Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Nazis Hated Feminism

In 1934, Hitler proclaimed, "[Woman's] world is her husband, her family, her children, her house.
A popular way to insult women who want to be treated equally (ie not be harassed just for being women) these days is to call them FemiNazis. The term was invented by that bastion of wit and wisdom, Rush Limbaugh, in the 90s and has since been popularized by the hate groups who terrorize women online wvery time they open their mouths to say anything suggesting sexism might exist and might be bad. The term is ironic in displaying the speaker's ignorance of basic history, which is a cornerstone of sexist thinking in an time when even women who were alive back when women were barred from most careers and had only had the vote in the U.S. for 50 years support men like Paul Elam who make using men to hurt women a full-time career. I thought it might be interesting to examime the ways in which the Nazis were anti-feminist. My research is cursory, gleaned from secondary online sources like encyclopedias, and should thus be taken with a grain of salt and confirmed via direct primary sourcing for any serious scholarship, nonetheless, I am fairly confident it is generally accurate as the primary sources quoted included scholarly words, records, and other source-able material, and as it is logically consistent.

Nazism's central figure, Hitler himself, was an abuser of at least one woman in early life; he had a nonconsensual romantic obsession with his own (half-)niece, Geli Raubal, made her his housekeeper at 17, disallowed her to have consensual romantic relationships, abused and controlled her, probably sexually abused her in some manner, made her his prisoner, and finally drove her to suicide in 1931, out of despair because she could not pursue her dreams of singing, the man she loved, and was trapped with her a usive uncle who I think we all know was not a nice man. The Nazi party swept it under the rug in a typical example of a society that protected men who abused women. 
In an equal society, a woman would have more freedom, she would not be so easily controlled by a man. Her only hope of escape was marriage, and only if her uncle allowed it. Hitler clearly did not WANT this woman to have freedom and did not respect her feelings, seeing her as an object for him to control, an attitude that he would extend to millions of other people.
Furthermore, if the Nazis were feminist, surely they would not allow a woman-abuser to become their leader, right? Of course, if the Nazis were feminist, they probably would have had at least half their leaders be women. This is just the sort of thing sexist men take for granted - that in an equal society, half of leaders would be female, not 100% or so of them male.

Hitler is frequently quoted, from Mein Kampf and his speeches, talking about how women's role should be confined to motherhood. I'm not completely sure of the accuracy of quotes I found secondhand and in English, but given what we know about his actions we can determine such quotes to be in line with his thinking. In Mein Kampf, he says the primary aim of female education is for motherhood. He also said "A woman's world is her husband, her family, her children, her home, We do not find it right when she presses her way into the world of men."

His opposition to Communism, which promoted equality for women, is reflected in this quote: 
"The granting of equal rights to women, which Marxism demands...draws women into realms of society in which they are inferior."

This creepy quote makes a lot of sense given how he tortued his niece:
"A lass of 18 or 20 years is as pliable as wax. It must be possible for a man to impose his will on any girl. Indeed, a woman wants nothing else" - speech to Hitler Youth.

In my research, I found quite a few anti-feminist sites trying to put obviously fake pro-feminism quotes in Hitler's mouth, possibly as a joke, as if to say that if Hitler supported feminism, therefore it must be wrong, Aside from the fact that these quotes contradict his actions and other words he really did write and speak, if Hitler said the sky was blue that doesnt mean it is truly pink just because he was a bad man; it is simply bad logic. Likewise, feminism isnt good because Hitler opposed it, it is good for a variety of reasons that I think are frankly obvious but perhaps an article for another time anyway. 

