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On Spinning and Spiraling August 27, 2012

Posted by FCM in feminisms, meta, radical concepts, thats random.
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mary daly talked about women getting together, spinning and spiraling and sparking off each other — a creative process by which we learn from each other and make leaps in our own individual and collective thinking.  this is a real thing, as many women know — men know how this works too, and that its highly effectual and leads to breakthroughs.  thats why they dont want women doing it, ever, and why women-only and especially radical feminist women-only space is taboo, and endangered.

the image of the spiral is also life-affirming and occurs repeatedly in nature, like this:

spirals move.  flat, or two-dimensional spirals move out from the center, either a little or a lot in each turn:

while anti-spirals move in toward the center and disappear down the drain.

spirals can also be 3-dimensional, like this:

so anyway, what got me to thinking about spirals was this.  there has been a lot of heat around the issue of radicalism vs. reformism in our movement, and from what i understand, this discussion has been going on a long time.  it seems to be incredibly destructive too, where the question has become “what is a radical act?” and its not clear whether there even are any.  or its not clear to some of us anyway.  harm reduction is not radical, but it is necessary — it is the human(e) thing to do, so many women do harm-reduction/reformist work out of common decency, or feminist decency.  it reduces suffering, served on and perpetuated against women, via men, and patriarchy.

examples of this kind of work abound, think “condoms” and excavate that vein forever.  it will take that long to explore it fully because as long as men have been harming women, and for as long as this continues, women (and indeed even some men) have been and will be figuring out how to manage or mitigate that harm across time and place.  men’s versus women’s reasons for doing so are going to be very different of course.

as many of you know by now, *i* actually think that radical writing is a radical act, and that the act of truth-telling, which is what radical feminist writers do, is a radical thing to do.  writing is an act, you see — the words, sentences and paragraphs dont just magically appear on the page.  apparently, because it keeps happening, it is tempting to want to skip this critical step, or minimize its importance, in favor of reformist “acts” but if the truth is not informing our acts, then what is?  this is a serious question.  its also very easy, isnt it, to get a handle on the truth or its basics, letting radical truths inform your actions, and then throwing the truth-tellers under the bus by saying that what the truth-tellers do isnt important.

or, pulling the ladder up behind yourself might be a better cliche than the bus one?  i believe ive made my point.  its not nice to do this, but beyond that, its not honest.  truth-telling *is* a radical thing to do, where reality is built on lies, and a radical feminist thing to do, when it concerns the truths about womens lives and what men do to us.  and writing it all down is an action, an activity and yes, it is very much an “act.”

at any rate, its clear that radicalism and reformism are different, and are happening at the same time.  are radical feminists “spiraling” differently than, or without the reformists?  when reformists denounce, ignore or are unaware of radicalism, is it because they are spinning/spiraling separately from us?  could this be the case, and yet both are working together as one, and toward womens liberation from men?  so then i imagined a double-spiral, like this:

double-spirals exist in nature too.  interestingly, the helices (three-dimensional spirals) of the DNA strand are anti-parallels, meaning that each spiral (helix) runs in the opposite direction.  does this mean they share different origins (beginnings) and may not share the same destination (ends)?  i guess, but im not sure this has anything to do with time – srsly, it will take a bigger brain than mine to think and write extensively on double-helices and DNA.  im just thinking out loud.

the thing about the DNA-imagery specifically that interests me currently is that theres a third component to it — it includes the double-helix as well as the “bonds” that run perpendicular to the helices.  coincidentally, ive been thinking about a seemingly third-part to a (perhaps?) feminist whole that seems to go largely unnoticed, and thats feminist sci-fi.  where the author can begin her story and her universe at any time, and where the ugly details — such as how do we get rid of all the men? — are not really the issue, nor the authors responsibility.  indeed, in real-life feminist discourse it seems as if even radical women get stuck here, when we start to imagine and discuss a world post-patriarchy, and without misogynistic violence, because some of us are ready to admit what seems to be an obvious truth, which is that this is not likely to occur if there are any or many men around.  and yes, this includes male children.  doesnt it?

suddenly, it is a flaw in radical feminist theory (and in radical feminists ourselves) to state the obvious, or to come to this reasoned conclusion in the face of overwhelming evidence.  this, we simply cannot have, or we cant if we intend to keep our numbers intact: women appear ready to leave over this, or to abandon each other, or to threaten to, so that the more-radical women are in effect coerced into taking it all back, or to not believe our lying eyes on this one issue, in order to maintain our solidarity with other women who arent ready or willing to go this far.  this parting-of-ways is partly based on accusations of deficient “realism” as if the very idea of living without men, because it is “unrealistic” for many women, or logistically problematic, is somehow also not true, or is not a reasoned conclusion based on overwhelming evidence.

