The Presence of Absence. An Illustration? April 13, 2013Posted by FCM in books!, health, news you can use, radical concepts, thats random.
Tags: food, gerda lerner, SCD, specific carbohydrate diet
in pure lust, mary daly talked about the presence of absence/absence of presence whereby women seem “present” in the foreground, but only as male-constructed fembots and handmaidens. in reality what we see of women in the media, the male identified/dominated/defined workplace, entertainment, our “representation” in the law etc is the complete absence of “female” or anything having anything to do with women at all.
notably, one thing “women” hawk constantly in the foreground is poop, and everything feces related. jokes on women! so you want to be an actor, or more specifically a working actor ay? how badly? will you literally talk about shit — scooping it, wiping it, dealing with the literal shit and filth of all of humanity and its pets too — even though male actors almost never have to talk about anything anywhere near as degrading, and women are specifically shamed for demonstrating nay possessing gastric function? thats what we thought.
i wont post actual videos, because there are so many, but see women talking about wiping their own and their familys asses here. cat poop. farts. it also seems as if there are a lot of women lately who cant poop at all or are otherwise suffering from “irregularity” for which there are consumerist remedies specifically targeting women. honestly, if you ever see a male commercial actor talking about
shit, or more specifically wiping it, scooping it, or improving upon it, its an aberration and not the norm. so while i think there are several things going on here, including deliberately humiliating female actors (hey, at least its not porn, right? right? right? right?) and normalizing and degrading womens role as the shitkeepers of humanity, there is probably a whole vein worth excavating in a presence-of-absence sense. meaning, we see a lot about women and poop. therefore, we can probably assume what we are seeing is the absence of women and womens truth about it. we see a lot about women and “sex” too, but thats another post. from like 2 years ago. 🙂
walk with me. i am currently reading gerda lerners 2-part “the creation of patriarchy.” in part one, she provides a thorough history lesson and concludes that patriarchy — institutionalized male dominance and female submission to male rule — has been around for about 5000 years. it was modeled after the widespread miniature, private patriarchies of the male-headed household which existed even longer. this means that women have been dominated by men for a long, long time. and the institution of slavery itself was modeled after mens oppression of women. womens oppression predated it. and women were the first slaves too — knowing how to control their own women (via rape) and utilize their unpaid sexual, domestic and reproductive services, conquering males first enslaved enemy women and killed enemy men. men they didnt know how to enslave. men developed tactics to enslave enemy men, but that came later.
interestingly, the conditions that make institutionalized slavery possible include food surpluses — slavery “seldom if ever occurs in hunter/gatherer societies but appears in widely separated regions and periods with the advent of pastoralism (animal husbandry), and later agriculture, urbanization and state formation.” slavery does not predate agriculture — it came later. to the extent that women were ever free, their freedom predated slavery — by how many years i dont know. but after slavery (and agriculture) women were never free. this is one of the conclusions i have gleaned from this book, although there are others.
now. i have recently had cause to examine an essentially pre-agricultural diet. it seems that people with various digestive issues, including serious and even potentially life-threatening diagnoses such as crohns and celiac disease, are helped with a diet devoid of grains, lactose (milk) and sugar. symptoms of crohns and celiac include gastric complaints such as chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas, and malabsorption/malnutrition which causes osteoporosis among other things. (think: poop and problems associated with poop). advocates of this diet call it variations of the “what our ancestors ate” diet — to the extent it is possible to currently do this, and this is not an insignificant qualifier, it may in fact be largely if not fully impossible at this juncture — adherents only eat (approximations of) what was likely available pre-agriculture. which means meat, berries, and some fruits and vegetables, but which notably excludes grains. one variation includes dairy but excludes most non-grain starches as well as lactose (hard cheese and 24-hour fermented yogurt are acceptable).
anyway, heres my point. for months now, i have been aware that if women were ever free, this was a long long time ago — and that the materials and activities in *my* daily life do not mirror theirs at all. i literally have no idea what its like to be free, because i am not free, but i am also not privy to the everyday experiences and sensations of free women. all the experiences and sensations i do have are *only* shared between myself and other women who are oppressed. feeling the seat and steering wheel as i sit in a car. feeling my feet on cement. that kind of thing.
in order to experience a sensation, any sensation that was likely also experienced by free women, so that i might feel part of what it felt like to be free i have tried to walk on a dirt path wherever possible. i have gone outside at night and looked up. i pick up rocks and branches and smell them. these sights, sounds, smells are something that free women experienced, and i want to experience them too. to the extent that sensations lead to thoughts, i want to know what free women thought. to the extent that sensations evoke memory, i want to remember what free women remembered. and to the extent that feeling my ass in a car or my hands on a plastic container (and other things) lead to thoughts and evoke memories shared *only* by oppressed women and slaves, and they could do nothing else, i do not want to experience those things anymore at all. its surely no coincidence that its going to be exceptionally difficult if not impossible to do this completely.
but right in the middle of this sensory experiment i have been conducting, i received this detailed historical lesson about agriculture, and concluded that if women were ever free, it was never in an agricultural context. and i actually wondered if it would be possible to eat a pre-agricultural diet in order to cultivate a shared dietary experience. the answer, really, is NO, although the internet explains how you can get as close to that as possible. but i also began to wonder, to the extent that women are experiencing this, and perhaps especially to the extent that a (modified) pre-agricultural diet alleviates or cures it, are womens “tummy troubles” (poop problems) their bodies literally rejecting patriarchy and the conditions of their own oppression and slavery? because stranger (equally strange?) things have happened. see depression.
that is all.