One summer, a womon introduced herself and gave me a radical feminist article. I’m not sure if it was Elaine herself handing out these printouts, but it contains updates that aren’t available anywhere online. The printout indicates it is “(Copy, Paste, Postable, and Shareable)” so I want to post it here.
Since we’re naming the problem I thought I’d do a bit of research: The CDC reports that between January and December, 2011, 99.0% of female victims were raped by men. It also said that men are the majority of rapists against other men. In 2010 CDC reports show that men rape women when they are young: 80% of females before age 25, 42.2% before age 18.
Without further ado:
Malespeak with Radical Feminist Translations by Elaine Charkowski
Mary Daly in her book Quintessence wrote, “Naming the agent is required for an adequate analysis of atrocities.” As linguist Julia Penelope has shown in her book Speaking Freely: Unlearning the Lies of the Fathers’ Tongues, “Agent deletion is a dangerous and common mind-muddying flaw.”
The purpose of Malespeak is to avoid naming MALE violence in general and male violence against women and its perpetrators (MEN) specifically. After reading Carol Adams’s books (Neither Man Nor Beast, The Sexual Politics of Meat and The Pornography of Meat) about how male violence against animals and women are not named, I watched for more instances of linguistic techniques to avoid naming male violence against women. Here are the kinds I have gathered so far with the help of radical feminists. I’m sure there are more!
The Absent Referent
Referring to something without actually NAMING it. Carol Adams coined this term in her books linking men’s abuse of women and animals. Animal examples of the absent referent are: “veal” (baby bull flesh) “steak” (cow flesh) “bacon” (pig flesh) etc. Some examples of the Absent Referent that don’t name men as the agents of women’s agony are “domestic violence”, “gender based violence” “family violence” “sexual violence” “intimate partner violence”, or just “violence”. All these timid terms dance around naming male violence, and thus, men as the agents. They alse do not name those who men abuse — women.
Here is an extreme use of the Absent Referent by lawyers defending a school district in which an adult male teacher raped a twelve-year-old girl:
- Malespeak: “Carelessness and negligence on her part, proximity, contributed to the happenings of the incident.” Neither the perpetrator (the adult male teacher), his victim (the girl he raped), nor the crime of rape (“the happenings of the incident”) was mentioned. In addition, the lawyer blamed the girl for causing the man to rape her because of where she was (her “proximity”).
- Radical Feminist Translation: “An adult male teacher raped a twelve-year old girl. The lawyers said it was her fault because of where she was.”
The Passive Voice
The victims are doing the action of being victimized which shifts the focus from the perpetrators (men).
- Malespeak: “I refuse to watch as more than a billion women experience violence on the planet.” The women are doing the action of “experiencing violence”. This shifts the focus away from the men committing the violence. The Absent Referent is also used since men are not named. It’s MALE violence, not “violence”. Malespeak can consist of more than one element.
- Radical Feminist Translation: “I refuse to watch as MEN inflict MALE VIOLENCE on more than a billion women on the planet.”
The Active Voice
The perpetrators (men) and their victims are named, so this is not Malespeak. “Men raped the women.” The focus is on MEN doing the raping and the Absent Referent is not used since men are named as the rapists. Men are the subject of the sentence.
- Misuse of The Active Voice: A recent term I read is, “The women fell into pregnancy.” The women are not doing the action of “falling into pregnancy.” The Absent Referent is also used. Men are not named.
- Radical Feminist Translatio: “Men impregnated the women.”
This uses Blending (lumping things together to obscure each of them, such as women and men). Sex-neutral language is a type of Absent Referent that avoids naming male abuses.
- Malespeak: “Children are raping children because of seeing porn at a young age.” Naming the sex of the abuser is necessary to name the agents, males, and the ones they rape, girls.
- Radical Feminist Translation: “Boys are raping girls…”
The antidote to using sex-neutral language which blends females and males (such as “human” “they” “them” etc.) is coining specific words.
- Malespeak: “colonization” This applies to invaders colonizing both women and men without naming women. For example: “The Native Americans were colonized.”
- Radical Feminist Translation: “gynocolonization.” This applies specifically to the male colonization of women. For example: “Men colonized the minds of women who oppose women’s rights.”
