This is such bullshit.

So the call for submissions of the anthology was revised just enough to make it seem like they were paying attention.  And if you look closely at the new topics, you see that they paid attention enough to cherry pick words and phrases from various criticisms to cover their asses.   (But keep in mind they linked Ravenmn, a great ally who did the work of compiling writings and attributing credit about three weeks ago.)

I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did on the thread.  I don’t like letting people see me hurt, for all the times I’ve written on here fully vulnerable.  An equal number of times I’m nauseated, headachy, and I’d just like a decent hug or a stiff drink.

Think I’m enjoying the disappearing act on so many people who have written so many thought-out and remarkable things on the subject of rape culture, feminism, women of color and feminism, media, political movements, and community building?

(And I’m telling you now, don’t you dare think of linking me as a half-assed conduit because I took the, oh, FIVE MINUTES to find WHERE people were writing these things and I could tell you off the top of my head who they are because unlike SOME, I have respect for the people I learn from.  This isn’t even everybody!  What does it mean when you need a fucking acknowledgment list for a half-assed call for submissions?)

Think I’m writing shit about what I think of the new call for submissions?

Think the point was so I wouldn’t want to write shit relating to them in any way?

Just as I am not a women’s studies professor, I am not a publisher’s aide.  I am not a faceless, nameless presence that always passive-aggressively appears under the aura of “some critics” or “critical” viewpoints or the ever-famous “women of color” (quotes included) or whatever the fuck you feel like using to dismiss me and a whole lot of other people.

So this is what it feels like to be invisible.  Naked, shrouded in darkness, lines and words and concepts blurred in tears, and utterly alone.  Skewered and choked and stomped and strung up if you move in any direction.  Beholden to the fact you recognize your legacy, you recognize your friends, you recognize those wonderful people who survived the gauntlet before you…but no one else does or ever has to.  They just keep picking up table scraps, dressing them up as if they’re full course meals, and keep pushing on.

And me?  Well.  In a world of thieves, I’m expendable.  I could use a night’s sleep.

About problem chylde
"In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:6

41 Responses to This is such bullshit.

  1. Rebecca says:

    I have to say that I was pretty gobsmacked about that. After all the criticism she’s received over the last year, to release a new call for submissions citing un-named, un-engaged with and un-linked “criticism”, and leaving all of the original discussion points intact, with a few token additions…just…no.

  2. sly civilian says:

    *headdesk*

    Sweet baby Jesus, why?

    ‘course i know why, but i don’t want that to be true.

    since it’s true…i’m going to want to headdesk again.

    and that hurts.

  3. Donna says:

    You know what really gets me here, there are two lessons off the top of my head that Feministing should have taken away from these flamewars, but instead they are repeating, because they don’t fucking listen. The first goes all the way back to Nubian and all their excuses for why they didn’t remove the interview in the first place even when Nubian asked nicely, then got progressively irate. You knew it was total bullshit and all they were doing was thinking of themselves and covering their own asses like they are doing now. But here RavenMN asks nicely for them to link directly to the critiques, and they pull the same shit on her that they did on Nubian. Didn’t learn a thing. You know damned well why they linked Raven instead of anyone else, she didn’t actually critique them. They are hoping that their readers will be too lazy to actually follow the links and read all the critiques. And notice, they didn’t answer the critiques at their own site either, they are trying very hard to ignore anything critical of that anthology. But nice ass covering with the non-critical post link that they call critical.

    The other lesson is, how many times have WOC said that we notice they don’t link us? How often have we said that if they do manage to acknowledge something we have written instead of linking directly they will link to some white person who has linked to us. It’s like they are afraid the brown will rub off on their nice white sites if they directly link.

  4. Fire Fly says:

    These people don’t seem to understand what the term “accountability” means.

    I will not be spoken for.

  5. ilyka says:

    Oh, but it would be simply impossible to give credit where credit is due! Linking things is hard! No one ever does any linking online because of the tremendous difficulty involved!

    I am red-hot pissed at this and all I can think is disengage, disengage, disengage. These scumsuckers are not worth it. All they do is take, take, take.

  6. Blackamazon says:

    and now I’m involved.

  7. Daomadan says:

    I left a comment on feministing.com about their behavior. I am done with the site. I cannot believe they are playing this game again. My love goes out to all of you who are once again being ignored, silenced, and hurt.

  8. La Lubu says:

    From their site: Beyond consent: state-sanctioned and institutional rape that even the healthiest sexual culture won’t stop

    Gee, ya fuckin’ think? Because from where I stand, the healthiest sexual culture isn’t going to stop rape, period—unless it begins with the healthiest culture.