and indeed, radical feminists are realists in every way, it seems, especially when compared to fun-fems — we are not talking about how things “should be” when we talk about womens lives and what men do to us.  we are telling it like it is.  and yet, imagining a world without misogynistic violence — if we believe that men cannot or will not stop perpetrating it — does require an element of unrealism, or fantasy.  because removing the world of men is not likely to happen, or at any rate, given womens political standing, we are not likely to be the ones who cause it.

enter feminist sci-fi?  feminist sci-fi lets us imagine a world where this end is a given — we do not have to worry about the details, or about turning the world into a bloody horror show where men are the victims at womens hands.  you know, the opposite of how it is now — no, thats too much!  not feminist!  etc.  this gross imagery is thought-terminating and unfair, as if its up to *us* to summon the courage, numbers, strength, political power and technology — and the sanity/insanity it would also take — to make this happen, and to stop thousands of years of patriarchy (and patriarchal men) in its tracks.  or as if any possible logistical issue(s) in getting there make our conclusions wrong.  its not, and it doesnt.

interestingly, and helpfully even, a common end to the problem of maleness in feminist sci-fi is that either nature takes care of it with a virus or something, or male-created technology selectively destroys males as a class.  i highly recommend reading james tiptree, jr/alice sheldon and joanna russ for more feminist sci-fi scenarios.  or, you know, make up your own.

so does a three-part model describe our feminist reality — reformism, radicalism and feminist sci-fi?  is one of the three the one that bonds the other two together?  i dont know.  really, im just thinking on this one.  and the pictures are nice.  i was also intrigued to see that a double-helix is a kind of spiral, or that it incorporates spirals.  and DNA its the building-block of life, or something, innit?  ah, spirals.

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Comments

1. MarySunshine - August 27, 2012

I love vortices.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex

My vision of female survival is that of a powerful vortex of female energy, rising up with accelerating force, its centre being the Original Female.

2. background spinner - August 27, 2012

Enjoyed this!

Posted on facebook: Writing and truth-telling as radical acts…

I think one of the most radical things women can do is inspire/spark hope, and when we let our imaginations spiral out, hope unfurls naturally, like roses from buds.

I’d like to mention Katherine Forrest’s “Daughters of a Coral Dawn.” Those books helped free up my thinking–almost like opening up a mental room that was locked to me before–full of the gifts of possibility for women. Yes, men were there, but they were nothing that couldn’t be dealt with.

3. tiamathydra - August 28, 2012

”My vision of female survival is that of a powerful vortex of female energy, rising up with accelerating force, its centre being the Original Female.”

That is so uplifting. And your post FCM too, it’s beautiful to make room for creating scenarios of female freedom, even if it’s only in our dreams (are we really allowed anything else?).
I also get angry when fun-fems and ”feminist” men say that radical feminism is just wishful thinking… no force in the universe is as powerful as spinning/spiraling indeed, and that’s what women do when we unite together in radical feminism, the communion with the Goddess. Maybe it’s true that ours is almost a religion in the sense that it does require an element of fantasy, but doesn’t anything anyone wants to change or achieve include such element? Of course we are in need of dreaming so-called utopias, otherwise we would just remain zombified forever. Desire is the primal force that fuels mobility in the spiraling process, and all Spirit has it. Of course, men and many women fail to see that women are actually Spirit (Spirit-Matter, since such thing as what we are considered to be -matter without spirit- does not exist in nature, and we are creatures of nature), but yes, we are Spirit and we spiral if we are allowed to do so. Of course, in patriarchy we aren’t. If we don’t dare to *dream*
that we are, we would never dare to stop our paralysis either.

I belong to an oppressed culture in the east of Spain so my mothertongue is not Spanish and once I asked to my father what can you do when you feel oppressed and you see no solution for it at the moment or in the future (he thought I was referring to our culture, but deep down I was referring to women) and he answered, ”you can fight for your freedom, and meanwhile, the only thing you can do is dream. That alone can open new paths, and also it’s the only thing that can’t be taken from you” so he was right about that. Of course, it’s more productive and realistic what radical feminists dream about – the end of patriarchy – that what fun-fems dream about (that men are going to be chivalrous and nice to them) simply because our dream carries inherently the powerful force of sisterhood and the possibility for transformation, and their dream is simply a lie they tell themselves in order to minimize their suffering.

