Archive for the 'various forms of antifeminism' Category

Additional notes on heterosexuality and privilege

Just to make things clear, my series:

is NOT in any way a defence or excuse of anti-lesbianism from part of heterosexual women. Anti-lesbianism is part of men’s arsenal to crush women and prevent us from resisting compulsory heterosexuality and bonding with other women. Just as with anti-feminism, racism, classism and general maiming of women, men use the women they own as vessels of anti-lesbian repression. I have repeatedly stated in many of my posts that any form of misogyny from part of women, whoever the woman is and whatever the form it takes, is a result of being oppressed and colonised by men and that it can be unsafe to be around such women. Although I never blame any woman for being oppressed or colonised by male ideas, I do hold her responsible for ceasing to harm other women.

I also maintain that just as with any aspect of male oppression, anti-lesbianism is driven and organised by men, not women. Focusing on the snide remarks, exclusion and snobbery of women compared to the institutional crushing of lesbians by men is like looking at the pebble instead of the mountain. It is not women who set up the asylums to lobotomise and electrocute lesbians, who commit corrective rapes of lesbians, who write the laws to outlaw lesbianism, who control the medical and psychiatric institutions which pathologise lesbians and force us to mutilate ourselves so to assimilate physically to men, nor do women secretly control the male gay movement which turned lesbianism into phallic-worshipping BDSM practices, own the porn industry which transformed the entire lesbian movement into an LGBTQ male porn fantasy, or control the male trans lobby which erases lesbians to the extent of replacing us by men in dress, etc, etc.

My series is also NOT a judgement of lesbianism, of lesbian communities, lesbian commitment or of the rightful anger against the oppression and erasure of lesbians, and actually my post has not much to do with lesbianism at all (sorry). I’m criticising the misogynist and male-centred views on heterosexuality of a very specific, small group of women which has emerged in the 80s and call themselves radical lesbians. Radical lesbianism is a small fringe within the lesbian and lesbian feminist movement and doesn’t represent all of radical lesbian feminism at all. It’s a hybrid lesbian separatist movement with some twisted input of pseudo feminism, intersectional and gay/queer ideology on heteronormativity. For some reason some radical lesbians also call themselves radical feminists or radical lesbian feminists and I don’t know whether or not they’re aware of the difference in meaning but it’s important we don’t confuse them and name radical lesbian ideology accordingly.

In fact radical lesbian views on heterosexuality works very much like intersectionality in that it’s displaced anger against women based on a myth and reversal of female privilege, and especially based on pervasive hatred and disgust of what men have reduced women to be under eons of debasement and sexual subordination – the disgust of women who are penetrated by men. While the anti-lesbianism of such women is real and truly felt by lesbians, the fact these women are beneficiary agents of this erasure, and deserving of contempt for being owned by men is totally wrong. As I said colonisation of women by definition works against all women, the colonised as much as the recipient of their misogyny. Take a look at my posts on intersectionality and colonisation for further information as I’m not going to repeat myself.

In the same way as intersectionality, radical lesbian views on heterosexuality are an outgrowth of lefty male anti-feminist tactics which renders men’s responsibility invisible, undoes feminist analyses of men’s sexual violence, intimidates and silences those women who denounce it and targets women instead of men.

The reason I insist in writing this and on criticising radical lesbian views on heterosexuality is that it specifically attacks the foundation of feminist understanding of our oppression: the inherent oppressive nature of intercourse and heterosexuality. Intercourse and hetero-captivity being the central building block of men’s oppression, it comes to no surprise that men do everything to erase our awareness of it. It’s also perfectly normal in a context of continued backlash against feminists that the reversals and denials have deeply infiltrated women’s groups, whether lesbian or not. However such misogynist views have no place in radical feminism and my point is to demonstrate that having contempt for the vast majority of women trapped by men’s heterocaptive system is, well, extremely misogynist.

Anyhow I don’t understand why hardly anyone openly protests against the enormity of the reversal that hetero-captivity and intercourse are a source of privilege and freedom of choice for women. This belief fails such basic understanding of patriarchal violence and is such a direct product of common male propaganda that I can’t understand how it’s been tolerated for so long in the radical feminist movement. Not to mention that it is primarily lesbians who produced most of radical feminist criticism of intercourse and compulsory heterosexuality, and saying that it’s anti-lesbian to name the inherent violence of PIV and heterosexuality is just laughable.

