There is an understandable alliance between the feminist community and the LGBT community. Gays wanted the definition of a man and a woman to include their sexuality; feminists wanted the same definition to have no cultural boundaries. Both groups found themselves aspiring to shift the lines separating between the sexes and redefining them in society. These common grounds formed the basis for the joint operation of the so-called “gender studies,” designed to be political departments within academia (being political departments is a typical statement of these departments themselves, long before it is a critical labeling). These are simplistic descriptions of these notions, but they are accurate descriptions. We have simplified them only by taking away endless piles of politically correct text that must accompany every part of every sentence of the groups in question, which is unnecessary for understanding, on the contrary, it impairs understanding. Here the facts were brought without it.
A very large part of those who set rules in feminism for the relations between the two sexes are women who are not part of the relations between the sexes at all
As a result of this shared motivation, in feminist groups that lead the discussion about the personal and intimate relations between the sexes and set rules for these relations, there is a disproportionate leadership presence, of those who do not participate at all in the sexual relations between men and women, that is, of women from the LGBT community. This causes feminism to have a grave problem of representation.
Many in the ideological core of feminism are women who have no connection with the male sex. Some choose to work only in a female environment and be surrounded by a purely female society in every aspect of their lives. It’s hard to know their share of radical feminism, but it is probably much higher than their share in the population – they are a significant part of the activists. As early as 30 years ago, their role in feminism was sizable enough that feminists have wondered if a woman has to be a lesbian to be a feminist. This situation meets a parallel and separate state: The feminist group thus created receives outside support for the rules and assertions it formulates, from men, who sympathize with it. However, a large proportion of these men are also from the LGBT community, with their regular support of the feminist group being given as a very natural and understandable part of the joint activities of LGBT organizations and feminist organizations. So male activists who form an active external circle of support for the women leading feminism, are often gay men.
The following absurd situation is formed: A very large part of those who set rules in feminism for the relations between the two sexes are women who are not part of the relations between the sexes at all, and a large part of those who provide male approval for these rules, as an external circle of support, are men who do not participate in the relations between the sexes at all. This is similar to a situation where Germany will be the one writing for Brazil its trade agreements with England, with Turkey’s final approval on behalf of the kingdom. Brazil and England themselves, are not part of the negotiations.
It is necessary to describe in detail the negative consequences of such a situation. A gay woman does not see men as the target of sexuality. It is expected that she will experience normal and normative male sexual communication, just as a heterosexual man would experience the sexual behavior of a homosexual man toward him – with anxiety and repulsion. The repulsion can result from a variety of reasons, but one that cannot be overlooked is the simple fact that a person who is not the target of your sexuality has demonstrated sexuality toward you, regardless of his or her actual behavior. Just as a heterosexual man will not feel comfortable with a kiss from a man, and no matter in what context the other man acts, so too a homosexual woman will not feel comfortable with a kiss from a man, for the same reasons, no matter how sensitive and reasonable the man’s behavior is. And when she formulates rules of conduct for heterosexual women, will she know how to distinguish between her experience – a rejection that simply stems from the fact that she is not attracted to men – and the experience of a heterosexual woman? Is she of all people the person to define what is “repulsive and wrong in the eyes of every woman” and formulate rules for all other women who are in relations she does not participate in, and does not want to participate, and that as far as she is concerned can disappear from the world, which might even be better for her so she’ll never have to receive a call to the wrong number accidentally? And can gay men who do not participate in the sexual communication between the sexes confirm such rules on behalf of heterosexual men who do participate in it?
difficult questions arise about intra-female womansplaining. The feminists who determine what is considered unpleasant for women are, for the most part, or at least disproportionately, offended by any male sexual attention regardless of how it is addressed – courteously, kindly, or romantically – because, for them, men are not a target for sexuality.
