A Radical Feminist Equation (- Feminism+Psychosis=Stasis)

...And you sit there and talk revolution
but can you tell me just who's in command?
when you tell me the forces we are fighting
then I'll gladly join and make plans
but for now only our t-shirts cry freedom
and our voices are gagged by our greed
our minds are harnessed by knowledge
by the hill and the will to succeed
and if that's not what you believe
would you just let me know I'm not standing alone
that I'm not just a voice in the crowd...

From Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors by Fish

These lyrics were written in the late 1980's but they could easily apply to the current state of feminism, particularly the sect calling itself Radical Feminism, aka RadFem. Sadly the only revolution existing among RadFems consists of idle chatter, tweets, FB shares and some kindergarten arts and crafts even. There is also at any given time a discrepancy regarding who exactly they’re fighting: men, men claiming to be women, men who haven’t had SRS, men who have, women claiming to be men, women who “look” like men, women who “act” like men, the rich, the poor, whites, non white, academics, non academics, feminists, non feminist, lesbians, non lesbians, prostitutes, men who pick up prostitutes, sex slavery, the porn industry…an endless list. And that’s not to say that there isn’t an overwhelming list of issues that feminists/RadFems need to address, there is. But instead of agreeing on a single issue and tackling that issue till it no longer is a threat like some of former suffragettes/feminists of yesteryear, current RadFems are busy at work retweeting and FB sharing articles with each other, along with copious pats on the back for doing so. Meanwhile the only women privy to RadFem tweets and FB shares are the small few who are on each others private lists. The women who truly NEED feminist news, particularly feminist interventions, remain on the outside. For they are either too poor, too black, too non English speaking, too uneducated, too busy selling their bodies to feed their children, too, too, too. RadFems however aren't interested in too's.

RadFems covet, then monkey see/monkey do Dworkinesque hypocrisies of; ignore mental health troubles, child speak, narcissism, classism, racism, lezbophobia, male hatred, two facedness, misogyny etc. Women (straightbians) claiming lesbian asylum for political reasons. Women working with Trans male clients from 9 to 5 while in their spare time demanding “twanz-women” stay out of women’s spaces. Women making exceptions for Trans males who have had their “penis” mutilated. Women more invested in getting laid than in making the world a better place for females in the future. Women with slews of mental diagnosis made from the very male medical machine that is now transitioning children in order to eradicate homosexuals, in short, women incapable of revolutionary thought or action alike. It is these motley crew who are supposed to be some of today’s leading feminists, but you wont find a radical or feminist between the lot of them. But you might find them among the Radical Feminists of yore, like:

Shulamith Firestone, whom you might remember for writing The Dialectic of Sex. Firestone a RadFem darling and believed RadFem ground breaker. What Firestone did manage to write before psychosis dominated her mind was as much indebted to French feminism as her strange futuristic notions of sex and child birth were hijacked from male authored dystopian novels such as (Zamyatin's We, Orwell's 1984 or Huxley's Brave New World). What I find most striking about Ms. Firestone was her mental illness, which seems to be a necessary component (glue?) of past and current RadFems. Shulamith was hospitalized at various times for "schizophrenia" whereby she later became a total recluse. As a female and as a feminist I have to be suspect of her diagnosis, but regardless, she obviously had or developed serious mental issues. And it is these mental issues that seem to be, as they were for Firestone herself, the driving force and cornerstone for Radical Feminism as we know it still.

