Twisty Faster's I Blame the Patriarchy has annoyed me for a while now, and I've kept it on my RSS aggregator largely because she has some nice pictures of bugs, and who doesn't like bugs? It will be going off my RSS aggregator and the reasons why are sufficiently interesting that I think they deserve a post.
The final straw was this article. It's a picture of something she ate at some restaurant, seared foie gras. And in that moment it struck me with brilliant clarity that Twisty Faster is part of what she despises. She is the patriarchy. And not part of the patriarchy in the sense that all of us are, to some extent, caught up in it because of various social reasons. She's at the apex of patriarchy. She's the sort of person who eats seared foie gras, which to the barley pop crowd tastes like filth.
Or, perhaps more accurately, she's the sort of person who can go out to the sort of restaurant that serves a dish like seared foie gras. If you read her journal, she records many of these culinary experiences. She also talks about how she's living in one house on her property while building another, on her property. She leaves, routinely, to go on week long vacations to visit relatives or whatever.
Allow me to translate, then: she's rich. She's a white, well-off woman.
One of the things that has always angered me about revolution is that that virtually no revolutionary leader actually objects to the system. What they do is object to their place in the system. So, Twisty Faster goes on at great length about the problems of patriarchy. As long-time readers of my journal undoubtedly know, I loathe the patriarchy, myself, as I loathe all systems of oppression (religion, capitalism, you name it, if it oppresses, I hate it's guts). Her problems end at sexist oppression. Or, to say it a different way, she is only interested in the form of oppression that can oppress a rich white woman in Texas.
Where she reveals herself as part of the patriarchy herself is how she handles people who want to fuck differently than she does.
She is superficially critical of the patriarchy's handling of sex. And with good reason! But the key tactic that the patriarchy uses to control women's sexuality is shame. A woman who is sexual in the wrong way is shamed. Even in the industrialized world, a sexually active woman has to live with labels like whore and slut and a greatly increased chance of being attacked or killed. But the key element of control is shame. Women should be ashamed of their lust.
Twisty is all about this. Where it is most common is when BDSM gets brought up. Twisty is against BDSM because it's somehow anti-feminist, as it is mock displays of domination which are rooted in the patriarchy. She deploys against them the worst language in her vocabulary: they are part of the patriarchy. Translation: when it comes to sex she doesn't like, she shames those who do it. She does everything in her power to make women who like BDSM feel like whores and sluts. Or, to quote Twisty in her own words:
Femininity is a set of practices and behaviors (boob jobs, FGM, ‘beauty’, the ‘veil’, the flirty head-tilt, pornaliciousness, BDSM, fashion, compulsory pregnancy, marriage, et al) that are dangerous, painful, pink, or otherwise destructive; that compel female subordination; that exist only to benefit Dude Nation; that are overwhelmingly represented by ‘girly’ feminists as a ‘choice’; and that are overwhelmingly represented by godbags and other irritating conservatives as ‘natural instincts’. In fact these practices and behaviors are nothing but inviolable cultural traditions in abject compliance with which comfort, contentment, and personal fulfillment are inextricably intertwined, and from which deviation is discouraged by the threat of ingenious punishments ranging from diminished social influence, to unemployability, to ridicule, to imprisonment, to rape, to murder, to the policing of feminist blogs.
That's right. If you're a woman who likes to be sexually appealing, for whatever reason, you're buying into female subordination to the Dude Nation. If you like that sort of thing, it's because you've given in to intimidation. Translation: you ought to be ashamed of yourself, you whore, for wanting to fuck a man! She is promoting, in her own way, the very diminished social influence and ridicule she knows the patriarchy uses to condemn sex practices it doesn't like.
The marks of her class - that of a wealthy white person - are all over her blog in other ways. Such as her word choice. It isn't exactly what we use down here amongst the masses. We tend to speak plain. It takes the education of a guy like George Bush to get the humor in stuff like this: "This stunningly unremarkable event in the pornulational continuum induced not the slightest blip on my obstreperometer." I mean . . . pornulational continuum? Obstreperometer? To even get the humor in her diction requires a prep school education. Her language betrays her class. Combined with her lifestyle of leisure, her obvious displays of wealth and her patriarchal attempts to shame and humiliate people who don't live up to her standards, I conclude thus: she has met the enemy and she is them. She's a revolutionary in the sense that it isn't the system she objects to, but who runs it. Right now, men run it for their own purposes. She just wants them replaced with people like her who will run it for their purposes. She is the patriarchy.