    Because they start here: explore how creating a culture which values genuine female sexual pleasure can help stop rape.

    And they should be starting here: culture which values females can help stop rape.

    What am I missing here? Are they really positing that rape happens on accident? That the perpetrators are raping merely out of ignorance, that if they only understood how much better the sex would be if their targets said “yes” and meant it, they wouldn’t rape?! (Boggles the mind, yes it does.)

    The whole foundation of the book is built on bullshit. Rape is all about the power imbalance, about devaluing and dismissing the target. And I mean target; rape is about predation.

    They are just willfully not getting it. They don’t want to get it. It’s like a bizarre version of the phenomenon of women on juries during rape trials—harder to convince than men that a rape happened. Monday-morning-quarterbacking the way through the testimony, thinking ““well, I wouldn’t have done that” or “why didn’t she x, y, z?”, like those passing thoughts can be a talisman against being raped. The whole premise of the book is like some version of that—“Oh, if I’m a fully actualized proud sexual woman, and there’s a critical mass of “me”, then the rapists won’t think rape is fun anymore and they’ll stop”, as if rape is a playground game of minor-league bullies instead of an institution.

    I gotta go to work. Hang in there, Sylvia. (It’s my new year’s resolution to run my mouth more, both on my blog and the comments section of blogs I enjoy. Maybe I won’t have anything of substance to add, but I want to see the blogs I most love reading get the kind of traffic that the blogs I no longer bother with get. No more lurking and nodding my head because I think I can’t possibly deliver anything—if I can’t do anything else, I can at least help drive up the traffic, no?)

  9. evil_fizz says:

    Are they really positing that rape happens on accident? That the perpetrators are raping merely out of ignorance, that if they only understood how much better the sex would be if their targets said “yes” and meant it, they wouldn’t rape?! (Boggles the mind, yes it does.)

    This reminds of what I’ve come to call the “accidental rapist” meme. It goes something like this: clean cut white college boy gets drunk with a girl he meets at a party. They’re having fun and are wickedly sloshed. They go home together and have sex. In the morning, she says she was raped. He says provides the standard “we were so drunk, I thought she was into it!” trope. She insists it was non-consensual and she was too drunk to consent. He goes on to say she never said no, gave no sign of resistance, etc.

    That entire scenario is a joke from start to finish, and it’s usually promulgated MRAs, concern trolls, and newbie commenters who think they’re the first person to have this idea. The idea that it deserves a book is intellectually pathetic.

    I’m really sorry about this bullshit, Sylvia.

  10. Ravenmn says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Sylvia. I’ve edited my post to ask all visitors from Feministing to request the link to my page be removed and they link directly to the posts in question. We’ll see what happens.

    Just loaded the page and it looks like they corrected themselves:

    UPDATE: Ravenmn has asked us to unlink to her roundup of the critical discussion, so we have. You can follow that conversation at the following folks’ blogs: Tekanji, Magniloquence, Sylvia, Sudy, Fire fly, Black Amazon, Veronica, Therimorph, I’m falling up. As the conversation was wide-ranging, we know we didn’t get a chance to read all of it — we apologize if we’ve missed yours. Feel free to link to it in the comments.

  11. Well, at least they’ve linked us now. It’s… almost like a start.

    (Of course, the bit where they link us explicitly says that it was done because RavenMN said to, not because it’s a good thing, or because of anything posted by anyone else. Oy.)

  12. R. Mildred says:

    as if rape is a playground game of minor-league bullies instead of an institution.

    actually most rapists pretty much are minor-league bullies, psychologically speaking.

    You have to sort of delve into the fragile masculinity complex and stuff, and how that bully mentality towards women is actually instituionalized to get that, and to some extent the idea behind the book isn’t really as bad as it may first seem.

    But it’s being sold to other feminists as being some kind of victim-side anti-rape technique manual, which is fucked up, and considering some of the stuff the woman who isn’t vallenti has written about the need for women to learn self-defense to protect themselves against rape, it does not fill me with anything other than dread.

  13. Theriomorph says:

    Hey Sylvia, sending one of those decent hugs if you want it. Big one.

    And: you. are. not. expendable. to. me. (And HELLO, I just met you – a person kind of has to be, hmm, what’s the word, dead to miss the non-expendibility of Sylvia.)

    So you know, their loss and all those cliches that don’t help either the individuals hurt or the movements made smaller and less effective blah blah, but I wanted to say it anyway.

    This sucks.

  14. Nanette says:

    Wishing you many decent hugs (and indecent ones too, should you want them).

    I have a fairly muddled, no doubt, question related to all this. And, I admit, I have not read all the critiques yet, so this may have already been asked/discussed – my computer was acting up and now I am on another with a very fuzzy screen. It’s like double myopia.

    But anyway… okay, hmmm. From the first I heard of I’ve been wondering if part of the problem they (the editors of the book and others) are having with not only grasping what some of the critiques were saying, but also attempting to apply it to their work, is not as a result of a sort of… well, privileging rapists, too? Sort of. I wish I was better at explaining things, sigh.

    But just like all criminals are not really considered criminals… someone who, say, embezzles hundreds of thousands of dollars from a company is less criminal – or at least better class – than someone who steals a couple of hundred dollars out of the cash register of that same company.

    Is it sort of the same with rapists? Thus the reluctance to in any way equate date rapists, or those who mostly rape middle/higher class women/men with prison rapists, or ones on the street, or soldiers and so on? “We (or they) are not like them” sort of thing, maybe.

    Or something like that… I know what I am getting at, but it’s a fuzzy brain/keyboard AND monitor type of day!

  15. Nanette says:

    Also, please don’t be too sad. They are not worth it – I have come to the conclusion that there really are no (or few) unexplored depths to these personalities, no expectations of great awakenings or increased understanding – there just is no more “there” there to be had. I don’t know what to do about that, tho.

    Plus it makes baby manatees cry when you are sad.

  16. isolator86 says:

    *hug* Don’t let them get to you – you’re certainly not expendable (far from it, really), and you don’t need to take that kind of treatment lying down; no need questioning why you’re feeling like this – you’re a sensitive person, and I can relate to that. I really hope you feel better.

  17. Joan Kelly says:

    I love you, Sylvia, and I love what you wrote in comments on Sydette’s latest post.

  18. Sudy says:

    You were never invisible.

    Their eyes see you, it’s their conscience that is trying to forget you.

    You are anything but invisible.

    Never EVER give someone, anyone, that much power to make you feel invisible.

    You are anything but invisible.

    XOXO

  19. Sylvia says:

    Thank all of you for your comments because they are very cheering to me.

    I’m gonna try to answer now as best as I can.

    Rebecca, isn’t it the cutest little example of Cover Your Ass Feminism you’ve ever seen? Lindsay Beyerstein says that we shouldn’t talk about an anthology that hasn’t even been done yet. But I have soooooo muuuuuuuch material! And oodles of evil. And nothing but time.

    Sly Civilian, I installed a pillow into my desk to reduce the pain. The instinct to hit something with my skull is too strong so I made allowances. I want to be a popularizer. Popularizers compromise. Something about Jesus.

    Donna, you are the hammer that hits the nail on the head. You and I should go be brown on Feministing someday. It can be a date. :)

    Fire Fly, I stand with you.

    Ilyka, stop being mean! Typing words is SO HARD; you mean I have to highlight and click them too? I don’t know if you heard but SLAVERY is OVER!

    I would disengage but we share the same internets. And this internet is big enough for the both of us, especially since our stuff can get lifted without any credit and branch out everywhere.

    *hands BA the ice cream and a blanket*

    Thank you for your support, Daomadan. Welcome to the Dark Side of the Blogosphere. We’re mean, but we have cookies. :)

    La Lubu, I am subscribing to your mouth running and you can run your mouth here all you wanna. Fire, woman! You’re spitting it, and it’s hot. I don’t even want to try to talk about what they released now because there’s only so much joy I can kill before I get physically ill. Buuuut being a masochist:

    They are just willfully not getting it. They don’t want to get it. It’s like a bizarre version of the phenomenon of women on juries during rape trials—harder to convince than men that a rape happened. Monday-morning-quarterbacking the way through the testimony, thinking ““well, I wouldn’t have done that” or “why didn’t she x, y, z?”, like those passing thoughts can be a talisman against being raped. The whole premise of the book is like some version of that—”Oh, if I’m a fully actualized proud sexual woman, and there’s a critical mass of “me”, then the rapists won’t think rape is fun anymore and they’ll stop”, as if rape is a playground game of minor-league bullies instead of an institution.

    They keep insisting that by virtue of them being feminists tackling the subject of rape, they are not doing the “if she did X, Y, Z” song and dance. They are saying that the work should be viewed as preventive without applying it retroactively. And that fucking grates on my nerves because they want some ahistorical, acultural, asocial read of their project so that it works well.

    Evil_fizz, you have nothing to apologize for. And I don’t know why they keep treating that scenario as if it’s one worth answering. Ilyka said it before; it’s total bullshit. And the fact that judges and juries keep believing it doesn’t have much to do with sex as it has to do with culture. Making sex better =/= making a better informed culture that respects women.

    But everyone keeps saying that.

    Ravenmn, no problem, and thanks for the update.

    Magniloquence, we have to take our five-minute dance parties where we can find them.

    R. Mildred gets another co-sign from me.

    Thank you for the hug, Theriomorph. And you are good at assessing the suck. I join you in that assessment and raise you a “this reeks.”

    See, I know the worth of blogging because I can get indecent hugs from Nanette.

    But just like all criminals are not really considered criminals… someone who, say, embezzles hundreds of thousands of dollars from a company is less criminal – or at least better class – than someone who steals a couple of hundred dollars out of the cash register of that same company.

    YES. Oh my God, anecdote time:
    So I was in Constitutional Law class, right? And we were talking about felons being able to vote, right?

    And everybody in my class went off about serial killers, rapists, and generally Bad Bad People getting the right to influence Mighty Democracy.

    And when my professor said something akin to, “Embezzlement is a felony, though; what about those felons? Should they get the right to vote?” my classmates waxed pathetic about paying debts to society and it’s not the same thing and why would they be denied when they’re not bad people.

    And awesome professor said, “Well wouldn’t embezzlement be MORE problematic in the voting process in light of the fact that the way elections are stolen and manipulated involve similar tools to what’s used to embezzle?”

    And most of the class went “durrrrrrr…” (That was the same issue where my incredibly conservative libertarian friend and I agreed that felons should be allowed to vote. Which was weird, but anywho.)

    THAT IS SO GOOD NANETTE I LOVE YOU AND YOUR MANATEE LOGIC.

    I will stop making baby manatees cry. As best I can.

    Thank you, isolator86. I’m trying to toughen up, but…well. It’s me. You do know me. And how I get.

    I love you too, Joan, and I love what you wrote way more. I think we did good ’cause the angry lady said SHAME ON YOU IF I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK I’LL TELL YOU. SYDETTE COME BACK SO I CAN TELL YOU WHAT TO THINK IN A MORE SPECIALER WAY. And everyone said shut up. And she eventually did in this Big White Woman IS WATCHING YOU way. So. High fives, all.

    Sudy, thank you, and I know. Or I should know better. But damnit! Why does it always have to manifest this way? People always say that “I like when people are upfront with their white sheets and wifebeaters!” But that’s not true for me because that makes my stomach churn in a different way. It’s like I said in BA’s post — it’s not just the fact that she’s writing. Or we’re writing. It’s the fact that we’re living and we talk about it in our writing that pisses people off so much. They can’t have theoretical leisure discussions when we say “this is what happens to me every day and this is what I’ve seen and this is why people I know don’t trust this.” That’s why they can’t engage or even recognize what we do. It is conscience because we’re not supposed to exist this way.

  20. Katie says:

    This is great – you are a badass.

  21. for reals. i think the woc blogosphere should just never mentions feministing ever…..ever…..again.

  22. turtlebella says:

    Willful ignorance.

    It’s a really crap excuse. Some days I want to shake people until their brain rearranges so that they don’t have this massive wall that they have built with their startling intellects and which apparently prevents them from ever learning from mistakes.

    Like Sudy says– their eyes see you (and Sydette, and bfp, and Sudy, and mags, and any hug number of critics) but it’s like their eyes are not connected to anything else, not in their minds nor in their linking abilities……

    and frankly, I am quite QUITE horrified that anyone who proposes to write a book, which is at least partially informed by scholarship (which I may erroneously be assuming), fails to appropriately credit where credit is fucking due! I mean, what fucking kind of ethics are those– I give a shit if it’s on-line or not. One should not get away with saying– well, we can’t read everything and so we are not going to read (link) any or every thing, but ravenmn, she does, so go read her (and this is not to disparage raven, who rocks). At best, THIS IS LAZY. At best, THIS IS SLOPPY WORK. At worst, THIS IS A WILLFUL AND CONSCIENTIOUS ACT TO IGNORE THEIR CRITICS WHILE APPEARING TO DO OTHER WISE. At worst, THIS IS DOWN RIGHT UNETHICAL, UNCONSCIONABLE ACT THAT SEEKS TO SUBJUGATE WOC AND ANYONE ELSE WITH A CRITICAL BONE IN THEIR BODY. I wouldn’t touch an anthology edited by people like that EVER. Course, I don’t read their blog ever, unless forced to, so I guess that doesn’t say TOO much.

    OK, so now they have linked to the appropriate discussions. Why is that not enough? What does it say that they didn’t realize that they had to do this in the FIRST PLACE?!

    Okay, sorry for all the CAPS and for being late on this discussion, here. I was worked up before and now got myself worked up again. So I guess my intention of cooling off so I could be more rational didn’t so much work. huh.