4. FCM - August 28, 2012

i disagree that radical feminism is a religion, or like a religion. we are truth-tellers, even when those truths are awful, uncomfortable, or not to be reconciled with the reality men have created for us. i think we need to be willing to admit that we might lose, or even that we’ve already lost. some would say, then why do it? and my answer would be “because its the truth.” the truth has value, and we should continue to go to the ends of our thoughts, no matter where that leads. truth-telling for its own sake, where we are speakign womens truths and the truths about what men do to us is good enough IMO.

5. tiamathydra - August 28, 2012

I probably used the wrong word… the idea of religion we have is very twisted because most patriarchal religions have been based on lies, dogma, reversals and corruption, I also believe we are truth-tellers and we are the only ones daring to face reality as it is, without disguising or sugar-coating it to make it easier to swallow, but paradoxically a movement that is based on truth-telling also requires that visionary, almost otherwordly element (the quintessence of which Mary Daly spoke about?) that comes integrously from imagination, and that’s what anti-radfems use to disqualify our work, it’s been implied that we are childish daydreamers or something, when actually what we do requires a huge amount of hard fact and focusing on reality. Our dreaming of a world beyond patriarchy may be fantasy to some, but it’s a necessary part of spiraling that can’t be achieved in any other way. Our dreams are born from diving in reality in the rawest way, from desperation as Daly put it, so that we can achieve another type of reality.

6. tiamathydra - August 28, 2012

”i think we need to be willing to admit that we might lose, or even that we’ve already lost. some would say, then why do it? and my answer would be “because its the truth.” the truth has value, and we should continue to go to the ends of our thoughts, no matter where that leads. truth-telling for its own sake, where we are speakign womens truths and the truths about what men do to us is good enough IMO.”

But yes, if a truthful reality can’t really be achieved or materialized, then I also support truth for the sake of it. It’s important enough on its own and yes, we should keep telling it no matter what. I’ve never been scared of where that leads me, sometimes it leads to depression and desperation, even if it would lead to ”the extinction of the species” are anti-radfems say, why should we ever stop? Truth is more important than ”the species” or anything else really, it’s something sacred. And since men are oppressors and lie-tellers, and we are Other, that means we are the truth-tellers. That’s a desperately necessary thing to do even if it takes you nowhere, and often radical feminism enters the female consciousness when women realize we actually have nothing to lose in patriarchy, because we have nothing.

7. cherryblossomlife - August 28, 2012

Very hopeful and optimistic post FCM.
Almost chirpy
I was getting worried your blog had been infiltrated, until I saw this line in the comments.

“i think we need to be willing to admit that we might lose, or even that we’ve already lost”
:)

8. witchwind - August 28, 2012

religion comes from “religare” which means “to link together”. Men have reversed its original meaning and purpose to make it about deadly institutions of power, fragmentation, violation, annihilation, transformation from the living to the death. Seen in its archaic sense radical feminism may be considered as religious, because our movement is a movement towards integrity. However I never use this term because the modern understanding of religion does not apply to radical feminism and it is even insulting to our work and endeavour.

9. witchwind - August 28, 2012

I love how your writing swirls us at each paragraph to a new unexpected level, opens doors where I wouldn’t have thought, like climbing on a trea where each branch reveals a new colour. This is a process of expanding our imaginations and possibilities, and this is also what radical feminism is: making the sci-fi here and now.

Only those who can expand their will and thoughts far enough to envision a sci-fi world and see accurately enough to decrypt the detritus of male society are capable of transforming our presence beyond the bloody horror of maleness. In other words, the future must be made now, otherwise we will endlessly run after a nostalgia for a far-away land of blissful sisterhood, and live in permanent insatisfaction and frustration. Once we see far, the far is now hear, integrated within ourselves. It blows up the boundaries of our reality and those of other women. When we do this together, it irradiates to explosions of joy and power.

Reformism, as opposed to radical feminism, stems from the blistered and wounded souls of women who feel that they are partly worthless and inexistent without men. It departs from the belief that men’s systems are somehow necessary or inevitable. We have been trampled on so much as to lose faith in ourselves and in the beauty of what we can create.

10. witchwind - August 28, 2012

“i think we need to be willing to admit that we might lose, or even that we’ve already lost”

That’s interesting. I agree, and at the same time what keeps me going is the utter confidence that we will win, even if we lose. If that makes sense.

11. tiamathydra - August 28, 2012

Yes, I was meaning something like that. I probably meant that occasionally some amount of faith and hope is needed in the spinning process, even if you have to create in your mind the female-friendly scenario because there is none around you and none that you know of. Spinning is a profoundly female, radical, sacred act, and that is probably ”religious” in the archaic, gynocentric sense of the word. But of course, it is unfortunate to use that word in a world like this… it usually means death, dissociation, madness and sadomasochism, so I agree that it’s better not to use it.