I’m also sick of the crass misogyny of statements such as heterosexual women are privileged dick-lovers who should own up to it and go eat more dick (paraphrasing here), and that radical feminists who criticise PIV and heterosexuality are just “ex hets” frustrated about having had bad sex with men and want to whine about it or get sympathy from lesbians. The “you just need to be fucked right” is the typical kind of rape-threat men throw at women who refuse to submit to them sexually. These views are unacceptable and a reproduction of the most vile and base woman-hatred. What it also amounts to is accusing women of being whores who are too stupid to admit they are one.

Well, why not say that to prostitution survivors? Say that to incest rape survivors. Say that to abuse survivors. No? Because this is what we all are as women. Prostitution, PIV/rape and incest *are* the heterosexual institution. Ask a man if it’s gay to penetrate his daughter, his wife, the prostituted woman. The essence of heterosexuality is sexual violation, and no woman has escaped this violation when in close and prolonged contact with men. We are all survivors of male abuse, at different degrees for sure, but male abuse it is.

***

Some basic facts on heterosexuality:

Heterosexuality is compulsory, that is we are psychologically conditioned (through propaganda) and physically forced into it (through sexual harassment, rape, marriage and pimping). This is one of the very basic tenets of radical feminism. Compulsory means the opposite of choice. By definition women never choose to be owned by a man, and the only free choice we can make is to resist hetero-captivity by becoming separatist, lesbian or celibate.

Heterosexuality is the system which guarantees each man sexual access to a woman and exclusive ownership over her so he can rape, impregnate and use her as his personal breeder and domestic slave. It’s the foundational institution of patriarchal oppression, on which all patriarchal institutions – economic, state, medical, religious, military, etc – are built on.

Most if not all patriarchal societies have divided the heterosexual system into two sub-systems: one is marriage in which individual men acquire individual women exclusively for intercourse, reproduction and domestic slavery; the other is prostitution, in which some men (pimps) own and rent women exclusively for being raped by any passing man, as a form of public service by and for men.

In the old days and still very much today, marriage used to be the only political structure that guaranteed men’s right to acquire a woman permanently for intercourse and breeding. The term “heterosexuality” is fairly recent in history, and appeared in the 19th century at the same time as the pathologisation and psychologisation of lesbians and gays. When women started to free themselves from the institution of marriage, men progressively replaced marriage with compulsory intercourse to all men, and this was sold as sexual liberation to women. However this was nothing other than the liberation of lefty men so they could fuck all the women they wanted outside of the constraints of bourgeois society (see Ti-Grace Atkinson, Sheila Jeffreys and Andrea Dworkin).

***

Heterosexual privilege?

No radical lesbian so far has given any concrete and sound evidence for this mythical heterosexual privilege: on what economic, material, psychological advantages is “het” privilege based on? On anti-lesbian behaviour by some women? Anti-lesbianism from part of women is no evidence of privilege, but of being colonised by men. Economic advantages? Possessed women don’t even own themselves and most husbands control or loot their wive’s resources. Heteronormative advantages at work or in social circles? How can it be a social advantage to exist only as a potential prey for sexual harassment and as dick receptacle to men? I can’t see how women who are turned into penetrable, touchable possessions by men, devoid of any right even to basic integrity, colonised to such an extent that we don’t even have thoughts of our own, socially gain from this. It makes no sense at all that this be considered a privilege.

In the same way, the claims that lesbians and celibate women are more subject to violence than women who are directly possessed by men are unfounded. It’s a reversal both from a logical and statistical perspective: the degree of freedom from patriarchal oppression/violence is measured by how much male violence you’re subjected to, in terms of frequency and severity, and thus by the extent to which you’re held captive to an abusive man or male institution. Women who are or were recently possessed by men are by far the most exposed population to regular rape, beatings, psychological violence, forced pregnancy, persecution, exploitation, theft and murder, because that’s exactly how men maintain and exercise their sex right over us. Statistically, around 80% of rapes and all forms of violence against women are committed by men close to the victim – that is men who have ownership rights over the woman (father, husband, pimp/trafficker, boyfriend, brother etc.). Women’s first cause of death in the world is murder by a male partner.

Therefore, absence of male owner = less exposure to the violence and terror of a male owner. It’s of absolute simplicity. Those women who live furthest away from men on a daily basis and who are more economically autonomous from men are those who are least exposed to male violence, whatever their sexuality is. The further away you go from a source of danger, the least likely you are exposed to that danger. Once we leave men and former abusers no longer have their grip over us, the violence is more likely to come from the outside rather than from within our own home, which makes a lot of a difference both in how we perceive it and how we can escape or resist it. And it doesn’t mean lesbians or spinsters are privileged or less oppressed, but simply that once we’ve ejected men from our intimate lives we’ll be less exposed to male violence on a regular basis compared to a woman who lives with and is owned by a man. We’re lucky. That’s all. This isn’t oppression olympics but simply stating a fact that the closer you are to violent men, the more you’re exposed to their violence. And that’s the very point of freeing ourselves from men and becoming a lesbian / radical feminist separatist in the first place, because it’s a way of protecting ourselves from the worst forms of male violence.

