My first essentialist thought on men’s violence was that only men could ever build an entire necrophilic society around the raping and controlling of women’s reproductive capacities because only men are biologically capable of doing it, using their own biology as weapons against women – penis and semen. So I saw that patriarchy fitted to men’s biology to the extent that it is only achievable through their biological capacity to rape and impregnate women. Also, I saw their hatred of women partly as an of envy women’s reproductive power and obsession with their own incapacity to reproduce life. But I still believed it was all a mistake somehow and that it wasn’t inherent in men, that they could change if we just pointed it out to them, and they were caught up in this sad masculinity thing enforced on them, TOO!
The next step to essentialism wasn’t really difficult, because men’s system is neither the consequence of some historical accident nor external to them. FCM cleared a lot of ground in essentialist argumentation by putting it this way:
1) Evidence such as the need for abortion and other pregnancy preventive methods going as far back as possible into our history point to the fact that men were rapey/violent across all times of known human history. IOW, men have always proven to be a rape threat for women.
2) Male sexual violence against women is universal, that is, covers the entire globe – there’s no exception, no my-nigel, no far-away land where men are all as sweet as lambs.
3) there is nobody outside men forcing men to be violent. Their patriarchal system is created and enforced by them alone. no invisible force is secretly pulling the strings behind the scenes. Since it comes from men and not from anyone else, this is the definition of inherent. It’s internal to them.
4) If patriarchy didn’t suit men in some basic, inherent way, they would rebel against this enforcement, but they don’t, ever. (see also here and here, arguments by FCM in comments). Not that they lack the power to do so, given that they monopolise all political power in patriarchy.
All this leads to the conclusion that their systematised violence is consistent with their natures. It’s simple, logical, solid. Inherent is the opposite of extraneous – it means “intrinsic” (Merriam Webster). And indeed, men’s violence is not externally imposed, but comes from them only, and universally so. Therefore, men’s violence is inherent to them. Easy!
Then bloggers and commenters moved on to defining maleness as parasitism (men being inherently parasitic to women), which Mary Daly, Valerie Solanas and Sonia Johnson had already talked about in their works (and surely many other women I do not yet know of), and which were taken on in various blogs recently.
I’ve also been very interested in scientific explanations for male violence and male parasitism, and have looked at mitochondrial DNA some time ago. Then someone commented on that post notifying me about the difference in corpus callosum between men and women: which propelled me into even more biological essentialism. FCM said a while ago (can’t remember where exactly and what the exact phrasing was) that male-essentialist view does not equate to saying that women are naturally subordinate to men, and in fact we have always resisted men’s violence since as long as we know, and one of the basic contentions of feminism is that subordination (femininity) is enforced on us, not natural. She went on to say that therefore, we shouldn’t make claims on female nature because we’re not able to figure it out or something (this is where my memory falters, I can’t remember what the words were, something like making claims on women’s nature is harmful, because, something… please notify if you find that passage as I haven’t found it).
Well, I actually do think it’s possible to make some claims about female nature without falling into the trap of essentialising female subordination (femininity), which I obviously reject. Especially, to make claims about our essential powers and gifts that men lack.
I base it on an intuition and experience: being around with women is substantially and physically different from being around with men. The physical and sensory experience is simply different, and I’m not talking about touching in just a physical way, but the physics of soul-touching and sparking. Men are incapable of spinning; in every possible sense of the term. Any energy sent to them never comes back, it’s a dead end, a black hole, it goes plop, or flop, it stops there and never moves, there is no real exchange, and at the very least we’re left with a feeling of unease. Whereas with women, especially with radical feminists, you can actually feel the spinning going on, the revitalisation, the constant movement of mind and senses, things just flow. It fills your blood with life. I can feel the exchange like tiny fireworks bursting around and moving up in circles, like a happy dance. It feels colourful, musical and blissful. It has a very real and physical effect on me. I think deep down women know this, that we don’t and can’t have the same connection with women as with men.
Second, it is common scientific knowledge that women and men have different brain attributes: women have on average 23% more corpus callosum* than men, and men’s brain is more one-sided, localised in one hemisphere of the brain (apparently the left). Women also have a deeper and larger limbic system, which is the memory system. *The corpus callosum is situated in the middle of the brain between the two hemispheres, it’s a very large arched tissue of nerve fibres that connect the two brain hemispheres together, as well as the different lobes and areas of the brain (memory / limbic system, pineal gland…).