Other female specific terms are “gynoappropriation” (such as men stealing women’s inventions and writings and taking credit for them), “gynonullification” and “gynerasure” (also not naming women and their accomplishments).
- Malespeak: “sovereignty” This applies to the self determination of both women and men.
- Radical Feminist Translation: gynosovereignty. This applies specifically to women’s self determination.
All of these female specific words address the patriarchal male tactic of making women and their accomplishments invisible. In this following example, the sex neutral terms are “Native Americans” and “they”.
- Malespeak: Native Americans skinned buffalo, deer, and other animals. They scraped and pounded the hides until clean and pliable. They sewed tipi covers, clothing, moccasins, and containers to carry their belongings. They adorned their containers with beautiful designs made from dyed porcupine quills. They were also responsible for childcare, gathering vegetables, and cooking meals.”
- Radical Feminist Translation: Native Americans WOMEN skinned buffalo, deer, and other animals. The WOMEN scraped and pounded the hides until clean and pliable…”
Erasing and/or Watering Down Women’s Words
- Malespeak: “The Women’s Movement”. This erases the whole idea of women’s LIBERATION and no longer begs the question of who women need to be liberated from (men). Worse, Gender Studies (formerly Women’s Studies) erases both women and their need for liberation from men by using sex-neutral language to lump women women and men together (Blending).
- Radical Feminist Translation: “Women’s Liberation.” This both states that women need to be liberated and implies who they need liberating from: men.
The False Equivalent
This is a type of blending that combines male violence with female violence. This is to obscure the fact that violence is overwhelmingly male violence by equating it with the far fewer instances of female violence. For example, “violence” is often cast as a sex-neutral human issue, since “women are violent too.”
Also, notice that MEN created, owned, and control the Male Supremacist System in which woman may collaborate to gain power. But female collaborators did not create the system nor do they control it.
Below is data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Males were almost 10 times more likely than females to commit murder in 2005.
- ALL Homicide Types Listed By Sex (1976-2005): 88% Male, 11.2% Female
- Eldercide: 85.2% Male, 14.8% Female
- Felony Murder: 93.2% Male, 6.8% Female
- Sex Related Murder: 93.6% Male, 6.4% Female
- Gang-related Murder: 98.3% Male, 1.7% Female
- Drug-related Murder: 95.5% Male, 4.5% Female
- Workplace Murders: 91.3% Male, 8.7% Female
- Argument Murders: 85.6% Male, 14.4% Female
- Gun Homicide: 91.3% Male, 8.7% Female
- Multiple Victims: 93.5% Male, 6.5% Female
- Child Murder of those killed by someone other than the parent: 81% were killed by MEN.
- Child Molestation: According to the US Dept of Justice. “Males are reported to be the abusers in 80% to 95% of cases.” Thoriger, D., et al 1988.
And last but not least, legal mass serial killings listed by the MILLIONS of people MEN killed in WARS (started by MEN). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War
- 1911 – The men who ruled Turkey disarmed its citizens, and between 1915 – 1917 they murdered 1.5 million Armenians.
- 1929 – The men who ruled Russia disarmed its citizens, and between 1929 – 1953 they murdered 20 million Russians.
- 1935 – The men who ruled China disarmed its citizens, and between 1948 – 1952 they murdered 20 million Chinese.
- 1938 – The men who ruled Germany disarmed its citizens, and between 1939 – 1945 they murdered 6 million Jews.
- 1956 – The men who ruled Cambodia disarmed its citizens, and between 1975 – 1977 they murdered 1 million Educated people.
- 1964 – The men who ruled Guatemala disarmed its citizens, and between 1964 – 1981 they murdered 100,000 Mayan Indians.
- 1970 – The men who ruled Uganda disarmed its citizens, and between 1971 – 1979 they murdered 300,000 Christians.
Giving words volition, making words into a person or thing with the power to act.
Words just carry meaning, sounds from vocal chords or combinations of letters. However, Malespeak turns words into actual physical entities with the power to act:
- Malespeak: “War broke out.” The word “war” is given the power to “break out.” This is also another use of absent referent that does not name the agents (men) nor their victims, who are often women and children.
- Radical Feminist Translation: “MEN decided to wage war to kill (fill in the blank of the ones men want to kill).”
