Let’s talk about who’s actually hateful and bigoted here

Well, folks, I am back from a lovely and relaxing trip and ready to address the stinking pile of horseshit that people crapped onto my blog while I was away.

I published a guest post by a woman who was harassed at the Vancouver Dyke March, and her harasser showed up in the comments to continue the harassment. It’s absolutely amazing to me that a harasser can get called out on his harassment and then decide that the appropriate response is to continue harassing. How messed up of a person do you have to be to think that’s a good idea?

Mr. Wanda Normous made a feeble attempt to claim that he hadn’t harassed anyone by reporting that he didn’t use a loud voice when talking to her. However, he admitted in his own words to engaging in the following behaviours:

  • “follow around to counter your hateful message until you took it out of the park with you”
  • “walk or stand immediately outside of your personal space with my terror breasts exposed.”
  • “I used two tools to evict you”

In these quotes, Mr. Normous has admitted to following a lesbian around and being in her personal space with the purpose of “evicting” her from the march. This is clear harassment and intimidation.

Let’s take a moment to discuss who is actually hateful and bigoted in this situation. There is a trans march and a dyke march. No lesbians are on record as saying they do not think there should be a trans march. No lesbians have attended a trans march to intimidate anybody. Lesbians have not tried to take over the board of directors of a trans march and kick out the trans people from the march. This is something that trans people are doing to the dyke march, and it’s happening only in that direction. It’s not going both ways.

Speaking for myself, I have been to a trans march. While I was there I just stood on the sidelines and watched. I did not lecture anyone about what they may or may not put on their sign. I did not select a person whose sign I believed was objectionable and follow them around in order to intimidate them. I do not believe I have the right to dictate to trans people what they put on their signs in their own march, nor do I have a right to harass anyone. I believe it’s acceptable for Pride festivals to include a trans march and for trans people to show their pride about being trans. I do not wish to stand in the way of this.

All the dyke marches in every city that holds them have been taken over by queer politics and are now hostile toward anyone who understands what a woman is and what a lesbian is. Comments from lesbians are deleted from Dyke March Facebook pages in every city and marchers hold signs that say things like “No TERFs” to make it clear that actual female homosexuals are not welcome there. The Dyke Marches now cater exclusively to men and bisexual women who agree with queer politics.

There is no logical reason why trans people need to be centered or even invited at all to a dyke march, since THERE IS A TRANS MARCH. A dyke march should center dykes.

What is happening here is that female homosexuals are being completely kicked out of Pride festivals; we cannot have our own march any more, we cannot even speak about our exclusion without being labelled bigots. It’s not just that trans people wanted their own march, which would have been fine, but they wanted every march to cater exclusively to them.

It is abundantly clear that the actual hatred and bigotry here is coming from trans people and is being directed at lesbians. Claims that lesbians are excluding trans people are complete reversals of the truth.

Speaking of lies, Wanda Normous wrote some real whoppers in the comments on my last post.

He has claimed that  “your desire to exterminate transwomen is plain” and that “you only care about hurting and excluding transwomen” and that “you’re just deciding for folks whether or not they’re women.”

Neither I nor the writer of the guest post gave any indication that we wanted to “exterminate” transwomen. In order for this alleged “desire” to be “plain,” we would have had to express it. This claim is purely a product of Mr. Normous’s imagination. Just for the record, no, I do not wish to exterminate anyone.

Neither I nor the guest writer has an interest in hurting transwomen. As for exclusion, I do think that transwomen should be excluded from the dyke march, however I do not think they should be excluded from the trans march. It’s pretty basic logic that the dyke march is for dykes and the trans march is for trans people. Having a march for each group does not exclude anybody—holding a march for each group is actually inclusion. Questions: If transwomen should be included in the dyke march, then why even have separate marches? Why not just make it one big march? And if trans people should be included in the dyke march, does this also mean that dykes should be included in the trans march? Why or why not?

A sign that says “dyke power is female” does not exclude anybody. It’s true that dykes are female. Stating a simple and neutral fact is not exclusionary.