As one example, one of the fake sites pretends Hitler was pro-abortion, which is only true when apploed to "inferior" people, but not as a support of women's autonomy; in actuality the Third Reiche not only made abortion illegal but imposed harsh penalties for it (and banned contraception) - for normative Aryan women, of course; for Jewish women it was encouraged or even forced. Mere discussion of contraception, even for the oppressed groups (why bother when they were to be killed, I guess) was illegal. While millions of Jewish and other targeted ethnic groups' children were mercilessly murdered, Aryan women were encouraged to have four or more children with Aryan men and discouraged from being single or having abortions. I mean, that just makes logical sense given Hitler's general game plan - if your goal is to have a particular race dominate, it just doesnt make sense to allow women reproductive freedom and thus allow Aryan children to not be born. At the same time, it is well-documented that the Nazis murdered homosexual and disabled people for similar reasons- their goal being to literally murder everyone who didnt fit their narrow idea of superiority. It is a strange idea that such a regime would view women as equals. Hitler glorified mothers but hated working, single women; single women were "staatsangehoringer", state property. Professional women were increasingly fired under Nazism. After 1936, women could no longer hold many jobs, particularly in leadership such as judges, not even as teachers or nurses. Feminization and modesty were stressed and even legally enforced.

Despite this, Aryan German/French/Polish etc women resisted in a variety of ways and were eventually needed, and even forced into, labor and military service, proving once again just how flawed this sexist ideology can be. While some women resisted sexism by becoming Nazi leaders, others resisted sexism and Nazism by becoming resistance leaders.  Because of course  the oppression of normative Aryan women is nothing in comparisom to the oppressed classes who were marked for torture and death.

Girls and Women who were Jewish, Roma, disabled, and otherwise deemed inferior were brutalized in specifically gendered ways in the Death Camps. Little girls are known to have been raped by S.S. officers, and females in general were often raped and beaten. There were at least 500 rape brothels run by the Nazis. Pregnant women were forced to have abortions or killed. Women were tortured in "experiments" and sterilized. Women could be forced to work or killed when seen as not strong enough to work. Women in camps worked together to survive and resist.
Women and girls were a key part of the resistance, even militarily. Women from many narions were eventually an importsnt part of the war effort. One well known girl was Sophie Scholl, a student who was executed as part of the White Rose French-Jewish resistace for no more than passing out fliers. Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore were gender-bending lesbians who used art to spread a message of resistance, decided to face death rather than give in, and ultimately died from prison conditions shortly after they were freed. And of course, Anne Frank is a very well-known victim of the Holocaust who still inspires us with her inner strength.

So the next time someone calls a woman a "feminazi", just remind them that it is people who want to force women into an inferior role and protect people who abuse women who are truly like Nazis, and it is women whi dare to resist who are the true heroes.

pictured: female resistance members

Monday, August 24, 2015

IT Is Blatantly Obvious That Sexism Definitely Still Exists

*Strong Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault (I'll put stars** around the worst parts so you can read the piece but avoid those parts)

I've been noticing a rather bizarre trend on teh interwebz in recent years; people, men and women ranging from teens to elderly men who should know better, who either pretend that sexism no longer exists, that it never existed, or that men are and have long been oppressed by women.  
I find this exceedingly baffling.  I mean, when I was 11 grown men used to hit on me in really disgusting ways - like masturbating at me, following me in a car. Does that happen to 11 year old boys?  Some people who I have mentioned this to either acted like they were shocked it happened or like it was no big deal ("you had tits, of course men harassed you." I was still only an eleven year old child with no sexual interests whatsoever). 1Those people were men. The women I mentioned it to had all had similar experiences.  Now, maybe not all women experience these sorts of things, but the YesAllWomen (experience harassment and sexism) hashtag was immensely popular precisely because MOST, and yea I'll go ahead and say probably all women do experience sexism, although a very small minority of women who tend to spend a lot of time hating on other women deny this.

*** & That's considered minor league stuff. I am considered lucky. I know several women who have been raped, some of them multiple times, and most of them were either blamed for their rape, told they were lying, in denial that it was rape (to any man daring to suggest that this doubt means it was not rape, ask yourself if someone holding an object over your face and penetrating you against your will in a manner that causes damage to your body sounds like fun; these are the types of situations women are not immediately recognizing as violence) or all of that; I also know a few men who have been raped and live with the added stigma of rape being a crime that is only suppose to be committed against women, which is still misogyny - the idea that women's bodies belong to men, that rape is inevitable, that men can't or shouldn't have to control themselves, that a man has to be magically stronger than everyone else or he is somehow a bad person rather than the person who hurt him, even if he was only a child and his abuser was an adult. ***

So I just really cannot understand how anyone can say that there isn't a problem here when the problem is so severe. I don't see anyone really saying that homophobia doesn't exist, and those who say racism is a thing of the past at least acknowledged it existed.  In the past, people justified sexism by saying it was best for women and men to have seperate roles and so on, but now people are simply saying sexism isn't happening.  

