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1000 Years of This. 40 Years of That. April 25, 2013

Posted by FCM in books!, gender roles, international.
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i just finished reading gerda lerners “the creation of feminist consciousness” which is part 2 of her 2-part series.  part one, “the creation of patriarchy” was previously discussed here.  this series is an excellent history lesson and one i appreciated very much, although i admit skipping/skimming many of the details and getting straight to the conclusions/insights which is what i read feminist works for afterall.  the big picture.  when i see something that fascinates me, such as the material and social conditions that make slavery possible, i go back and try to grok the details the best i can.

in this case, i went back and tried to grok the details of 1000 years of feminist bible criticism, by which lerner demonstrates feminists tendency to reinvent the wheel when it comes to feminist reasoning and conclusions, and why this is.  she concludes that womens history is lost to us via silencing and erasing feminists and feminist work, which stunts and thwarts the development of a global feminist consciousness over time.  and that this erasure of history is one reason women have remained oppressed for so much longer than any other oppressed group on earth.  she notes that despite starting from scratch every time, women have long struggled to be free of male oppression and have resisted it, and have tried to think and reason their way out of it even when they thought they were the first and only ones to do it and at great cost to themselves in terms of mental labor and personal risk, up to and including death.  this is striking, yes.

but what particularly struck me was the substance of womens 1000-year history of criticizing the bible, where women specifically protested its prescriptions/proscriptions about womens natures, including womens roles in a patriarchal culture (thats redundant of course.  patriarchy *is* culture).  remember that institutionalized patriarchy, where legal and religious texts merely codified preexisting patriarchal relations that had already existed for a long time, is not the beginning-point of womens oppression by men.  institutionalized patriarchy appeared about 5000 years ago, but male dominance over women, including mens control of womens reproduction and mens self-granted right to define womens role has been around much, much longer.  (this is discussed in part one).  so in reality, women were protesting something that had been around for perhaps 10,000 years or longer: womens role as fuckholes and slaves for men.  and each woman who did this thought that she was the first to do it.  women rarely built on previous womens work because they didnt know about it.

now, i ask you.  where did this resistance and core-deep courage come from?  how could each woman, who believed that she was a cognitive minority of one (or some other very small number) gather the gumption and conviction to realize, believe and assert that womens nature was *not* to be fuckholes and slaves to men, but was something else entirely?

note that for 1000 years, while women were resisting what the bible patriarchy said about womens nature, these women were not saying that mens nature had been misrepresented at all.  although lerner concludes that early feminist thinkers articulated the difference between sex and gender, and that *both* mens and womens “gender roles” were arbitrary and socially-prescribed, i would note the complete absence of the assertion that men were not naturally violent, necrophilic and parasitic for example.  in my own estimation, these have nothing to do with the male gender, and everything to with the male sex.  i think early feminists knew that only too well, and that the ways this played out on womens bodies and lives (in the absence of relatively-reliable birth control for example) made the reality and unalterability of mens despicable natures more than obvious.

behold an early feminists articulation of gender.  in the context of arguing that women were fit for the ministry, she asserts:

…that intellect is not sexed; that strength of mind is not sexed; and that our views about the duties of men and the duties of women, the sphere of man and the sphere of woman, are mere arbitrary opinions, differing in different ages and countries, and dependent solely on the will and judgement of erring mortals.

this from a woman named sarah grimke who lived from 1792-1873.  she is talking about jobs, and roles.  she was notably not talking about mens demonstrated tendency to be violent necrophiles, sexual abusers and predators across time and place.  and frankly gerder presents *no* evidence in this history lesson that any early feminists disputed this at all, or conflated male behavior, specifically male violence, with culturally-determined gendered roles such as who can and should do what job.  get it?

in fact, grimke astutely notes that mens enslavement of women was deliberate, disgusting and dickish.  she notably does not suggest that men were acted upon by aliens, or were acting against mens own natures when they did this:

Men have not only degraded women, but have made them mere instruments for their own comfort.  They have enslaved women’s minds, deprived them of education, and finally robbed them of the knowledge of their equal humanity.

and “equal” here does not really seem to mean “equal” in any modern way.  for example, does grimke seem to suggest that women are attempting to gain political, social and interpersonal standing so that they can indulge “equally” in the enslavement, deprivation and robbery that all humans are prone to?  i dont see it.

hilariously, in the 1500s, a woman named jane anger (!) describes and documents mens parasitic, filthy natures when she asserts that men are “comforted by our means.  Without our care they lie in their beds as dogs in litter and go like lousy mackerel swimming in the heat of summer.”  without women, men would lie in their own shit and be completely uninterested or unable to perform self-care.  not because aliens, and not because “gender” either.