The she-can-do-no-wrong queen bee of Radical Feminism, Straightbian Andrea Dworkin  (whom died on this day April 9th) was the walking billboard for mental illness. She claims (and I believe her) that she was molested as a girl of 10. This could have lead to her being grossly overweight/unkempt in effort to remove herself from any male gaze. Her attempt didnt work and she later married for a second time ("I love John with my heart and soul"). Her first husband, according to Dworkin, was violent/abusive and like her prostitution, lesbianism and (conveniently timed-promoting new book) rape in a Paris hotel-where proof could have existed, there exists none. Like so many Straightbians before and after her, rather than seek help and confront the gulf within her fractured psyche, she in hereto-privileged fashion declared herself a lesbian, reinforcing lesbianism as choice (all lesbians need is the right dick). RadFem warrior Dworkin built her platform from horrors and struggles (prostitution/lesbianism/rape/death threats/domestic violence) experienced by OTHER women and narcissistically claimed them as her own! It is one thing to use women's collective adversity to make important collective points or aid in passing laws benefiting women, it is quite another to flat out lie, giving rise to your own individual ego and pay check alike.

Another Radfem sweetie (born today April 9) is Valerie ("I'm no lesbian") Solanas, known as much for shooting Andy Warhol and others (to make her famous where her talents failed) as for her psychotic  SCUM Manifesto. Solanas, like Firestone was a paranoid schizophrenic and like Dworkin she also had a history of molestation. Solanas like Dworkin and Firestone claimed, she too was a lesbian although she had regular romantic/sexual relationships with men.

Past RadFems like many RadFems today are defined by their
  • deep hatred of men
  • actively seeking out individual men for attack (deserved and not deserved)
  • co-option of lesbian for personal gain
  • multiple mental illnesses-diagnosed and undiagnosed
  • Thorough lack of coping skills
While misogyny and the male power systems which support misogyny can be held accountable for some of the feeble architecture of Radical Feminism, like the RadFem trinity (Firestone/Dworkin/Solanas), most women claiming RadFem today are so collectively spiritually/mentally bankrupt even their seething hatred of men cannot unite them in a common cause. One wrong tweet or clumsy FB comment can put an interrogation spotlight on another RadFem where RadFems collectively hungrily await the verdict to tear the woman to shreds. Like Trans (you're with us or you're transphobic) Ideology, Radical Feminism isnt a place where women can freely discuss feminist issues. RadFem critique (no matter its accuracy) is swiftly labeled victim blaming, misogynist or flat out stupid. Either way, those doing the critiquing are dismissed or worst, silenced. There is nothing radical or feminist about this approach to women's issues, there is also nothing period. Radical Feminism was born in the domestic sphere, a vacuum. RadFems today may have replaced their 1970's Hoover with a high tech Dyson, but their ideas are still swirling around a dust filled container.


  1. I am a trans ally because the trans community helped protect me from these radical feminists, so pretty much they pushed me towards them because I needed backup and I now have a lot of good trans friends (so can say they did me a favor, though they still are attacking me). Radical feminists hate women, I know that sounds crazy but they do, especially lesbians that stand up against them and they attack lesbians spaces constantly. They ignore the real issues in the world for women which include domestic violence, gun violence, rape, homophobic hate crimes for us lesbians (which also include our gay bros), poverty which hits women the hardiest, not having equal pay with men...so many unfair and dangerous things that affect biological women but all they do is support right wingers on anti-LGBT bills around the country (which effect us lesbians, the L in the LGBT, to but they don't give a shit about us). Why are they so anti-woman and anti-lesbian? Its very weird.

  2. Solanas is not really respected by 'establishment' radfems (ha! its a thing tho). She's a camp figure to them and a hero to young girls and women, I mean, we need some critical-crazy person to show the world what some of us think of man art. Its sad but fits. Firestone and Dworkin both have so many examples of racism in their work. And its all too easy for Stoltenberg to do PR around Dworkin as an early trans theorist, I've thought she was since the first time I read her. She's brilliant in some places and outright wrong in others (like all of us but it matters more with her because when she was wrong she was really wrong). She was so defensive about being called out for being straight and so defensive of her other privileges... Her association with McKinnon should be enough for "trans critical" radfems to realize she very well might have been on Stoltenberg's side these days. Its not that these writers aren't in their own ways amazing, but their celebration by neoradfems to the exclusion of more radical/more lesbian writers of the time reveals what they want to hear. And they for sure do not want to hear about racism, classism, educational privilege, male privilege that het women get from men, lesbian oppression, butch oppression, psychiatric criticism, decolonialism, or the agency that privilege can bring.