- Malespeak: “Israel bombed Palestine.” “Israel” is just a word that defines a country, but malespeak gives it the power to act (bomb Palestine). Again, the absent referent is used to avoid naming the agents (men) nor are men’s victims named.
- Radical Feminist Translation: “The men who run the government of Israel ordered the bombing of women, children, men, animals, birds, trees, etc).” The agents not named are those who flew the bombers, nor are their victims named.
Fictional words used to make things that don’t exist appear to be real.
- Malespeak: “Phrenology”. This “scientific” term claims that the shape of and bumps on the skull determines human intelligence. Of course, whites have the “right” kinds of skulls showing intelligence, but people of color and women do not. This is racist/sexist fiction.
- Radical Feminist Translation “Racist/sexist junk science.”
- Malespeak: “Transwoman”. This word gives the false impression that “transitioning” to the other SEX is possible and that men can “become” women. Supposedly, to “become” a woman does not depend on the biological reality of being a human female and having the XX chromosomes. Instead, a man can just “identify” as a woman and decide that he IS a woman with or without artificial modifications such as surgery or hormones. To look like a woman is NOT the same as being a woman!
- Radical Feminist Translation: “Female impersonator.”
The “Straw Man”, or Woman, or thing.
This tactic creates a fictitious description and then says why the thing is so wrong. It gives the illusion of a reasoned argument against what is being described.
- Malespeak: “Straw radical feminism”. “Radical Feminism must be opposed because it advocates the eradication of all men.”
- Radical Feminist Translation: “Radical Feminism is about the liberation of all women from male domination.”
Using male pronouns to define “god” in the bible and other “holy” books that men wrote.
- Malespeak: “Lord” “Heavenly Father” “He” “Him”
- Radical Feminist Translation: MAN or MEN. Using their invented “gods” like ventriloquist’s dummies, MEN wrote “scripture” (the male dominating SCRIPT of their “gods”). Examples: “I am the Lord thy god. Thou shall have no other gods before me.” “Vengeance is mine, said the Lord.” etc.
Since men invented “god,” men not only “play” god, they ARE god, as can be seen by the following male authored “scripture”:
- “A woman must never be free of subjugation.” — Hindu code of Manu V.
- “Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church.” — Ephesians 5:23-24.
- “The body of a woman is filthy and not a vessel for the law.” — Buddha.
- “God formed her body to belong to a man, to have and to rear children. Let them bear children till they die of it.” — Martin Luther.
- “In pain shall you bear children, yet your urge will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” — Genesis 3:16.
- “Let the woman suffer in silence with all subjection. Suffer not woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man.” — Timothy 2:11-15.
- “Your women are fields for you to cultivate, so go to your field as you will.” — Koran 2:223.
- “Women have weak memories, are undisciplined, impulsive and dangerous when given authority over anything.” — Catholic Church’s edict against “witches”.
- “I thank thee O lord, that thou has not created me a heathen, a slave, or a woman.” — Orthodox Jewish prayer.
As Simone de Beauvoir wrote, “Man enjoys the great advantage of having a god endorse the code he writes…and the fear of god will keep women in their place.”
Male violence against women is one kind of male violence that impacts half the human race. Other forms of male violence include, but are not limited to: racism, colonization, genocide, nationalism and Ecocide, the murder of the Living World (environmental male violence against Mother Earth).
In her book “Come Inside the Circle of Creation,” Elizabeth Dodson said patriarchy is the first fatal need to rank diversity.
If we try to rank all the abuses within human society by claiming that “our” abuse is more important and “worse” than their abuse, we also rank the value of the victims. Thus, the hierarchy and all its divisions that keep us separate and fighting with each other are preserved.
However, there is only one type of male violence that must be ranked as the worst of all. This is Ecocide, men’s systematic murder of the Living World upon which humanity and all life depends. It is implemented by capitalist patriarchy, which is the social structure of male violence.
In ALL of these types of violence, no matter if female collaborators help them out or not, MEN are the COMMON DENOMINATOR and the SOURCE of ALL aspects of male violence. Men control the system of patriarchy they created while women who collaborate with them do not.
MALE VIOLENCE IS THE WORST PROBLEM IN THE WORLD, hence the universal use of Malespeak to avoid NAMING it!