so whats my point?  i guess i have two.  feminist-thinking women have been asserting for over a millenia that womens nature is misrepresented by patriarchy (and via patriarchal institutions such as religion) and that this is a deliberate ploy on behalf of men who want to dominate and enslave us.  women know, somehow, that this is not our true nature and we resist this propaganda/terror campaign bravely, actively and passionately.  we can feel that this is true, and we know that men are lying about us.  and we notably have *never* as far as i can tell tried to convince anyone that mens true nature wasnt and isnt exactly what it appears to be, and what men demonstrate by their own behavior, institutions and dictates across time and place.

this rather significant addition to feminist thought appears to be new.  this is not our history, but a recent development that seems to have appeared with equality rhetoric, and certainly after the burning times, where women learned more and more (not less and less) what men were capable of, and what they did to women who said and did things men didnt like.  and following a global campaign to silence and erase feminist thought, including women who for 1000 years (or more) have been documenting what appears to be a universal model of male behavior that doesnt differ *at all* across time and place, including males *acting out* parasitism, necrophilia, violence and rape, regardless of what jobs they do, clothes they wear or anything else.  i think this needs to be discussed.  that is all.

Let’s Recap October 5, 2012

Posted by FCM in feminisms, gender roles, logic, meta, radical concepts.
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women do not equal men and men do not equal women.

any theorizing, including logical proofs, which contains or assumes the equation women = men or men = women is fundamentally flawed.  that includes the following: male and female “gender roles” are learned and unnatural (variation: femininity and masculinity are equally oppressive to women and men).  sexual harassment and discrimination and rape are just as bad the same when they happen to men as when they happen to women.  women can be violent (therefore) men can be nonviolent, or any variation on this theme…women can be bad, therefore men can be good…women can be bad mothers therefore men can competently take care of children.  intercourse is sexual.

srsly, you dont even know how deeply this one is ingrained until you attempt to locate and discard all the flawed conclusions based on men = women or women = men.  this particular false equivalence is used a lot.

to recap, feminism — the real kind, radical feminism — is about women.  not men.  somehow we have gone off the rails into extensive theorizing jerking of knees about men, HOWEVER this theorizing seems to be based on a fundamental misunderstanding (or intentional derail, whevs) of radical feminist philosophy, which is that men oppress WOMEN.  WOMENS toxic “femininity” and sex-role as fuckholes and breeders and slaves is not WOMENS natural state.

womens.  we were talking about WOMEN mkay.  not men.

it is in fact more likely than not (isnt it?) that men are “naturally” exactly or mostly as we see them today.  specifically, there is no compelling evidence that men have created a world — including various overlapping systems which are oppressive to WOMEN — that goes against mens own natures, and/or that patriarchy — including all violence and sexual violence against women — is not exactly what men want and need to function and survive and thrive.  in fact, the opposite seems to be true.  the actual evidence — that men have the power to create whatever they want and this is what they decided on — suggests that men created this shithole we call “thats life deal with it” because they like it this way, and its comfortable and congruent to themselves.  to them.  them, not us.

the reality appears to be that men might just be like this.  we have to accept that this is not only possible, but likely, considering the evidence, and discarding wishful thinking and theorizing “against all evidence.”

by the by, this “against all evidence” stuff — thats not actually how theorizing works.  “against all evidence” is the primary ingredient of a religion, or a cult.  it is the essence of both gaslighting, and brainwashing.

lets recapture the plot, people.  women, not men.  thank you.

On Intentionality. Or, What Is It For = What Does It Do? September 25, 2012

Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, feminisms, gender roles, logic, radical concepts.
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there exists a tendency in various discourses to insist — and to theorize from this place — that patriarchy is just some grand mistake, or misunderstanding.  the evidence on which this conclusion is based is never quite spelled out, and in fact does not appear to exist, as it flies in the face of the actual, real evidence.  which leaves its adherents with essentially the status of cult-members, does it not?  more on that below.  so, the mistake-believers (or “cultists”) tend to advocate “educating” men and anti feminist women to induce feminist change, or they insist that, just as women arent naturally fuckholes and slaves for men, that men also are not naturally dick-sticker-inners or sexual, reproductive and domestic slaveowners.  the poor male babies!  they are just mistaken, you see.  misguided.  acted-upon.  its not their fault.  because reasons, which have nothing to do with intentionality (or design).