  3. What dirt doesn't tell people is that radical feminists have been posting on this blog for years.

    (1.) When dirt was receiving all sorts of horrific posts from angry FTMs that included actual threats of graphic physical harm (dirt knows what I'm talking about), rad fems stood by dirt.

    (2.) When Michigan Women's Music Festival was attacked, rad fems fiercely defended Mich Fest.

    (3.) Some of the best thoroughly researched, cogent articles and online material on the transitioning of children have been written by rad fems, or women associated with radical feminists. Rad fems were some of the first people who dared to openly discuss the ethical issues surrounding the transitioning of children.

    (4.) Radical feminists have consistently spoken out against pornography, prostitution, and the human trafficking of women.

    (5.) While transman Patrick (Patricia) Califia was writing books about BDSM and fully embracing every part of the kink S&M community, rad fems stood firm in our belief that BDSM is harmful to lesbians and women.

    (6.) Rad fems openly expressed their outrage over the lesbian phobic "Cotton Ceiling".

    (7.) Unlike many transgender identified people and their allies, radical feminists find it offensive when males identify as lesbians. It's becoming increasingly more common for trans identified males who are attracted to women to colonize and co-opt lesbian identity.

    (8.) Rad fems believe biological males with intact male genitalia have no right to violate the privacy of women by demanding access to women's restrooms, women's locker rooms, and women's homeless shelters.

    (9.) Rad fems were among the first intrepid feminists who were warning people about the growing trend to "transition" young lesbians into transmen.

    As to Solanas and Firestone, I haven't heard of these women. When I think of radical feminists, I think of Professor Sheila Jeffreys or Professor Janice Raymond.

    1. Anonymous April 12, 2016 at 3:51 PM: Can you please specify who (besides Dirt, that is) has been speaking out about lesbians being transitioned for many years (#9 on your list). I am asking because I've seen RadFems talk A LOT about not letting men in women's spaces for years, but Dirt is the only one who I have seen consistently documenting the issues with lesbians transitioning over the years. I can see your points about there being some overlap in agreement on some of the other issues listed, but I honestly have not seen radfems jumping on the bandwagon against lesbians transitioning (like Dirt has for years now). Plus, I don't think that Dirt is disagreeing with the points you mentioned above, from what I can tell, and just because she is presenting a critique of radical feminism does not mean she is saying that it is all "bad" nor does she appear to be saying that all RadFems are "bad".

    2. Sheila Jeffreys denied butch oppression since day one and calls butches "masculine," "roleplayers," and gender performers. That's supposed to support butches and make them feel even more alienated by lesbian feminism? Really? No, that shit was a denial of butch AND lesbian oppression and I can't believe another generation of radfems and "lesbians" are buying into this shit. Radfems are by and large NOT helping ftms or detransitioned women AT ALL for all the talk they do about males and mtfs (they sure love to focus on men). Women Organizing for Liberation (WoLF somehow) even promoted themselves by using destransitioned women for shock value and called them mutilated. These het-dominated radfem groups and prominent writers of the past and present aren't doing butch or gnc women any favors at all! LOOK at GenderApostates, they think radical feminism is for "women and trans women" and I've seen radfems say shit like "trans men get too much attention because of masculinism"! Masculinism! Trans men and detransitioned women get less than no support, are shat on by (totally feminine) radfems for being "traitors" and now some radfems are mad that anyone is giving a shit at all. thank god dirt is here because almost no one else is!

  4. Anonymous @ 12:25: "Trans women" are men, sir.

  5. Anonymous April 14, 9:33 - what does your word salad have to do with the posted article ?

    You are vilifying TERFS, but you seem awfully confused about what you are talking about. Bonus use of the word 'cis'.

    Read some stuff then come back to THOUGHTFULLY and intellectually respond to (aka comment) about what you have read on this site. This is not a platform for theoretical gender vaudeville.