Last but not least, the third lie mentioned above was “you’re just deciding for folks whether or not they’re women.” Nope! We’re not. Nobody can decide who is a woman and who is not. You’re just born that way. Nature and biology determine whether you’re born male or female. Nobody can decide anything about it. People can’t assign a sex to a baby any more than they can assign fingers or toes to a baby. Women are identifying the difference between male and female, but we cannot possibly decide it from our desire or will—nobody can.

I want to particularly highlight the following phrase from Wanda Normous:

“USELESS FUCKING TERF GARBAGE”

This is hate speech directed toward lesbians. Although Mr. Normous is very concerned that lesbians should not be allowed to represent a uterus on a sign because that is allegedly “hate speech” against him, he has no problem with calling lesbians “useless fucking terf garbage.” It’s very, very clear that Mr. Normous has serious misogyny issues. A misogynist and homophobic man who harasses and intimidates lesbians has absolutely no business attending a dyke march and he should be considered an unsafe person and banned from the event.

In contrast, I am a trans-critical writer who makes an effort not to use unnecessarily antagonistic language when talking about trans people. I never use the slur “tranny” and I even refrain from using the words “mutilate” and “delusional.” I believe in giving people basic courtesy and respect, in order to show that I am engaging honestly with issues and not just trolling. For a transwoman to show up on my blog and use this sort of disrespectful language when I have used no such disrespectful language toward him is very telling. Once again, the hatred and bigotry in this situation are coming from trans people and directed at lesbians; it’s a one-way street.

I did notice that Mr. Normous intentionally “misgendered” me by referring to me with male signifiers. This did not harm me in any way, because using incorrect grammar in a sentence does not cause people harm. I found it mildly amusing, but it really didn’t matter at all. However, I have to note that according to trans ideology, misgendering is “violence,” and so according to Mr. Normous’s own political position, he has committed “violence” toward me. Funny how the “violence” of misgendering only matters when directed toward transwomen; when directed at lesbians it’s not a problem.

The last point I’m going to cover for tonight is this:

“your narrative that women are only as good as their reproductive organs”

This is not at all the narrative that feminists present. It is a bald-faced lie to claim this. It is patriarchy that positions women as only good for reproduction and PIV sex. The entire feminist movement has been based on women’s knowledge that we are more than just wives and mothers and that we can do anything we want. Our work has been based on allowing us to control our reproductive capacity so that we are not reduced to our biological functions and can enter the workforce as men’s equals. To name the female reproductive anatomy does not reduce women to just their reproductive anatomy. Similarly, if I identify that I have ten fingers, that does not reduce me to just fingers, and if I identify that I have two eyes, that does not reduce me to nothing but eyes. This attempt at an argument is beyond pathetic.

Over and over I have witnessed transwomen behaving with masculine socialization (entitlement, dominance, and aggression), making ridiculously misogynist and homophobic statements, engaging in misogynist and homophobic behaviours, and telling bald-faced lies about feminists. I am absolutely not impressed and as long as they behave this way I will not be a political ally toward them. Although I would theoretically support some parts of trans activism, such as gender-neutral toilets and the right to wear the clothing one wants to wear, I cannot ally with people who are this hateful toward my demographic.

Over and over, transwomen demonstrate, with their own words and behaviour, that they do not resemble women in the slightest, and that they are particularly dangerous men. Feminists hardly have to call attention to the fact that transwomen are male; they do it themselves.

Anti-lesbian harassment at Vancouver Dyke March

This is a guest post by Katherine Jeffcott who attended the Vancouver Dyke March on August 5, 2017. She says:

I thought I would share my account of the dyke march in Vancouver, including pictures. As you know, I’m big on making women central in my feminism. So, I made a sign which stated simply “dyke power is female”. Here is me with my sign:

Well, we were marching, when this trans woman who was obviously a volunteer or a marshal, came up to me and yelled at me. She said my sign was transmisogynistic (because it doesn’t include male anatomy). Essentially the uterus offended this person. So she yelled at me, but one of my sisters quickly came up and put her arm around me, indicating I wasn’t alone. I kept marching. Meanwhile I was surrounded by other awesome women with amazing signs. Like this:

And this:

We weren’t saying anything against trans, we were simply focusing on women. Interestingly enough when the parade ended and we were in the park, this same trans person followed us everywhere:

They removed their top and followed us in a pink speedo where ever we went. We didn’t say or do anything to provoke this person. All we did was talk about women and female anatomy. Eventually I felt freaked out enough that my partner came and picked me up. I literally had shaky palms and was sweating. I was nervous until I saw my sisters with their sign that said Trust In God: Grumpy Old Dykes. Then I felt at home.