now, im not saying than men are or arent naturally anything, behaviorally speaking — who can prove that afterall?  i am saying that its highly probable that womens twisted, victimized servitude (or “femininity” if you will) isnt our natural state.  let us feminists concentrate on women for a moment, shall we — we feel this dissonance, this incongruousness strongly, and indeed the evidence would suggest that, because women as a sexual class hold neither the power nor the resources to build a local, regional or global culture that reflects ourselves back to us, that our culture does not, in fact, reflect ourselves back to us.

the fuckholeness, the servitude is not *us*.  while currently impossible to prove, we speculate that this is true.  but it is not baseless speculation — the evidence suggests we are right.  the evidence of our lack of power and resources to create something reflective of or congruous with *us* being, well, our actual lack of those things.

the same cannot be said of men of course, and whether or not “culture” (lets just say patriarchy instead of culture, shall we, its the same damn thing) is reflective of mens values, tendencies, preferences and solutions.  they created it, afterall.   in fact, in the case of men, the evidence would tend to show the opposite of what it shows for women — that its in fact highly probable that mens violent, destructive and dominant “role” is their natural state, or reflective of men on whatever level.  that patriarchy does reflect mens values, tendencies, preferences and solutions.  that patriarchy — and the utter destruction, degradation and decimation of women and of pretty much everything for that matter — is congruent with mens Z.  if you dont like the word “nature” then dont use it.  call it Z, or green eggs and ham for all i care.  or refer to it by its elements (values/tendencies/preferences/solutions).  it doesnt change what it is.

now, i would like to propose a thought exercise to highlight the difference between intentionality and coincidence.  “coincidence” connotes “unintentionality” or unrelated by cause or effect.  mary daly talked about causation and intentionality (we discussed it here and here) where she noted that, once an outcome is known, any continuance to produce that outcome is intentional.  “unintentional” pregnancy — within the PIV-as-sex paradigm — might be the most obvious (its also a reversal).  daly chose to talk about men surgically lobotomizing women, knowing that the surgery removed all of womens creativity and made them good housekeepers.  the “psychosurgeons” can, did (and do) wax poetic all day about lobotomizing women as a “cure” for this, that and the other, but it cannot be denied that they were intentionally creating brain damaged fembots to clean house and be compliant semen receptacles for men.  if they didnt like or want that outcome, they wouldve stopped doing it.

so regarding intentionality versus coincidence…think “kitchen gadgets” for starters.  does anyone think this is a coincidence?  lots of people need to open cans, and coincidentally, a handheld device appears with two rotary cutting blades that neatly accomplishes that very thing?

coincidence?

or, was it intentional?

or…take a look at this.  assuming you recognize it as a garment, (it could also be used for other things i suppose) through simple observation of this objects physical characteristics, you get a very good idea about some of the physical characteristics of its intended user:

how many fingers do i have?

please dont tell me this was a mistake mkay? im not hearing it.

now, objects might be a bit different from systems.  so lets go there.  some systems “just exist” like some objects “just exist” and they dont really do anything.  like a rock exists of its own accord, without being a specifically functional object some systems just “exist”.  sometimes you just make observations about what they do, like this:

the solar system

its not really “for” anything, or anything that we know about, it just *is*.  and no, i would not say that this is a life support system for humans, even though it functions as one.  like a rock isnt a hammer exactly…

some systems just “exist” (naturally) and you make observations about what they do, and from that, you can also make conclusions about what they are for, like this:

the respiratory system. what it does *is* what its for.

what it does = oxygenates the bloodstream.  whats its for = oxygenating the bloodstream.  in the case of the human respiratory system, these things are the same.  like the solar system, its a functional design — but one that works toward an ends, rather than merely staying out of its own way?

some systems are created by people (men, more specifically).  like all systems, these systems do stuff.  and like *some* systems created by nature, *all* systems created by humans were created for stuff.  to solve a problem, or fulfill a need.  like this:

the US highway system. gets you from here to there usu. via terrestrial vehicle (or walking, to a lesser extent).

it seems that systems that were created by humans do stuff “because reasons” that have everything, actually, to do with intentionality.  what they do = what they are for.  otherwise, why bother?

so if we agree that patriarchy is a system, (is it?) created by humans, (it was, if men are considered human) if we want to know what its for, and to consider issues of intentionality, functionality and design, the question we have to ask ourselves about patriarchy, i guess, is what does it do?  acknowledge what it does, and you will know what it is for.  and that its not a mistake (far from it) and that it *probably* adheres to certain physical realities as well.  think: glove.  or…skyscraper?

i maximize rental income for the property owner, among other things.

and note, for example, that the US highway system is built horizontally and adheres to physical principles, and isnt made of gallons and gallons of chocolate pudding.  because reasons.

it also occurs to me that the solar system is essentialist.  it just *is*.  and that patriarchy — while still a system — is more like the US highway system than it is like the solar system.

comments will remain open for three days.

