We Have Always Fought: Women fighters/killers/warriors/marauders

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We Have Always Fought: Women fighters/killers/warriors/marauders

Postby Eowyn Entwife » Tue May 21, 2013 7:13 pm

to FrogSaga, derail re: "feminist motivations" [ Show ]
FrogSaga wrote:... some of the less-than-spectacular feminist motivations behind the effort to never present women as the "fighters/killers/warriors/marauders" that many were throughout history.

Citations (plural) for the bolded part, please.
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Re: Fantastic blog post "We Have Always Fought"

Postby ceepolk » Tue May 21, 2013 8:15 pm

yeah, I'm wondering what you're talking about too
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Re: Fantastic blog post "We Have Always Fought"

Postby FrogSaga » Tue May 21, 2013 9:33 pm

Well, since you called it a derail, I hesitate to even respond. I was supportive of the article, offering a compliment and a criticism. Funny how the compliment (which agreed with the idea that the public education system is flawed) was fine, but the criticism on a particular type of feminism is a derail. You're showing your bias. All I said was that I wished she had touched on some of the feminist (not all feminists, not feminism in general) motivations behind the idea that women as incapable of being just as violent and aggressive as we say men are.

I believe, as a woman who has been involved with martial arts for many years and as someone who has been in long term violent relationships with other women; that we are perfectly capable of being fighters, being violent; and that includes crossing the line and facing the consequences. Warriors aren't always heroes and they don't always act within the law. Some warriors have no empathy and are outright villains. The type of feminist action I am referring to are the type that change the rules for the motivations of female violence, seek to excuse it, or help women skirt the deserved punishment. Examples:

Feminist Criminology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_school_of_criminology
http://www.ifeminists.net/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.1185
Marion Boyd, feminism, and the serial killer Karla Homolka:
http://www.internetjournalofcriminology.com/Banwell_Women_Violence_and_Gray_Zones_IJC_September_2011.pdf
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3ORC8Ev2VnncDdDMHd3dlZyU0k/edit?pli=1
https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/9265

Feminist disputes on war and female soldiers:
http://www.platform-gis.org/styled-9/blog/files/8887e3c8cc53c74ee887c6c770f58a08-8.html
http://www.incite-national.org/media/docs/3429_women-war.pdf
http://townhall.com/columnists/phyllisschlafly/2004/05/17/feminist_dream_of_military_equality_becomes_nightmare_in_iraq/page/full
http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/01/the-feminist-objection-to-women-in-combat/272505/

Feminism perpetuating the idea that violence is a male trait, utterly ignoring female perpetrators (who commit violence against other women or men):
http://www.menstoppingviolence.org/
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/louise-pennington/radical-feminism_b_3169754.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/16/house-passes-violence-against-women-act_n_1522524.html
http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91tg/chapter1.html
http://www.sfsu.edu/~safe_plc/Prevention_Education/mensprogramming.html
http://aic.gov.au/media_library/conferences/ncv2/douglas.pdf

Perspectives that are similar to mine:
http://jezebel.com/5509717/domestic-violence-are-women-as-abusive-as-men
http://thefeministwire.com/2013/03/feminist-anxiety-about-domestic-violence-against-men/
http://csp.sagepub.com/content/21/1/7.abstract

That's just a start. When you search something like, "feminist perspectives on violent women" into google, the predominant response you will get is feminist views and writings on violence against women. Again, as someone who as spent a lot of time involved in tightly knit lesbian spaces, I have a somewhat unique viewpoint on the topic of aggressive/violent/fighting women. Plus, just like with any other social/political movement, many adherents of feminism will perpetuate nonsense and those individuals must be called out on it.
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Re: Fantastic blog post "We Have Always Fought"

Postby ceepolk » Tue May 21, 2013 10:26 pm

I don't know for certain what eowyn was asking, but I was asking about feminist thought that declares women incapable of violence, because it's so obviously untrue that I'm kind of blinking in disbelief.

You brought the links, and for that I'm happy, but I'm looking askance at your ascribing motives on eowyn. She asked for citations, and acknowledged that asking for them could throw this thread off track, and I'm not sure where you got the rest.