FCM - August 28, 2012

how many places can you talk about the end of maleness, complete with bloody horror show imagery, and the potential destruction of our own movement, and have it be received as hopeful, uplifting and chirpy? :) love, love love it. thanks for reading!

MarySunshine - August 28, 2012

The only other places that I have found have been lesbian separatist campgrounds, which is why I want to live there :-D

Failing that, I’ll live here on your blog. :-)

12. Mia XX - August 28, 2012

interesting, FCM. The DNA image is staying with me. You know, the way DNA works is that the two helices break away from each other at certain points, essentially snapping the connecting bars in half. Things are then built on the snapped off connecting bar. The DNA them comes back together until it needs to build again.

I dunno it just struck me, because in this image, the radical strand and the reform strand pulling apart isn’t actually breakage, it’s the mechanism by which construction happens. with the broken ends.

FCM - August 28, 2012

oh that is interesting mia! see, thats what we need, someone who knows how these things actually work (and not just what they look like). so thanks!

13. background spinner - August 28, 2012

Is there an aspect of time involved here, as well, as in linear/non-linear timelines? The way we can spiral back in on our memories and herstory and bring them forward to link with imagined realities in the present/future?

Maybe I’m overthinking it (or underthinking it :) ) but there’s a concept in there that I can’t quite articulate.

14. the Thirteenth Step (@hourof13) - August 28, 2012

from the Etymology Dictionary. I entered “spiral” ;):
vulva
1540s, from L. vulva, earlier volva “womb, female sexual organ,” lit. “wrapper,” from volvere “to turn, twist, roll, revolve,” also “turn over in the mind,” from PIE root *wel- “to turn, revolve,” with derivatives referring to curved, enclosing objects (cf. Skt. valate “turns round,” ulvam “womb, vulva;” Lith. valtis “twine, net,” apvalus “round;” O.C.S. valiti “roll, welter,” vluna “wave;” Gk. eluo “wind, wrap,” helix “spiral object,” eilein “to turn, squeeze;” Goth. walwjan “to roll;” O.E. wealwian “roll,” weoloc “whelk, spiral-shelled mollusk;” O.H.G. walzan “to roll, waltz;” O.Ir. fulumain “rolling;” Welsh olwyn “wheel”).

15. aSpinninSister - August 28, 2012

“is there an aspect of time involved here as in linear/nonlinear timelines ? The way we can spiral back in on our memoried and herstory and bring them forward to link with imagined realities in the present/future?”

Mary Daly did “time travel” so well, describing Be-ing in the 5th Spiral Galaxy, going back & forth between 1998 & 2048 B.E.
(Biophilic Era) in her book Quintessence; Realizing the Archaic Future. in her “fantasy” wimmin from 2048 who called themselves Anonyma Network invoked/conjured her there. By then patriarchy had annihilated itself and earth changes had prompted the rise of a New/Old continent they called the Lost & Found Continent, otherwise known in the linear past as Atlantis. initially 5000 Amazon womyn pioneers went there from all over the world to start a new life and later up to 50.000 wimmin lived there without men. there were men & wimmin that lived together on other continents but those men belonged to the “Biophilic Brotherhood” (p.68) and were not a threat to womyn living together in womyn only space

16. MarySunshine - August 29, 2012

Background-spinner and aSpinninSister: yes, I have had those experiences all my life. It has made me feel really crazy, except for when I’m with lesbian separatists.

17. background spinner - August 29, 2012

aSpinninSister: Thank you *so much* for that info…now I know why I couldn’t voice what I meant–I haven’t read Quintessence. (I’m tempted to hang my head in shame, but no. No more of that. That book goes to the top of my “to read” list, though.) Still, it seems interesting to me that those thoughts were somehow whirling/spinning in the back of my mind; maybe they’re archetypal?

MarySunshine: What you said has stuck with me, too. Do you think the absence of men leads to less linear thinking? (That would be the sound of male quantum physicists bashing their Nobel prizes together in protest.) Still, on some meta level, could that be true? The whole “linear” concept seems very rigid, lock-step and controlling to me. In other words, male, or at least, masculine.

Also, this post seems to have done some sparking of its own. I’ve seen several deeply personal, moving comments made on facebook links to this post, about the transformative power of not only Mary Daly’s work, but of the concept of spirals and vortices themselves.

Now, off to the library… :)

18. karmarad - August 29, 2012

What glorious spiral photos, what an interesting meditation. Feminist scifi is where we will find our “I Have a Dream” speech. It is where we go to see possibilities, and there are so many. Thank you for this article.

