The (not) Big Three

Bitch | Lab said (or quoted or otherwise posted on her site) the following:

As I understand a radfem analysis, patriarchy is like an engine powered by three fan belts:

1. rape – alternator belt
2. prostitution – timing belt
3. porn – water pump belt

If you want to make the motor stop running, you need to bust those belts. Anything else is like trying to get a car engine to stop working by chipping the paint or taking a sledgehammer to the hood.

While the reality of these 3 things is not pretty and does represent very real oppression of women by men, these things to me are nowhere near the crux of the issue of patriarchy. As a percentage of the whole, these are little tiny rounding errors that effect very few people. Again, I am not trivializing these things, just stating the fact that this is not at all where the war of the sexes is waged.

What actually effects women every day is the sort of oppression that occurs at home and at work and in other social settings — women getting paid less, being sexually harassed, being treated as dumber or less capable or more irrational. These things happen every day to millions of women. Rape, while a horrible and devastating crime, effects relatively few women.

So while I do see why feminists would be concerned about, discuss, debate and try to effect change in regards to the big 3 above, IMHO they ain’t the big three at all. You could eliminate all 3 and you would still have a world full of dumb men (and women) who would treat women as second-class citizens, property and sex toys. To me the issues of financial and social equity are much more important than the activities of sexual criminals.

The (not) Big Three

2 thoughts on “The (not) Big Three

  1. I’m with ya on that, but… My point was that, as feminists, we have to be pluralist and recognize there is no one definition, that there are legitimate differences between us, and that we have to keep dialogue open.

    Thus, while I might not a agree with what has come to be called radical feminism, I try to understand that they think that the things of which you speak — wage disparity,etc — is a direct result of or at least an effect of rape, porn, and prostitution.

    i know. i know. i disagree. but, i want to encourage respectful discussions, and to me that means starting by trying to see the ‘other’ side in the best light possible.

    oh, and could you resend comment b/c i must have accidentally deleted it in a spam attack. many apologies.


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