pisaquari: Who are you known as on the internets and what sites do you blog, if any?
Demonista: demonista. sometimes Winnie small. on my lj blog, peaceculture.org, bermudaradical.blogspot.com – the last one, i’m new to, so i’ve only done a couple posts
pisaquari: Blogs/Sites you most frequent (reading &/or comment)
Demonista: allecto’s, my lj friends and some comms, recently, heart’s, : http://belenen.livejournal.com/, http://captainvanille.livejournal.com/, http://cruelbitch.livejournal.com/, Demonista: http://dis-senter.livejournal.com/ Demonista: http://dragort.livejournal.com/ and more
pisaquari:How would you describe your background? Naming as many points for which you are privileged and oppressed as possible.
Demonista: ok. sexed female, want to be genderfree. raced white, Scottish ancestry mainly. welfare poor family (grew up on state assistance as our sole source of income), 2 parents but dad physically disabled. my mom is depressed, but not severely. i’m close to 21 (will be in five days), in university, with the help of OSAP (student loans). i’ve been vegetarian since 11, became a vegan several months ago. feminist since 12, radical feminist since 14. able-bodied, higher than average intelligence. i’ve been repeatedly sexually harrassed, and sexually assaulted when i was 4-5…
and again in my first year of uni in a case of “assumed consent”, and again in a sense
where i “did it to myself” he thought i was consenting and i did, but i should’ve put the brakes on…
…i used to get into physical fights with my brother, and i used to be the “tougher” one then we fought less, an he was sexuallyharrassive to me for a time
i identify as pansexual or simply sexual, altho more attracted to males (about 70% of the time) then women. i also wanted to be a gay male for a time!
pisaquari: Can I ask why that is?
Demonista: well, it lasted from 12-about 16. i think it was me figuring out a nonoppressive sexuality, and having egalitarian sex more easy to find in gay male writings and drawings at that time than straight ones (now i think gay male materials are just as bad), but what i was reading/seeing back then of gay men’s was nonabusive, equal, not focused on anal intercourse, etc. i was rejecting heterosexuality but still attracted to men, and not finding an egalitarian vision of men-women relationships at all. and frankly, gay male depictions really “got me off.” and i often fantasized myself as a gay young man having sex with other males. so…
pisaquari: That’s really interesting. Amazing what lengths we will go to in order to salvage our ties with males
Demonista: well, i’ve only had relationships with 4 people, 3 of them male, and one a male-bodied trans woman. With one of the guys, who was my third partner, he talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk–one it’s face, the sex we had was fine politically, but if you actually knew what was going on in my head it wasn’t. i kept on trying to tell him how to manually stimulate me right, but he would always go back to it being too rough. i did have orgasms, but the pain during and for the couple of days after sure ain’t my idea of fun! blooming hell.
Demonista: Although it didn’t end well, my relationship(s) with my first two partners was really something great. i was involved with Gav first, then we broke up because he chose his boyfriend Derek over me, then they had a fight over something (can’t remember what) and they split up, and Derek started talking with me. And i didn’t really hold it against him–I knew gav was with derek, but I didn’t know they were supposed to be monogamous. and so derek and I were talking, and he told me in a roundabout way that he had a crush on me. I was floored, and well, to make a long story short it ended up being a threesome relationship for a time…
pisaquari: Do you tell your partners you’re a radical feminist and explain to them what that constitutes as far as your boundaries are concerned?
Demonista: i do… and they all nod and grin…some of them actually take it to heart. like gav and derek did. and d–my on again off again current partner–seems to get where i’m coming from.
pisaquari: any particular bad reactions upon the news of being a radical feminism?
Demonista: yes, i don’t regret either one of them, but i actually think derek was awesomer, esp at the end, obviously.
Demonista: and there has been the typical reaction to the word “radical feminist”, from both males and females.
pisaquari: how much of a learning curve do you allow people with radical feminism before you give up?
if you give any at all?
Demonista: ummm…i give them the initial freakout, and then after i give them a spiel, if they still don’t get it, i get angry. my patience for fools span lasts from a few minutes to months lol…
quite a range
Demonista: like that fucking essentialism slur…
pisaquari: hows that go?
Demonista: like “radical feminists are really cultural feminists” or “radfems are essentialist.” and i go “were not. if we thought male violence was inevitiable, we wouldn’t bother trying to change things!”
Demonista: and it’s especially angering to get that crap in my women’s studies classes! hells bells
Demonista: my declared major is women’s studies and sociology. but i’ve also taken a few courses in global studies, philosophy both
pisaquari: how do you find academia to be towards radical feminism
or what you can make of their opinions?
Demonista: fucking hell! we VERY rarely get a fair shake. ramirez, my first women’s studies prof, honours them. and my feminist theory prof, toye, did a good job describing us in class, but then she gives us all these radfem-bashing readings. for example the alcoff reading we did had two kinds of feminism: postmodernist vs “cultural” cultural meant radical–eg the list of her “cultural” feminists included dworkin, kathleen barry, adrienne rich, luce irigary, janice raymond, mary daly, robin morgan, etc. the article was bs–the whole dichotomy was rubbish, the label was rubbish, the analysis was crap. Etc Demonista: postmodernists are the darlings of women’s studies. The only course we were assigned a radfem reading was in a philosophy course (phil and gender)–we read mackinnon, patricia hill Collins
pisaquari: Do you challenge this?
