmed by ‘consenting’ BDSM relationships – both gay and straight.
    FACT: I have never met any (non BDSM)gay man or lesbian who has claimed that role playing rape or child abuse is ‘healthy’ and ‘therapeutic’ for survivors but I’ve met loads of BDSMers who claim this. (Not all I must add because I have friends who’ve been involved in BDSM and I wouldn’t be friends with someone who advocates this).

    And here’s a quote in ‘The Advocate'(a US gay magazine) from BDSM darling Patrick Califia (formerly Pat Califia a lesbian writer) about gay men and lesbians who have sex with children:

    “Boy lovers and the lesbians who have young lovers are the only people offering a hand to help young women and men cross the difficult terrain between straight society and the gay community. They are not child molesters. The child abusers are priests, teachers, therapists, cops, and parents who force their stale morality onto the young people in their custody. Instead of condemning paedophiles for their involvement with lesbian and gay youth we should be supporting them”.

    A lesbian/gay man who has a sexual relationship with someone under the age of consent is an abuser – full stop. It is NEVER justified. Stuff like this DOES NOT reduce homophobia as it gives the general public the impression that gay men and lesbians are paedophiles. I’ve seen this quote used on anti gay websites. If anyone is increasing homophobia it is BDSMers like Califia.

  17. Victory! said

    “don’t try to accuse me of homophobia, cos I’m a lesbian.”

    I knew it! I win £10! Thanks Charliegrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl!

  18. Ok so I thought that was funny 🙂

  19. Linda said

    Oh and BTW – re ‘stalking’. You guys ever heard of Google? Obviously not!

  20. Grace said

    I’m just shocked to [almost] speechlessness that people who claim to be feminist could be so unbelieveably insensitive to the experiences of their audience as to celebrate ‘rape play’ – as many people were likely to have been negatively affected by sexual dominance and cohersion at varying levels of extremity at some point during their lives.

    I’d like to echo Laura and Lee-Anne’s points that to call it ‘rape play’ or ‘rape fantasy’ is a complete misnomer – as to fantasise about something means that you have control at least over what you want to happen, and if it is ‘play’ then their should control there, so that the submission person can stop what’s happen – which we all know here, is NOT the case with real rape, so by definition of fantasy and play, it can not be rape.

    So not only did they inappropriately discuss the subject in an insensitive manner, they mis-used a word that is loaded with fear and pain (say the word in whatever context within the justice system and you instantly get gasps from everyone in earshot).

    Excellent post Charlie, brilliant retorts too! Lets face it, the fact that you used logic probably threw them for a loop straight off…’thought crime’…how ridiculous…you can’t even get a hate crime on grounds of sexism or gender discrimination…

  21. Michelle said

    It’s completely fucked-up that people would get more het up about someone taking issue with them- and taking issue with them in a non-threatening, fair and non-derogatory way at that- then about how violent porn hurts/abuses women.

    Charlie, your original post was completely fair, and I think you made the right decision not to allow the pro-porners’ comments here, the thread would go on and on, without getting anywhere, and this is quite clearly an anti-porn blog, so you shouldn’t have to make concessions to the pro-porners.

    You have my full support.
    Michelle xx

  22. Laura said

    What really gets me with these people is priorties. How can anyone claim that their desire to act out what they call rape play (which is in fact submissive play, as discussed by various commenters above) and to watch extreme pornography is more important than preventing violence against women, than pro-choice activism, than fighting for equal pay, than destroying rape myths and combatting sexual harrassment? Why take up time and space at a feminist event – an event which, as Laurelin pointed out, will no doubt be frequented by numerous survivors – with a discussion of the merits of violent and patriarchally conformative sex?

    As you said, Charlie, if they want to engage in that then they can get on with it, but it simply is NOT going to help liberate women and as such should play no part in feminist events.

  23. Bea said

    Hi Charlie,

    I visited the forum you link to above and noticed that the people posting are encouraging each other leave comments on your blog. Why? At some point it became clear that you were not going to publish their comments yet they continue to encourage each other to visit your blog and leave more comments. Why?

    It would seem that some of the people posting there consider being denied a platform on your blog censorship and that makes me question what they actually mean when they say they’re opposed to censorship.

    Then there’s their personal insults and mockery of you. Using insults and mockery against someone one oppose doess not, in itself, invalidate any arguments one makes, but I do have to wonder about why there are so many insults and why they spend so much time on smearing your character.

  24. Linda said

    I also notice Bea that one of the male posters admits that he left a post on Charlie’s blog with a fake female identity. Which kind of doesn’t really help their case – if men are pretending to be women, why should we believe any of them are women?

  25. Linda said

    Oh and to the person who said on another blog that I am ‘under the impression this only applies to published images’. No I am not, I know what the proposed law entails. This will apply to people who take photographs/videos of themselves indulging in acts of the type pictured. But since these acts – grievous bodily harm, murder, rape, necrophilia and bestiality are illegal, even with ‘consent’, can I suggest you’re also extremely stupid if you photograph/film yourselves doing them! That’s how the Operation Spanner lot (who nailed penises to boards) got caught. Once an image is made it can also be circulated, and influence others even if theparticipants ‘consent’. And I haven’t replied to you on your blog that’s because I don’t really want you weirdos knowing my IP address.

  26. Linda said

    And before you say (vis a vis operation spanner) advocating causing physical harm to men AS WELL AS WOMEN means you’re not anti feminist.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right!

    (sorry Charlie I’ll shut up now).

  27. stormy said

    There so many brilliant** comments above, it is difficult to find an aspect not covered.

    **With the exception of “Victory!” who is most obviously male.
    I’m surprised he didn’t finish it off with *high five guys!*
    What a sad loser.

  28. Liz said

    Hi Charlie,

    I agree with you – putting on a pro-porn BDSM workshop at a Ladyfest where there will doubtless be survivors of violence is decidedly anti-feminist and anti-woman. I think you are right to call these people out.

    Feminism is looking at the wider consequences of our actions and of actions in society that can, and does, harm women (like you said). And yes, as you say, there are no objections to the THOUGHTS of these people, just to their actions – so I have no idea why they consider themselves ‘censored’!!

    BDSM is pretty much everywhere, if you look for it closely enough (turns up in adverts, films etc) and they are certainly not censored. I think it just makes them uncomfortable that anyone objects to their putting on a talk/lecture/workshop at a feminist/lady fest, full stop.

    Also, people seem to have a warped idea of what feminism means. It isn’t about individual tastes, or fake ’empowerment’ (ie. raunch culture, submission/dominance etc) – which is what the men seem to have been implying when they tried to post comments here.

    What people do in their own time, privacy etc is their business but they shouldn’t try to push their agenda when in involves hurting and damaging women as a whole.

  29. Thanks for your support
    Yeah they seemed to demand that I publish their comments- like they have a right to air their views on this blog.

    I think Laurelin puts it well when she says Feminism isn’t just about you

  30. Asidy Ekup said

    I do still smell the strong stench of eau de menz behind all this bdsm promo crap. (Eau de menz is a very similar smell to crap actually).

  31. you’re doing really excellent stuff Charlie. Keep strong, see you and others next week.
    Elizabeth
    ps old proverb: be careful of wrestling with a pig. as you both get muddy, but the pig likes it.

  32. emma said

    I second that emotion.

  33. linda said

    Really, really sorry Charlie, just one last thing, promise.

    To the patronising male person who wrote that ‘at least I know about Operation Spanner’. Indeed I do. I wrote my dissertation on it. For my law degree in which I got a 2:1. Even with my poor little feeble female brain!

    So – the reason that the Operation Spanner lot were convicted is that although they may have THOUGHT that consent is a defence to a charge of assault, it isn’t except in very limited circumstances (mainly medical treatment, licensed body piercing and licensed boxing). Ignorance of the law is no excuse!

    So you would be just as guilty of assault if you took part in unlicensed boxing consensually as you would if you took part in BDSM consensually and caused more than a ‘trifling injury’. Perhaps this means unlicensed boxing is a ‘sexuality’ then by your reasoning?

    Now it was proposed after Spanner that the law on assault should be changed. This was dropped when the government realised that doing so would make it almost impossible to obtain convictions in cases of domestic violence.

    So the law on assault stands – which is not someone’s ‘subjective’ opinion any more than all the other laws you lot keep misquoting and making up are!

  34. hippie said

    I’ve just been catching up on the last few days’ online activity, and am horrified at the way you’re being treated, Charliegrrl.

    Contrary to what some would lead you to believe, not only have you done nothing wrong, but you are again standing up for and defending women. We need more women like you, and I am pleased to see a significant number of women commenting positively and supportively to you.

    In true sisterhood…

  35. Being harassed online is a right little giggle long as you get informed, consent and all that malarkey.

  36. Arantxa said

    The Spanner Trust is a male-led organisation whose primary objective is to advocate and lobby for a change in the UK law whereby injuries caused by sadomasochistic activity would not be treated as harmful to the injured person.

    I don’t think we need to worry that any such law changes will me made. What does worry me is the extent to which such politics are endorsed by Ladyfest events. The fact that anti-woman principles are so often aired at Ladyfests undermines feminist efforts to raise consciousness about violence against women.

  37. lesbiansagainstmisogyny said

    And to the crowd who are now dragging out the tired old ‘they’re all hairy legged, dungaree & doc marten wearing lesbian’ line.

    Fact #1 I’m a lesbian
    Fact #2 I don’t shave my legs
    Fact #3 I own some dungarees (they’re currently fashionable doncha know)
    Fact #4 I have 5 pairs of docs (including some pretty floral ones).

    You’re obviously confusing me with someone who cares BDSMorons…..

  38. Thanks for your support on your blog Hippie!

  39. Faith said

    Just wanted to drop in and congratulate you for sticking to your guns and not allowing comments even after the harassment. I’m an experienced female sub., but I’m quite strongly against almost all of the pornography currently in production and the industry that supports it. I also fully admit and believe that a great many of the typical female submissive traits and fantasies – including many of my own – are a result of a lifetime of being subjected to negative images and abuse at the hands of men.

    I also just read through the comments at Informed Consent directed at this thread. They are mostly quite clearly coming from entitled male dominants. The Graham character (or whatever his name is) in particular is nauseating in his feeling of entitlement to speak for female subs. You have every right to not post their comments. Anti-porn feminists have stated their position over and over again. If they really want to learn where we are coming from, they can take the time to educate themselves instead of expecting us to keep feeding them.

    (Note to Informed Consent members: Do not try to post comments at my blog either. They will not be approved.)

  40. Pippa said

    You have my support too! well done. keep at it.

  41. Johanna said

    You have my support too Charliegrrl.

  42. Richie said

    I’d also like to add mine.

  43. merdeen said

    I’m a bit late as usual, but my support entirely.

  44. witchy-woo said

    Adding my support too.

  45. Reetta said

    And naturally, you have also my support.

  46. Burrow said

    A little late, but adding my support as well.

  47. Hiya Charlie – sorry you are getting so much crap. There are some feminists interested in Women’s liberation over in Leeds and I’m disapointed Ladyfest was the start of all this. I’d have been at the workshop arguing the anti-porn case but got into childcare issues and so missed it.
    There was a lot of good stuff going on – like a great workshop on ‘race’ and feminism.
    Myself, I don’t have the heart or stomach for arguing this all over with other ‘feminists’ / feminists [???] I do think there is a line where feminism is and is not but it breaks my heart so much to go through all the kind of stuff you are going through that I don’t argue in my own communities on this issue at present. [I’ll just state my position and just not discuss it unless I think it will be productive] Thanks 1000% for taking your place in the rota… I can’t believe we are still having to deal with this kind of pro-porn harrasment in supposedly feminist arenas STILL [sigh]

    Just because it feels good – doesn’t make it right [Skin]

    Bye,
    Rachel Feminista
    http://www.myspace.com/feministas

  48. Thanks Rachel. Yeah there was lots of interesting stuff at Ladyfest, although I couldn’t go to any of it as I was busy. I try not to waste too much energy debating within feminist circles with people who are pro-porn and pro-BDSM- been there done that, and it is tiring. Like you said, I say my piece and save my energy for activism.

    Just because it feels good – doesn’t make it right [Skin]

    That’s a good quote to use when talking about BDSM

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