A 10,000-Year War? Not Likely. July 16, 2013Posted by FCM in feminisms, meta, radical concepts, rape, self-identified feminist men.
Tags: language, metaphors, natural disasters, rape, war
the global subjugation of women throughout historical time (and probably since before even that) is kind of its own thing, is it not? the worldwide oppression of women as a sexual class by men as a sexual class — 3.5 billion of each by now — is simply unprecedented, and unsurprisingly we find ourselves mostly without the words to describe this. we do the best we can, invoking metaphors. in the case of the global oppression of women by men that transcends time, we have used “war” as a metaphor (and had it pushed on us) but is this apt? im thinking its probably not.
women are a non-entity in the war-model or are its sexy-funtime/spoils. we are “collateral damage” even where we are more maimed and more killed than the men fighting it, by the men fighting it — besides, women get it with both barrels whether “our side” has won or lost. peace, war — these concepts are largely meaningless to us, where both war and peace are (traditionally) political, and follow mens laws. all mens laws, including the one that says that men have a right to oppress women globally, that they can rape and murder us for any reason or no reason, and do so with impunity, and that they need never stop. in war, even if we’ve won, we’ve lost. is this where we want to begin thinking about liberating ourselves from male dominance? i think not.
also, a 10,000-year war? really?
since we (i guess?) need a metaphor to describe/conceptualize/realize womens oppression by men, since there are no words, can we at least pick a better one? lets try. firstly, anything evoking/invoking mens laws is right out, where mens overarching law is that women shall not be free of men ever, and we shall always be subjugated and oppressed no matter what. so what else is there? natural law i guess — this is where there is no distinction made between “power” and “founded claim of right to exercise it.” cause and natural, necessary effect. like when its raining so hard you literally cant see, so you *cant* go outside, if only for a few minutes at a time; or *if* you do go, your decision is adjudicated by a natural authority to have been poor, or even very poor. this is the best example i can come up with at the moment, although there are most certainly others.
so does nature offer us a model/metaphor that makes more sense than the war-one, and where we actually have a shot at surviving/thriving? note that i did not say winning — thats war-talk. as some of you probably know, ive been working with the “natural disaster” model for a while now. and i think it fits. now, im not saying anything about whether mens global oppression of women is natural, like a hurricane is natural, although if i did address it i would suggest that its more or less “natural” for them, but wholly unnatural for us. or, maybe its “natural” in the exact same way that natural disasters are natural actually — because over time, through exercising known male propensities which transcend time and place (and therefore, social conditioning) such as shameless greed, outrageous arrogance, and constant attempts to overpower and outsmart nature mens infrastructure, isnt. the inevitable occurs (a tsunami; semen exposure causing pregnancy) and women, children and indeed everything dies (homes built too close to the sea; global overpopulation/maternal mortality). yes that sounds about right!
anyhoo, the thing about using metaphors for womens global oppression by men is that they are being used to describe a political reality, and therefore implicate political strategy. dont they? if we use “war” this implicates allies, winning/losing and importantly, fighting/mortal combat where numerous casualties are expected; in the case of mens (10,000 year!!! at least!!!) war on women, women are also expected to continue to engage with men apparently indefinitely, and voluntarily place ourselves in harms way apparently forever. even as we know that men feed off womens attention and gynergy, and that they would likely (or absolutely, in the case of male children) die without it. that cant be good.
whereas in the case of natural disasters (or man-made disasters due to mens necrophilia and foreseeable failures of man-made infrastructure) and surviving natural disasters, the strategy implicated is notably and demonstrably different. among other things, the immediate response to natural disasters by people who are actually there (not the government obviously) are necessarily swift; they are regional, localized or even hyper-localized/individualized out of necessity and reasonableness (and instinct); and narrowly-tailored to fit the circumstances. importantly, in the midst of a natural disaster, no one can tell you what to do, and you would be a fool to wait around for it anyway because emergency, and because they arent there to even know whats happening to you — you are.