What you've provided is in depth and it'll take time to read. I'm thinking that the thread should be split so you're links and material become on topic. Do you have a preference for the title of the new topic?

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Re: Fantastic blog post "We Have Always Fought"

Postby FrogSaga » Tue May 21, 2013 11:10 pm

Thanks for your patience, I trust that the title you choose will be appropriate. My point is a pretty common one, that particular feminist/radfem advocates have (purposefully or not) written much to engender the warrior/fighter/killer type as a male. And there are many feminists who oppose that belief as well, I'm glad you understood that I wasn't trying to totally throw feminism under the bus on this issue.

I see, she was giving a derail warning about her posting, I understand now. @Eowyn, I apologize for my assertion, and for being combative.
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Re: We Have Always Fought: Women fighters/killers/warriors/m

Postby ceepolk » Wed May 22, 2013 1:14 am

I notice the link to the case of Karla Homolka, and i go ahhh, yes. Now i see.

The prevailing idea that women aren't violent, but rather victims of violence definitely helped her. she was able to get quite a deal, and now she's free, and even after evidence was uncovered that cast serious doubt on the story she told the police and the crown, people will still defend her as a coerced victim. It's hard for me to say because as a canadian much of the information about her crimes with paul bernardo weren't allowed to be reported on, so a lot of what i know is removed from the source, with the exception of anecdotes i was told by someone who claimed to be a medical support worker at the hospital were she was held for most of the trial. (that's a long story, but you know how in stories sometimes someone chooses to confide in a perfect stranger? I was the stranger.)

But it's got me thinking about the ...masculinization of violence, i kinda want to call it. I think about stories about women committing violence and it's often told as a response of violence against them or their children - a noble protection, extraordinary act of heroism, a desperate last-ditch effort to survive...always a reason. it's often presented as *unordinary,* and I hadn't seriously thought about that.
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Re: We Have Always Fought: Women fighters/killers/warriors/m

Postby LJE745 » Wed May 22, 2013 1:33 am

The article by Anna North on Jezebel was fantastic. One of the most well-reasoned arguments condemning violence in relationships regardless of the gender, orientation, etc. that I have read. Thanks for that.

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Re: We Have Always Fought: Women fighters/killers/warriors/m

Postby Buckle » Wed May 22, 2013 5:01 am

In my early feminist years, before I had really got out of the restrictive schooling and learnt to think properly, I used to proudly proclaim that more women should be president because they would never go to war.

I think it's a fairly common sentiment, maybe not predominant, but common. And harmful.

Interesting point of women usually using violence to save someone/themselves or as a response to violence. I'd noticed sort of noticed but not really.
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Re: Fantastic blog post "We Have Always Fought"

Postby Eowyn Entwife » Wed May 22, 2013 5:22 am

Meta:
FrogSaga wrote:... a derail warning about her posting, I understand now. @Eowyn, I apologize for my assertion, and for being combative.

Apology accepted, all is good. Yes, I was derailing, that was the point of my using hiddentext. And ceepolk, thanks for the split, this topic definitely needs and deserves a thread of its own.


On topic:

That's a very interesting list of links to wake up to -- thank you, FrogSaga!

My first, low-on-caffeine thoughts about the myths of (near-exclusively) non-violent female victims and (near-exclusively) violent male perpetrators tend in the direction that those myths are part and parcel of the patriarchy, and are visible e.g. in really old story-telling tropes like the Damsel In Distress. So why do some people who describe themselves as feminists, i.e. in opposition to the patriarchy, cling to the real-life-violence-related patriarchal myths, especially if they consciously repudiate e.g. DID in video games? I have no clear idea how to answer that question ATM, but I look forward to reading those links, pondering and discussing this further.
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Re: We Have Always Fought: Women fighters/killers/warriors/m

Postby LJE745 » Wed May 22, 2013 1:14 pm

I've never been one to think that violence was predominated by one gender or the other. However, growing up as a relatively oversensitive male in a family that suppported, encouraged, and basically wacked me over the head with strong "classic" gender roles, I feel that I can speak to perceptions of violence in such a setting and it is basically that men were expected to be violent to protect their families, kill food, or defend their honor while women were not expected to be violent at all, but rather to wait for the man to take care of that. It never sat well with me because I did not like killing animals for food and found the idea of "defending one's honor" to be ludicruous. The only time I thought I could commit violence was in protection of the people I love from real danger. However, I never felt that it was exclusively the domain of men. In fact, I fully expected my sister would be right there next to me fighting.