    Perhaps start by googling Christopher Hambrook or Stephonknee.

  6. @Anonymous April 13, 2016 at 7:46 AM

    Professor Sheila Jeffreys was talking about the transitioning of lesbians into FTMs as early as 2003. In her 2003 book, "Unpacking Queer Politics" she has a whole chapter called Chapter 6: FTM Transsexualism and the Destruction of Lesbians.

    "In the late 1980s and 1990s an epidemic of female-to-male (FTM]transsexualism began in Western countries. Women who had previously identified as butch lesbians, or been afraid to identify as lesbians despite loving women, began to opt for surgical mutilation. I call this the destruction of lesbians, because lesbians are physically destroyed in this surgery, and their lesbianism is removed along with female body parts. The lesbianism of their female partners is severely tested too, as they struggle to adjust to loving surgically constructed ‘men’
    or leave. The FTMs are having double mastectomies and hysterectomies, and sometimes phalloplasties, which create lumps of inactive tissue in the genital area. They inject lifelong male hormones, with worrying effects upon their health. This issue has become, I suggest, an emergency for lesbian politics. In the 1970s, when radical lesbian
    and gay movements began, there was a strong awareness of the barbaric methods by which the medical profession in the twentieth century had sought to eradicate lesbianism, such as incarceration in mental hospitals, electric shock treatment and lobotomies (Katz 1978). At that time it was thought that a brand new day had dawned, in which these cruel forms of control would be ended, so that lesbians
    could live happily in their lesbian bodies. Transsexual surgery on lesbians, as a burgeoning practice, clearly shows that this optimism was unrealistic. In the twenty-first century the methods being used to get rid of lesbians are very much more cruel than we could have
    imagined thirty years ago.

    Unpacking Queer Politics...

    Has dirt's blog been around since 2003?

  7. @Anonymous April 13, 2016 at 7:46 AM

    "I am a trans ally because the trans community helped protect me from these radical feminists.."

    Women don't even have to be radical feminist, or identify as any kind of feminist to be called a "TERF". Who is going to protect women from males who make these kinds of threats directed towards women? Google, "terf is a slur.com". Seriously, this is some rather deeply disturbing threats.


  8. Jeffreys is right in part of her analysis of course- that butches are pressured to transition and that this is a crisis. What she doesn't do that Dirt does do is normalize butchness. Jeffreys seems to have just as much criticism for butches themselves as she does for trans men (lesbian heresy, anticlimax, beauty and misogyny, gender hurts) and considers butch another "gender" which she condemns. She doesn't criticize feminine women in the same way and seems to think butches are the roleplayers who pressure femmes to relieve dysphoria. That's offensive. If anyone's in a role its feminized women. You can't be butchphobic and center feminine women as a norm (unless they're HIGH femme) and then expect butches to hear you when you talk about the pressure to transition. You can't portray relationships between butch and femme lesbians as inevitably roleplay and expect lesbians to take you seriously and you certainly can't purposely erase butch-butch relationships and all the work done by butches on egalitarian lesbian relationships and expect butches to think that kind of radfeminism is better than the queer community. So Jeffreys is right that lesbians are being oppressed and they're trying to get rid of us, but her appeal is to straight women who won't be offended at the way she presents that particular truth. And straight radfems love to read about lesbians being just as bad and gendered as they are.

  9. This column of pure dribble has been bugging me for weeks. It smacks of misogyny and certainly hatred of radical feminists, of which I am one and have been for 40 years. And proudly. And it's theories and understanding of being a woman in the world saved my butch ass. So stuff it dirt. Given the lack of comments it's obvious you've alienated your base. But since you're a true shit stirrer, I imagine you're satisfied swirling in it all.

    1. Anon 4/18 at 6:19 AM: The pure drivel is coming from you. You don't seem to know what misogyny means, just like you don't understand why a real butch would be alienated by the pontification of certain radical feminists. So stuff it and swirl it yourself, sister.


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