If this post contains more than the usual rage, it is not your imagination.
And BTW..the views expressed in this post are mine and mine alone, and have no endorsement from Bitch|Lab or anyone else.)
The following is an open memo addressed to Ann Bartow of the Feminist Law Professors blog:
Even if I did and do fundamentally disagree with your views on pornography, sex work, and feminist reaction to such, I always had the utmost respect for you as an academic and a advocate for your position.
I did, that is, until I saw your gratituous, unannounced, totally uncalled for, and absolutely disgusting personal assault on Bitch | Lab in the discussion thread at Alas, a Blog on “raunch culture and modesty”.
It may be one thing to disagree with her opinions or to express your opposition to her beliefs…but to exploit her past posts on her own blog to attempt to smear and distort her record as an activist and to denigrate her right to speak out, with thinly veiled hints of revealing her real identity in direct violation of Internet ethics and common decency…that simply goes beyond and beneath even the depths of contempt.
And for what?? Because she simply disagrees with your beliefs about “raunch culture” and the idea that it is the centerpiece of patriarchy?? Or her dissent from the cabal of “radical feminism” and the anti-“pornstitution” activism that you so openly support through your own blog???
The irony of it all, Ms. Bartow, is that Bitch|Lab really did respect you very much….even to the point of defending you from my own personal analysis of your words as an antiporn activist. She is NOT attempting to “destroy feminism and feminists” as you so roundly attacked her for; indeed, by identifying the many variances of theoretical thought which tends to make up feminism, she is actually strengthing it.
Yet, because she doesn’t march in perfect step to the hymnals of Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin and the rest of the antiporn “radicals”, you decide to offer this ambush and forced “outing” of her personal and private life.
I cannot and will not claim to speak for Bitch|Lab, since she can speak for herself….but as an ally and a colleague whom has had numerous discussions (some passionate, some a bit heated, most congenial), I can attest to her qualifications as a feminist, a woman, and a human being…as well as to her intellectual qualities to all her writings.
What you have done, Ms. Bartow, is simply unacceptable and unconsciable; and I believe that an apology to Bitch|Lab and a retraction is the least you can do to undo the hurt that you have caused.
Unfortunately, it seems that this is simply the usual intimidation and humiliation tactics that antiporn radical “feminists” throw at their critics when they are called out on the carpet for their policies and beliefs.
This may fall on deaf ears…but it just had to be said.
Note: The offending comment is at message #26 at the Alas, a Blog thread linked above. Miz B’s response is the message immediately afterwards; she also makes reference at her own blog here.