A Red Umbrella for Visual Impact September 10, 2012

Posted by FCM in gender roles, logic, pop culture, porn, radical concepts, rape.
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i previously wrote about the intent and effect of “the obliterating false equivalence” here, where false equivalences are used as a linguistic and literary weapon against women to erase proof of mens misogyny and criminality as well as our response and resistance to them.  this is a fairly complicated use of the device, which renders it unobvious — for example, when women respond to misogyny and personal misogynist attacks with righteous anger, deserved ad hominems, or completely accurate class-based observations or policies regarding violent and predatory males, our response is said to be as bad the same as whatever the men did to deserve the response.  thus, radical feminism is framed as a “hateful ideology” rather than a personal or political response to mens hateful ideology of misogyny.

in online spaces, a feminist response to misogyny may be violative of the terms of service so that both the woman and the man/men she was responding to are punished “equally” by suspension or termination from the online space.  the effect is that the rape- and death-threats (and more!) are deleted, so the proof of what men are doing and saying is erased from history.  and the feminist voices and resistance are erased — feminist material and context which often contains theory, quotes, citations, and new ideas, or fresh expressions of old ideas that name the agent and resonate with women and (therefore) have the potential to create feminist change.  its as if none of it ever happened, which benefits men both coming and going.

interestingly, the false equivalence has many anti-feminist uses, and we see it again and again in “equality” discourse, where men are said to be the same as women and women the same as men.  this is a very basic use of the false equivalence…interestingly, it is again rendered unobvious.  here is a perfect expression of this, seriously, i couldnt have come up with a better example if i knitted it myself:

[I do not] believe that testosterone at normal male levels must needs result in brutes who rape, dominate and enslave women and children — no more than I believe that hormones at normal female levels results in women as a class being “naturally” passive, submissive little crumpets of femininity who like to be hemmed in, controlled and dictated to from cradle to grave by their fathers, husbands and adult sons.

in other words: i dont believe that females are naturally victims; therefore i also cannot believe that males are naturally victimizers.  as comforting as warm oatmeal to “feminist” women who love men, unfortunately, this position fails to stand up to even basic scrutiny.  to wit, i believe this proof would be expressed like this:

A = B; B = C; therefore A = C.

where A = “men” and B = “women” and C = “doesnt exist in their natural state”.

if men and women are the same, and women do not currently exist in our natural state, then men do not currently exist in their natural state either.  the problem is that A = B (men = women) is, in fact, demonstrably false.  radical feminists, at least, normally do not have trouble making this distinction.

the rest of it — B = C, or women do not exist in their natural state — is probably true.  exploring how and why women are so damagingly twisted and removed from our natural state by patriarchy, along with a pinch of background about design and function generally, also tends to reveal an uncomfortable truth — that men very likely do, in fact, live in their natural state, under patriarchy.  and that patriarchy was and is specifically designed to make men both comfortable and likely to succeed as they really are, which is — as demonstrated every second of every day, in every city and town in the world, by the men themselves — violent, destructive, and dominant.

i mean really.  in general, given the choice and power to do it, who the hell would design and maintain something that wasnt functional to themselves?  observe:

the umbrella.

who would imagine, design, build, and implement this and think it was a good idea for keeping the rain off?  no one, thats who.   because this object is not functional for that purpose.  it doesnt do what we want it to do.  thats why umbrellas actually look like this:

this design is functional, and it does what its supposed to.  that is, there was a problem or need identified (im getting wet); criteria developed (i have to be able to manage the water), and a solution was created (a handheld device that deflects rain).  voila!  a functional design.

or, consider the wheel:

same idea.  the square wheel is a bad design.  it will not function the way anyone probably wants it to function, so in reality, wheels are round.  it just works better.   interestingly, the square wheel can be made to work if the ground is changed in a specific way, and this solution has been calculated, designed, built and shown to be functional, although highly context-specific:

of course, if a round wheel was big enough, i think that would work perfectly well on this kind of surface too wouldnt it?  but anyway, it works.  men have made it work.  because they can.  even to the point of changing the ground — they can twist, bend and shape anything to meet their own needs.  they have the time, energy, resources and motivation to do this.