But my question to you is, what about women? Why are we being intimidated in our own spaces? What is it about our anatomy that is not acceptable?

What I love about being a lesbian

Today I’ve had cramps and bloating and I discovered a really good remedy for period pain is watching awesome YouTube videos of lesbians being lesbians. It makes me smile and takes my mind off the discomfort.

Here’s another video by Mainely Butch:

I noticed that almost everything she says about why she likes being a lesbian is butch- related. For example, she enjoys shopping for clothes in the men’s section and she enjoys the way straight women smile at her and the way men look at her when they see a beautiful woman on her arm.

The reasons why I like being a lesbian are not the same as this because I’m not a butch. I’m going to write about why I like being a lesbian and my perspective is both femme and feminist. I’m not sure what order these items should be in. I’ll write them in the order that I think of them but that’s not necessarily order of importance—these points are all important.

I love having sex with a woman. I did try sex with men when I was younger and it was boring and didn’t work for me. When I’m with a woman, she has a body that I’m really into and I love touching her so much, I can sometimes orgasm just from touching her. And she can bring me to orgasm as many times as she wants. I love that sex with women can feel never-ending, because you can be intimate in subtle ways throughout the day, kissing and casually touching each other, and then you can give each other pleasure in an unlimited way whenever you want. It doesn’t feel to me like we ever stop being intimate. And I love that it’s unstructured—you aren’t limited to specific roles or scripts.

I love having a “husband” who’s female. My partner does all the things a husband would do for a wife, like driving the truck, fixing furniture and appliances, etc, except she’s female. I love that I can live with a woman who can do everything a man can, and I love that we don’t need a man in any way. I love that she takes so much care with the things she builds and repairs and does a way better job than men do.

I love that I can go through my whole life not using any birth control. I don’t have to worry about the hormonal effects of the pill, or getting an I.U.D inserted, or being scared of pregnancy. I’m glad nobody is injecting me with semen and my vagina stays in its natural state all the time. I’m glad that sex is divorced from reproduction for me, and it’s just for fun and I don’t have to have babies.

I’m glad that my home is permanent female-only space. I can go home every day knowing that there are no men in my home, and I can display radical feminist books on my shelves and I can hold radical feminist meetings in safety and speak my mind and never have to explain or justify my beliefs to a dude.

I’m glad that my partner doesn’t think that certain tasks are my job to do because I’m a wife. We each do half the chores and what we decide to do reflects our interests and abilities rather than what sex we are. And speaking of household chores, I’d be really resentful if I had to do free labor in the home for a man. I’m glad that the time and energy that I put in around the house benefits another woman, rather than a man.

I’m glad that my partner knows what menstruation is like, so when I’m feeling hormonal she doesn’t make fun of me and think I’m crazy, she does helpful things and is nice to me, because she knows she has felt the same way.

A few points of Mainely Butch’s that I agreed with: women smell better, lesbians are powerful, women are better at conversation, women have intense passionate relationships, and women are smart!

The last point MB made is that being a lesbian is so good because it means being who she is. That was a beautiful note to end on and I feel the same way. I’m so happy to be in a gay-friendly area and to be able to live my life how I want. It’s beautiful!

Primary school goes gender neutral for TV experiment

Now here’s a story!

From the Daily Mail:

“In a unique TV experiment, a class of seven-year-olds was taught to forget all the differences between the sexes. The BBC’s idea was to create a gender-neutral classroom of seven-year-olds for a TV documentary. What would happen, wondered producers, if all differences between boys and girls were removed over a six-week period? Could it change the way the children thought and close the gaps in their achievement levels?”

