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Moron Surveillance May 26, 2012

Posted by FCM in books!, liberal dickwads, MRAs, radical concepts, rape, self-identified feminist men, trans.
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reading (or re-reading) orwell as a radical feminist was eye-opening.  everyone has read orwell, or everyone who considers themselves to be good progressives or educated persons has read it, so its an easy shorthand we can all use when speaking about certain concepts.  like surveillance, and the political significance — the political intent and effect — of surveillance when employed by the oppressors against the oppressed class.

as orwell spelled out plainly, and as was his observation about oppressive totalitarian regimes that did this in real life, the point of the oppressor class surveilling its charges is to guard against thoughtcrime — made-up “crimes” against the oppressor class that begin and end at the level of thought.  its not what we are planning to do, and not what we are doing, but what we are thinking thats at issue, and its our negative thoughts about our oppressors, or positive thoughts about ourselves and our own capacities and desire to revolt against oppressive controls that are the crime.  we have seen this repeatedly, where men surveil women, allegedly to bring our thoughts and what is in our hearts and minds into the “light of day” aka. (and to use orwells frame) for scrutinization and reprogramming by the oppressor class, in this case, by men and patriarchal women.

our thoughts.  not our plans, or our actions.  thats important.  as is the intent of reprogramming.

even fun feminists understand that men are the oppressor class, (hence the need for any kind of feminism, even their kind, see how that works? or are all feminists, even the blandest kind, merely a solution looking for a problem, like the MRAs claim?  this is a serious question) so they too should be very wary about men invading womens spaces, because of the potential — and i would go further and say the demonstrated intent and effect — of patriarchal surveillance.

so, to apply this “theory” to our reality, and let me remind everyone that we all pretty much accept the idea of oppressive surveillance used by totalitarian political regimes — they are known to do this — i propose the following: just in case transwomen are just men in dresses — just in case! — i think we should not close the door to organizing and meeting without transwomen in the room.  because of the potential for patriarchal surveillance.

as another example of a scenario that is rife with the potential — i would say demonstrated intent and effect, but lets stick with “potential” for now — for patriarchal surveillance, consider these chilling words from a male social worker, and how he sees his role as a therapist for female rape survivors.  this was in the context of a discussion of the need for female-only space, specifically rape crisis shelters, and in the context of the Rape Relief vs Nixon case, specifically whether transwomen should be allowed to therapize raped women in a women’s shelter: (bolds mine)

Andrew Pari, LCSW
May 16, 2012

Maybe I’m stating the obvious and not to derail a great conversation, but there are many male psychotherapists and supportive counselors who practice in the area of sexual assault/rape. A large part of my practice is in working with children with a history of sexual abuse/molestation, in addition to young women who have been raped as well.

This doesn’t take away from what all of you are saying about rape crisis centers which I agree need to be staffed predominately by women to create the atmosphere of comfort/safety needed for girls/women to initially talk about what happened. I was just picking up, probably falsely, on the idea that it is inherently harmful for men to be involved in the healing process at all. I’ve had many girls/women transferred to me specifically because of my background and where my “maleness” was able to promote healing as it gave an appropriate outlet for the person’s trauma and anger that needed to be expressed and could be in the safety of therapy. In the field of mental health, it’s become more known as another way to help survivors heal.
If this is already common knowledge here, then forgive the assumption.

and heres another cold slice of shit pie from andrew, male therapist to raped women, in the context of a discussion of the need for female-only space, and whether women have the right to exclude transwomen from therapizing raped women in a women’s shelter:

Andrew Pari, LCSW
May 17, 2012

I agree with everything you said. Especially about the recognition of the inherent power imbalance as a therapist, on top of which is the often unnamed, but obvious, societal imbalance between men and women in the therapeutic context. This is why I am a huge believer in naming these things early on in treatment. Overtly and clearly stating the obvious differences and what they might mean, even when (and sometimes because) the client may be reluctant to do so themselves. I don’t pretend to be expert at this and I find myself going back sometimes to bring this into the room if I failed to earlier.

Much of my experience with these kind of referrals has been from female colleagues who have either helped the client to a particular point and want them (or rather the client articulates being ready to) work through anger towards the perpetrator or the projection onto men in general, or they need the experience of an intimate non-abusive connection with a man. The latter can be difficult as there is often a kind of “rebound effect” where the client experiences feelings of infatuation or seeing me as “the only good one.”

Actually, there is a third type; when the abuse was female perpetrated. Then I’m dealing with a whole other set of nuances in unpacking what happened on the individual level while still being mindful of the male-female dynamic in the room.

I really liked what you wrote about that, as a male, I have a vested interest in not seeing or not working with the socialized oppression of women. It’s an area I do my best to challenge myself on and it is an important reminder that I can not lose sight of this or risk unintentionally harming or, at best, not helping my clients to move forward.

One piece you wrote that I will challenge somewhat is the idea of inability to identify with a female client who was experienced female-specific harms. This may be an aspect of my own denial/arrogance, but I carry that idea into every therapeutic relationship. I cannot ever truly know the experience of who is sitting in front of me until they share it, and they will not share it if they see me as someone who “already knows it.” I actually talk about this in training regarding those clients who seem more like us than different from us. I can expand on this, if you want.