If we view heterosexuality as a privilege and free choice instead of as the source of all women’s oppression, how can we even claim to be a feminist? What is women’s liberation based on if the point isn’t for all women to free ourselves from men and save our lives? If lesbianism/separatism is more oppressive than being owned by a man, on what moral, political and ethical grounds should we argue for women to leave men if we see it as forsaking privileges and social protections? On the grounds that lesbianism or separatism is morally purer, that women can purge their sins of being a whore by becoming a lesbian? Is that what it means?

If we view heterosexual women as privileged, then what’s the point of creating rape crisis centres, women’s refuges, support networks for abuse victims who want to get away from men? We might as well send them all back to their abuser’s home and ask them to check their privilege first, how dare they come up with het stories up into our face! How oppressive and inconsiderate to us! And before they leave, not forget to wag a finger at them for having made a bad choice and for betraying us lesbians. Is that what lesbian feminist solidarity is based on? Or, maybe the view is more “nuanced”, and we distinguish between “real” victims who are completely innocent because reasons, and “bad” privileged victims who are slutty dick-loving traitors who asked for it because they had all the choice of the world, but they just can’t own up to that fact and pretend to whine about it?

Seriously, I’m not saying that lightly, I’ve rarely seen or heard such misogynist and woman-blaming statements by women as from radical lesbians.

The truth is that the menace of het privilege is as phony as cis privilege: it’s a lie, to intimidate women, to make us feel guilty for what men inflict on us, and especially, to threaten and silence women for denouncing men’s sexual violence, for calling intercourse and heterosexuality for what it is: rape and enslavement.

Women, don’t be deceived by it.

 

Radical lesbianism from a radfem perspective. PART I: Radical lesbian views on hetero-bondage and anti-lesbianism

The point of this new series is to break down radical lesbian ideology (contempt for non-lesbian women, obsession with purity) and practices (such as butch / femme roles, general depoliticising of lesbian practices in lesbian-only spaces). My aim here is to break down pervasive and insidious forms of pseudo-feminisms for the benefit of feminist readers, so to prevent women from falling in their traps and to improve on our collective understanding of how feminism is infiltrated by male interests.

*Note 1: I refuse to use the words “lesbophobia” or “homophobia” since they are incorrect and psychologising terms. Phobia is a psychiatric term referring to a mental disorder, and means an irrational fear of something, or to be more precise, projecting a fear of a forgotten trauma (ie having been raped by your uncle as a child) on another object (ie spiders or birds). The psychologisation of phobia is itself questionable though, since it’s a direct consequence of male violence and isn’t a disorder per se. Anyway, anti-lesbianism has nothing to do with phobia: it isn’t a mental condition nor a somatic disorder. It’s an organised male system of repression of women who refuse to submit to compulsory heterosexuality and choose to dedicate their affection, intimacy and lives to women.

**Note 2: I also don’t use the term “heterosexuality” uncritically as it defines women’s oppression from men’s experience of it: as a sexuality. From our perspective and condition, heterosexuality is nothing rape, trauma-bonding and captivity.

***Note 3: radical lesbianism is different from radical lesbian feminism. In the latter there’s feminism, in the former there’s a serious lack of it.

****Note 4: I’m aware that I might get in trouble for writing such a series, but what the heck. I’ve been wanting to criticise the misogyny of radical lesbian fringes for a while, I feel it has to be said.

Radical lesbian views on hetero-bondage and anti-lesbianism

What is radical lesbianism?

Although there appears to be radical feminists who define themselves as radical lesbians and vice-versa and not everyone seems to use to the term in the same way, what I define as radical lesbianism and the way I have seen it most commonly defined is something very specific:

What most defines radical lesbian ideology is its view on hetero-bondage and anti-lesbianism, so I’m going to talk about that first. Radical lesbianism is based on the belief that ‘heterosexual’ women benefit from (compulsory) heterosexuality and thus are part of a “heteronormative” class oppressing lesbians. A concomitant belief is that heterosexual women are traitors who ‘sleep with the enemy’ or ‘collaborate with the enemy’ (men) in order to reap benefits from being with them. Despite various degrees of awareness about male oppression and patriarchy, radical lesbianism emerges from a shared contempt towards non-lesbian women and from a desire to separate themselves from such women or even from the category of woman itself.