This experiment got some things right, but it also got some things wrong. The positive aspect is that stereotypes about men and women were challenged, and the children were taught that they can do much more than they realized.

“In a series of psychometric tests, Dr Abdelmoneim and his team discover that the girls have much lower self-esteem than the boys and are inclined to underestimate their abilities.”

“To challenge the pupils’ preconceptions about the jobs on offer to them, the TV crew brings in a male ballet dancer, a female mechanic, a male make-up artist and a female magician.

“The children seem shocked by the role-reversal, but soon the girls are poring over a car engine and the boys are practising pirouettes.”

It’s a good thing to teach kids that men don’t have to be strong and unfeeling all the time, and that women are more than just wives and mothers. The kids in this class learned that they can do anything they want regardless of their sex, which is a good thing.

However, due to an increasing confusion over the difference between gender and sex, and the unfortunate denial that biological sex even exists, which is caused by the trans cult, the school felt that making all the students use the same washroom was a part of creating a gender neutral environment.

Gender refers to the social expectations and stereotypes we place on men and women, but sex refers to the real biological differences that allow us to reproduce. It’s a good thing to abolish gender, since people need to be free from negative stereotypes and limiting expectations. However, it is both impossible and unnecessary to abolish sex differences. Even if we teach girls and boys that they can grow up to have any personality and occupation they want, the fact that boys have penises and girls have vaginas remains true, and we should not be trying to convince anyone otherwise.

The students did not enjoy using the same washroom, particularly the girls.

‘You’ve got to start going to the same toilet,’ he announces to the class. The response is unanimous and resounding. ‘No!’ cry the children but – undeterred – the programme-makers push on with the experiment.

Dr Abdelmoneim admitted last week: ‘The children didn’t like the toilet.’ He said the girls were particularly uncomfortable with the arrangement. ‘The girls were like, “Oh they [the boys] come out with their bits dangling out and they don’t wash their hands.” ’

Mr Andre admitted parents were equally unhappy, adding: ‘The head put the toilets back to normal when the film cameras left.’

This is really unfortunate. Making boys and girls use the same washroom does not challenge stereotypes about who girls and boys can be, it just makes them uncomfortable. We separate the sexes in washrooms for the safety and privacy of both sexes. Although boys this young won’t usually commit any serious sexual offences, they seem to have been showing off their parts to annoy the girls. This behavior is not something girls should be subjected to.

I read the comments under this article and it was full of right-wing commenters complaining that “the Left” and “Marxism” are causing the collapse of society and that without femininity and masculinity people will not know how to breed. They were also being racist against Muslims for some reason.

I am so embarrassed that this idiocy is associated with the left. I am a far-left Marxist and I do not agree with the denial of biological sex differences and the desegregation of private spaces. Denying reality is not progressive, it’s just plain stupid. Nobody is harmed by the accurate understanding of biology and the granting of safety and privacy to people using washrooms and locker rooms.

Plenty of women on the left know what is going wrong here. We know where the analysis and the policies of the trans/queer cult have gone wrong. We’ve written excellent essays on it and we’ve spoken at many events about it. However, we are not being listened to. We are slandered as “TERFs” whose views are outdated and bigoted and our voices are shut down.

The Left is shooting itself in the foot by not listening to the smart women among its ranks who can see the problems its creating. The right-wing backlash is coming, and it’s too bad nobody wants to prevent it by listening to reason and creating reasonable policies in the first place.

Personal Freedom

Reading about how neoliberalism is a strategy of protecting capitalism from those of us who want a collectivist government made me start thinking about the concept of personal freedom. People who are against communism and “big government” see it as a threat to individual liberty. They think they should be allowed to live their lives as they please and the government should stay out of it. They see the free market as the proper economic system and believe that the government is stealing from them by taking taxes and inappropriately controlling them by setting laws. Personal freedom for them means seeing themselves as an individual who only cares about their own needs and perhaps their immediate family’s needs, but who has no reason to care about strangers.

