Pure Lust (Part 3) September 19, 2011Posted by FCM in books!, politics, self-identified feminist men, trans.
Tags: mary daly, pure lust
ive finally (finally!) finished reading mary daly’s “pure lust.” ive written previously about male-identifying women and naming the agent (parts 1 and 2, respectively). i am apparently reading her books in the opposite order in which she wrote them, but thats okay: she tells us that “the direction of the Journey is not linear, but spiraling, [so] new Voyagers may join at any point.” we previously discussed “quintessence” here and here.
women arent supposed to be female-identified or female-identifying under patriarchy — this means they are supposed to identify with and be supportive of men and male institutions and perceptions in every way, all the time. part of this is not naming the agent of womens suffering — namely men, and mens institutions and men individually too. male-identified women who refuse to name men as the agent of harm are also expected to reserve “touching” and being touched — physically, emotionally and psychically — to being touched by men. thus, the taboo against lesbianism for women includes physical and sexual touching, yes, but it also includes women emotionally and psychically “touching” each other too.
one way we are monitored and maintained in this no-touch-zone is by the refusal of female-only space. even the space normally filled by ones own shadow is filled with maleness, when you are a woman: theres always a man there, they follow us in the street. women partnered with men sleep and lie awake with men at their backs (the presence of absence). single women who sleep alone sleep with absent men. men who arent there and never were are “absentee” but men and maleness are always there. to recognize the state of no-men as “mens absence” at all is to recognize that the entire world belongs to men, and none of it belongs to us.
disallowed from “touching” each other or even knowing ourselves (especially after having been subjected to PIV and PIV-centric sex) patriarchy separates women from our selves and from each other, and partners us all with men. the partnering is literal and more literal. maleness permeates everything. and one thing men love (which is obvious because they keep creating it) is death. on a global scale. another is womens incalculable suffering.
womens “separatism” under patriarchy, then, is a reversal in terms: we have already been separated. women “separatists” seek to separate women from the causes of our fragmentation and to separate us from that which has already separated us from our selves and each other, and from our female-identified ingenuity and creativity. we seek to make ourselves whole again, and to sweep the shit and grit from the corners and spray the place down of its
maleness death on a global scale and incalculable female suffering because it is everywhere. its in our minds too, and we need a place to contemplate this so that we can locate it and remove it. this is not an end in itself: we are not exterminationists afterall. (thats mens job). and most of us dont particularly like to clean (sorry teh menz!) and its not a ritual cleansing, either. no. this is in preparation for spinning true female-centered creative thought. its not just male-free space we need, its what we do with it once we get there.
men might pretend they dont know this is what we are doing, and pretend its about “excluding them” and that its about them at all, but their adamance that we not do it belies this. their adamance that we do not do this particular thing, this thing especially is because women not accessing female-centered female-identified creativity, contemplation and making contextual connections and weaving new context for ourselves, is central to what men are trying to do. for women to do these things is antithetical to what men are trying to do and are doing. and what men are doing is…death, on a global scale. and womens incalculable suffering (which includes soulcrushing boredom BTW). clearly, this is intentional on their part, because they keep doing it.
men dont care, really, that what women separatists are doing together in the woods, in our front rooms, online, might exterminate men: men kill each other all the time, who cares about that? obviously not them. their right to cause and their actually causing death on a global scale is what they are trying to protect. them, being the cause of womens incalculable suffering, including our soulcrushing boredom, is whats at stake, if women are allowed to separate ourselves from men. on others they will not give up easily. on this one, they will not give up at all.
mary daly, of course, reminds us that some of us have managed and will manage to do it anyway. she doesnt even talk about men, but to name them and expose what they do. she talks about women and how when we create and protect our women-only-space and move beyond embedded patriarchal patterns, to whatever degree we can, the “leaps of transformation” and female-centered energy women create when they are doing this alone (and particularly together) are contagious: the context that is created expands and lingers, so that its there for the next woman and the next. the context is vibrant, and encourages leaps of thought — “spinning” beyond patriarchal thought into metapatriarchal consciousness. feminist thought, in other words. (heres an interview* where the interviewer keeps trying to get her to talk about “men” and “gender” and male-defined spirituality and she keeps refusing to do it, and keeps coming instantly back around to women. its amazing.)
this is where we envision (and create?) our new woman-centered reality. in these spaces and in these moments of metapatriarchal thought and creativity, we can see and feel ourselves being free(d) and we arent wincing at mens whinging or bored with their repetitiveness. they are dead wood. which (since this seems to be the issue of the day) kind of begs the question: what if feminist “spinning” isnt the goal? can we have men in the room (and in our heads) if we want to do other things? like…organizing and politicking within patriarchal structures and within male-centered reality? like enacting legal reforms for example? i guess so, if you can manage to mitigate the potential and actual physical harm to women of men being there. never leave your drink unattended, and walk in groups to your cars when its over, that kind of thing.
but this kind of organizing within patriarchy, and not meta-patriarchally, is quite another thing, isnt it, than feminist spinning. for feminist spinning to occur, women need to talk to each other, and take leaps with and because of each other, in women-only space. thats what these blogs are, and its why we have gotten so much work done these last few years. so with that, i would like to thank everyone who has been involved in these discussions, and those who continue to be a part of this: weaving women-centered context and spinning ideas and envisioning — creating? — a real future for us all. without knowing “what” we were doing at the time, being without words for it but knowing it was happening and feeling it (mary names it) i have experienced this. we have done this and we are doing it. the context and movement we have created is real.
*seriously though — read the interview. its amazing.