I don’t know how it’s possible to logically believe that women can both be oppressed from hetero-bondage (by men) and at the same time be a beneficiary agent of this oppression. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Well it can only make sense if you don’t view PIV/rape and hetero-bondage as the very core of men’s domination over women, and especially if you fail to see this oppression as inherently violent. That is, if you hold a male-centred view of men’s violence against women, and especially, a liberal gay male view on heterosexuality.

The critique of “heteronormativity” comes from gay male criticism of the repression of gays and of the unfair privileges of men who benefit from heterosexuality. This means that gay men define ‘heterosexuality’ as a status that confers certain social benefits and rights which are assumed as normal and are invisible to those men who conform to it, but from which gay men are excluded and causes them to be more or less discriminated, marginalised, bullied, persecuted, etc. However rather than questioning and fighting men’s patriarchal system at the core of compulsory heterosexuality, the vast majority of gay men simply want to have the same access to the benefits and privileges that heterosexual men have, and refuse to be relegated to a second-class status. Gay men’s political agenda thus consists in pushing homosexuality into the norm, by making it more visible and also by assimilating to heterosexual male values and institutions.

Now, it’s obvious that this definition of heterosexuality doesn’t apply to women at all. Gay men define heterosexuality only according to the male experience of heterosexuality, not women’s. The norm in this society is made by and for men, and only the subjects of heterosexuality are men. Heterosexuality can only confer benefits and privileges to men, not to women, and only men can experience this as sexual or as an expression of their sexuality. This so-called sexuality is precisely how men consume and destroy women, and on what men base their global oppressive system on. To men it means sex life, status, economic benefits, paternity rights, ownership and labour extraction, but for women it means being captive to men and subjected to all forms of violence and exploitation. Hetero-bondage can’t be a protective norm or identity for women because this is how men annihilate us.

So we can see that the problem with this gay perspective on “heteronormativity” is that it doesn’t differentiate between men (those who benefit from men’s oppression and organise it) and women (those who are subjected to this oppression). It’s absurd to see women and men as equal agents of compulsory heterosexuality, and thus to see heterocaptive women as oppressive to lesbians and enemy of lesbians. If hetero-bondage is the way in which men subordinate women as a class, it means that women bonded to men have no power whatsoever in men’s treatment of lesbians and neither do we have any control over how men organise and define the different ways in which they sexually abuse and exploit us. No woman is an agent of the oppression and repression of lesbians or of any other women for that matter.

It is true that women can be anti-lesbian or anti-feminist, but it isn’t possible to treat anti-feminist or anti-lesbian women in the same way as we’d treat anti-feminist or anti-lesbian men. On one hand, the anti-lesbianism of men directly relates to their class interests of subordinating all women sexually to men and of punishing insubordinate women; on the other hand, anti-lesbianism and anti-feminism in women are direct expressions of self-hatred and psychological consequences of being oppressed by men.

To Quote Christine Delphy, translated with the help of a friend: here she writes on anti-feminism but it also applies to anti-lesbianism (just replace the word “feminism” by “lesbian feminist”):

It’s normal for women to be anti-feminist: the opposite would be surprising. And gaining consciousness, becoming a feminist isn’t a sudden and brutal revelation; consciousness isn’t acquired all at once and once and for all; it’s a long and never-ending process, what’s more, a painful one, because it’s a constant fight against all the “evidence”: the ideological worldview – and against oneself. The fight against self-hatred is never ended. Therefore there is no clear breaking point between feminist women and “anti-feminist” women, but a continuum of perspectives on a same situation. Since whatever their “opinions” are, women are oppressed. Their anti-feminism – being a) an obstacle to their awareness about their objective interests and b) their oppression directly reflected into their subjectivity – is thus one of the means of maintaining this oppression.

(In: Questions Feministes, “Our Friends and us: the hidden foundations of some pseudo-feminist discourses”, p. 35, 1977).

There’s a reason why men accuse women of anti-lesbianism and of being lesbians’ primary enemy: that’s because it’s a divide and conquer tactic, it’s meant to obscure the real enemies and oppressors – men – and to pit lesbians and lesbian feminists against non lesbian women on the more colonised spectrum. It increases men’s power over women by diminishing female solidarity and feminist vision. Radical lesbian ideology isn’t feminist, because accusing women of being traitors, collaborators or of oppressing lesbians is deep-seated woman-hatred, a reversal and denial of the reality of men’s violence against women.

