I Blame The Patriarchy was my introduction to radical feminism, a long time before I’d pick up my first copy of Dworkin (Right Wing Women, initially) or meet in person another woman who agreed. Out of every blog I followed, I Blame The Patriarchy was unique. Later, she’d come out in limited support of transsexual women (a big deal to me at the time) and, later still, give my blog its first major rush of traffic, but back then I just remember how different it was.
What was special for me about IBTP was that Twisty talked about the patriarchy/world from within the radical feminist frame of reference, with very little compromise. Looking back, I can see that she was very generous in her explanations and caveats, but at the time, all I experienced was the collision with an alien way of seeing the world.
There are two ways to go when you encounter that. One is to dismiss it as stupid, hateful or antiquated. The other is to stay, shy around its edges, read some more, listen some more, and try to understand. By avoiding compromise, Twisty ensured that those who stayed to understand would have to actually understand, couldn’t receive some other transmission of some other kind of feminism and go away satisfied.
The biggest thing I began to understand was that patriarchy lies. All the time. Eventually, I understood that all Twisty was doing was telling the truth, again and again and again, just pointing to part after part of society and saying, “That’s a lie, that is”. How dare she?! How dare any of us. She told the truth, and she laughed. After a while, I started laughing with her.
I’m not sad that she’s stopped writing for the blog, because time isn’t dead and neither are we. We keep moving, that’s what Daly* knew, we keep treading our spiral. Stagnating or trying to stop time is like death. Women keep Moving, becoming Hags and then Crones. I’ll keep on following Twisty’s Crone-ology as long as she keeps on writing. And perhaps some new Hags will spring up where she stood. Any takers?