19. schmutsekaze - August 30, 2012

Great post FCM!
I just finished Gyn/Ecology 2 days ago, I think reading it actually changed my brain.
I don’t know if you’re aware, but there are actually some alternative movements around the world which research and work towards a new culture. (They call their research centers healing biotopes). They claim that around 5000 years ago patriarchy began with the patriarchal revolutions, since before that humans lived in matriarchies and were still connected to the rest of the cosmos, since all of universe, earth, all living things (even humans;)) are really part of a larger organism. The idea is that we humans are organs of that organism just as there are organs inside a human body, everything being connected and part of a larger spiritual consciousness.
According to their philosophy, when men started to slaughter the Goddess in every woman and basically by turning against the force/energy of life itself (turning into necrophiliacs) humankind fell out of the greater connection with the rest of “creation” (in other words, the universe). Which has led to all the horrors that we now know of (including all wars, all slaughtering/maiming of women, animals, creativity, everything, you get the picture).
That is nothing new to radfems of course, but what it offers is hope: because they are saying that we can step out of that “matrix of violence” back into the spiritual “holy matrix”, that is latently there always, patriarchal society just makes us blind to it. I am convinced that what they call holy matrix (which is, of course, a spiral) is exactly what Daly calls The Background. It is the realization that the Goddess, i.e. spiritual life force is all around us, always. We just need to find a way to become connected to it again.
They also admit that the core mechanism that keeps humans in the matrix of violence is the violent relationship between the sexes, i.e. the obsession of men to dominate and control women (because we have access to life force, most of them don’t; its why they feel so desperately empty and dead inside which they cannot bear, so that they have to stick their dicks into us to “recharge their batteries”!!). Thus, this has to stop and we have to find a way of stopping that violence and somehow build trust again. And here is where I’m not sure I’m on board with what they#re saying, because I have read in their books nothing about the stopping of PIV (but then, I haven’t been to one of the healing biotopes, so I don’t know how they discuss it). But from what I have read, they seem to have some radfems at the core of the movement, since a lot of what I read there is on par with what I read HERE! Which makes me happy.:)
Anyway, they figure that soon there will occur some major changes in the energy force field of the planet, because more and more women will become aware that we have the spiritual power to protect life and also change the matrix of violence into the matrix of life, by feeding the right information into the energetic consciousness of the planet/cosmos. This information being of course the truth about the state of global patriarchy and a refusal to subordinate, as well as the spiritual/mental power of creating trust, love etc. together, so that violence can no longer feed on life’s energy.
If you are interested at all check out their website:
http://www.tamera.org
And this is their latest text, where they claim some major changes in energy are going to occur 2012, especially after December 23rd (“the end of the world” in male terms; i.e. un-double-double-thought: the end of the matrix of violence=the patriarchal world –> the beginning of a new era, the biophiliac era):
Here is a short qote:
“An essential part of the coming elevation of consciousness is the new role of the woman in human society. Neural changes will reveal collective patterns in female thinking and action which were present in highly developed archaic societies and which today return on a new level. It concerns a reconnection with the female source and female authority. To make the woman governable and compliant for patriarchy, her connection to the source had to be severed, her ancient sanctuaries destroyed, her natural relation to all co-creatures severed and her sexual wild nature domesticated. The sexual potency of a man could only unfold towards suppressed women. These structures still exist and resist all attempts at reform as long as their core is not recognised.”
And here is the whole text:

http://www.verlag-meiga.org/sites/verlag-meiga.org/files/2012_en.pdf

Sorry, for making this comment so long; I really hope this is useful for the radfem community. All the best, S.

FCM - August 30, 2012

i have to say im highly skeptical, especially if they really center “the violent relationship between the sexes” rather than naming MEN MEN AND ONLY MEN as the agents of harm. and as you say, they probably dont advocate for the end of PIV (and if its a male-led, male-pleasing or male-centric movement, they never will). im publishing the links anyway if anyone wants to take a look.

20. schmutsekaze - August 30, 2012

Thanks. When I read the book The Sacred Matrix, even though it was written by a guy, I got a lot radfem thoughts out of it though. He admits that is the men who started this necrophiliac way of living (=patriarchy), but somehow when reading it I was wondering how that relationship should just magically be altered without talking about PIV and that it is not sex! I guess I will go to an introduction week next year and see if they really cut to the chase in their analysis. Maybe they also need some radfem input, which I will be happy to provide.;)

FCM - August 30, 2012

heres an interview of mary daly i hadnt read before

http://www.crosscurrents.org/madsenf00.htm

she talks about quintessence and what pushed her to make the imaginative leap to timetravel in that book. the interviewer is a disillusioned ex-radfem which puts some of the questions in context…

FCM - August 30, 2012

in that interview, MD also talks about the possibility that there is something wrong with the lifeform known as “men.” as in, its biological. according to some, that makes MD not a feminist, bc “feminists dont believe that.” conveniently erasing from feminism, and from history, the feminists who do, in fact, believe that there is something fundamentally (biologically) wrong with men. erasing feminists (great ones too! the greatest of the great even) and their work, including classic feminist texts, from the face of the earth, or trying to, in the name of feminism. mary daly! not a feminist. thats effing rich isnt it.

http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/2012-submission-to-the-un-commission-on-the-status-of-women-the-legal-category-of-sex-and-understanding-the-status-of-women/

FCM - August 30, 2012

btw i wrote this post before i read the newest letter to the UN. so its timely i guess?

