1984.3 (Viva la Manvolucion) January 23, 2012Posted by FCM in books!, PIV, politics, pop culture, WTF?.
Tags: george orwell
this part was so orwellian i thought it deserved its own post. i actually wondered for a moment how smart orwell really was: was he so intelligent that he slipped this one by, leaving it up to his readers to notice (or not)? or was he just a common arrogant stooge, waxing poetic about his fantastical manvolution (dood-volution?) to other doods, the one that included putting girls and women in harms way by fucking them, and unabashed woman-hating misogyny stinking up every other page?
here is some of the
dialog pillow-talk from one of orwells revolutionary PIV sessions. from chapter 2 part 7:
‘Has it ever occurred to you,’ he said, ‘that the best thing for us to do would be simply to walk out of here before it’s too late, and never see each other again?’
‘Yes, dear, it has occurred to me, several times. But I’m not going to do it, all the same.’
‘We’ve been lucky,’ he said ‘but it can’t last much longer. You’re young. You look normal and innocent. If you keep clear of people like me, you might stay alive for another fifty years.’
‘No. I’ve thought it all out. What you do, I’m going to do. And don’t be too downhearted. I’m rather good at staying alive.’
‘We may be together for another six months — a year — there’s no knowing. At the end we’re certain to be apart. Do you realize how utterly alone we shall be? When once they get hold of us there will be nothing, literally nothing, that either of us can do for the other. If I confess, they’ll shoot you, and if I refuse to confess, they’ll shoot you just the same. Nothing that I can do or say, or stop myself from saying, will put off your death for as much as five minutes. Neither of us will even know whether the other is alive or dead. We shall be utterly without power of any kind. The one thing that matters is that we shouldn’t betray one another, although even that can’t make the slightest difference.’
‘If you mean confessing,’ she said, ‘we shall do that, right enough. Everybody always confesses. You can’t help it. They torture you.’
‘I don’t mean confessing. Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn’t matter: only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you — that would be the real betrayal.’
She thought it over. ‘They can’t do that,’ she said finally. ‘It’s the one thing they can’t do. They can make you say anything — anything — but they can’t make you believe it. They can’t get inside you.’
‘No,’ he said a little more hopefully, ‘no; that’s quite true. They can’t get inside you. If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can’t have any result whatever, you’ve beaten them.’
He thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and day, but if you kept your head you could still outwit them. With all their cleverness they had never mastered the secret of finding out what another human being was thinking. Perhaps that was less true when you were actually in their hands. One did not know what happened inside the Ministry of Love, but it was possible to guess: tortures, drugs, delicate instruments that registered your nervous reactions, gradual wearing-down by sleeplessness and solitude and persistent questioning. Facts, at any rate, could not be kept hidden. They could be tracked down by enquiry, they could be squeezed out of you by torture. But if the object was not to stay alive but to stay human, what difference did it ultimately make? They could not alter your feelings: for that matter you could not alter them yourself, even if you wanted to. They could lay bare in the utmost detail everything that you had done or said or thought; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourself, remained impregnable.
impregnable? really? impregnability as in-vulnerablity. impregnability as in-ability to be colonized, penetrated, taken by force. and its used this way post-coitally, to boot. one of them was surely still laying in a wet spot of sexual fluids, having had the revolutionary PIV, and this is how and where he uses this word. ugh.
for men, the word “impregnable” can and does mean only one thing, and thats the way orwell used it: being impenetrable, and secure. for women, it could mean *either* the thing orwell meant, *or* it could mean (essentially) the exact opposite. for women reading orwell, we have to read what he wrote in context, then adjust our perspective so that we are seeing orwells world through mens eyes. you know, the way it was intended. this is true with the entire book of course, but his use of “impregnable” this way really hammers that one home.
after all the work the radfems have been doing on impregnability-as-vulnerability and what that means, i was actually struck dumb by orwells use of this one word. i googled, having *my* perspective wrenched so violently from the one we have been cultivating here and across the radfem blogs this whole time. i had actually forgotten that the word could be used that way.
adj.1. Impossible to capture or enter by force: an impregnable fortress.2. Difficult or impossible to attack, challenge, or refute with success: an impregnable argument.
adj.Capable of being impregnated.
its nice that the female-only identified use of the word is the second definition too, which makes it kind of wrong for us to use it that way. not wrong in the sense that its the wrong word, but we are *kind of* being tricky here, arent we, when we say it to mean one thing, when its most commonly used to mean the opposite. seriously, my head still hurts. im no language expert, and if im missing something here, im sure someone will tell me.
in the meantime, i plan to go back to reading the classics, and not wasting any more time on men, or male authors, even the allegedly “good” or revolutionary ones. or maybe especially not them.
and now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!