The idea that women are ‘traitors’ who ‘sleep with the enemy’ comes from a very old, hateful patriarchal lie that all women are vain ‘sluts’ or temptresses who seduce and manipulate men to get what they want, especially men’s wealth. It’s also a slur thrown at adulterous women, as in women who were penetrated by other men than those they were ordained to in marriage, or other men than those chosen by the male group they belong to. Such women would be publicly shamed and punished, similarly to the women, shortly after the second world war, who were shaved and humiliated after being accused of having had affairs with the Germans, which they also interestingly called ‘sleeping with the enemy’.

What it means is that men claim ownership over women in terms of sexual access and punish women for failing to be loyal to their master / slave-owner, that is, of breaching his exclusive right to rape us. The accusation ‘sleeping with the enemy’ is based on a double lie and reversal: first, that the woman is the agent of penetration and responsible for what the man inflicted on her; second, that it’s about sex, when it’s about a man raping a woman; third, that the woman is manipulative, when it is men who continually harass and blackmail women into submitting to intercourse; fourth, that women gain economically from being raped by men, when the reality is that men loot women from tooth to bone, on top of raping and owning us.

So in a similar way, radical lesbians castigate women for sleeping with (being penetrated/raped by) other people (men) than those ordained by radical lesbians (women), instead of empathising with women and seeing that women are victimised by being penetrated and owned by men. It amounts to a similar kind of sexual objectification and blaming of women.

Finally, systematically accusing women of erasing lesbians and of lesbophobia is an intimidation tactic similar to those that accuse women of transphobia and what not.

 

Cutting through the throes of intersectionality part II: on the structure of men’s interlocking chains

Androcentric view of oppression versus gynocentric view of oppression.

Intersectionality applies the logic of male status on women, which is the second reason why it’s off the ball. One thing I haven’t said in the first part is that what I’m attempting to draw here is a feminist understanding of men’s interlocking oppressive bonds, as opposed to an intra-male-sectarian vision of oppression based on the reversal that women, like men, are always subjects and direct beneficiaries of male status and economic wealth which awards us real power and security. This is true for men, but the same doesn’t work with women. Women’s situation is more complex since we are oppressed by all the different classes of men who are the originators and subjects of patriarchal snooldom. They are the rapists. The multiple violations men put some women into serve a completely different purpose than men’s own class divides – or put in another way, both serve only one class interest: male supremacy. Racism, classism and division of labour between men strengthens men’s global rapist apparatus against women, while from women’s perspective it is a male divide-and-conquer tactic to reinforce our sexual subordination to men.

Even though I’ve been thinking about this for several years now, I haven’t yet come across feminist theories of layered oppression that don’t lose sight of the core (men) and looks at how racism and classism attacks women, specifically as women. This is my first attempt to put it in writing publicly, and since I don’t have that many prior references to rely on or spring from except conversations with friends and a few comments or internet discussions here and there, there will possibly be some things to improve on.(there always is anyway)

For women, racism and classism have sexist intents and purposes, that is to increase our vulnerability to rape and to specific forms of female subordination to men. There is a world of difference between male and female victims of racism/classism: one simple example is the fact that male undocumented migrants and asylum seekers will at worst be enslaved in unethical corporations, whereas the typical route for female undocumented migrants will be prostitution or working as domestic servants, the latter also leading to rape and abuse by employers.

From men’s perspective, racism and classism is what provides male corporations with a continued flow of desperate, pliable male workers to exploit, who seek to escape the misery of their colonised country or impoverished region. It serves a capitalist and patriarchal interest because it supports the accumulation of wealth of a minority of men, which overall strengthens the patriarchal system. When we look at women, racism is what will provide all men with a continued flow of desperate, pliable women to be prostituted, raped and exploited in female subservient tasks. In this sense racism and classism benefits all men as it increases their ability to rape more women. Not to mention that all male economies are largely driven by trafficking in women, pimping, pornography and theft of women’s domestic work.

Men, as a sex-group, are not divided. Men’s borders, countries, classes, divide only women and set women against each other because men will increase their power over women with this system while women will have to treat each other as the enemy, which reinforces our bondage to men. Men fight each other because they want more access to beings to violate and don’t want to be at the bottom of the ladder. They are really at war against women.

Deadly division of women: assigning women to incubator and dick- receptacle functions.

Racism and classism are part of men’s arsenal for dividing women into different rape and reproductive classes. Which means that men arrange women into different reproductive and domestic functions according to their pre-assigned racial and class status. Treating women as machines, this division maximises the efficiency of men’s reproductive control.