During the McCarthy era there was a lot of propaganda against Communism so that Americans would think it was an evil system. This cold-war era cartoon available on YouTube presents Communism as a devious man trying to trick Americans into signing away their freedom and the freedom of their children and grandchildren.

In Transgender Warriors, Leslie Feinberg writes:

“Being different in the 1950s was no small matter. McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunts were in full frenzy. Like most children, I caught snippets of adult conversations. So I was terrified that communists were hiding under my bed and might grab my ankles at night. I heard that people who were labeled “reds” would discover their names and addresses listed in local newspapers, be fired from their jobs, and be forced to pack up their families and move away. What was their crime? I couldn’t make out the adults’ whispers. But the lesson seeped down: keep your mouth shut; don’t rock the boat.”(p4-5)

Feinberg later became a communist herself, once she found out what communism actually was. Her last words were “Remember me as a revolutionary communist.” But when she was a kid, she learned to think that communists were scary monsters under her bed.

I don’t have the same idea of what personal freedom is as the anti-communist types. Because I see human beings as interdependent, not only with each other but with nature, I don’t see us as needing freedom from responsibility toward each other. We do, in fact, need each other. We need each other’s company because we are social animals, and we need each other’s expertise since we each are skilled at different things the community needs. It’s a very rare human who can truly be a hermit and not depend on anyone. Being a hermit is a great risk. If you are hurt, there is no one around to help you. If you broke your leg while hunting for food, for example, you’d have to walk back home on it and mend your own broken leg. What a misery! Most of us prefer to be in a society surrounded by other people.

I don’t think that being responsible for the people around us is an undue burden. It brings us joy to be responsible for others, because it makes us feel useful and gives us a purpose. I would expect that most parents get a sense of purpose and a feeling of joy from their kids needing them. Why then do people hate so much when their community needs them? Someone who can’t get any joy from helping others is someone I would describe as an asshole. Sure, there’s always assholes, but we shouldn’t design our economic system around their vices, we should design it to encourage positive values.

Personal freedom to me doesn’t mean freedom from the constraints of living in a society, it means freedom to be yourself within society. People should have the freedom to control how they use their own bodies, who they associate with, what they believe, and what they do with their free time. People should not be subject to being arbitrarily imprisoned or to cruel and unusual punishment. I agree with the basic freedoms given to citizens of a democracy.

Some people who hate socialism get really nutty about what they believe it is. I remember a guy years ago arguing on a comment thread that socialists wanted to steal his toothbrush and use it whenever they wanted. I don’t know where he got this idea from and I think he was a looney tune. No, I don’t think people are required to share their toothbrushes, or any of their personal belongings. I also agree that people have the right to own a small plot of land on which to build their house. The things that people should not be allowed to personally own are entire empires. A person should not be permitted to be the exclusive owner of the fruits of their whole community’s labor.

The limits to human freedom come partially from the fact that we are living animals, and therefore we have obligations we must take care of in order to survive. We must prepare food, clothing and shelter, no matter what else we may decide to do. If we have children, we must take care of them. We must educate the young and we must take care of the sick and dying. This means that no matter what economic system is in place, humans have to work. Under capitalism, I have to get up every day and work for capitalism, and in return I get a wage, and I spend it buying products from other capitalists (paying rent, buying food, etc.) Under communism, I’d have to get up every day and work for the state in return for a set amount of either wages or “stuff.” As a worker, my life wouldn’t honestly change that much either way. In neither of these systems do I have the opportunity to just fart around all day—the obligation to work would still be there.

However, there are many benefits to workers that come from communism. Fair wages and work conditions, equality among citizens, less exploitation and domination, and a guaranteed income. Under capitalism, workers can be subject to exploitation and poverty, and may experience prolonged unemployment during which they can’t meet their basic needs. When people can’t meet their basic needs, they do NOT have personal freedom. Communism gives us freedom from poverty.

The people who lose what they see as their “personal freedom” under communism are the rich. Under communism, the rich no longer have the means to exploit others and can no longer hoard tons of extra money and belongings while other people go without. They can no longer spend their days in leisure and indulgence while others do the work for them, because they become ordinary citizens who must do work. They believe that this robs them of their personal freedom.

