Of all the stupid and extremist social justice warriors who gather round demagogue-wanna-be Mikki Kendall, possibly the stupidest and most extreme is Flavia Dzodan.
I actually began a blog post last May about some stupid shit that Dzodan said and ended up not publishing because Dzodan is so absurd. This was before I knew what a social justice warrior was, in spite of being one of their targets via Mikki Kendall's Tumblr.
But now that I see she is also a member of the Mikki Kendall Social Justice Warrior gang, I might as well post it.
Like the other Kendall gang members, Dzodan is still livid about the very gentle critique of Kendall by The Nation some weeks ago.
And by the way - Kendall gang member Aaminah Khan complained in her article that Kendall's detractors are publishing critiques of Kendall "in online publications with huge readerships" but the only one I've found to date is The Nation article - and it's the only one the Kendall gang talks about. So where are all these other huge media outlets? Every other huge media outlet that mentions her that I've seen thus far is a virtual Kendall love fest. But if the Kendall gang wants to point me to actual critiques of Kendall outside of The Nation, I'd love to know about it.
Kendall calls this "heavy lifting." And in order to be forgiven, it very much helps if you attack feminism, or as Kendall likes to call it "white feminism."
Feminism will always be sacrificed in order to appease social justice warriors, because most prominent leaders of the feminist movement for the past 100 years have been white, and social justice warriors always judge people strictly by the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character.
That is what they really mean by "intersectionality."
Although really, Kendall doesn't just hate white feminists, she hates all white women, whom she likes to smear, en mass, in standard bigot fashion. This is a typical Kendall move:
First Lily Allen, now Peggy Noland: when it comes to objectifying black women, white women are having the best week ever.What's that? You say you don't know who Lily Allen and Peggy Noland are? Well you better find out, if you're a white woman, because on your behalf they were having the best week ever of objectifying black women.
But back to Flavia Dzodan. Last March she was perturbed by a meme on the Internet that involved images of Jon Hamm. The problem with this, according to Dzodan, is not the objectification of a man, the problem as Dzodan sees it is that the meme is too heterosexual.
...how we would feel about food if the only thing on our plates, for the entirety of our lives and for the entirety of recorded history, had been spam with potatoes. The problem is not that we like penis, the problem is that in women’s metaphorical food plate of sexuality, penis has been the only available dish, the only dish it has been historically acceptable to eat at all.And she is utterly wrong. Public displays of masculine beauty have in fact been severely restricted throughout most of recorded history and well into the 20th century.
It was considered shameful for a woman to even look at a naked man. For example, female art students were prohibited from drawing nude men - and some religious extremists believe in this prohibition in the present day.
Combine that with the prohibition against male homosexual desire and for most of the 20th century the artistic nude was always assumed to be female. Painter Paul Cadmus's work was often controversial because he broke the taboo against portraying men as objects of desire.
Dzodan's food metaphor is completely wrong because women didn't get the penis on the dish - women were on the dish. Only men had the luxury of engaging in sex for pleasure - for women it was a pleasure only if she somehow managed to beat the odds and marry a man she desired. Since the selection of her husband was most often based on her parents' preference and her own economic need, her own sexual desires were completely beside the point.
For women throughout recorded history sex was a full-time job. And like all jobs, your pleasure is beside the point. The point is getting paid.
So for women to express uninhibited desire to see a beautiful man's genitalia - even completely covered by cloth - is still quite new. Maybe if Flavia Dzodan wasn't so obsessed with beating down "neoliberal feminists" she would get that. Instead she writes this laughable bullshit:
When less than 100 years ago, women could be committed to psychiatric institutions and subjected to cruel medical practices for merely rejecting penis, for being “hysterical”, we are not exactly being revolutionary when we gaze at Jon Hamm’s penis. We are simply acknowledging the extent of patriarchy approved desire and, unintendedly, perpetuating said patriarchy by “choosing” to love penis rather than understanding how yes, we might love penis, but perhaps, we also love penis because it’s been sold to us as the only acceptable way to achieve orgasm.Women weren't committed for "rejecting penis" but for rejecting the penis of the man who was paying for her room and board. If she wasn't going to give her husband sex, and given that divorce was incredibly hard or impossible to obtain, the easiest way to get rid of a woman who wasn't holding up her part of the economic arrangement that was traditional marriage was institutionalization.