Mostly, men distinguish between women belonging to their caste and women belonging to the caste of other men. They use the women of their own group as incubators, and invade other male groups to use their women as prostitutes and domestic servants (second-degree prostitutes). I believe this to be men’s core patriarchal-building method.

1.The in-group women: incubators, or married women

Groomed exclusively for breeding, married women are held captive in the man’s home and are either abducted, sold by the father or, more recently, manipulated or “seduced” into marriage and hetero-imprisonment. Her basic function will be to breed children until she dies from it, and if she doesn’t die after she has accomplished this horrific function, she may be killed, left to starve, or she will be used for domestic chores or to surveil other women’s children, or re-marry. If she’s lucky enough, she might be able to reduce the number of birthed children, survive her husband and enjoy slight freedom as a widow or spinster in the remaining years of her life.

Married women are evenly spread out across all male classes, nations and ethnic groups. All men of all groups conscript a majority of their daughters to marriage and forced procreation. All married women will be raped, forcibly impregnated and tortured to varying degrees according to the whim of their owner and more generally, according to the misogynistic customs of his male group.

Sub-categories of married women:

Married women are typically divided and isolated from other married women, especially from women belonging to other camps of male owners, since their interactions will mostly be limited to people authorised by her owner. The wife is assimilated to her owner’s condition, her self moulded like clay by the man’s identity. Her condition and expected behaviour is determined and tied to the social standing, class and ethnicity of the man who owns her (either father or husband) or by whom she was raised. It will also determine how other men and wider male institutions will treat her. For instance women attached to men of higher class will be exempt from various degrees of external institutional limitations, constraints, scorching poverty, violence and humiliations that will systematically be inflicted to women belonging to men of lower or colonised / genocided status.

Kept on a leash by their husbands, married women have no choice but to be loyal to her owner’s group-belonging and take his side in their useless wars, invasions and social divisions (racism and classism). Women’s autonomous class mobility is very limited if not almost impossible compared to men simply because all men will continue to treat us as property and not as subjects. The appearance of social mobility in women is achieved if a woman of lower class is married to a higher-class man, or if the low-class man she’s married to happens to climb the social ladder over years. But of course she will never be the primary beneficiary and her class belonging will remain that of a woman, underneath all men.

Another distinction between married women according to the social belonging of their owner, will be the amount of work and the type of work required from them inside or outside the man’s house, and the conditions in which they will have to breed and raise the children. While upper-class, wealthy men will hire an army of subordinate females to cook, clean the house, feed and raise the children, lower / midlle-class women will have to do everything by themselves or with little help, and those on the lower end of the class spectrum will have to work or toil outside of the house to earn money on top of her domestic and breeding obligations.

Finally, according to the country or region in which the women are married, degrees and intensity of men’s systematic violence against the women they appropriate may vary greatly, and women’s material and legal possibilities of escape varies also in degree from country to country or from group to group.

Anyway, there’s no way I can be exhaustive about all the different conditions in which men encage married women and what it means since my view is necessarily limited in time and scope. The point isn’t to get lost in details but to pin down the mechanism of oppression and class-division between women.

2. The outer-group women / unmarried women:

Prostituted women: these are the women reserved for men’s leisure rape, a sort of necrotic public service organised by pimps and woman-traders who offer men the possibility to rape women without the bother of having to individually attack, manipulate or capture the woman themselves. This is the fate reserved to loose women, those who weren’t married or those made homeless through invasion, land expropriation, forced exile, child abuse or other.

Unlike married women, prostituted women are systematically othered: they are extorted from outside the dominant group, from colonised lands or oppressed minorities, generally bearing more outlandish traits compared to the local women. Women othered and debased in this way are more likely to be held in contempt or feared by the married women, so it reinforces division and illusion of lucky exemption in the married women. The point of men warring each other is for the male invaders to increase their poole of rapeable women, and to generally have free reign to rape all women since it’s the only time where they can break the rule of having to respect other men’s private property (women), when it comes to colonised men. Which is one reason why colonised men feel so “emasculated” (deprived of their rape host, probably experienced as their dicks being cut off). Of course the colonised men define it as an attack against themselves and their sacred rape-right, and not as an attack to women, since women aren’t considered as subjects. But I digress.