FCM - August 30, 2012

this is where tranny politicking has left us, i guess? disowning mary daly AND OTHERS who believe that there is a biological component to mens sickening sadism and violence from these womens own (and from our own) movement. and preferring the watered-down dick-pleasing of gloria steinem instead, using her as a representative of “feminism.” this is what a feminist looks like and all that, right? im tempted to leave the comments open on this one for a few more days to see if it goes anywhere.

http://radfemworldnews.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/wartime-rapes-happen-because-gender-says-gloria-steinem/

MarySunshine - August 30, 2012

If one has an emotional and economic investment in visualizing oneself as being always part of the heterosocial horde, then one will choose / adopt / espouse the watered-down version of feminism.

The uninterrupted, spiraling version of feminism leads to a steadily increasing density / intensity of female energy from which males, necessarily, are excluded. From which they are flung aside as detritus.

21. schmutsekaze - August 30, 2012

Just read Daly’s interview. God I love her, it’s nice to think that her spirit is still around somewhere.
I must say, I don’t think that males per biology cannot access life energy within themselves. But I think that most men cannot, and will never learn. I wouldn’t be surprised if most men died out. I like the thought that IF all women HAD complete authority and control over their own bodies, than I guess that 80% of male polulation would die out, BECAUSE the only reason that all those misogynist fuckers reproduce is by forced PIV and pregnancy. If women could really choose, if, how and with who to engage in sex, piv and pregnancy, then I’m sure only males who are absolutely NOT dominating, who are empathetic, in short, HUMAN, would ever get to reproduce at all!! Which leaves out about 95% of current males. That is how nature would take care of extinguishing patriarchal males. I discussed this recently with my nigel. And I must say (yeah, I’m not-my-nigeling maybe) that he would be one of the very very very very few men that I could see surviving, i.e. evolving. But then I think that in the future society males wouldn’t even see themselves as reproducing, because the way that I imagine it, males wouldn’t necessarily have anything to do with the children, since there would be female-centered communities that raised all children born within the group together. Not sure where that would leave males. They could engage in these groups I guess but NEVER in a dominant position.

22. cherryblossomlife - August 30, 2012

Women won’t have nigels in the future, so we won’t need to worry about not-my-nigeling.
I mean, the not-my-nigels we are talking about here are the nice guys… but how do we know they’re not being nice because if they behave like assholes they know they won’t get any…? Some guys behave like assholes and get lots of women anyway, because of their looks or charisma or whatever…
Maybe it’s the good-looking assholes that we’re supposed to reproduce with, but the major difference when we’re talking about the future is that there won’t be as many males around, which means they won’t be able to dominate women. I mean, they can dominate other men if they like, who cares, but women will live together and won’t need to worry about getting a nice guy or not because his personality will be irrelevant. He won’t be *able* to rape prostitutes or beat up his wife or all the things men get to do today, unless they’re being “chivalrous” by choosing not to.
Men won’t get away with any of it like they do today.

23. schmutsekaze - August 30, 2012

I disagree about the personality part. I’m saying that because I have a real connection with my nigel BECAUSE of his personality. I can actually weave with him and grow, evolve. But I admit, he is one of the two males that are like this that I have met in ALL my life. And I’ve tried with very many men. I had given up hope of ever having a meaningful (love) relationship with a man again entirely before I met him. So, I don’t want to spam this thread with how great he is..what I’m trying to say is this: Do you know how with almost all men you can immediately sense the narcissistic ego on them? The fear, the emptiness, the defense, the anger, the inflexibility, the threat? There are almost no men who are really soft and unarmoured inside, but there are some. And I think those are the men of the future. And I’d love to be able to work and live and share my (hopefully at some point re-awakening sexuality) with them. I’d see it as a great loss to ban men entirely, I genuinely think they can contribute to a community. But thats not how I see most men, most men (95%) can fall over dead right now as far as I’m concerned and I wouldn’t shed a single tear.
I am wondering if thats a cultural thing. Because here in Germany where I live there are actually some unarmoured men around, while in Greece (where my dad is from) society is much more patriarchal (I don’t even want to think about Iran or other muslim countries *shudder*). My guess is that depending on where you’re at, males might seem like a lost cause OR you might still have some hope.

