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Witch Village June 24, 2011

Posted by FCM in gender roles, logic, PIV, pop culture.
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the casey anthony trial illustrates perfectly (as it must, mustnt it?) the ways patriarchal institutions are designed to destroy women, and to elevate men at womens expense.  loretta did an excellent takedown of this media spectacle at the HUB and added some context to what we are all witnessing: motherhood itself is on trial.  femininity is on trial.  which is terribly perverted, isnt it, considering that the “laws” regarding what is required of women and mothers are mostly unwritten.  they are also contradictory and therefore literally impossible to fulfill: as loretta mentions for example, our emotion and our lack of emotion are both evidence of our guilt in mens courts of law.

this may be particularly true where a mother is accused of child-murder.  in the case of casey anthony, she is really in between a rock and a hard place: mothers are known imagined, by men, to be fiercely protective of their children…and yet are expected to allow men to intervene in their own lives, and in their childs lives, in various contexts.  to be and to do both things, two contradictory things, at the same time.  gotcha!  and here, caseys story appears to be that her child accidentally drowned and she didnt call the cops, paramedics or the coroner to take the body, but kept it for a period of time and then disposed of it herself.  well im sorry, but if a mother is fiercely protective and would protect her child from predatory men in life, why wouldnt she do the same thing in the event of the childs death?  and if casey was an incest survivor herself, and she knows how sick men are and what they do to female children, why would she trust male authorities with her childs body when the child was already dead and there was nothing to be gained from allowing predatory men access to her?  this is a serious question.  (if anyone thinks that men are above sexually defiling corpses, think again.)

with their contradictory and impossible standards of conduct for women, mens legal system as applied to women is literally (LITERALLY!) psychological torture, and a sick cat-and-mouse game where men seek to punish women no matter what.  they further torture us by making it seem as if all of this is fair and that justice is blind: they make it seem as if we have a chance to successfully defend ourselves against their charges in their courts, but we dont do we?  and we never will, so long as every single thing we do, or dont do, is evidence of our guilt.

and more than that, in the case of motherhood specifically, men deliberately put women in the position of being scrutinized, every inch of us inside and out, physical, emotional and spiritual, is scrutinized and picked apart and destroyed, by every patriarchal institution i can think of, when they impregnate us.  the big 3 of the patriarchal institutions, medicine, law and religion all attach at the moment of conception.  and there is absolutely no room for doubt that this is deliberate, on the part of men, and that impregnation specifically is a devastatingly effective tool to accomplish what they clearly want: to bring women under formal control, so that men can enslave, torture and kill us.  is this too harsh an indictment?  i wish it were.

i wont endlessly regurgitate the details of the anthony case because its kind of irrelevant isnt it?  i mean really.  the very obvious ways that impregnation and PIV-centric sexuality serve to bring women under patriarchal control plays out in nearly every het relationship on the planet, and has for billions of women across time and place: forced to endure (or orgasm from, whatever) PIV and PIV-centric “sex” we are often left with pregnancies and children we never wanted.  or we are left with ambivalent pregnancies, pregnancies and children we would have been perfectly happy without, but we were subjected to PIV and PIV-centric sex anyway, and our number came up.  this is how our bodies work, and men know this, and they have designed their institutions to attach to our lives, to our bodies, in a way that mens institutions never attach to men, and in the only way that only they can control (impregnating women!)

and then they have the unmitigated gall to publicize an abstract-image (devoid of context) of “motherhood” as being not only unqualifiedly positive for women, but comprising our very nature, as if the entire institution of motherhood as we currently know it wasnt deliberately designed by them to destroy women, and benefit themselves.

what if this was all just a sick game?  is it so beyond the realm of possibility that men would find all of this incredibly titillating, as they apply heat and pressure and make us squirm, knowing the whole time that we are going to lose and that they are going to win, always, no matter what?  indeed, once we are willing to consider the possibility that men are sick bastards who enjoy torturing women, suddenly things start falling into place.  many things start to make sense.  PIV makes sense, insisting on it, demanding it, defining “sex” to require it, and forcefully taking it from us all makes sense.  and having contradictory and unwritten requirements for female behavior, including when men accuse us of capital crimes where the end-result is state-sanctioned murder of women, by men…just makes sense.