Hence most prostituted women will be found amongst those who were expropriated from their lands, severely impoverished or made homeless and forced into exodus to big towns where their only chance of survival is prostitution; those whose region or country was invaded, and the women systematically raped and sent to brothels, whether for the defending or invading army; those who formed the subsequent generation of women after the occupation or war and who are now so extremely impoverished they are abandoned by their family or have to leave their home to be prostituted in men’s big towns. In such colonised countries, as many as one woman out of two or three may be forced into prostitution at a given time, even many decades after the war has officially ended. Indeed the vast majority of women trafficked for prostitution or forced domestic work come from the global south. Within the group of colonisers or higher-class men, homelessness in women is mostly generated through severe child abuse, incest rape and pimping of their own children for child prostitution rings or pornography. All this appears to be true at the local as well as the global level.

This is my speculation but it is quite possible that the institutionalisation of prostitution and brothels came about through men’s systematic raping of unmarried or homeless women as a way of punishing them for not belonging to a man, to make sure no women escaped rape and male conscription. Collective raping of women is also men’s preferred form of bonding so it might be that men always considered prostitution necessary for holding the cohesion and fabric of men’s society together. Given that they’re obsessed by paternity and furthering their genetic lineage and that it’s considered a crime for another man to sully his reproductive property, they must have decided for the sake of male-peace-keeping and preventing too many fights over ownership to set some women apart for public, collective raping – to make sure that every man could have a go at raping. I guess they would otherwise always want to rape other men’s wives or daughters and it would have disturbed men’s social order or strict reproductive control scheme. I wonder whether the history of prostitution development has been documented anywhere. Someone told me that it first started in Sumerian societies, alongside the practice of veiling married women.

Domestic servants: Same mechanism as for prostituted women except that their acquisition will be reserved to wealthier men who can afford to have slaves and/or servants in his domain. They act as surrogate inferior wives, wet nurses, cooks, cleaners, nannies, completing work that would otherwise be reserved for the married woman. The pater familias usually has right of rape over the domestic servants.

Then of course there are all those wild women who have bravely or luckily escaped male bondage: spinsters, lesbians, witches, hags, and other such revolting women that men have hunted down with all their might.

This is it for now. Stay tuned in for the next part which will focus on what it does when men inflict different degrees of violence between women.

Cutting through the throes of intersectionality: part I

This is one subject that I have been intending to write about for several years and have written a few drafts here and there, scattered around my notepads. The subject is so vast that every time I started writing I simply got lost in a maze of sub-sections, which is why I let it lag behind. But now I’m quite happy to give it another go.

Historically, intersectionality has come from men, in the 80s and 90s, with the purpose of persuading women that they could be oppressed by us too, that women were also oppressors of men and that the oppressed could all oppress each other. It’s an antifeminist mix between liberal male academentia and lefty male activism and forms a deadly weapon designed to undermine bonding of women against men.

In this oppression festival where everyone is considered both oppressed and oppressor, the definition of oppression is of course emptied of all meaning and this is exactly the intent of intersectionality: to erase and divert our eyes from the primary truth and fact that men are the only oppression-organisers of this human world, and that rape and impregnation of women is the fabric and central organising mechanism of men’s system of domination.

All forms of domination stem from and serve this purpose of maintaining men’s sexual access to women, globally: it is the first and final cause. There is no system separate from patriarchy because men are the sole rulers everywhere on the planet, and their tyranny is always and inherently sex-based, based on their sexual domination over women. Power-over is phallic and male, and men treat subordination as female and receptacle-shaped. Men’s dom/sub relationships and interaction with the world follow this male/penetrating vs. female/penetrated syntax, either literally or subliminally/symbolically. Being male, holding the rape-weapon between their legs, is what grants status in patriarchy, power to oppress and the privilege of being considered a subject. That is because at the very basic level, their oppressive power is both achieved and maintained with the use of their penis-weapon, through the raping, impregnation, capture and domestication of women globally. This is fundamentally why women will never share men’s power, but this is off-topic so I will discuss it more another time.

Intersectionality is liberal because it focuses on the particular, on individual agency and on individual perception of one’s condition at the expense of structural analysis and the reality of men’s oppressive structures. This is one major reason why it’s incompatible with radical feminism because our analysis is based on a structural, macroscopic perspective: we look at the structure of male oppression, at how all women, based on their sex, are held captive in a giant patriarchal cage.

So this is what I’m going to do here, I’m first going to look at the structure of men’s system in order to explain how intersectional analysis doesn’t fit the big picture.

Lie number #1: Women may oppress men.

(ie white women may oppress men of colour, etc.)

