Dilemma

I’ve met someone. We’ve been out for drinks more than once, enjoyed ourselves, and now we message each other at least once a day.

She’s hilarious, sparky, witty; our friendship is erotically charged. I feel like I’m in school again, I look forward to each and every time she makes me stop my train of thoughts and I think “Did you just say that…”

If she found out about this blog and my commitment to radical feminism, she would be deeply hurt. Her identity is wrapped up in a way of life that is opposed to everything I stand for. It’s irrelevant what that happens to be. It could be that she was deeply religious, or intending to become a trans-man, or involved in the sex industry “by choice” or whatever…The way she lives doesn’t offend my sense of self the way my politics would offend hers, if she knew how I really saw the world. Put simply, she’s invested in not knowing.

I quoted from Daly’s Pure Lust at femonade the other day about the subterranean files that patriarchal women keep in the darkest recesses of their minds, which are a reservoir of previously inaccessible information. There is a breaking-open process that all radfems have been through:

Finally, however, no matter how strong that file–and patriarchal women have almost bionic files–there comes along the one piece of data that breaks it wide open.

Not everyone responds identically to the bursting of the file. Women who have no faith in themselves, who are totally dependent upon approval of both patriarchal men and women–as is classically the case in fundamentalist church settings–and whose feelings of self-worth have been almost totally crushed, these women must still deny what their now open file tells them is the truth. But in order to deny no, in the very face of the truth, they must distort reality so much that they become ill: emotionally, physically, and morally.”

My friend’s file is made of kryptonite. And yet… she is searching for something. She has not yet been duped into “fulfillment”, which according to Mary Daly is the worst state of being a woman can possibly enter into. Fulfillment is even worse than resignation, because it basically means you’ve become a fembot.

I do have real life friends who are fulfilled. My radical feminism doesn’t offend them because they don’t get what I’m saying. They don’t hear. If my friend found this blog she would hear, but would her file blast open? Maybe, maybe not. And would she thank me if it did? Probably not. And either way, would I lose her? Definitely.

And… radical feminism has saved me, but it’s also breaking my heart. I want to un-know, but at the same time I don’t (and can’t). There was a reason Andrea Dworkin called her memoirs “Heartbreak”. I’m tired, and my friend energizes me. So although I’m not taking a break, I’m maybe going to concentrate on analyzing fairy stories for a while.

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13 thoughts on “Dilemma

  1. Analyzing fairy stories is delightful. I’m reading Andrea Dworkin, and she does that. Quite chilling, of course, because AD leaves nothing out. But mind blowing. And while I’m reading her, then once again I feel “not alone”.

    Radical feminism becomes us. For better or for worse.

  2. glad you found a friend and that you are energized. both are good. 🙂 ive been hiding from my family for decades, ever since i decided i was a liberal dickwad in my teens. LOL and this radfem stuff…WAY WORSE than that! hahaha now im hiding from my friends too. oh well, what are you gonna do right? people talk about how men “compartmentalize” things but i really dont think thats true. men live, breathe, eat, sleep and shit patriarchy, necrophilia, porn, war, and everything they are and everything they love. they might do it in different degrees, and try to be appropriate about it based on the situation, but hey whats inappropriate, really, when you are male? nothing, thats what. if someone goes off the rails, the other guys squeal with delight at the “sick bastard” thats gotten too drunk and starts talking about raping babies or whatever. sorry, but its true. meanwhile, women and radical women are literally living in 2 realities at once. its exhausting.

    enjoy your friend. 🙂 it sounds wonderful. and heartbreaking. so is online radical feminism though. we are radical, but we arent friends, there is no community here. its like we cant have both, its as if its impossible. theres a reason for that. maybe someday, somewhere….and maybe not.

  3. I hear ya, cherryblossom. It hurts and feels so lonely to have to hide such a large part of your worldview, of yourself. But sometimes it’s necessary to hide radical feminist viewpoints in order to preserve friendships and exist in a community that would never understand.
    Hold on to your friendship and because friendships among women are so precious. Maybe someday she’ll be in a place where she’ll understand.

  4. To live with the realization that you will rarely meet people who can share your innermost core is true heartbreak.

    I know how it feels to have such a friendship. Try to hold onto it and do not withdraw.

  5. Funny this post is coming up when a feminist friend just turned against me last week for right those reasons: patriarchal files. I overestimated her capacity to hear radfeminism, and *bing*!, she turned it against me and turned everyone she knew against me, because she couldn’t stand hearing what I said, because it endangered too much her illusion of security, her need for validation, because she’s too much under siege by men and had to choose between either me or them.
    Strange times.

  6. thanks for the replies! It’s always the posts you least expect that bring about the best responses.

    FCM, Yeah, maybe there’s a reason for the fact you can only ever know someone as either a radfem, or as a friend, but perhaps never as both. lol, sorry to hear you have to hide from your friends as well as your family now too. 🙂 But it’s true, we radicals have to compartmentalize (and men don’t) as you rightly say.

    Witchwind, yes that’s exactly it. When you read Robin MOrgan, Mary Daly, or Jan Raymond at some point in all their books (at least the ones I’ve read) they *all* end up writing about the pain of being betrayed in the way you describe.

    MarySunshine, analyzing fairy stories it is then 🙂

  7. Hi cherry!

    There is a straight woman who continually lives a 3 part play, loop, loop. She tries so hard to ‘Get Me’ and my separatist ways. I think she finds it quaint. Her husband pervs on teenage girls at high school where he works. Her son is a drug-addled porn pup who has impregnanted his bi-polar wife twice.

    Picture it: domestic violence, children being removed, authorities beckoned every other minute.

    Finally my suggestion to her was to leave the area taking her 6 year old grand daughter and to never look back. Her reply was *GASP!

    PS. Is your stomach full of butterflies around your new mate? 🙂 Way Cool!

    • yep, it’s unnerving when otherwise perfectly intelligent women just have this mental block when it comes to reality. All we can do is try to chip away at their file, if we’ve got the energy.

      oh, and thanks 🙂 Cool is not a word that’s been used to describe my life for quite some time…

      • Any woman who is so honest, so sincere about her path in life is…

        Way Cool!

        No. Matter. What.

  8. “analyzing fairy stories it is then”

    Another yes please for this.

    Also, maybe your friend sees (and is drawn to) something in you of your independence and freedom even though it is unspoken between you. Hope it all works out well for you both.

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