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The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography
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Losing My Mind - Feminism vs. Humanism?

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message 1: by Rachel Adiyah (new)

Rachel Adiyah Just to be clear, I have not read this book. I am only referencing it so that everyone knows where I'm coming from. I saw this book on a List earlier today and I opened its link in a new tab so that I could read the book description. Apparently, it is about how the writings of the Marquis de Sade are actually "feminist"; that isn't why I'm upset. I'm upset because a bunch of people who read this book claim that feminism isn't a useful category of resistance anymore and that everyone should just be "humanist".

I mean, hey, when I was in graduate school for Social Work we studied Intersectionality until our eyes bled out. Where one is in terms of Race, Sex and Class is indicative of how well society works - or doesn't - for them. When I took International Issues in Women's Studies back in undergrad our high caste, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-feminist Indian FEMALE professor made us read books about how women could oppress other women because of issues other than gender. She was right about that - even though she was TOTALLY WRONG about a million other things - and sometimes it's true, a woman can oppress another woman while her best friend may be the man in her life. But dear G-d, don't tell me that there is no need for Feminism anymore because we all have to work on being "human", when all over the world there are rapes, honor killings, girls under the age of 20 being forcibly wed even though the U.N. recommended that no human female marry until at least age 20, girls everywhere having their genitalia sliced off, their word not taken literally (and this even happens in the U.S. - it's sure as hell happened to me!) simply because they are female, their pay and work devalued, and denied even basic societal rights! This happens everywhere, not just in Third World countries but right here in the so-called "First World"!

Should we all be "humanist" in the sense of getting rid of racism and class prejudice? Hell yeah! But until women WORLDWIDE have their issues addressed and justice prevails, I contend that feminism is absolutely necessary! So shove that, you "The Sadeian Woman" reviewers!

Also, just FYI, the Marquis de Sade was a sexual sadist who wrote the most degrading misogynistic fiction in French history. He was probably a sociopath, to boot! His father worked for the Prince de Conde and de Sade regularly beat the prince's son just because he enjoyed being a bully. He treated his wife horribly, even from prison forcing her to "update" his dildo collection, and personally believed that a woman's highest calling was to be a prostitute. I'm not making this up; read his sick work for yourself. After the French Revolution, where de Sade only avoided being guillotined because he was locked in an insane asylum, for a short time religious law was abolished under the First Republic and civil law allowed for divorce, something never before - and not again for a long time - seen in France. Despite society's condemnation of this practice, however, the Marquise de Sade, having been psychologically abused by her rotten husband beyond the breaking point, availed herself of the new law and divorced the bastard. De Sade himself died in the looney bin.


message 2: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) I doubt that the Marquise really updated his dildo collection; much easier to write back and just tell him she did it. He would never know the difference.

I don't call myself a humanist ; it seems indicative of specism and I don't think humans are all that precious. I'd be happier in a world with fewer humans and more rhinos, but hey, I wasn't born a misanthrope, the world turned me into one.


message 3: by Rachel Adiyah (new)

Rachel Adiyah Holly wrote: "I doubt that the Marquise really updated his dildo collection; much easier to write back and just tell him she did it. He would never know the difference.

I don't call myself a humanist ; it seem..."


Well, you know how history works: historians create historical theory based upon what survives in the written record. You're probably right about the Marquise not really "updating" the dildos, but the subject exists in the record of letters between her and the Marquis while he was imprisoned and subsequently committed, and I can just imagine historians jumping on this juicy piece of writing for their books.

As for being misanthropic, I can sympathize. I am much more passionate about saving and helping animals both wild and domestic than I am about humans.

There have been times when I've almost entirely given up on the human species, but now I'm a social worker, which is far more than just a job, and going through the educational and internship process really changed my perspective. I still have times when I don't like humanity, but for as long as we're around and I'm a woman, I have to say that I don't like the disadvantages that women face everywhere. This is what makes me a feminist.

A person needs to pick their battles, and I can't battle everyone in the world; so I choose feminism as my one of my main fights.


message 4: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 7 comments The type insisting on "humanism", is one category of "whataboutism". A pretense that one need not bother about the things women go through. Except, that feminism is needed as there are issues that are specific to women, and have to be addressed that way.


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