only you know exactly what is going down on the ground wherever you are, and what you need to do to
fix survive it, including getting the hell out of the way, and the wise and natural thing and indeed the only thing to do in this situation is to “save yourself” and those physically close to you/within arms reach. and these are not individual solutions in a pomo or choosy-choice way. under a natural disaster model, there are very few choices actually, and little individualism for that matter — it is you responding to the collective reality in the place you are. here, instinct, imminence, necessity and survival carry the day. and anyone suggesting *that* is pomo garbage is selling something.
of course, i am aware that for women, the biggest problem in the aftermath of a natural disaster/failure of mens infrastructure is men, and male violence and sexualized violence. its the same problem with the war-model actually, only the war-model offers no solution and no hope to that particular problem, being that rape is built-in to the war-model as mens recreation and reward, and as a male strategy and indeed a male objective of war as a matter of fact. whereas getting the hell out of the way, and utilizing instinct and survival (not combat) skills offers the possibility of another outcome.
Thanks, Dickwads April 30, 2012Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, entertainment, liberal dickwads, news you can use, pop culture.
Tags: innuendo, language, Riverhead Books, royal society of arts, rsa animate, Steven Johnson, steven pinker, Technology, where good ideas come from
mary daly reported that she often used phallocentric ideas and works as a springboard for her own work. no reason to reinvent the wheel afterall, and phallocentric works are literally everywhere. it would be difficult to even have a springboard in fact if you werent going to use men’s work for this purpose, seeing as how women were only allowed to learn to read and write very recently (and in many places, still arent).
so, to that end, i present these videos. left on youtube as anthropologic evidence of male supremacy and rape-culture, but now also being used to illustrate the following radical feminist points:
1. radfem writing and blogging is important. not just “womens” writing and not just “feminist” writing but radical feminist writing specifically is important, and will be useful in challenging male supremacy, assuming that what works for men will work for us too. granted, its a pretty big assumption and may be incorrect. either way, it says something interesting about our plight; and either way, it supports us in doing it, in case any of us were wondering whether there is any reason to believe, any reason at all, that radical feminist blogging might help.
why? because explicit language is known to create mutual knowledge, and mutual knowledge creates collective power to challenge dominance, and this dynamic is known and documented. and radical feminists use explicit language. radical feminists specifically do not pull our punches, and we do not use euphemisms to talk about what we mean. we do not call intercourse “sex” for example, and we do not call male violence against women “violence” or “crime” or mutual combat or domestic discord or heated arguments. we are the only ones who do this. and while it is important that all women, any women are allowed to add theirs to the “marketplace of ideas” what radical feminists in particular are doing holds promise for creating collective power and challenging dominance (under patriarchy, this means collective female power to challenge male supremacy). because of our explicit language. according to dickwad video #1, anyway!
BTW the good stuff starts at 7:48. everything up to there is egregious rape-apologism and blaming women for rape, when men lie to us with the specific intent to isolate us and commit rape. i told you he was a dickwad.
2. women-only spaces are important and necessary to challenging male supremacy. according to the second video, “good ideas” come from hunches colliding with other hunches, and this occurs when people interact with other people and their ideas play off each other. this does not happen in isolation as frequently or efficiently as it does in shared spaces where people talk freely about their ideas and share knowledge. and again, women who are having “hunches” and ideas of the radfem kind are going to help each other incubate and birth “good ideas” of the radfem kind. this dynamic has particular significance to radical women, and radical spaces.
and i guess there is a third point being illustrated here.
