Hate Speech July 12, 2012Posted by FCM in books!, pop culture.
Tags: joanna russ, the female man
how many times as a radical feminist blogger am i going to have to hear a woman reader respond to my (or any, or all) radfem work thusly: i have a male child, how do i reconcile that fact with what i have just read?
the woman doesnt disagree with what shes just read, she isnt confused by it either, she just cannot reconcile it with the fact that she has a male child, as if that has a single goddamned thing to do with whether radical feminists are right or wrong. frighteningly, the truth is not the issue: mothers of boy children are struggling to accept radical feminist observations and theorizing about boys and men independently of their assessment of the truth or falsehood of our observations and theorizing. that is to say, something being demonstrably true is not enough for that thing to be accepted into these womens worldview.
the truth is not enough, when you are a mother to a boy child.
this is an enormous problem, and its not just women struggling with radical feminism. mothers of boy children frequently struggle with reality in general, since the reality about boys and men is often that they are violent, sexual predators. like this mother, who said, as her son was being led off to begin his prison sentence for possessing the documentary evidence of children being raped by men which he apparently found not inconsistent with his own values and worldview i mean child pornography: This is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening.
that mother ended up being an activist for male sex offenders. an activist. for. male sex offenders. not against. handmaiden of the patriarchy much? also, activist? really? that strains the very spirit of the concept if not the letter of it. she is also spending her own time, energy, money, and self, every moment and calorie and penny of each, and her female self, on making the world a better place for male sex offenders, and a worse place for herself, and girls and women.
to these women who already have boy children, and are struggling with the obvious conflicts of interest that creates, i am sorry to say it, but it might be too late for you in some, many or even all ways. you are in very, very deep. this is deliberate, of course, and a fine way to make sure that women are so internally and externally conflicted that they cannot even accept the truth into their worldview. the truth is irrelevant. (but if the truth doesnt inform your worldview, what does? this is not a rhetorical question).
the truth. is irrelevant. the truth. is irrelevant. whats the definition of “delusion” again? this problem is huge.
radical feminist science fiction addresses the issue and envisions a future world different from this one: for example, joanna russ’s “the female man” presents one possible future where there have been no men around for 800 years, and where mothers and their children — genetic descendents of two mothers — spend the first 5 years of the child’s life together then are separated. i thought that was interesting, because there will certainly be mothers who do not want to be separated from their daughters and would probably fight russ on that. its russ’s vision, cannot she be allowed to have it, even if its not ideal, or even if its wrong? at least its different. i liked that she didnt not-publish the book just because her vision for the future was somewhat harsh, or (arguably) lacking.
i think, in order to imagine a future without patriarchy, we have to be willing to imagine a future where there are no people at all.* if we decide that its worth it to have people survive, and if women can figure out how to do this outside of patriarchal constraints — including patriarchal reproductive technologies obviously — then we will need to decide what that looks like, and what we are able and willing to do (and what we arent). honestly, doing it the other way — where we have to consider culling the herd of existing or even potential males — might just be too hard. its also a derail, of the “what about the men” variety.
* “because its not consistent with propagation of the species” is not feminist analysis. its not.