I guess the point I am getting at is that violence can sometimes be justified, but only ever in life/limb threatening situations of self defense and in those situations, I see no reason that women and men are not on equal footing. After all, the females of a number of species fight vehemently to protect their young. It never made sense to me that humans would be any different. Now, more to the point of the thread, I have seen both men and women abuse their children. Though my parents were not abusive, they were proponents of corporal punishment (spanking) and more often than not, it was my mom doing the spanking. In fact, I can't remember a time my dad physical spanked either my sister or I, though he yelled a whole lot and seemd to much more effectively use psychological punishment (threats of spanks, yelling, etc.) to intimidate. My mother was quick to spank and even as a child I could remeber it being out of anger and not a controlled, measured reponse intended to teach a lesson. No, the look in her eyes was clearly anger and it seemed she was fighting hard to restrain herselves from beating us. Now before anyone gets the wrong impression, I don't consider myself abused or think my parents were abusive. I disagree with almost all of their parenting tactics and would never spank my own child (if I had any). However, based on the reactions from my parents I never really though, despite what the gender role police were saying, that women were any less capable of violence (and unjustified violence at that) than men. It is the same as teachers and sex with students, it cuts both ways and defies simple gender-typing.

That's my own personal take on the situation. I have probably missed the point entirely. If so, the mods can feel free to delete or edit this.

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Re: We Have Always Fought: Women fighters/killers/warriors/m

Postby FrogSaga » Sat May 25, 2013 4:28 pm

What a great discussion!

@Ceepolk
Yes, I did hear that it was not allowed to be reported on in Canada, and that was because of Marion Boyd. I guess my contention is that feminists do a disservice to the goals of feminism when excuses and exemptions are made for women like Homolka. There are always reasons why extreme criminals act the way that they do. If Homolka was a emotionally damaged man who lived with his mother and suffered years of abuse, I would hazard a guess and say that Homolka would still be in prison.
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As a woman, I want the world to view me as having as much agency as men have. I can be a hero, I can be a villain. I can fight for good or for selfish interests. I can accept the consequences of my behavior.
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Re: We Have Always Fought: Women fighters/killers/warriors/m

Postby ceepolk » Sat May 25, 2013 5:58 pm

Well one thing I do know is that Karla Homolka made that deal, and *then* new evidence came to light to put the lie to her coerced into it manipulated victim story. We heard that much, at least, but there was very little in the way of coverage because of the ban.

And her partner Paul Bernardo is still in prison. he's never getting out. meanwhile Karla has been out for years, living somewhere in Canada

but this is what I do remember: Kristin French, Leslie Mahaffy, and Tammy Homolka, the names of the victims. there was stuff about them, about their lives and their youth and their victimhood...Karla was included in that for a while, until the videotapes were found. then she wasn't a woman, she was the worst kind of monster, and there was more coverage about her than Paul Bernardo.

I'm also remembering the media coverage of three teenage girls who murdered another girl named Reena Virk. I remember that there was a lot of hand-wringing about what tragedies could have befallen those poor girls from good homes that they could have done such a thing, and very little about how they were a clique of notorious bullies - if you bothered to ask other teenage girls who happened to be not-white, not "pretty" and too smart. and a lot of "Teen girl violence - an unexpected epidemic" that kept news reporters having the vapors even though people as old as eighty were writing in to say that they had been violently bullied by girls in school and this wasn't anything new...

I remember that one in particular, because she gave her age and said that she only remembered the names of four students she went to school with, and three of them were her bullies. It made me stop short and realize that it was easy for me to recall the names of the girls who had bullied me in school, but the rest had faded.
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