A Red Umbrella for Visual Impact September 10, 2012Posted by FCM in gender roles, logic, pop culture, porn, radical concepts, rape.
Tags: essentialism, male violence
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:
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.