Dzodan thinks it's likely that straight women like penis because it's been "sold" to us.
If sexual orientation was so easily manipulated through images there would be no gay men.
But it's pointless - Flavia Dzodan is just as uninterested in the actual socio-economics that drive human sexual practices as any postmodernist:
I’m sometimes amazed that phallocentrism (in the Derrida sense of the term) is not used to unpack patriarchy more often. It’s not just about penis, of course. It’s specifically about white, heteronormative, cis penis and that deserves more feminist critique I believe…Oh my fucking god, "in the Derrida sense." It's assholes like Flavia Dzodan that destroyed once admirable feminist media outlets like Tiger Beatdown.
UPDATE: while Flavia Dzodan hates Michelle Goldberg for daring to write a non-worshipful piece on Mikki Kendall, she does NOT hate Hugo Schwyzer:
I hate you all Glosswitches, booblediboops, Laurie Pennys, Louise Penningtons, Julie Bindels, Megan Murphys, Michelle Goldbergs and your ilk. The B Classes of white feminism fighting tooth and nail for a place at the table. At our expense. With your writing commissions, the coins tossed in your direction by the men who own the media you so desperately want to be part of. And we pay the price of your success. You are not even good enough to be in charge. You pick the dirty cents that they drop and you will sell us all for the chance of picking the most no matter which ethics, which principles, whose lives you need to shit in the process. You also want your portion of media attention. You will soil anyone that gets on the way of your climbing. You have aspirations! The fact that now you are low level media whores edited by people who would gladly throw you into the lions if it meant they can pocket the change is irrelevant for you. We are the bootstraps you pull in the hopes of raising to the top. And raise to the top you will. The top of a vat of turds floating in your own media shit. No ethics, no qualms, no compassion, no humanity. I hate you all for that.
Contrary to popular belief, I do not hate Hugo Schwyzer, though. I feel deeply sad for him. Sad at the wasted potential of a man who obviously had the capacity to write and communicate and network and connect with people but became haunted by his own mental health issues and addictions...So there you go. In spite of the ranting and raving and using Hugo Schwyzer as an excuse to blame all white women for everything bad in the world (see #solidarityisforwhitewomen) leading social justice warrior Flavia Dzodan doesn't hate him. She hates people who directly and legitimately oppose Mikki Kendall and her vicious tactics, instead.
Dzodan did get push back, best stated in My feminism will reject misogynistic screeds, or it will be bullshit:
Both Glosswitch and I have said it before, and who knows how many more times and how many more of us will need to say it again, but if your activism is focused on vicious, concerted efforts to silence women, you’re not doing feminism, you’re doing misogyny. And I promise you — I fucking guarantee you this — supporting bullies won’t protect you. It will not save you from being bullied yourself. Because some day you’ll step out of line and become the target yourself.And guess who approved Dzodan's message? Of course you know who:
The author responds to Kendall's tweet:
(The author of this attack, for the record, is not someone I can recall having ever engaged with, nor have I written a single thing directly about her (it was brought to my attention, today, that I referenced an article of hers in a post I wrote back in 2012, though the post was not “about” her, per se, nor was it an attack on her, at all), despite the fact that some are defending this behaviour with more lies about how we “targeted” her, and she is simply responding to that. Never. Never have I “targeted” her or attacked her, spoken ill of her, or so much as addressed her on Twitter. My perspective on her work was that, while I may not agree with it, she was doing her thing and I was doing mine. No need to attack her or try to silence her. Saying “what did you think would happen” strikes me as a rather dishonest attempt to defend verbally abusive, misogynist behaviour à la “you had it coming.”)
Oh and speaking of white women who have received Mikki Kendall's dispensation, Sarah Kendzior, who lied about Katha Pollitt, also approves Flavia Dzodan's message:
Social justice warriors will lie freely and without shame for their hateful causes.