In practice, women who are not part of the sexuality between the sexes are a significant portion of those who formulate within feminism new rules for these relations, and especially, what would be considered an offense and disqualified, banned and carry punishment. Gestures defined by the faction as offenses, include complimenting a garment in the workplace, looks including looks at sexual areas, touching a non-sexual area such as a shoulder or arm during conversation, references to hair or body, sexual innuendos, and explicit sexual suggestions, which may include invitations, looks, and sexual subtext. These are behaviors that heterosexual women not only strongly deny being harassment but are actually done by women themselves as flirting and courtship, because they are the letters of the language of sexuality of the two sexes.
When feminism referred to law and labor, it was irrelevant what was the sexual orientation of women acting within feminism. But once feminism has entered the third domain, of relations, the question must arise as to why women who do not want to participate in sexual communication with men will set the rules of relations for those who are in relationships with men. Everyone has the right to express an opinion, but women and men in the LGBT community who are allies of feminism should let heterosexual men and women have an open discussion on their own behalf. The discussion about the language of sexual communication between the sexes must be led by those who participate in it.
In the past, religions have defined innumerable gestures as forbidden – for example, Jewish Orthodoxy forbids women and men to touch each other, even by a handshake. And following such religious definitions, women most authentically felt the forbidden gestures as hurtful. An ultra-Orthodox woman may be severely hurt if a man shakes her hand without her intending to do so. The clergy also conveyed to women the message that if they helped hide their sexuality, it would constitute “protecting their honor,” which was presented as strengthening them. Many internalized the notion that self-concealment of their sexuality was in their favor and hid it on their own initiative. Whereas today the message conveyed to women by feminism is that if they help to hide female sexuality and a desire for ordinary male sexuality by endorsing feminism’s aggressive attitude toward the language of ordinary sexuality, it will constitute “protecting their status,” and like religions, feminism has banned countless sexual gestures. After internalizing the bans, as with religious women, ordinary women may well undergo a re-definition of their true attitude to communication in the language of sexuality (as is revealed in studies on the feminist effect), and will begin to experience normal, non-abusive, non-violent sexual communication as the new religion taught to regard them – as hurtful. All this may happen while non-heterosexual women are the ones who defined how a “correct” woman should feel about the language of sexuality and what the “true meaning” of the language is, based on their inner experience as non-heterosexuals, that is, repulsion.
Along the path feminism has taken from the offices to the sheets, difficult questions arise about intra-female womansplaining. The feminists who determine what is considered unpleasant for women are, for the most part, or at least disproportionately, offended by any male sexual attention regardless of how it is addressed – courteously, kindly, or romantically – because, for them, men are not a target for sexuality. Heterosexual women are, for the most part, complemented by male attention, as long as it’s to their taste, of course, get excited about it, and need it. In contrast, those who have determined what should be considered wrong will disqualify any sexual behavior. And that is exactly what they have been doing – disqualifying all sexual communication between the sexes. This should come as no surprise, given that this group has engraved on its banner the cessation of heterosexuality.
There has been an extremization in feminism. It is immersed in ideas that most women regard as detached and not at all egalitarian – not toward them, who are belittled to thoughtless girls, and not toward men, who will be indicted for completely innocent behaviors the women themselves engage in all the time. A severe problem of representation hangs over feminism today – who does it represent, other than itself.
When reading these observations, the reader must keep in mind that radical feminism is no longer radical. Today it is the feminist consensus. From the media and international authorities, through state-operated establishments and institutions, to the legislators in the parties, female senior officials happily endorse the extreme views that the chapter described to receive feminist endorsement, and their male counterparts are afraid to object less they’ll be accused of acting against women and they adopt the same stance. The existing situation will not cease. It will continue to escalate, and its effects will deepen and expand without limit, unless a new movement for equality will arise, a mutual one, for both sexes, where they can converse about and for themselves. That’s all Lovism seeks to be. To allow every woman and man to say “I am a Lovist” and be understood as fully supporting equality, without the extremism that characterizes feminism.
This is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of the book Lovism
Continue reading in Lovism: A Humanist Alternative to Feminism, available on amazon.