3. misogynists and male-supremacists will be particularly motivated to wipe radical feminist writing and radical spaces from the face of the earth. the import of explicit language and idea-sharing is common knowledge among men, and this knowledge is passed among men through various media like youtube. they know these dynamics exist and their potential for challenging dominance and generating good and even revolutionary ideas. the fact that they are trying specifically to destroy radical feminist writing logically follows, and their acts in furtherance of that are not unconsidered or random.
even if radical feminist writing and spaces wont work for us because the rules are different for us, misogynist men are showing us, by attacking us, that they see what we are doing and *they* have every reason in the world to believe that it might actually work. we are doing what they have always done, and their expectation (and fear) is that its going to work for us like its worked for them.
they might be wrong about that of course, as they constantly deny that the rules are different for us than they are for themselves, because patriarchy. but as is frequently the case, their response tells us quite a bit about them, and whats motivating them. for example, that their response is to attempt to destroy us tells us that they are, in fact, the dominant class, and they are demonstrating that they know it: assuming that these dynamics exist, and they know these dynamics exist — and according to them, they do — only a dominant class which was cognizant of its own dominance would have reason to behave as they are behaving. their denial that patriarchy exists, that they benefit from it and any plausible deniability that they know about all of it — ie. its deliberate — are thoroughly debunked.
thanks to these videos and the dickwads who aired them in public, we now have some information and context that we can consider, and decide to do something with it or not. of course, in the case of the first video, we had to sit through 7:47 of rape-culture to get there. interesting, that. its
almost exactly as if we were supposed to dissociate due to the rape-references and stop listening before he said anything that might be helpful to us.
Words On Words April 23, 2011Posted by FCM in books!, meta, politics, porn, prostitution, rape.
Tags: dworkin, language, life and death, radiolab
this is a video and a radiolab podcast about words, and how language literally shapes and organizes our experience of the world. the podcast is an hour long but its worth a listen, and it includes a few segments that are all very interesting. dont mind the horrible bagpipe intermission, its not the end! it keeps going! the video i wasnt that impressed with, but it did get me in the mood to talk about words. oh, and i havent read dale spenders “man-made language” yet, but i am sure its relevant to the discussion.
anyway, lets start with the video. i didnt like it. at best, i think its a nice collection of images…but these images arent connected, in any way, except by language. which is actually very boring isnt it? these images, when organized only by the words identifying them, do not convey ideas, or thoughts, in a coherent way. actually, i think the video illustrates how arbitrary words really are. they dont convey much information at all, until you put them in order, and in a way that makes sense to other people. words dont even identify things very well, in the absence of context, but at the very least words should be expected to do that much shouldnt they? to name things? i mean really.
a “fly” that flies around your house, and the zippered “fly” in your jeans have nothing in common, and they are not even identified well at all by their own names, which i find bizarre. in context, where we add-in our preexisting knowledge about how the world works, and where flies are known to fly, the flying-flies seem properly named…but do flies fly in every language? are oranges “orange” in any other language, besides english? the pictures show way more than the words do, as far as identification goes. (i guess thats the whole “worth a thousand words” bit ay?)
but apparently, as inadequate as they might be, words and language are absolutely critical to the way our brains interpret the world. if you listen to the podcast, in the first 10 minutes or so, we hear about an experiment done on rats (and humans) that indicates that something happens to “islands of thought” that exist in your brain, when you develop language. in humans, we have islands of thought such as “color” and “direction” that dont interact with each other at all, until we are about 6 years old. before that, we cannot conceptualize the phrase “left of the blue wall.” after that, we can. and apparently, if you wake up one day having a stroke, having lost your language skills and therefore the ability to verbally conceptualize “its morning and the sun is shining” and instead just experience it without verbalizing it in your mind-chatter, you feel absolute, unmitigated joy. interesting!
now, being that language is so important to everyones interpretation and experience of the world, and of ourselves, we could probably also talk about the effects on all of us, where misogynist men made up language, and where every single commonly used word in every language was created from a perspective of male-centrism, and misogynistic woman-hate. couldnt we? i mean…this cant be good can it? unfortunately, stuff about brains and cognitive development is above my pay grade, and i dont even have anything coherent to say about it (maybe someone else does?)