FCM - August 30, 2012

i think we need to separate reproduction from the “romantic” partnership entirely, especially if we are reproducing with men (as opposed to some other genetic arrangement). this has proven to be an AWFUL arrangement, an AWFUL idea and there is no reason the two need to be linked. and no, there is no reason IMO to think that the “good guys” are the ones with the best genes, or the ones we want to reproduce with. we dont even know what that means at this point in time do we? like, what male genetic characteristics/genetics would make the best kind of future-person? if all we want is men who dont act like men, or men who act like women, why not just reproduce with only women? incorporating these mens genetic material in our vision of the future is knee-jerk and status quo isnt it? if its not, please explain why not. thanks.

24. schmutsekaze - August 30, 2012

I just realized that I had never really thought about the (wanted) reproduction part of it, since I have only ever been busy with preventing pregnancy. Thank you for pointing that out to me. I will have to read/think more about that.
I did not mean that being “soft” (as in “act more like a woman” if I got your connection right?) would be a wanted characteristic; I’m not sure the word is even right. I meant something like being one’s true Self, because I think that almost all men (and most women) are more or less estranged from their Selves, having to lie about patriarchy the whole time they’re awake. The more you are invested the more you have to lie to yourself, men are more invested, they’re more estranged. That doesn’t mean that I defend them, I don’t, but I think it’s just the locigal consequence of living in/under patriarchy. However, I think it is possible for men not to be so invested in upholding their precious male/masculine identity and therefore are more in touch with their own Selves. At least the path to their core is not lost yet.
When I said “soft”, I guess I intuitively described the sense that I get from my nigel spiritually. Because I only ever sense tenderness combined with quite a lot of integrity of character. I don’t know. Maybe that’s not really a thing and I’m just too in-love to see it yet. But its an intuition.
Anyway, I’m sorry to barge in on your site like that. I’ve been on a spinning voyage into radfem consciousness for maybe two weeks and I’m so excited I get carried away. I will shut up now, lurk and read/learn. Thank you for including me in the discussion!:)

25. aSpinninSister - August 31, 2012

“why not reproduce with only women”?

called parthenogenisis and may have happened for
thousands & millions of years before maleness occured
as some indigenous wimmin have believed , as referenced in
Sonia Johnson’s The Sisterwitch Conspiracy

26. cherryblossomlife - August 31, 2012

Yes, I don’t foresee any link between romance and reproduction in the future, but because (despite the insistance to the contrary of nerdy evo psychs) woman are as “visual” as men, why would they risk labour and birth for anything less than a good physical specimen? Problem is these good specimens do seem to have an “asshole gene”.
Anyway, women won’t need to bother worrying about whether the man is good or not, ecause even the assholes won’t be able to hurt women anymore– not emotionally and certainly not physically.
Under the laws of the new order, they’d be ostracized or punished or whatever.

27. cherryblossomlife - August 31, 2012

WOW, I’ve just realised I’ve imagined a future where men will ALL be forced to be nice to women: to respect us, and listen to our opinions, and defer to our judgements, and be in awe of the wise foresisters who envisioned the revolution. They will ask us for advice on how to resolve disputes because they will understand when they read the history books that males are inept and incompetent at this in particular. They will come to us for healing because they will also realise how necrophiliac patriarchal medicine has been…

28. luckynkl - August 31, 2012

Re: Radical feminism vs. reformism

Racial feminists do not believe the system can be reformed. All systems are created by the powerful for the powerful – to serve and protect their interests, no one else’s. IOWs, the system was never meant to serve we, the people. In fact, when the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights were written, women, poc, and Native Americans need not apply. They were special rights for white men only. Non-land owning white men were also not included. So basically, these special rights only applied to the 1%. IOWs, the 1% is nothing new. The U.S. is founded on this caste system. However, unlike the other excluded groups, non-land owning white males weren’t locked into this caste system and were allowed upward mobility. Since the majority of wealth is obtained through inheritance, or more recently, through life insurance policies, non-land owning white males could reasonably expect their position to only be temporary.

In any case, patriarchy is a global paradigm. Which means almost every system in the world has been put in place to serve and protect the powerful. Which is why it’s laughable to think the system can be reformed. Yeah right. The powerful are going to see the light and share the wealth so we can be all equal now. That might happen. Maybe when pigs fly. Because that’s not how it works. What power seeks is to do is maintain its power and gain even more. Marx called it primitive accumulation. Capitalism is based on it and thrives on it.