another avenue of inquiry that would lead us straight to men via their sickening sadism would be “who benefits from all this?”  how does this work, whats really happening, in which direction do the gains flow, and what do these gains look like?  as we do in other contexts to figure out the source of a problem, to suss out corruption (and in some contexts, even to recapture ill-gotten gains — now thats compelling isnt it?)…just follow the money, honey!  entire economies are built upon “free” (read: unpaid, from the womans perspective) domestic labor and sexual slavery of women.  men profit from the prison system and from legal fees too.  and the tangible benefits to men in terms of increased status (as opposed to womens, which men purposely lower, see how that works?  its all relative afterall) and decreased competition from women in public places (because women cant be in the home and in public at the same time can they?) works to benefit men, at womens expense.  all it takes is a little honesty to see men for what they really are, and to see how all of this works together in tandem, against women, to benefit men.

and i am extremely interested in this idea of divesting men of their ill-gotten gains.  mens “legal” system and all mens systems have obvious parallels to organized crime.  and researching this mayve just become my new hobby.

Comments

1. FCM - June 24, 2011

edited to add:

entire economies are built upon “free” (read: unpaid, from the womans perspective) domestic labor and sexual slavery of women. men profit from the prison system and from legal fees too. and the tangible benefits to men in terms of increased status (as opposed to womens, which men purposely lower, see how that works? its all relative afterall) and decreased competition from women in public places (because women cant be in the home and in public at the same time can they?) works to benefit men too. all it takes is a little honesty to see men for what they really are, and to see how all of this works together in tandem, against women, to benefit men.

and i am extremely interested in this idea of divesting men of their ill-gotten gains. mens “legal” system and all mens systems have obvious parallels to organized crime. and researching this mayve just become my new hobby

sorry if that wasnt clear. i was excited (and horrified) at the prospect of another new hobby.

happy friday everyone! (or saturday, whatever the case may be!)

2. cherryblossomlife - June 24, 2011

She didn’t call the cops when she realised her child was dead. Maybe she was grieving; maybe she was in denial; maybe, as you say, she was trying to protect her child in death from fetishistic men. It’s not unheard of for a woman to still rock her child once it’s died.

I’m glad you have this new hobby. Do you know what mine is? Hating ambulences. Today one drove past me lights all ablaze. I had to swerve out of the way to let it pass. It’s a very obvious phallic sort of RAAAA everyone get OUT of the WAY. TEH MENZ are here to save day.

Whereas if society was set up differently, healers would be on hand. YOu wouldn’t need a mad rush to an institution in a bumpy ambulance. You certainly wouldn’t need to go in an ambulance to have a BABY FFS. (something I strove to avoid at all costs with my births, which is why I had homebirths)

Anyway, my point is that, like funerals., men just have this mad need to get involved in life and death and appropriate it and USE it to control people, especially women.

3. cherryblossomlife - June 24, 2011

ETA: Why should a woman be obligated to call anyone if her child has died? That’s the point I’m trying to make. Why do men get to be involved in it at ALL?

FCM - June 24, 2011

Yes thats the truth of it isn’t it? They always have to make themselves the center of attention, they need to be where the action is, having everyone defer to them.

But we know better. And we know men, and how terribly sexxxay they consider all manners of tragedy that befall girls and women, and how many of these tragedies men themselves are responsible for. How dare they demand to be there during our most intimate and painful moments? How dare they?

4. Mary Sunshine - June 25, 2011

Hi FCM et al,

I got this from the Sydney Morning Herald. If you don’t want the whole thing inline, there’s the link at the bottom of the article. But be warned, the SMH often takes content offline after day or two.

The witch-hunting of pregnant women:

If a woman takes a drug and her unborn baby dies, is she a killer? That’s a question now before courts in the US, writes Ed Pilkington.

Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed does not sound like an ordinary killing. Yet she faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child.

Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse contributed to the baby’s death – they charged her with the ”depraved-heart murder” of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.

Gibbs is the first woman in Mississippi to be charged with murder relating to the loss of her unborn baby but her case is not an isolated one. Across the US prosecutions are being brought that seek to turn pregnant women into criminals.
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”Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws,” Lynn Paltrow, of the campaign National Advocates for Pregnant Women, said.

”It’s turning pregnant women into a different class of person and removing them of their rights.”

Bei Bei Shuai, 34, has spent the past three months in prison in Indianapolis charged with murdering her baby. On December 23 she tried to commit suicide by taking rat poison after her boyfriend abandoned her.

