ALMOST LOST FEMINIST SOURCES
In the course of my years of perambulations around the world wide web and other computer-hosted resources accessible via the internet, I have sadly observed the replication of the firmspace practice of disappearing Feminist resources of all kinds, usually within barely a year of their original posting. By Feminist, I mean real Feminist, materials that reflect and support the practical, political, and social goal of women's and girls' liberation. Feminist is not for everyone, it is for female human beings. It is not for men or boys of any kind, healthy, pornsick, or otherwise. Women in general and Feminists in particular have long had to resort to relatively ephemeral media to store and share their knowledge, especially after men took such extraordinary efforts to cut intergenerational connections between mothers and daughters. However, the fact that men have tried extraordinary measures and still have not actually succeeded should be profoundly encouraging.
One of the many methods of sharing and preserving women's knowledge at least long enough to ensure it is shared and preserved in another way is of course, the web pages and websites of the world wide web. The world wide web is moribund right now, and even genuinely well-intentioned and well-designed in terms of technology projects like the internet archive are not as dependable as they should be. The sad fact is that the internet archive readily deletes web pages and other resources whenever influential political entities masquerading as "law enforcement" demand it. That means that as always, it is up to women and girls to preserve and carry out the work of platform moves and medium shifts to keep our records preserved and available. This page is a modest contribution to that ongoing effort.
- Berit Ås: Master Suppression Techniques: The pdf file here is derived from a page formerly hosted by KILDEN Information Centre for Gender Research in Norway, but neither the original web page nor the site itself seems to exist anymore. After some effort I was able to find a mostly complete version in the files of the wayback machine. The page reproduces a booklet originally designed to share Berit Ås' key summary of the five master suppression techniques most commonly encountered by women in sexist societies. Ås formally published this work in 2004 as pages 78-83 of the Women in White: The European Outlook Anthology edited by Birgitta Evengård (Stockholm: Stockholm City Council). There is also a somewhat elaborated version presented as a speech by Stine Svarva of the Centre for Gender Equality, Norway. I am not certain if this is the same organization as KILDEN, although the content is so close it seems probable. This pdf is not directly from the norwegian Centre for Gender Equality, but from the resources section of the Organizing for Power site founded and maintained by Lisa Fithian.
- Love Your Enemy? The Debate Between Heterosexual Feminism and Political Lesbianism (PDF): This conference paper and is not exactly lost, but back issues of the WIRES feminist magazine and copies of the Onlywomen Press pamphlet are hard to come by today. This is exacerbated by the apparent distaste of the Onlywomen Press collective for it, which they kept having to reprint because interest in it was high. The most recent copy I found in accessible distance was locked up in a special collections archive, donated by a women's history archive that has since been taken over and relabelled a "trans history" archive. Sad times. What is reproduced here is first of all just the original paper and afterword by the Leeds Revolutionary feminist group, pages 1-6 in the pdf. The html version has sections highlighted, and these may be clicked on to view notes derived from discussion of those sections during the Women's Declaration International Radical Feminist Perspectives discussion on the paper, its content, and its reception. A second version of the paper and afterword with the notes added in is included as pages 7-13 of the pdf.
- The Earliest Archaeological Paper by a Woman in English: I first mentioned this paper way back in a 2013 thoughtpiece, Of Bog People and Archaeologists. This page provides my own transcription of the paper with its footnotes, as well as series of annotations to identify the other texts she cites and provide definitions for some little-known terms today. Amazingly, I was able to provide links to scanned copies of all of those texts, sometimes in the correct edition, on the internet archive. Such a thing would simply be unheard of barely fifteen years ago, as unheard of as a rich family's library not having their own copies of Diderot's 17-volume Encyclopedie. Elizabeth Rawdon cited some remarkable gems, including a now almost vanished genre of text, the folio of copperplate illustrations. I rather miss these, as they are harder wearing and lighter than today's preferred version of the coffee table book based on glossy pages of photographs. A big caveat I should add here is that I cannot guarantee there are no new typos accidentally introduced by me to the text. They should be rooted out, but I found a few more where the distinction between the original long-s and f defeated me rather hilariously, especially in the french sections.
- In Remembrance of Mary Daly: Lessons for the Movement (PDF): From 1999 to 2017, Adrienne Sere established and led the Said It online feminist free speech venue. Publishing monthly, Said It was a magazine for woman-identified women and girl-identified girls, covering politics, activism, spirituality, and a women's events calendar. Today it is only viewable in the internet archive, and we can only wonder for how long in these darkening times of intensive censorship and silencing of women and girls. This page features a reproduction of Sere's article considering the radical feminist philosopher Mary Daly's legacy, and the tragic impact of Audre Lorde's mishandling of her critique of Daly's second major bestseller, Gyn/Ecology. But in matters of patriarchally-encouraged horizontal violence literal and figurative between women, it must be acknowledged that Lorde "won." Her books are back in print and on bookstore shelves. Daly's are not, except for Beyond God the Father and The Church and the Second Sex, two early works she far outgrew, as she did Gyn/Ecology, though all 3 and her other 5 books are of continuing value and relevance to this day, just as Audr Lorde's are.
- Learning the Language of the Goddess, an Interview with Marija Gimbutas (PDF): This interview is an almost lost gem in its online version, buried in a now archived website struck by a terrible case of lost links and bitrot compounded by using frames. For now at least, the internet archive has it fossilized form, as well as means to borrow and read a scan of the original book the interview was excerpted from in its later printed edition, Voices From the Edge: Conversations with Jerry Garcia, Ram Dass, Annie Sprinkle, Matthew Fox, Jaron Lanier, and Others, edited by David Jay Brown and Rebecca McClen Novick and published by the crossing press. The interview is a wonderful introduction to Gimbutas' work and Gimbutas herself, and includes a surprisingly thorough bibliography of her books in several languages. From what I have been able to reconstruct from the Voices From the Edge front matter, this interview is excerpted from a now very obscure and defunct magazine called Magical Blend Magazine.