I don’t think the “right” to hoard material things or the “right” to exploit others are rights that people need. These are anti-social behaviors that represent a moral failing on the part of that person, and constitute an attack on the personal freedom of others. Equality among people is what gives us personal freedom. Without equality, some people aren’t free.

Some anti-communists argue that the only human motivation is greed, and that without the possibility of getting rich, people would have no motivation to do any work. I think this is a load of bullshit. Humans are motivated to provide for their basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, and will always be willing to do the work required to meet these needs. As living animals, we can’t not provide for ourselves. Humans are also motivated to care for the young and the sick, because as social animals we care for our communities. We are also motivated to design and innovate so that we can have better lives. The desire for science, tools, and culture will never cease. Further, when humans use money as a form of motivation that creates a fetishization of money where people want money just for the sake of money. Although this does lead to superficial gratification for the rich it doesn’t lead to true happiness, and it certainly doesn’t lead to happiness for the poor who have been robbed of their share. Money as a source of motivation should be either reduced or eliminated altogether, and this will certainly not turn people into layabouts who refuse to get out of bed. Just for the record, if anyone does want to just sit around and let everyone do the work for them, I think they deserve a kick in the ass and they shouldn’t be allowed to continue that way.

When people are allowed to do just anything they want, some people decide to exploit others. We therefore have to design a society that discourages this tendency. When men are allowed to do whatever they want, some of them decide to abuse women. Women don’t benefit from complete libertarianism. If there is no law and order whatsoever, then it’s open season on women.

Because we are physically limited while pregnant and breastfeeding, we are dependent on our communities for some of our needs. Men have already demonstrated for hundreds of years that when they find themselves with a woman dependent on them they abuse their power. They’ve also demonstrated that they’re not above raping women and girls, either women they know or women who are strangers to them, or capturing them and using them as sexual slaves. When men have complete freedom to do whatever they want, women lose our own freedom. For women to have personal freedom, we must have the freedom from being raped, enslaved, dominated, beaten, and forcibly impregnated.

Personal freedom sounds good, but it’s not as simple as “anybody do what they want.” Freedom comes with responsibility, and freedom for one cannot mean oppression for another. I believe that an economic system that ensures equality would provide freedom, not take it away.

Maybe people can’t think any other way

In Deep Green Resistance, Chapter 7, Aric McBay writes about the psychology of resistance. One of the first studies he discusses is this one.

“In the 1950s, psychologist Solomon Asch conducted a series of experiments into social effects on perception. Asch set out to prove that when faced with a crystal-clear, objective question, a person’s judgment should not be affected by others.

Experimental subjects were brought into a room one at a time with people posing as participants: the experimenter’s confederates. They were shown a set of lines: a “reference” line, and several comparison lines of varying length, one of which matched the reference line. The experimenter asked the participants to call out which line matched. They did this twelve times with twelve different figures. The trick was that the fake subjects—the experimenter’s confederates—lied. They were instructed ahead of time to choose a line which was very clearly too long or too short.

After five false participants had stated their choice, the genuine participants would state their choice. The results of the experiment were completely the opposite of what Asch had expected. In more than half of the trials the subjects went along with the consensus, even though the correct answer was obvious. Some 25 percent of the participants refused to conform in every trial, but 75 percent of the participants gave the consensus answer at least once. Interviewing the participants afterward, Asch found that most people saw the lines correctly, but felt that since the rest of the group was in consensus, they themselves must be wrong. Some knew that the group was wrong, but went along with it anyway to avoid standing out. And some insisted, after the experiment had completed, that they actually saw the lines the same way as the rest of the group.” (p279-280).

The significance of this study for the authors of Deep Green Resistance was that most people are not psychologically suited for resistance. This study also illuminates how otherwise intelligent people can go around insisting that the penis is female. This is now the consensus in Liberal circles, and because it’s the consensus they either can’t or won’t believe anything else.