it cannot be a controversial point to say that men generally imagine, design, build and implement objects and systems to be functional, to serve themselves.  we all do this, to whatever extent we can.  its not a stretch to imagine that men have twisted, bent and shaped women to meet their needs, and that this is what “femininity” is — like pornography, womens “role” has nothing to do with women being women, and everything to do with men being men.

and women propose and build solutions for ourselves to the best of our abilities too, but therein lies the rub: under patriarchy, women do not have the power or resources to imagine, design, build and implement real solutions to our problems.  frequently our harm reduction strategies twist and harm us more or differently than the original threat — like being clever (or grossly “feminine”) to avoid negative outcomes, including male violence.  but you know who does have the power and resources to make real solutions for themselves that really work and solve problems at a fundamental level?  males, as a sexual class, around the world.

so being that this is the case, why the hell would anyone assume that patriarchy isnt the perfect solution for men?  they were and are the designers, afterall — they have the power and resources to do whatever they want, and this is what they have chosen.  its pretty likely, isnt it, that men have created the system we currently live in — patriarchy — and everything it entails, including all the interacting, overlapping systems that tolerate and perpetuate male violence for the same reasons that pants have 2 legholes instead of 4, and gloves have 5 finger-holes and arent generally made with inflexible materials, or with bees.  because it works for them.  because it fits.  them.  them, not us.

clearly, in reality, whether women under patriarchy exist in our natural state actually has nothing whatsoever to do with whether men are naturally violent, destructive and dominant.  nothing at all.

of course, i have not proven that men *are* naturally anything, ive just presented evidence.  so in that spirit, does anyone have an actual reason to believe that in the case of patriarchy, it is more likely than not that men imagined, designed, built and implemented a system that went against their natures, made them less comfortable, seriously damaged them, or did not serve their needs?  like an actual evidence-based reason?  if so, please note that in the comments.  and while youre at it, kindly note at least three other examples of any designer/builder with the power and resources to do whatever he wanted, actually undermining his own interests or going against his own nature in other contexts.  and please provide explanations as to why.  as always, the comments will remain open for three days.  thank you.

The Neo-Vagina Monologues January 23, 2010

Posted by FCM in authors picks, entertainment, feminisms, health, kids, PIV, rape, self-identified feminist men, thats mean, trans, WTF?.
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like women, vaginas dont have much of a voice in a patriarchal, misogynist culture.  thus, a woman playwright created “the vagina monologues.” 

the title was shocking, but even more so was the very notion that vaginas, like women, have experiences. of course, born-women know that.  but not surprisingly, noone ever asks about womens experiences, or those of our vaginas.  now that someone has mentioned it, my vagina is pretty pissed off too. all vaginas are, thats the whole point. 

vaginas are pissed off because they are treated like shit, like garbage. like toys. when in reality, vaginas are organs. organs, like hearts and lungs are organs. got that? good.  and organs, like, do stuff.  they are good for more than one thing.  working in conjunction with other organs and tissues, organs create organ-systems.  often, overlapping systems that, like, do stuff.  like this: 

now, a question.  what other organs do we deliberately treat like shit?  do we expose the heart and lungs to poisons, chemicals and irritants in order to improve them?  what other of our organs are considered defective and in need of intervention, when they are working properly in their natural state?  none. got that?  good. 

this is the state of the union when it comes to women and our vaginas.  our sex.  literally, our born-sex.  vaginas are organs, but women are the “other.”  medically, socially, and sexually, we are a defective knock-off of the real thing: men.  thats going to cause some problems for us. because its a shared problem, theres a shared history there.  a female-specific history, specifically related to our born-sex.  think i am an essentialist for pointing that out?  go fuck yourself.  then, consider this common example: our first periods.  menstruation is treated as if it were a disease, and women as if we are diseased, even though its a completely normal function of a healthy organ system.  and many of us remember the first time we menstruated just like we remember where we were on 9/11, or when kennedy was shot (or whatever):

our vaginas are also the preferred target of men’s abuse.  this necessitates men protecting us from other men, begging the question: protection from WHAT?  we dont need men to protect us, we need men to leave us alone.  but they never do, do they?  “the vagina monologues” includes the story of one woman who, as a child, was raped by her dad’s best friend.  her dad shot him, and she didnt see her dad again for 7 years because some other men sent him to fucking jail.  for shooting a rapist, while the rapist’s dick was still inside the mans minor daughter:

these are compelling stories, every one of them.  now i ask you, people.  what would a neo-vagina have to say, if a neo-vagina could talk?  this is a serious question.  to help you get into character, heres a prop: this is what a neo-vagina looks like:

(more…)

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