Shuai survived, but she was 33 weeks’ pregnant and her baby, to whom she gave birth a week after the suicide attempt and whom she called Angel, died after four days. In March, Shuai was charged with murder and attempted foeticide and she has been in custody since without the offer of bail.

In Alabama, at least 40 cases have been brought under the state’s ”chemical endangerment” law. Introduced in 2006, the statute was designed to protect children whose parents were cooking methamphetamine in the home and thus putting their children at risk from inhaling the fumes.

Amanda Kimbrough has been ensnared by the law in a different way. During her pregnancy her foetus was diagnosed with possible Down syndrome and doctors suggested she consider a termination. Kimbrough declined because she opposes abortion.

The baby was delivered by caesarean section prematurely in April 2008 and lived just 19 minutes.

Six months later Kimbrough was arrested at home and charged with ”chemical endangerment” of her unborn child on the grounds that she had taken drugs during the pregnancy – a claim she has denied.

”That shocked me, it really did,” Kimbrough said. ”I had lost a child; that was enough.”

She now awaits an appeal ruling from the higher courts in Alabama, which, if she loses, will see her begin a 10-year jail sentence. ”I’m just living one day at a time, looking after my three other kids,” she said. ”They say I’m a criminal – how do

I answer that? I’m a good mother.”

Women’s rights campaigners see the creeping criminalisation of pregnant women as a new front in the culture wars over abortion, in which conservative prosecutors are chipping away at hard-won freedoms by stretching protection laws to include foetuses, in some cases from the day of conception. In Gibbs’s case defence lawyers have argued before Mississippi’s highest court that her prosecution makes no sense. Under Mississippi law it is a crime for any person except the mother to try to cause an abortion.

”If it’s not a crime for a mother to intentionally end her pregnancy, how can it be a crime for her to do it unintentionally, whether by taking drugs or smoking or whatever it is,” Robert McDuff, a civil rights lawyer asked the state supreme court.

McDuff said he hoped the Gibbs prosecution was an isolated example. ”I hope it’s not a trend that’s going to catch on,” he said. ”To charge a woman with murder because of something she did during pregnancy is really unprecedented and quite extreme.”

Guardian News & Media

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/stillbirth-mum-up-for-murder-20110625-1gkhl.html

5. Luckynkl - June 26, 2011

What I don’t understand is abortion is legal in the U.S. and protected by federal law. States cannot overrule federal law. My guess is the American Taliban is going to extremes trying to get these cases before the Supreme Court so Roe v. Wade can be overturned.

Handmaid’s Tale, here we come!

But yes, knowing that men don’t do human maintenance, is there any other reason for men to want children other than to control women? Men discovered long ago that there is no better way to control women than through their children.

Mothers On Trial by Phyllis Chesler is a good read on this subject. The book is the result of an 8 year study Chesler conducted on how mothers are treated in this society by the public, the laws, and the courts. Fathers have rights. Mothers have no rights, only obligations. The bar is so high, that it’s impossible for any woman on the planet to achieve, making all mothers, bad mothers. It’s the opposite for men. The bar is so low as to be absurd.

Comparing it to the witch trials is very astute. Chesler goes into that as well. She posts actual transcripts from the witch trials. It’s disturbing, to say the least. Almost verbatim, the transcripts read the same for women in modern day courtrooms. I guess it worked so well for the boys in the 16th century, they never strayed from the script. Having been there, done that, I can tell you it really is like entering the Twilight Zone and being whisked back to the 16th century. It made my skin crawl. Did you ever have feelings of deja vu? Where you’re overwhelmed with feelings that you know someone or have been to that place before? That’s exactly what I experienced. The judge walked in. He looked at me and I looked at him. Our eyes locked in a dead stare. I knew him! From a time long past. He was a judge then too. His eyes narrowed in unbridled hatred. He recognized me too. I knew things would not go well for me. I wasn’t wrong. He just used the word lesbian instead of witch. Lesbian automatically means bad mother and evil woman. Witch, lesbian, mother, woman – it all means the same thing. The contempt they say it with leaves no doubt.