These facts are well-known and you can find them easily by googling it but when you look up mainstream research, the significance of this information and its implications for men and women are always obscured: to quote Mary Daly, commenting on one such researcher:
Julian Jaynes sweeps over significant information as if it were barely worth nothing, when such information relates to the powers of women. He writes: “And a comment can be added here about sexual differences. It is now well known that women are biologically somewhat less lateralized in brain function than men. This means simply that psychological functions in women are not localized into one or the other hemisphere of the brain in the same degree as men. Mental abilities in women are more spread over both hemispheres… And it is common knowledge that elderly men with a stroke or hemorrhage in the left hemisphere are more speechless than elderly women with a similar diagnosis. Accordingly we might expect more residual language function in the right hemisphere of women, making it easier for women to learn to be oracles. And indeed the majority of oracles and Sibyls, at least in European cultures, were women” [all emphases mine]. … This fascinating point is mentioned in only one other place in the book, and there even more scantily (p. 350). Shrewd Shrews will notice that Jaynes’ language is deceptive and patronizing to women. For by his syntax he manages to belittle the oracular gifts of women and the Elemental integrity of female mental faculties, while at the same time obscuring the negative implications of overly localized psychological functions in males.
Bolds mine. In Mary Daly, Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy, 1984, p. 148, in the notes.
This is another typical example of how the crucial info and its implications is totally wiped out by male-vetted language:
A robust sex difference in the splenium of the corpus callosum, reflecting greater interhemispheric connectivity in women, was observed on magnetic resonance images from 114 individuals. In addition, bulbosity of the corpus callosum correlated with better cognitive performance in women but not in men. source
The way these differences in brain functions link to male violence and female powers is illuminating though.
If we look at men, their localised brain function and smaller corpus callosum links quite clearly to their necrophilia and disconnectedness from life, their sensory atrophy or incapacity to connect both on a sensory, emotional and conceptual level, their addiction to violence or use of violence as their only way to feel things. If their brain function is indeed localised on the left hemisphere, which is known to represent the rational side of the brain, and doesn’t connect easily to the right hemisphere (senses, emotion, intuition) because of less corpus callosum, then it makes sense that they can disconnect violent acts so easily from sensory experience and cognitive, emotional understanding of it, and from understanding the wider consequences of that violence which would normally prevent them from doing it or give them second thoughts about it. It may explain why men need external enforcement in order NOT to be violent or to refrain their violence because they wouldn’t otherwise stop it themselves, they wouldn’t see the need to themselves. It coincides with their extraordinary lack of empathy, their incapacity to relate to other living beings outside of violation and their ability to be so sadistic and cold about their violence. It also explains IMO how, because of their sensory atrophy, violence so easily becomes exclusively experienced as erection and how the want to feel this erection again or any form of arousal (even through more subliminal means) overrides all other considerations – how this is in fact the only thing they can feel, this addictive arousal-violence cycle.
There is undoubtedly a certain amount of conditioning wrt boys, but I believe that men capitalise on their inherent capacity or potential for violence to increase their lethality against women and hence their domination over us. They know exactly what to do to themselves and to girls to keep the system going. The only thing men will sometimes complain about wrt to their conditioning is what other men do to them, but never about what they do to women and living beings.
With regards to women, the implications are immense. Again, if we look at male-talk for information:
Time published an article in 1992 that suggested that, because the corpus is “often wider in the brains of women than in those of men, it may allow for greater cross-talk between the hemispheres—possibly the basis for women’s intuition.”
The greater corpus callosum allows for greater inter-hemisphere connection, which means that women’s brain functions are more evenly spread over both hemispheres – we have more brain functions, in short (contrary to what some men say, women are not right-brained but simply brained, with both hemispheres functioning properly). This accounts for women’s so-called greater “intuition”: which is an euphemism for greater creativity, inventiveness, insight, understanding, capacity to see, hear and feel sensory as well as extra-sensory events and surroundings, of connecting concepts together, of connecting emotions, feelings and concepts, of bonding, etc. It allows for better capacity to heal from trauma – if one area of the brain is shut off because of trauma, the brain can compensate and create new connections more easily. It means all areas of the body are equally connected to the brain and vice versa, not just one part (ie sexual part). Since each part of the brain is connected to and represents a part of the body, brain and body are one, and the body is the brain as much as the brain is the body, if you see what I mean. (as an example, trauma in the brain, having caused neuronal atrophy in that area can be healed by touching and stimulating the body part it is connected to, which will create new connections).
I’m pretty sure that we’d have loads more healing, psychic, telepathic and other transcendental superpowers were we not crippled from birth by men, and that men have reduced our powers generation after generation of genocide.
It also means that only women would have had the necessary brain power to create language, writing, art, science, houses, pottery, and invent all the beautiful things of humanity. There is also increasing evidence that women are responsible for it throughout the history of humanity. Digging a bit deeper into the background of male history also attests of the fact that women have systematically been the inventors and creators while men stole their knowledge and skills, erased women’s motherhood of it and turned the knowledge and skills into weapons against women and life. The only thing women haven’t invented is men’s sexual violence and male destruction in all its forms, and patriarchy.