Demonista: i try–i refute the bs the profs, students, and readings say a lot of the time. radical feminism is portrayed as the enemy in these classes, and complete LIES are said about it. so i tell people i id as a second-wave radical feminist, am anti-porn, believe gender is socially constructed, etc. in the face of being told that radical feminism is pretty much dead. that there are only two branches of radfem cultural and lesbian, that radfems thought girls were stupid, that we are pro-obscenity laws,.etc. WHAT BULLSHIT
pisaquari: wha???, makes no sense. I’m sure that’s an area you just have to pick your battles in and keep on moving
We could probably rant on that all night–I wanna move backwards for a minute if that’s cool with you
pisaquari: okay, so what do you think about your upbringing/past made you more open to radical feminism?
Demonista: my mom is a kinda liberal feminist. when i was 8, i first read and saw porn, and was pro-porn and pro-bdsm until i was 12. i had been sexually abused at 4-5 by a neighbour. when i was 12 i read kate millett’s sexual politics and joan smith’s misogynies. then shere hite, susan cole, etc. at 14 i read andrea dworkin, and that was the beginning of something beautiful Your browser may not support display of this image.
pisaquari: So you think it was the author’s way of clarifying your past sexual abuses that really caught you?
Demonista: hmmm…i dunno. it’s probably because it happened so long ago, and the fact that my abuser was an 8 year old boy, but i think other things shaped me far more than that. eg, the porn consumption. it had a lot to do with becoming anti-porn and anti-prostitution. another thing, when i was 12, i read patrick roscoe’s birthmarks which is short stories, some semiautobiographical, about child abuse, prostitution, drug addiction, etc. it was also a pivotal book, along with millett and smith
pisaquari: Was there a pivotal “aha” moment for you? A revelation you had that sticks out where you felt you suddenly got it?
Demonista: i have those a lot when i’m reading dworkin…i don’t remember if there was an epiphany–I remember being very struck my millett’s analysis of patriarchy, and calling out the darlings of the left in the 60s, and learning about trauma in birthmarks, and learning about peter sutcliffe (serial killer) and his normalcy in misogynies, and how sexual abuse in childhood conditions us for patriarchal sexuality and outright abuse in susan cole’s pornography and the sex crisis
pisaquari: What was it about radical feminism that took you in? (as you were once quite different it seems)
Demonista: hmmm…i was a different person before i was 12 esp, and also before i was 16. i wonder what it was? most of the books i was reading before 12 were like christopher pike, rl stine, lj smith, tamora pierce, and generally other “teen horror” books, so reading radfem books was a big shift for me in what i was reading about.
i was also reading a lot of vc andrews, some anne rice, and was consuming cinematic porn during that time. so it was a major shift in reference.
Demonista: my mom was antiporn, but for rather diff reasons than are radfems, and her moralism over it fueled my thinking it was bad, and something i should do if i wanted to be bad… and reading those books made me realize what crap that was
pisaquari: so maybe the excitement if something so different?
Demonista: i think that’s what first got me reading it–it was different and it sounded interesting
pisaquari: That’s kinda funny that could be what it comes down to
Demonista: Radical feminism was a deep, long lasting kinda of intellectual stimulation. Reading a couple points had my brain buzzing for days
perhaps we could call it The Sensation of Truth?
pisaquari: good phrase for it
pisaquari: How do we pass along radical feminism?
Demonista: learning ourselves, helping others learn, synthesize and create new theories, demonstrate through action, live it in your personal life
pisaquari: can you give a couple examples of how you “live it in your personal life”?
Demonista: i speak up about porn, rape jokes, etc in daily life (when i can work up the guts), blog about it, nurture, encourage and create sexual fantasies and acts that are in line with radfem philosophy, i am vegan, i freeganise, buy most things used, do presentations in classes against prostitution, porn, etc, engage in nonviolent direct action with indigenous solidarity, peace, corporate power, etc
pisaquari: go you!
Pisaquari: What’s been the hardest principle of radical feminism to incorporate in your life thus far?
Demonista: hmmm…well, i suppose ideas surrounding sisterhood, lesbian separatism, and political lesbianism. not that i object, it’s that i recognize that I’ve been programmed by patriarchy to be attracted to men, and to look to men for support, guidance, sex, love, etc… and i do like some men. but I recognize the need for these analyses
pisaquari: How do you keep yourself happy living in a patriarchy?
Demonista: music! books! love! revolution! sleep!
Demonista: i do get depressed sometimes, but then i just take a break from dealing for a few days, and have fun
What’s one thing you would like to know about all the radical feminists you encounter online?
Demonista: hmmm…how they enact their beliefs in their daily and activist lives…
pisaquari: LAST Question!
Demonista: ok 🙂
pisaquari: Okay, so there is a radical feminist island–you are there now. What are you doing?
Demonista:: plotting to overthrow the patriarchy on the mainland…in between music, sleep, food, and lovely sex 😉