In short, the powerful are never going to give up their power or share it willingly. Which means they will never allow the system to be reformed so all is fair. The system itself is based on unfairness and was created to maintain it. So the powerful can remain powerful. So how is it possible to reform a system whose very foundation is based on inequality and unfairness? Answer: It simply can’t be done.

But let’s take it a step further. The very values which our system and culture is based on, are male values. These values were meant to serve and benefit males, not women. So even if the playing field was leveled, we’d still be working to serve and benefit males. Men and women would just be working equally to serve and benefit males. So how is it helpful to women for reformists to adopt men’s values and men’s ways? As you point out, FCM, it’s nothing more than harm reduction. It will never dismantle the master’s house.

So this is why the system cannot be reformed and why I’d like reformists to take a short walk off a long pier. They’re wasting my time. As Audre Lorde said, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” IOws, the system cannot be reformed. It must be completely nuked and burned to the ground along with the entire male value system. Which was never meant to serve or benefit women. Just the opposite.

FCM - August 31, 2012

yes cherry, its funny to think of them reading history books to see what colossal failures men have always been…this will be true even if we dont write the books (if the values change, whats already been written will have different value) but we will have to start writing them all too, if we want ALL mens atrocities and failures recorded. the female victims dont fare too well in the current version — they are all but entirely erased in fact.

and lucky — do you think ive been too generous with the double-spiral imagery then? :) its also possible that the “breaking apart” that mia describes is happening now. the new UN letter — and the “radfems” who are going along with it without calling out the problems it causes to feminism and to logic/intellectual honesty in fact — kinda cinches that one doesnt it? the rift appears to be complete.

29. aSpinninSister - August 31, 2012

“in that interview MD also talks about the possibility that there is something fundamentally biologically wrong with the lifeform known as men”
fcm, an alternative/another story besides creation or evolution, theories/stories that come from the male mind, is a story that comes from the Female mind. in addition to believing in parthenogenesis, aboriginal wimmin have believed that the y chromosome is a mutation. since the xy cannot generate its own energy, that xxplains why they must ALL have a battery, a womyn {and womyn collectively} to be attached to so that they can suck & drain our gynergy. if you believe the story, that the whole universe is ,was and always will be FEmale and that wimmin lived forever before xy, how they became able to infect and infiltrate us with their evil genetic energy is a mystery, one that sisterwitch attempts to xxplain…… or .we can make up our OWN stories!

thanksxx fcm, for this most xxcellent post, and as always it’s Great Sparking with all you wonderful womyn :)

FCM - August 31, 2012

i recently read sisterwitch, and while i found it to be both silly and dated (women saying “right on!” while talking to each other — haha) it was mindbending and original, which i have grown to appreciate very much these last couple of years. of course, it is also completely woman-friendly, and speaks dangerous truths, speculations and fantasies that for whatever reason apparently never landed her on the haters radar (she says some of the same things or essentially the same things valerie solanas did in SCUM manifesto). these things are rare and precious. i want to read every word of this kind of stuff. every last word. unfortunately, this is likely an achievable goal, since this material is exceedingly rare, and more and more endangered it seems.

FCM - August 31, 2012

ps. Shulamith Firestone, a widely quoted feminist writer who published her arresting first book, “The Dialectic of Sex,” at 25, only to withdraw from public life soon afterward, was found dead on Tuesday in her apartment in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. She was 67.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/31/nyregion/shulamith-firestone-feminist-writer-dies-at-67.html?_r=1

30. cherryblossomlife - September 1, 2012

Even though the female victims are erased from men’s history books I don’t think we need to worry too much about this. What I mean is, that when you read men’s books, it’s pretty easy to read between the lines and fill in the blanks that they’ve deliberately left out.

The information is all around us, but we just have to be looking for it. Whenever men write about or record an event or incident a keen radical observer asks themselves “where were the women in all of this”… and you realise that men leave CLUES in their writing as to what happened to the women at that particular date or incident. Such is the height of their arrogance. They don’t even bother to do a proper job of covering up their atrocities.

I loved the title of the chapter in Gyn/Ecology called “The footnoting of Chinese footbinding”
1000s of years of women’s suffering was ignored and merely *footnoted* in the history books, because men were too stupid to see anything beyond their own nose. When male anthropoligists “studied” primitive cultures they drew conclusions based on their own myopic view of the world. Later, when female anthropologists went back to the same tribes they discovered complexitites in the cultures that had been completely missed by the men. For example, they would notice that female-male power relations were more favorable towards women in primitive cultures than in civilized cultures…

31. cherryblossomlife - September 1, 2012

And thank you for drawing attention to the FIrestone’s death FCM


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