luckily, there are other things to say about words. dworkin frequently wrote about them, and how important they are in many contexts. regarding naming, she writes in her anthology “life and death” about the murder of nicole brown simpson:
certainly, calling wife-beating “domestic discord” is problematic. but if naming anything, even flies, is meaningless without context, what kind of an uphill battle do women face in naming the abuse they suffer, at the hands of men? the context of womens lives is violence, but womens context is not the context anyone cares about. for all intents and purposes, we are all living in a male-centric context, where husbands dont kill you (because men only have wives, DUH!) and where women who are killed by their husbands are invisible (thats the whole point of hiding the body…isnt it fun to look at the world through mens eyes? NOT!) its the context that gives these things meaning. and we are all living in a male-centric, pornified nightmare. and doing so, as men. ie. none of this hurts. that is our context.
now, dworkin also notes that its been her strategy as a writer to use words not to describe emotion, but to evoke it. to use words that resonate with the subject matter she is writing about, and not just explain it:
and andrea dworkin was a skilled writer, for sure. but she didnt make this up: it is, in fact, possible to use language in a way that it resonates with your subject matter. so that the vibration of the word is the same as or similar to the vibration of whatever you are discussing. to use words to evoke an emotion, an experience, and not just a two-dimensional image in the readers mind (or nothing at all). it is possible to do this.
so. being that this is the case, why doesnt the word “rape” evoke red and black suffocating death, for everyone? why doesnt the word “sex” cause your stomach to turn inside out and evoke a sense of obligation, foreboding and terror, for everyone? i mean the actual words? why not? if we can call an orange fruit “orange” why cant we call child sexual abuse what it really looks like? if we can call a flying insect “fly” why cant we call PIV what it does? men made up these words, and not only are they not evocative of anything (unless youve experienced them) the context in which they are spoken is the context of porn. the POV kind, where we are all men. in other words, its all extremely sexxxay, and doesnt hurt *us* at all, so who cares?
interestingly, one common side-effect of being violently sexually abused is that you lose your ability to speak. to use words. and its interesting, isnt it, that a narrative is required in these situations, if the harm is ever to be acknowledged and addressed? something more…wordy? wordish? word-ly? than say, “she spent the weekend at her fathers and shes never been the same.” no, thats not even close to being good enough. i have heard about this muteness-problem more than once, and dworkin has written about it too, for example, where she herself was terribly sexually abused after being arrested at an anti-war protest when she was 18:
men must know, mustnt they, that the forseeable outcome of sexual abuse is to render the victims mute. and yet they require that we talk about it, using words that describe it (rather than evoke it) if we are ever going to satisfactorily “report it.” to them. and ultimately, even when we can speak, no matter what has happened to us, being that we are women, living in a male-centric world, where the male POV is the only POV, we have a credibility problem.
so, being that the verbal deck is so stacked against women, and specifically against women speaking about the sexual abuse we suffer at the hands of men, will words ever be useful to us? if so, how?
again, in “life and death” dworkin reports what she decided to do. i read it three times. from the essay “my life as a writer”:
overcoming muteness, using words that resonated with her subject matter, and that were stronger and more terrifying than whatever she was talking about. words…and strategy. word!
Sorry, Anti-Feminists: There’s No Such Thing as Misandry August 30, 2009Posted by FCM in authors picks, liberal dickwads, MRAs, pop culture, sorry!.
Tags: anti feminists, epistemology, language, misandry, misogyny
its a modern, made-up word that makes you look stupid. and its misogynist as fuck. so stop using it.
“misandry” is a word that doesnt represent any real thing, a kind of a placeholder in our consciousness for an experience that does not, and indeed cannot, exist. so why have i been accused of perpetrating it about a million times in the last month?
i have come to see the word “misandry” as a euphemism for feminism, and “misandrist” as a euphemism for feminist, rather than anything that actually exists in real life, to any troubling degree, or in any meaningful way. while anti-feminists and misogynists bandy the terms about with glee, in reality, its just another flaccid jab at feminism, and feminists, by privileged men whose perverse denial of reality leads them to believe (or pretend to believe) that they are on the receiving end of institutional sexism as much as they benefit from it. and that they suffer relational abuse just as frequently as they dish it out.
heres an excerpt from the very excellent analysis in ‘adonis mirror‘: