Visionary feminism is a wise and loving politics. It is rooted in the love of male and female being, refusing to privilege one over the other. The soul of feminist politics is the commitment to ending patriarchal domination of women and men, girls and boys. Love cannot exist in any relationship that is based on domination and coercion. Males cannot love themselves in patriarchal culture if their very self-definition relies on submission to patriarchal rules. When men embrace feminist thinking and preactice, which emphasizes the value of mutual growth and self-actualization in all relationships, their emotional well-being will be enhanced. A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving.
Emotional neglect lays the groundwork for the emotional numbing that helps boys feel better about being cut off. Eruptions of rage in boys are most often deemed normal, explained by the age-old justification for adolescent patriarchal misbehavior, "Boys will be boys." Patriarchy both creates the rage in boys and then contains it for later use, making it a resource to exploit later on as boys become men. As a national product, this rage can be garnered to further imperialism, hatred and oppression of women and men globally. This rage is needed if boys are to become men willing to travel around the world to fight wars without ever demanding that other ways of solving conflict can be found.
The growing number of gated communities in our nation is but one example of the obsession with safety. With guards at the gate, individuals still have bars and elaborate internal security systems. Americans spend more than thirty billion dollars a year on security. When I have stayed with friends in these communities and inquired as to whether all the security is in response to an actual danger I am told not really," that it is the fear of threat rather than a real threat that is the catalyst for an obsession with safety that borders on madness.
Culturally we bear witness to this madness every day. We can all tell endless stories of how it makes itself known in everyday life. For example, an adult white male answers the door when a young Asian male rings the bell. We live in a culture where without responding to any gesture of aggression or hostility on the part of the stranger, who is simply lost and trying to find the correct address, the white male shoots him, believing he is protecting his life and his property. This is an everyday example of madness. The person who is really the threat here is the home owner who has been so well socialized by the thinking of white supremacy, of capitalism, of patriarchy that he can no longer respond rationally.
White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingness to conquer fear through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor. Viewers are encouraged feel sympathy for the white male home owner who made a mistake. The fact that this mistake led to the violent death of an innocent young man does not register; the narrative is worded in a manner that encourages viewers to identify with the one who made the mistake by doing what we are led to feel we might all do to protect our property at all costs from any sense of perceived threat. " This is what the worship of death looks like.
The word ‘sin’ is derived from the Indo-European root ‘es-,’ meaning ‘to be.’ When I discovered this etymology, I intuitively understood that for a [person] trapped in patriarchy, which is the religion of the entire planet, ‘to be’ in the fullest sense is ‘to sin'.
No wonder male religious leaders so often say that humans were born in sin—because we were born to female creatures. Only by obeying the rules of the patriarchy can we be reborn through men. No wonder priests and ministers in skirts sprinkle imitation birth fluid over our heads, give us new names, and promise rebirth into everlasting life.
Being female in this world means having been robbed of the potential for human choice by men who love to hate us. One does does not make choices in freedom. Instead, one conforms in body type and behavior and values to become an object of male sexual desire, which requires an abandonment of a wide-ranging capacity for choice...
Men too make choices. When will they choose not to despise us?
I have a rule of thumb that allows me to judge, when times is pressing and one needs to make a snap judgment, whether or not some sexist bullshit is afoot. Obviously, it’s not 100% infallible but by and large it definitely points you in the right direction and it's asking this question; are the men doing it? Are the men worrying about this as well? Is this taking up the men’s time? Are the men told not to do this, as it's letting the side down? Are the men having to write bloody books about this exasperating retarded, time-wasting, bullshit? Is this making Jeremy Clarkson feel insecure? Almost always the answer is no. The boys are not being told they have to be a certain way, they are just getting on with stuff.
That not all men are piggy, only some; that not all men belittle me, only some; that not all men get mad if you won’t let them play Chivalry, only some; that not all men write books in which women are idiots, only most; that not all men pull rank on me, only some; that not all men pinch their secretaries’ asses, only some; that not all men make obscene remarks to me in the street, only some; that not all men make more money than I do, only some; that not all men make more money than all women, only most; that not all men are rapists, only some; that not all men are promiscuous killers, only some; that not all men control Congress, the Presidency, the police, the army, industry, agriculture, law, science, medicine, architecture, and local government, only some. I sat down on the lawn and wept.
Men have sacrificed and crippled themselves physically and emotionally to feed, house, and protect women and children. None of their pain or achievement is registered in feminist rhetoric, which portrays men as oppressive and callous exploiters.
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.' (Leviticus 18:22). That means simply that it is foul to do to other men what men habitually, proudly, manfully do to women: use them as inanimate, empty, concave things; fuck them into submission; subordinate them through sex.
I grew up in traditional black patriarchal culture and there is no doubt that I’m going to take a great many unconscious, but present, patriarchal complicities to the grave because it so deeply ensconced in how I look at the world. Therefore, very much like alcoholism, drug addiction, or racism patriarchy is a disease and we are in perennial recovery and relapse. So you have to get up every morning and struggle against it.
The accounts of rape, wife beating, forced childbearing, medical butchering, sex-motivated murder, forced prostitution, physical mutilation, sadistic psychological abuse, and other commonplaces of female experi ence that are excavated from the past or given by contemporary survivors should leave the heart seared, the mind in anguish, the conscience in upheaval. But they do not. No matter how often these stories are told, with whatever clarity or eloquence, bitterness or sorrow, they might as well have been whispered in wind or written in sand: they disappear, as if they were nothing. The tellers and the stories are ignored or ridiculed, threatened back into silence or destroyed, and the experience of female suffering is buried in cultural invisibility and contempt… the very reality of abuse sustained by women, despite its overwhelming pervasiveness and constancy, is negated. It is negated in the transactions of everyday life, and it is negated in the history books, left out, and it is negated by those who claim to care about suffering but are blind to this suffering.
The problem, simply stated, is that one must believe in the existence of the person in order to recognize the authenticity of her suffering. Neither men nor women believe in the existence of women as significant beings. It is impossible to remember as real the suffering of someone who by definition has no legitimate claim to dignity or freedom, someone who is in fact viewed as some thing, an object or an absence. And if a woman, an individual woman multiplied by billions, does not believe in her own discrete existence and therefore cannot credit the authenticity of her own suffering, she is erased, canceled out, and the meaning of her life, whatever it is, whatever it might have been, is lost. This loss cannot be calculated or comprehended. It is vast and awful, and nothing will ever make up for it.
Men who are in prison for rape think it's the dumbest thing that ever happened... it's isn't just a miscarriage of justice; they were put in jail for something very little different from what most men do most of the time and call it sex. The only difference is they got caught. That view is nonremorseful and not rehabilitative. It may also be true. It seems to me that we have here a convergence between the rapists's view of what he has done and the victim's perspective on what was done to her. That is, for both, their ordinary experiences of heterosexual intercourse and the act of rape have something in common. Now this gets us into immense trouble, because that's exactly how judges and juries see it who refuse to convict men accused of rape. A rape victim has to prove that it was not intercourse. She has to show that there was force and that she resisted, because if there was sex, consent is inferred. Finders of fact look for "more force than usual during the preliminaries". Rape is defined by distinction from intercourse - not nonviolence, intercourse. They ask, does this event look more like fucking or like rape? But what is their standard for sex, and is this question asked from the women's point of view? The level of force is not adjudicated at her point of violation; it is adjudicated at the standard for the normal level of force. Who sets this standard?
Civilized Man says: I am Self, I am Master, all the rest is other--outside, below, underneath, subservient. I own, I use, I explore, I exploit, I control. What I do is what matters. What I want is what matter is for. I am that I am, and the rest is women & wilderness, to be used as I see fit.
This fear of maleness that they inspire estranges men from every female in their lives to greater or lesser degrees, and men feel the loss. Ultimately, one of the emotional costs of allegiance to patriarchy is to be seen as unworthy of trust. If women and girls in patriarchal culture are taught to see every male, including the males with whom we are intimate, as potential rapists and murderers, then we cannot offer them our trust, and without trust there is no love.
I sometimes try to imagine what would have happened if we’d known the bonobo first and the chimpanzee only later—or not at all. The discussion about human evolution might not revolve as much around violence, warfare and male dominance, but rather around sexuality, empathy, caring and cooperation. What a different intellectual landscape we would occupy!
Masculinity is simply a conglomeration of the personality traits necessary for the patriarchal soldier-rapist: physically strong, emotionally cauterized, rational, domineering, cruel. All of this is supposed to add up to "handsome" as well. Likewise femininity is ultimately a description of the personality that results from trauma and powerlessness: weak, passive, yielding, emotional, hyper-vigilant to the needs of the dominators and desperate for the dominator's attention.
...enslaved black males were socialized by white folks to believe that they should endeabor to become patriarchs by seeking to attain the freedom to provide and protect for black women, to be benevolen patriarchs. Benevolent patriarchs exercise their power without using force. And it was this notion of patriarchy that educated black men coming from slavery into freedom sought to mimic. However, a large majority of black men took as their standard the dominator model set by white masters. When slavery ended these black men often used violence to dominate black women, which was a repetition of the strategies of control white slave masters used.
Formerly, many men dominated women within marriage. Now, despite a much wider acceptance of women as workers, men dominate women anonymously outside the marriage. Patriarchy has not disappeared; it has changed form. In the old form, women were forced to obey an overbearing husband in the privacy of an unjust marriage. In the new form, the working single mother is economically abandoned by her former husband and ignored by a patriarchal society at large.
I question the more or less psychoanalytic perspective that the male need to control women sexually results from some primal male "fear of women" and of women's sexual insatiability. It seems more probable that men really fear, not that they will have women's sexual appetites forced on them, or that women want to smother and devour them, but that women could be indifferent to them altogether, that men could be allowed sexual and emotional-therefore economic-access to women only on women's terms, otherwise being left on the periphery of the matrix.
But I do have conversations about the Patriarchy and I am having them with gay men. At eighteen, I am discovering what generations of women have long known. The natural ally of the straight woman is the gay man because they are others losers too.
Even if you are a woman who achieves the ultimate and becomes like a man, you will still always be like a woman. And as long as womanhood is thought of as something to escape from, something less than manhood, you will be thought less of, too.
All of us, whether vivisector or vegan, have been subject to mechanisms undercutting sympathy for animals. How long and to what extent we submit to these mechanisms is not a matter of rationality: to cut off our feelings and support animal exploitation is rational, given societal expectations and sanctions; but to assert our feelings and oppose animal exploitation is also rational, given the pain involved in losing our natural bonds with animals. So our task is not to pass judgment on others' rationality, but to speak honestly of the loneliness and isolation of anthropocentric society, and of the damage done to every person expected to hurt animals.
They wanted black women to conform to the gender norms set by white society. They wanted to be recognized as 'men,' as patriarchs, by other men, including white men. Yet they could not assume this position if black women were not willing to conform to prevailing sexist gender norms. Many black women who has endured white-supremacist patriarchal domination during slavery did not want to be dominated by black men after manumission.
Two adolescent girls on a hot summer night--hardly the material of great literature, which tends to endow all male experience (that of those twin brothers who found themselves adrift so many years ago in the dark northern woods for instance) with universal radiance. Faithless sons, wars and typhoons, fields of blood, greed and knives: our literature's full of such stories. And yet suppose for an instant that it wasn't the complacent father but his bored daughter who was the Prime Mover; suppose that what came first wasn't an appetite for drama but the urge to awaken it. Mightn't we then permit a single summer in the lives of two bored girls to represent an essential stage in the history of the universe?
If Jesus himself, or Mohammed, or Buddha spoke to me personally and said that women are inferior to men, I would still reject that as false dogma because I know with every ounce of my being that this is not true.
...patriarchy, hierarchy, and capitalism create, encourage, maintain, and perpetuate addiction and dependency. Patriarchy and hierarchy are based on domination and subordination, which result in fear. This fear is expressed by the dominators through control and violence, and in subordinated people through passivity and repression of anger. The external conflict of hierarchy between dominants and subordinates becomes internalized in individuals, creating personal inner chaos, anxiety and duality. To quell the inner conflict people resort to addictive substances and behavior.
The thing is we never needed anyone's consent to get married. What is happening is that the established powers are starting realize how much of jack asses they have looked like for not acknowledging our marriages and our human rights and we are starting to receive the rights we were always entitled too. Therefore, no one is "giving" or "allowing" us anything. We are simply and powerfully starting to reclaim what has always been ours. The moralistic patriarchy has made this a long and bloody battle, but the concept has always been simple and I am glad it is finally sinking in. We are here, we have always been here, we are not going anywhere, and trying to suppress us under false puritanical mores is not smart and will not make us go away. It's not just about the LGBTQ communities but all suppressed minorities. If you listen closely you can here the subtle but real shifting of the winds to a more enlightened and egalitarian society. It won't happen without work, and it won't happen without intelligence. Never stop learning, never stop growing, never be ashamed because you are different, and never stop knowing that there is power in community.
What are you?' he [Nanapush] said to Damien, who was deep in a meditation over his [chess] bishop's trajectory. 'A priest' said Father Damien 'A man priest or a woman priest?'... ...'I am a priest', she whispered, hoarsely, fierce. 'Why' said Nanapush kindly, as though Father Damien hadn't answered, to put the question to rest, 'are you pretending to be a man priest?
I clenched my teeth and fists to stop them biting and scratching these clever men who want no care for the helpless sick small, who use religions and politics to stay comfortably superior to all that pain: who make religions and politics, excuses to spread misery with fire and sword and how could I stop all this? I did not know what to do.
It is necessary to realize that the most sacrosanct article of sexual politics in the period, the Victorian doctrine of chivalrous protection and its familiar protestations of respect, rests upon the tacit assumption, a cleverly expeditious bit of humbug, that all women were "ladies"—namely members of that fraction of the upper classes and bourgeoisie which treated women to expressions of elaborate concern, while permitting them no legal or personal freedom. The psycho-political tacit here is a pretense that the indolence and luxury of the upper-class woman’s role in what Veblen called vicarious consumption was the happy lot of all women. The efficacy of this maneuver depends on dividing women by class and persuading the privileged that they live in an indulgence they scarcely deserve... To succeed, both the sexual revolution and the Woman's Movement which led it would have to unmask chivalry and expose its courtesies as subtle manipulation.