And thanks for stumbling across the show! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the “you’re on the air with WHO?” conversation. I’ve had several guests refuse to come on before getting to know me as they took me for a conservative “Dr. Laura” style show. I will share with some glee that one of my favorite moments was realizing I was really really talking to Jaclyn Friedman on the show. Also Meghan…maybe you’ve heard of her, but I don’t want to name drop…

this is telling, isnt it?  again, here is the context: a discussion, on a feminist blog, of the need for women-only space, specifically, whether male-to-female transgendered individuals should be allowed to therapize raped women in a women’s shelter.

it is within that context specifically that andrew pari, a “cis” male, feels the beginnings of an itch, you know the one.  the itch that is a manifestation of a desire to move to action — and he does move to action — in this case, to defend the “abilities” (entitlement, right) of men in general to therapize raped women.  and to quell any urgency women mightve had around this issue with his sedating mansplanation about (among many, many other things!) his own growth, you see — therapizing raped women gives andrew a chance to challenge himself.  because thats important.  to andrew.

now why might andrew do this?  why might andrew show up to sedate the women and to derail the discussion, and to “represent” males as a sexual class, on this issue in particular, and why did he recognize the opportunity to do that in the context of a discussion about transwomen, not cis-men?

men see whats happening here, you see.  they get the itch, and a desire to move to action, because men know that transwomen are men, and men know that to defend trasnwomens interests is to defend their own interests.  we should probably listen to them when they tell us such obvious truths about their own intentions and politics, and where their allegiances lie.  we will be the ones to properly analyze it of course, and place it within its proper historical and political context, not them, since their interests are in the opposite happening.  but listening to them self-reporting on their own itches, and what moves them to action, is probably a good idea.  im just saying.

interestingly, andrew acknowledges the possibility that he is arrogant and in denial (euphemisms for being male privileged, a member of the oppressor class, a member of the rapist class) and the risk of “unintentionally harming” or not helping raped women due to his male privilege, and membership in the oppressor and rapist class.  and then he says the word but.  there should never be a “but” after acknowledging your male privilege, and the risk you and all men pose to women and raped women, andrew.

heres another piece:

Andrew Pari, LCSW
May 17, 2012

And for the record, I want to be clear I don’t think I’m some sort of “magic” therapist in this regard. I’ve had clients that I realized I could not help and referred back or re-referred to a female therapist for some of the reasons you mentioned.

It also sounds like, in your case, in addition to Michael not being where you needed him to be, you were ready for a level of feminist-specific reflection that was beyond his ability. While I would love to someday have a client who wanted to have that kind of discussion and self-focus, I would probably refer her to a female feminist therapist for the same reason.

therapizing raped women is at least partly, by his own admission, an exercise in bettering andrew, you see.  because bettering andrew is important, and its why raped women exist, and its why women-only rape relief shelters should be erased from the face of the earth.  there are numerous and very serious problems with what andrew has said, and he should be taken to task for every bit of it, but lets dig a little bit deeper.

if we were to apply the concept of patriarchal surveillance to the situation of men therapizing raped women, what we see is the potential — or, you know, its demonstrably and obviously happening, in real life — for men to scrutinize and “treat” womens potential and actual thoughtcrime related to men raping women.  this is very sneaky indeed.  and andrew is telling us very clearly, if we only pay attention, that patriarchal surveillance is in fact not just his “potential” role, but his actual, real role that he plays every day.  he disabuses raped women of their notion that men, as a sexual class, rape women, as a sexual class, even though thats true.  he disabuses raped women of their anger, even though it is righteous anger.  he creates or re-creates (frames) what he defines as a non-abusive situation — in this case, a man, thought-policing a raped woman — and it is he that gets to define that as non-abusive and safe, you see.  then, after sufficient exposure to that very calculated environment, when — or rather, if and only if — the women “come around” to wanting to fuck men (again?) and not recognizing men as a sexual class, they have been successfully treated.  for thoughtcrime.  their thoughts about men are different — thats the only thing thats changed.  they have been reprogrammed.

transwomen want to be able to do this to women too, and cis-men sometimes (or you know, always) show up to “represent” when this is discussed.  lets connect the dots, people.  this is all very disturbing.  and i would say without a single moments hesitation or doubt of any kind that this is all very deliberate, and it benefits men at womens expense.

but my point, really, is this, and it should be fairly easy to swallow, for anyone, because i am not taking about absolutes, but merely possibilities.  even if its merely a possibility that these situations might be used for patriarchal surveillance, shouldnt feminists support womens right to female only space?  you know, just in case?

why is it so important that we never (never, ever, ever) be allowed to organize and gather without men there?   at the very least, why cant we do both?  and why is there no room for any doubt at all that transwomen are women, and why are we so certain that they arent actually men?  there are very few certainties in life, and yet we are willing to say that we are *certain* that male-to-female transgenders are really women?  really?  im not buying it.  the *zero* room for legitimate doubt here, on a subject that is at least worthy of 1% or even .01% uncertainty (if anything ever was!) is pretty convincing proof that this is a scam, and its operating at the level of thought.

we are dealing with thoughtcrime, and patriarchal surveillance, and attempted patriarchal surveillance.  this is nothing new.  all good academics, politickers and progressives understand what surveilling for thoughtcrime is all about — its a political tool of oppressive totalitarian regimes — and feminists know that there is an oppressor class under patriarchy.  lets put two and two together.  the whinging about the radfem summer conferences — and over the audacity of radical feminists to attempt to gather without men or transwomen — is just more of the same.