I was reminded of this study when I read an article recommended to me by commenter Liberationislife on this post. She was explaining to me that it’s not ideology that determines the relations of production, but the relations of production that determine ideology. She recommended this article to me, and I found it fascinating and informative but also difficult to wrap my head around. I have gone back to it every so often to read it again. It seems to me like this article is not just explaining historical materialism, but also Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Here are some quotes that relate to the fact that the relations of production determine ideology, from the article What is Historical Materialism? by Alan Woods:

“The notion that the development of the productive forces is the basis upon which all social development depends is really such a self-evident truth that it is really surprising that some people still question it. It does not require much intelligence to understand that before men and women can develop art, science, religion or philosophy, they must first have food to eat, clothes to wear and houses to live in. All these things must be produced by someone, somehow. And it is equally obvious that the viability of any given socio-economic system will ultimately be determined by its ability to do this.”

“In the social production which men carry on they enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will; these relations of production correspond to a definite stage of development of their material powers of production… The mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence (which) determines their consciousness.”

“The materialist conception of history starts from the proposition that the production of the means to support human life and, next to production, the exchange of things produced, is the basis of all social structure; that in every society that has appeared in history, the manner in which wealth is distributed and society divided into classes or orders is dependent upon what is produced, how it is produced, and how the products are exchanged. From this point of view, the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men’s brains, not in men’s better insights into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange.”

This all makes me think that you actually cannot change the relations of production using ideology. It only changes due to processes of evolution. Of course, if all workers in the world adopted socialist ideology, we could change the relations of production relatively quickly. But if the method of production is actually what determines how we think, then how do we get most people to start thinking in another way?

I am always frustrated about how many people seem unable to think in any way besides Individual Empowerment and Choice™. But I’m starting to understand now that they’re psychologically unable to think any other way. Because our mode of production right now is neoliberal capitalism, that’s the only way people know how to think.

From the book Neoliberalism: A Very Short Introduction by Manfred B Steger & Ravi K Roy, here are some quotes about neoliberalism:

“Neoliberalism is a rather broad and general concept referring to an economic model or ‘paradigm’ that rose to prominence in the 1980s.” (p11)

“The view that people are isolated individuals whose actions reflect mostly their material self-interests.” (p2-3)

“The self-regulating market as the main engine powering the individual’s rational pursuit of wealth” (p2)

“The state is to refrain from interfering with the economic activities of self-interested citizens” (p3)

“rooted in competitiveness, self-interest, and decentralization, celebrates individual empowerment” P12)

Also, the authors note that the man who wrote the first founding principles of neoliberalism was Friedrich August von Hayek who, along with his intellectual associates, was “vowing to stem what they saw as the ‘rising tide of collectivism’ – be it Marxism or even less radical forms of state-centred planning” (p15).

Two prominent neoliberal politicians, Reagan and Thatcher, both dismantled the social safety net, destroyed unions, and lowered taxes on the rich, in order to eliminate the steps that had been previously taken toward collectivist government.

Neoliberalism is an ideology, an economic system and a set of government policies. The ideology is promoted through the media constantly.

Neoliberals “saturate the public discourse with idealized images of a consumerist, free-market world. Skilfully interacting with the media to sell their preferred version of a single global marketplace to the public, they portray globalizing markets in a positive light as an indispensable tool for the realization of a better world. Such market visions of globalization pervade public opinion and political choices in many parts of the world.” (p11)

Capitalism has been in place for quite a while (I’m not sure how long actually) and neoliberalism, which is a specific manifestation of capitalism, has been around for the last thirty years. That means that all millennials today grew up in neoliberal capitalism and it has been the economic system for their entire lives. It really shows.

People of any age can believe in the ideology of neoliberalism, and I think that older people are just as likely to believe in it as millennials. An important characteristic of the belief in neoliberal ideology is the inability to think of people as a collective or a class. The authors of Neoliberalism did actually note that neoliberalism deliberately sets out to oppose Marxism (quoted above). It has unfortunately worked very well. When I explain to people that although yes, people have individual rights, that’s not where my analysis ends and that’s not the end goal of my activism, they don’t always seem to get it.

