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On Intentionality. Or, What Is It For = What Does It Do? September 25, 2012

Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, feminisms, gender roles, logic, radical concepts.
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there exists a tendency in various discourses to insist — and to theorize from this place — that patriarchy is just some grand mistake, or misunderstanding.  the evidence on which this conclusion is based is never quite spelled out, and in fact does not appear to exist, as it flies in the face of the actual, real evidence.  which leaves its adherents with essentially the status of cult-members, does it not?  more on that below.  so, the mistake-believers (or “cultists”) tend to advocate “educating” men and anti feminist women to induce feminist change, or they insist that, just as women arent naturally fuckholes and slaves for men, that men also are not naturally dick-sticker-inners or sexual, reproductive and domestic slaveowners.  the poor male babies!  they are just mistaken, you see.  misguided.  acted-upon.  its not their fault.  because reasons, which have nothing to do with intentionality (or design).

now, im not saying than men are or arent naturally anything, behaviorally speaking — who can prove that afterall?  i am saying that its highly probable that womens twisted, victimized servitude (or “femininity” if you will) isnt our natural state.  let us feminists concentrate on women for a moment, shall we — we feel this dissonance, this incongruousness strongly, and indeed the evidence would suggest that, because women as a sexual class hold neither the power nor the resources to build a local, regional or global culture that reflects ourselves back to us, that our culture does not, in fact, reflect ourselves back to us.

the fuckholeness, the servitude is not *us*.  while currently impossible to prove, we speculate that this is true.  but it is not baseless speculation — the evidence suggests we are right.  the evidence of our lack of power and resources to create something reflective of or congruous with *us* being, well, our actual lack of those things.

the same cannot be said of men of course, and whether or not “culture” (lets just say patriarchy instead of culture, shall we, its the same damn thing) is reflective of mens values, tendencies, preferences and solutions.  they created it, afterall.   in fact, in the case of men, the evidence would tend to show the opposite of what it shows for women — that its in fact highly probable that mens violent, destructive and dominant “role” is their natural state, or reflective of men on whatever level.  that patriarchy does reflect mens values, tendencies, preferences and solutions.  that patriarchy — and the utter destruction, degradation and decimation of women and of pretty much everything for that matter — is congruent with mens Z.  if you dont like the word “nature” then dont use it.  call it Z, or green eggs and ham for all i care.  or refer to it by its elements (values/tendencies/preferences/solutions).  it doesnt change what it is.

now, i would like to propose a thought exercise to highlight the difference between intentionality and coincidence.  “coincidence” connotes “unintentionality” or unrelated by cause or effect.  mary daly talked about causation and intentionality (we discussed it here and here) where she noted that, once an outcome is known, any continuance to produce that outcome is intentional.  “unintentional” pregnancy — within the PIV-as-sex paradigm — might be the most obvious (its also a reversal).  daly chose to talk about men surgically lobotomizing women, knowing that the surgery removed all of womens creativity and made them good housekeepers.  the “psychosurgeons” can, did (and do) wax poetic all day about lobotomizing women as a “cure” for this, that and the other, but it cannot be denied that they were intentionally creating brain damaged fembots to clean house and be compliant semen receptacles for men.  if they didnt like or want that outcome, they wouldve stopped doing it.

so regarding intentionality versus coincidence…think “kitchen gadgets” for starters.  does anyone think this is a coincidence?  lots of people need to open cans, and coincidentally, a handheld device appears with two rotary cutting blades that neatly accomplishes that very thing?


or, was it intentional?

or…take a look at this.  assuming you recognize it as a garment, (it could also be used for other things i suppose) through simple observation of this objects physical characteristics, you get a very good idea about some of the physical characteristics of its intended user:

how many fingers do i have?

please dont tell me this was a mistake mkay? im not hearing it.

now, objects might be a bit different from systems.  so lets go there.  some systems “just exist” like some objects “just exist” and they dont really do anything.  like a rock exists of its own accord, without being a specifically functional object some systems just “exist”.  sometimes you just make observations about what they do, like this:

the solar system

its not really “for” anything, or anything that we know about, it just *is*.  and no, i would not say that this is a life support system for humans, even though it functions as one.  like a rock isnt a hammer exactly…

some systems just “exist” (naturally) and you make observations about what they do, and from that, you can also make conclusions about what they are for, like this:

the respiratory system. what it does *is* what its for.

what it does = oxygenates the bloodstream.  whats its for = oxygenating the bloodstream.  in the case of the human respiratory system, these things are the same.  like the solar system, its a functional design — but one that works toward an ends, rather than merely staying out of its own way?

some systems are created by people (men, more specifically).  like all systems, these systems do stuff.  and like *some* systems created by nature, *all* systems created by humans were created for stuff.  to solve a problem, or fulfill a need.  like this:

the US highway system. gets you from here to there usu. via terrestrial vehicle (or walking, to a lesser extent).

it seems that systems that were created by humans do stuff “because reasons” that have everything, actually, to do with intentionality.  what they do = what they are for.  otherwise, why bother?

so if we agree that patriarchy is a system, (is it?) created by humans, (it was, if men are considered human) if we want to know what its for, and to consider issues of intentionality, functionality and design, the question we have to ask ourselves about patriarchy, i guess, is what does it do?  acknowledge what it does, and you will know what it is for.  and that its not a mistake (far from it) and that it *probably* adheres to certain physical realities as well.  think: glove.  or…skyscraper?

i maximize rental income for the property owner, among other things.

and note, for example, that the US highway system is built horizontally and adheres to physical principles, and isnt made of gallons and gallons of chocolate pudding.  because reasons.

it also occurs to me that the solar system is essentialist.  it just *is*.  and that patriarchy — while still a system — is more like the US highway system than it is like the solar system.

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24-Hour Menergy January 12, 2011

Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, PIV.
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i am currently reading mary dalys “quintessence” which is the last in a trilogy “describing the Metapatriarchal Journey of Excorcism and Ecstasy.”  (her words).  gyn/ecology and pure lust preceded quintessence, and i havent read either of them yet.  since she plays around with the ideas of time and space, and points out that radical feminist work is both timeless and boundless, i dont think she would mind my reading them out of order.  she might even think it was funny?  i dont know.  her internal dialogue seems to be a track of constant laughter.  which takes some getting used to, since she tackles the most gruesome of subject matter, like all radical feminists do.  you can tell when the laughter is perverse, and hers isnt.  sonia once commented here that reading daly was like being wrapped in a warm blanket.

in quintessence, among other things, daly discusses energy, and intent.  regarding energy, she notes that we are literally surrounded by man-made energy at every moment of every day: the magnetic and electrical energies of technology, like radar, for example, which is apparently bounced off of every square inch of the earth, once an hour, by military and other satellites which store the data as images to be downloaded later.  i have personally viewed the street where i grew up on google earth, as well as every home i have lived in since, so this isnt really a surprise.  for anyone who isnt convinced, she quotes an actual man who can confirm this is true.  (she advocates using phallocentric authors as a springboard for radical feminist work, where applicable.)

regarding intent, she mentions the practice of surgical lobotomy, which was performed on thousands of women mere decades ago, with the surgeons themselves concluding after followup with lobotomized women that the procedure made these mutilated women “good housekeepers.”  and they continued to do it to even more women, after that.  interestingly, this is where the end-result becomes the intent, if it wasnt already.  even assuming they werent really sure what was going to happen in lobotomized patients in the beginning, once they recorded that the result was, in fact, to completely destroy womens “wildness and creativity” and they still did it to even more women, its obvious that AT SOME POINT, this is exactly what they wanted to happen.  (kinda like inflicting physical harm and trauma-bonding from PIV.  but i digress).  and that this “intent” (to destroy women) is exactly the intent of patriarchy, as a whole.

so, after reading this during the day, i was driving home and realizing the obvious, that mens energy is literally all around us, at all times, and not just radar from military satellites.  men built the roads and bridges.  men built the cars.  men built the signs and hung the wires.  men are literally patrolling the streets, every nook and cranny in fact, and keeping the order.  everything is permeated with maleness, and literally (literally!) embodying male energy: if men put their energy into creating a bridge, their energy is still there.  heres what wiki has to say about the relationship between potential and kinetic energy, which seems to be applicable here:

The action of stretching [a] spring or lifting [a] mass requires energy to perform. The energy that went into lifting up the mass is stored in its position in the gravitational field, while similarly, the energy it took to stretch the spring is stored in the metal. According to the law of conservation of energy, energy cannot be created or destroyed; hence this energy cannot disappear. Instead, it is stored as potential energy. If the spring is released or the mass is dropped, this stored energy will be converted into kinetic energy by the restoring force, which is elasticity in the case of the spring, and gravity in the case of the mass. Think of a roller coaster. When the coaster climbs a hill it has potential energy. At the very top of the hill is its maximum potential energy. When the car speeds down the hill potential energy turns into kinetic. Kinetic energy is greatest at the bottom.

bolds mine.  now, i am not talking about “male energy” necessarily.  (i am not an evil essenshul-ist afterall!)  realizing that its “mens energy” i think is good enough.  and when one considers mens intentions, always, the fact that mens energy literally built every artificial structure and every piece of technology and every everything, the possibility that they have left some kind of mark on everything becomes even more compelling.  i mean really.  what were these men thinking, when they were building the bridge?  what were they thinking, when they built the signs, and paved the streets, and hung the wires?  what motivated them to do it?  (ie. what was their intent?)  what motivated them to even get out of bed that day, and what were they expecting to happen that night, and the next day, and the next week, and the next year, and for the rest of their lives?  of course, the chances that their intent exactly mirrored the intent of patriarchy are high.  in fact, we can probably take it as a given.

so.  the fact that men built literally everything, and that mens energy (and the intent driving them to expend it?) is literally stored, everywhere, is known.  it isnt a variable, its a given.  that parts easy.  the next question i guess is “does it matter?”  and i am starting to think that it probably does.