Part of the problem, of course, is our sub-par education system. When you hear someone saying something like "well men are the ones who have built everything", that is a direct product of an education system that has deliberately erased women from history.  In the same way, it is a symptom of ignorance that so many people think that something as institutionalized as sexism, wherein women did not receive the vote in the U.S. until the early 20s (for white women anyway), a fundamental human right which women world wide still lack based on gender alone, somehow will have dissapated within less than 100 years, as if all the people who were raised under the old regime immediately decided to treat everyone precisely equally the moment some women got the vote, at a time when women still could not safely wear pants in public, have a legal abortion even after rape or to save her life, hope to be taken seriously as a political candidate or CEO, and so on.

  I know a lot of these people are deliberately self-deluded, but I live in hope that people will consider the actual facts that exist in reality and turn away from ignorance. So I decided to compile some of the really blantantly obvious evidence that someone who has lived in a bubble may have missed. And really, it's not hard for men to live in a bubble. They are taught to stay away from girls from an early age; segregation is still one of the most powerful tools of oppression.

A lot of people don't know how to think critically. When something makes these people (we'll call them "Jack") uncomfortable -  such as the fact that other people might be suffering from a system that Jack benefits from, it make Jack feel bad. He has two options: he can do the hard work of trying to be part of the solution, or he can deny the problem exists.

I've actually seen people literally suggest, or rather insist, plead, and threaten that people stop talking about sexism because by talking about it they make it worse, or create the problem whole cloth. As if perfectly happy women with no problems are just sitting around, bored, and decided to invent something that isn't real. Nevermind all that historical evidence, nevermind all the data collected by such un-Feminist organizations as the FBI showing things like how many women are murdered by an intimate partner or all the scientific studies and collections of data showing that even male nurses get paid more than female nurses in a field dominated by women that is supposed to be woman's work (just as women in jobs dominated by men get paid less), hell even fields like cooking or poetry are dominated by sometimes super creepy, sexist men.

The U.S. has never had a serious front-runner female candidate for president, let along an actual female president, and the majority of congress is still male.  And to those who say women can't be leaders, that it isn't sexism because women just don't WANT to be leaders and aren't GOOD at it, please please please for the love of humanity study some damn history, because Cleopatra wasn't the only successful female ruler in history. 

I'm glad that things are getting so much better for women that women can actually attend colleges, apply to jobs, run for leadership positions, and so on. But it just hasn't been that long and it sure as hell isn't equal yet. And denying that fact is a huge part of the problem.  IF your feelings are hurt by the idea that you should maybe reconsider how you treat women, just think about how those women feel and maybe put basic decency first.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Microscopic opic oblique biopic of opaque cake

(a free poem)

lemonaide is key

destroys waste

allergic to citrus

no gracias, mi doctura dice no citrus por mi, porque dolor de abdomem

the lining is destroyed

my body rejecting

       on the cellular level

   the mitochondria were 
 their own entity once

what is alive 


little guys

running around on their

dont think

no brain

matter that moves 


what is wanting? what is will?

invaded the cell

who discovered

- wait but the cell is not a person either

what is a nucleus made of? 

it moves without thinking, along a path, until it collides

but what differentiates a mitochondrian from a cell from a bug from a tree from the air from the universe? 

a layer of tissue, a hard clump of cells, a configuration of atoms

smaller and smaller past where we can measure,

maybe forever,

and if not forever then how are endings possible, where could an ending be, how could nothing ever exist?