The judge couldn’t outright have me executed in modern times, of course. But he tried all the same, He ordered that I hand over my firearms to the dude I was bringing charges against so “he could finish the job.” A dude who got up on the stand and downright bragged about breaking into my house in the middle of the night and his violent assault, rape and battery. The judge acted as tho the dude said he went to the store to buy a gallon of milk. I pinched myself. Surely I must be having a nightmare? Unfortunately, I wasn’t. The judge was in favor of corrective rape, flogging and death for lesbians.

I appealed the decision and got another judge. He wasn’t much better. He gagged every woman in the courtroom. No woman was allowed to speak. The boys then proceeded to have themselves a weenie jerk.

Welcome to the sorry state of U.S. courtrooms these days. One can only wonder, have things ever really changed for women since the 16th century?

That was 6 years ago. Since then, things have only gotten worse for women, in leaps and bounds. Needless to say, I don’t give Casey Anthony’s case a snowball’s chance in hell.

FCM - June 26, 2011

wow lucky, your account of being in court in front of that judge…its chilling. i took a bus-tour of salem last summer and the tourguide showed us where some of the trials took place and where some of the judged lived…one thing that stayed with me (well besides all that) was that salem (the town) seems offended that they are still known for the witch trials. they would prefer if we forgot.

6. Luckynkl - June 27, 2011

Yes, the experience was eerie. Can’t say it’s the first time it’s happened tho. I’ve had visions since I was a young child. Sometimes they’re visions of the future. Other times they’re flashbacks from the past.

Tho I’ve been to Massachusetts numerous times, I’ve never been to Salem. Can’t say if the incident even took place there. I just remembered the judge. But I’m curious. Did you have any feelings of deja vu or experience any flashbacks when you visited Salem?

7. smash - June 27, 2011

Courtroom demonizes mothers once again in this case: http://www.alamosanews.com/v2_news_articles.php?heading=0&page=72&story_id=20906

It does sound as though Coddle’s mother was abusive. But why is her level of promiscuity relevant? Would her sexual activity be relevant if she were a male? I doubt it.

FCM - June 27, 2011

I don’t remember anything specific but the whole thing was eerie. And I meant “trolley tour” not bus tour. It was a beautiful summer day in an open trolley, touring the town that’s upset with people for remembering what they did there. It was troubling and bizarre, but I don’t remember any deja vu etc.

FCM - June 27, 2011

Surely there are descendents of at least the judges and prosecutors still there right? And probably of the executed women too? I wonder if they are all of the same mind when it comes to wishing selective amnesia on the rest of the world?

8. SheilaG - June 27, 2011

I wonder what the town of Salem would think about erasing the NAZI concentration camps from history. When women are killed, or when it’s an attack on women, somehow, it’s ok to “forget” that sordid past.

Had the NAZI only killed women, and not men as well, I can guarantee that history would be put in the erasure mill as well.

Erasure is a tactic of patriarchy, one of its primary weapons against women. So we want to erase all the 16th century trial info, because then we wouldn’t be able to see the same patterns today. And it is the oldest trick in the book for men to control women through children. Just look at liver lips personal history, his wife now a mother, what would happen to her and her child should this reprobate go back on his non-monogamous ways? Who would get punished and vilified in the courts? Why is this Casey Anthony all the rage, when we have men killing, raping women and children right and left? Where is the outrage against fathers who rape children?

9. cherryblossomlife - June 28, 2011

It’s only very recently that I started thinking ,”Hang on a minute, why was the massacre of the Jews the only war where women weren’t brutalized and raped by the military?”

Then I realized, of course Jewish women didn’t “escape” mass rape.
THe myopic directors making all the Hollocaust movies simply didn’t think it was important to include sex-specific atrocities in their films.. Their films are to show much men, alone, suffered.

Dworkin was Jewish, wasn’t she.Wasn’t she was one of the first people to put the jigsaw pieces together.

FCM - June 28, 2011

Yes, Dworkin was Jewish and I just read an article of hers where she goes to the holocaust museum (in dc?) and finds that they have completely erased the history of Jewish women in the holocaust. It’s chilling. And when I was first blogging I found something online about Jewish men raping Jewish women during the holocaust too, of course they did, or “bartered sex” for food, protection etc. But the fun fems shouted me down for mentioning it. I was shocked and confused at the time. LOL. But I’m not a newbie anymore obvs, and see that thus shit happens all the time. Both men’s actions and the fun fems response to it, and their response to radfems calling it out.


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