  23. Blackamazon says:

    My name is Sydette . I agree with Kortney and yet somehow even when ya don’t tehy seem to find new ways of bringing the special

  24. octogalore says:

    Sylvia — you’re anything but invisible. Hugs to you. Some are always going to offer too little too late. Good thing is, this is transparent to a lot of folks like those here in this thread.

  25. Gwen says:

    I’m really sorry you’re feeling invisible right now.

    You are not expendable; and some of us are very happy that you are not invisible (despite the best efforts of some to ignore you until you feel that way), that you have this blog that we can read.

  26. My name is Sydette . I agree with Kortney and yet somehow even when ya don’t tehy seem to find new ways of bringing the special

    that’s the thing isn’t it sydette? i try to avoid the whole mess, but some times, it just gets to the point where you can’t let that shit stand. you just can’t, the injustice to your heart is too much. and as I said over at creek running north–there’s something wrong with the fact that women of color have problems with certain things and don’t feel like they can say something about it, because they know what will happen to them if they do. And this feeling is what we get from existing in a sphere that claims to ‘value’ voice and speaking out. that more than anything else, pi8sses me off royally–especially that the silencing is happening to young women–in the name of a book that claims to want to bring young women to feminism.

    grrrrrr.

  27. Blackamazon says:

    ANd the thing i s read what me petit and sylvia wrote after like the firstpost each we were talking about OUR experiences as young women with fmeiism and feminist response

    and teh DUMBNES Sthat happened in respons eto us

    8 the magic goal post migration at feministe was GLORIOUS*

    but yep we value women

  28. Pingback: Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » You can only say ‘Yes’ if you can say ‘No’

  29. i think that to continue to go back and forth about feministing/valenti/hugo…and any other white blogger who makes a racist/sexist/idiot comment is not worth the energy. it’s not that to ignore it means you don’t care, it just means you chose your battles differently. i for one can no longer discuss those sites…its too repetative, draining and useless to tell you the truth. there are so many other important things happening in the world that some folks are missing because all the attention is given to certain people.

    there are a number of other things that are harmful to all women. why does this one continue to get so much attention from everyone….???

    i’m just saying…

  30. one more thing….to play devils advocate here:

    it seems that the woc blogsophere is becoming or is just as dogmatic about what feminism is like the sites that many are critiquing.

  31. nubian–ok, I had to check and see what the hell dogmatic means–I think I got it, but am unclear what you mean in this context–could you maybe not necessarily give an example, but maybe use different words to describe what you mean? the reason I ask is because i’m kinda struggling myself these days to call myself feminist/women of color, and so anything that can help unravel what’s going on in my head would be appreciated!!!!

  32. Blackamazon says:

    it seems that the woc blogsophere is becoming or is just as dogmatic about what feminism is like the sites that many are critiquing.

    you know for myself

    You are so right and i dont like it!

    I hate it

    i am always on edge that cant be ood

  33. Sylvia says:

    Kortney, you hit on everything I’ve been worrying about. And it’s not devil’s advocate about the dogmatism because I feel like we’re getting wrapped up in this “WOC feminism is everything that they aren’t!!!” kind of argument. And then the argument becomes misleading in the fighting; the focus shifts to this idea that we want to be merged into white feminism or simply listening to women of color makes all the difference. Which would be good if people knew what the word “listening” meant and realized it’s a component of engagement.

    I think I may need to put my response into a new post. But when I read your words, and I think back to what Aaminah said a while back about why she doesn’t ID as a feminist and being dogmatic about WOC feminism…I’m just nodding my head.

  34. lex says:

    I am painting a turquoise cloak with words to wrap yourself in. Generating warmth and bright presence to nurture and praise and celebrate your brilliance.

    I am smoothing a stone sun absorbent space for us to live and breathe and create. And dance and dance and grow hydroponic edible flowers.

    I am throwing tea leaves and writing in honey “we are enough” and waiting through steeping to drink.

    I am learning to share. Which is not to sell. I am learning what it takes to embrace us.

  35. Sylvia says:

    Lex, thank you so much.

  36. Changeseeker says:

    I don’t know what this is about. And right this minute I don’t have the time or energy to give it in a truly helpful way. But Sylvia, I know enough about you to know that anything or anyone that cuts you out is losing something it ought to fight to keep. Don’t let the bastards getcha down. This isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. Truth wins and good prevails — always. Blessings.

  37. Pingback: FUCK SEAL PRESS « She who stumbles

  38. Beste says:

    Well the book is out if you want to read it.

  39. Sylvia/M says:

    Really? When did it launch?

  40. Sylvia/M says:

    I bought it. Thanks.

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