nothing seems to be nothing,
i see something with something, even the naked unmoving air is something, 


how could snything ever 


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Recommends: Assigned Male

Assigned Male is a webcomic in the "teaching with humor" tradition of the Boondocks, about a young girl who decides to live as what she feels is her true gender despite being assigned male at birth. The comics range from multi panel poignant fictionalized memoir based on the experiences of the author, Sophia, but with more adult language (like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes) - about friends and growing up, to straight-up trans awareness memes. It's all free of course. And unfortunately, the comic has become the target of bullies who just can't resist the idea of picking on a young girl who speaks her mind. All the more reason to read and even donate! I love this comic for the truths it puts forth about the trans experience.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Queer for Life

People often talk about transgender, homosexuality, feminism, and other cases of breaking gender rules as if they are something people choose later in life due to some sort of defiance or illness.  It's like they never noticed the queer kids on the playground.
   When I was little, I got bullied out of my Catholic school. The girls didn't like me, and I wasn't a boy. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was my messy hair or my goody-two-shoes attitude or obnoxious sense of humor or the fact that I knew that "the Pee Girl" was actually a nice person who was fun to play with and didn't care that she had a disorder, and maybe it was because I was a tomboy. I remember one time on the playground when I felt accepted by the boys, when I felt like I was let into the boys club and would be allowed to play with boys - because they gave me a bloody knee. I was bullied into early childhood depression until I started hitting my bullies right in their faces and the adults finally decided to do something.
  When I went to hippie school, I was much happier. The school was diverse racially and in terms of the age groups who played together, and there were lots of kids with special needs. The older kids and teachers kept kids from being bullies. We were free to explore the woods and the park and the school, free to be kids and to play. On the playground I would always be Wolverine, or I wouldn't play. And a little black boy named Emilio would always be Storm.
  Emilio wasn't really a boy, and I am confident that today he is not a man. He was the pink ranger for Halloween, he walked and talked with a swish. I don't remember anyone being mean to him or thinking he was weird. His mom was a cop and his older brother acted gangster.
   My friends were mostly boys, so I was pretty confused when, on a camping trip, one of my friend's dads decided to cut me out of the group by pitting boys against girls. All of a sudden, I was the enemy, for no good reason. I was so angry at this man for thinking that shit was funny.
    In middle school I hung with dudes and would take out my aggression on my guy friends by kicking them and joking around. I thought it was all in good fun but later realized I was kind of being a bully without realizing it. I was just trying to conform to a hyper masculine image, but the guys I hung with were more chill, sensitive, musician types.
   In High School, I didn't have much sexuality, but I felt some attractions towards boys and some towards... Other girls. Mostly I was just afraid of sex, and deeply in denial that I was different sexually or So I was pretty outraged when some of the girls started a rumor about me being a lesbian. I let boys feel me up and just froze, scared they would take it further. I made friends with an older girl and worshipped her, and she did things like give me a private strip tease, but I was happy for the relationship to be unrequited. I wouldn't really be sexually mature until my late 20s, when I would figure out that I was grey-asexual, meaning I prefer to not have sex, even alone, very often. But in early high school, I tried very hard to seem normal - sexual, but not too sexual, straight, and a cis girl. I tried to do things like wear make up, and failed spectacularly. I wasn't being myself.
  By Junior year I found my place, with the stoner boys. I was so, so happy to be one of the guys again, like I had been in middle school, but even more so. My friends literally would tell people I was not a girl, and I approved.
  So when I grew up and learned that magic word transgender and admitted I just might be a lesbian and had a real, deep romantic relationship with a woman and started asserting myself, flirting with name and pronoun changes, wearing clothes that finally felt comfortable and like ME, I thought it was really wired to so many people close to me told me I wasn't trans or a lesbian or whatever (nobody really has thought the asexual thing was that strange though, not sure what to make of that). I've always thought it was obvious that I was queer, it was obvious to the kids who teased me, the street preachers who would look right at me when I was still in denial even to myself, maybe to some of the creeps who sexually harassed me even, since creeps do tend to pick out people they think will be an easy target... When everything snapped into place with that magical word transgender, some of the pieces that snapped were the way other people had treated me. I just don't think queer kids are invisible growing up. I think you can see us just as surely as we know ourselves.