I’m a bit clearer about why this happens now. Neoliberalism is shaping the way we think right from a young age, and it’s the economic system that is producing our material needs, and people are unable to think outside of this system. Those of us who do think outside the system just appear strange, misguided, or nonsensical to those who have bought into it.

This raises the question—how do we get people to think differently? And what mode of production will happen next, and what kind of ideology will it bring, when capitalism falls? That is if the entire planet hasn’t been destroyed of course.

Illuminate your vulva!

Have you ever felt inadequate as a woman and thought that what you really need is to give your vulva a luminous glow? Me neither! But we’re in luck anyway, because the company “The Perfect V” has a product that not only makes your vulva “appear youthful and fresh” but also gives it “luminous iridescent color!” Thank goodness —I was worried I was going to be stuck with a matte, colorless vulva for the rest of my life.

The Perfect V has a complete line of unnecessary products to put on the marketable body parts between your legs—you know, those parts that start with the letter V (although We Do Not Speak Its Name) and that need to be “waxed, shaved, lasered, sugared, trimmed or dyed and sometimes even sunbathed” in order to be acceptable enough for your man to stick his dick into? They have several creams, an exfoliator, a mist, a serum and a luminizer. As their website states: “We manicure, we pedicure and now we Vanicure™. The day of neglect and lack of a proper line of pampering products for the V after a hair removal session are over.”

Thanks to capitalism, there is no part of a woman’s body that doesn’t require a line of expensive products in order to be acceptable. The Perfect V’s products will perform the following necessary functions for your crotch:

  • Enhances, Renews and Improves its beauty
  • delivers radiance
  • provides an anti-aging treatment
  • Softens, moisturizes and hydrates
  • Neutralizes odor
  • leaves a light fresh natural scent
  • improves the skin’s texture
  • adds some extra prettiness
  • prevents dark spots

And judging by the words “luminous,” “brightens,” and “radiant” that keep appearing over and over on their site, I’m guessing that these products can also make your parts glow with light! That could be handy, actually. No more stumbling around in the dark trying to find the toilet when you get up to pee…just open your legs and let your luminous vulva provide an instant night light! Now that’s a perk!

Can you imagine if someone marketed products like this to men? A cream to moisturize and hydrate the penis? A perfume spray to make the testicles smell like the light scent of flowers on a summer breeze? A luminizer to make his equipment look “youthful” and “fresh”? I think this would be so ridiculous people would just laugh at it, and it wouldn’t sell at all. It’s just as ridiculous marketed to women, but women will buy it anyway, because we’ve been trained to have certain beliefs about ourselves. Although men are considered people, whose bodies exist for them to live in, women’s bodies are just decorations and sex toys for men to play with. Women jump at the chance to be hairless, smooth, youthful and fair-skinned, since a multi-billion-dollar marketing industry ensures that we all believe our bodies are supposed to look that way, and every corner of our culture supports the idea that our worth lies in our appearance.

This is actually a good exercise to find out if you really need a product. Ask yourself the question, “Do men need this?” Unless it’s something specific to menstruation, this trick will work. You don’t need your skin to look moist, pretty, youthful, free of brown spots, or luminously iridescent, on any part of your body. If it would sound ridiculous marketed to men, then it’s probably ridiculous.

I feel the same way about makeup for the vulva as I feel about makeup for the face. Not only do I think it’s unnecessary, but I’m also confused as to how you can have sex with someone wearing it. I have never kissed a woman with lipstick on and I don’t think I ever could. Wouldn’t it get on me? Wouldn’t I eat some of it? Yuck, I don’t want to eat lipstick. And if a woman had luminizer cream or perfume spray on her vulva, would I have to…lick the cream off? Would my tongue then be luminous and iridescent and freshly scented? The whole thing just creeps me out.

As a lesbian, I think that vulvas already look sexy, just because they’re vulvas. They don’t have to look a specific way in order to be sexy. And I think their natural scent is already a lovely scent. There is no need to try to “improve” on a body part that is already fantastic and wonderful. Only in a capitalist patriarchy can this bullshit make any sense to people.