This configuration is not possible, as all men are oppressors to all women. If A oppresses B; B can’t in turn oppress A – otherwise B wouldn’t be oppressed by A. Oppression, as an institutionalised and organised form of domination by one group over another, isn’t revertible in any way. It’s by definition one-sided and unilateral, at the benefit of the oppressor group and detrimental to the oppressed. Men can’t be oppressed on the basis of sex and therefore can’t be oppressed by the sex class they themselves oppress, even on a racist or classist basis. For women to be able to oppress men in any way, men would have to no longer be our oppressors, but this is not true in patriarchy. Oppression can only go downwards in the hierarchy, that is, A oppresses B and B might oppress a third group beneath them, C. Although only men can be both oppressed and oppressors. Women are never oppressors because women as a group have no control-power whatsoever on whomsoever in male society. We only have token power-over. Which leads to the point #2.

Lie number #2: Some women can oppress other women when it comes to racism and classism or other isms

Sub-title: on the structure and function of difference in status between women, part I.

For the same reasons that women can’t oppress men, women can’t oppress women either. First because women lack the primary weapon of female oppression which is the penis, second because, as said above, women as a group have no autonomous apparatus of power with which to enforce any kind of oppressive system. Women’s status will always be a token one in patriarchy and the token’s only power will never exceed that of a subordinate executing the dirty work of the masters, policing women and undermining the spirit, solidarity and liberation potential of her own kind. Their condition is similar to that of a Kapo in the Nazi concentration camps, except that for women there is no outside world where there are no nazis, to which we can escape.

If some women may be exempt of certain kinds of limitations or violence, or may be individually assigned to dominate other women, this does not make them oppressors. To look at who the oppressors are, you have to step back and look at who is holding the reigns of the system of domination and who benefits from women dominating each other and from all forms of domination in general. It is evidently men. It is not difficult to see that men rule every aspect of this society and that women are excluded from any meaningful decision-making role. Second, it logically follows that the oppression planners are those who benefit from their own system of domination – that is, men. The benefits are intended and men’s oppressive system indeed increases their power over women in order to use them as reproductive hosts.

By contrast, women’s status in patriarchy never exceeds that of being owned or controlled by a privileged man (or its institutional representative). The reduced limitations or minor advantages certain positions might confer don’t benefit women to the extent that in and of itself, it doesn’t give the power to be free from the male owners (husband, father-state, religious institution or any form of male impersonation), nor does it protect us from men’s sexual/sexist violence. Men still conserve their right of ownership and sexual access to the token or assimilated women, it’s the whole point of the deal. It won’t protect her from sexual harassment, psychological conditioning, abuse by her husband, forced impregnation or domestic slavery. Exposure to men’s violence and tight control of our movement or thoughts is the very purpose of being granted pseudo-status in fatherland – it keeps us close to the masters. And the higher up we go in male hierarchy, the stronger their control will be, and the more dissociated and anti-woman we will have to act in order to survive in their midst, which of course is at our expense. If we chose to withdraw from men and men’s violence our pseudo-advantages or statuses would be greatly reduced or taken away. However only by withdrawing from men can we be free.

By submitting to the framework and rules men have dictated, assimilated women or token torturers work against the liberation of her own kind and therefore against their own liberation too – both are inseparable. Her escape from the fate of women is an illusion. Tokenism and assimilation to male institutions are not only useless but a crucial and deliberate strategy of men’s domination.

The analogy can be made between women’s situation and animal husbandry, even though it has its limitations. With domesticated animals, there are differences in degrees of violence inflicted to the animals according to whether they are farm animals, industry and battery farm animals, and domestic pets. According to animal-rights activists, farm animals are by far the most badly treated, especially pigs, but also other animals. Second in line are better-treated farm animals who live outside and are well fed but still destined to be killed and eaten eventually, closely followed by domestic pets, who are more likely to receive better treatment overall, even if most are punished and beaten too. With a stretch of imagination, we could imagine that the domestic pets have been groomed to believe in the superiority of their condition and show contempt or discriminate against their more unfortunate peers, as a way to show allegiance to their masters.

An intersectionalist would say that the domestic pets oppress the farm and industry-bred animals and are privileged traitors. But it’s perfectly clear here that none of the animals have any power to oppress any of their peers because they are all isolated from one another, and all are owned by their masters: they all share the same condition, only some have escaped the worst forms of torture. The only oppressors here are the human masters.

This logic equally applies to women’s  situation. But as opposed to animals, there aren’t vast numbers of undomesticated and uncaptured women living in the wild. All women are domesticated by men and most individually or collectively owned, and subjected to varying degrees of torture according to which male group, individual or institution they belong to.

I made another drawing!

male class system2

This is a very simplified diagram of men’s sex class / oppression system.

You can see that women’s status is aligned to those of the men they are controlled or owned by, which means that the woman who belongs to the man of class 1 will only set her slightly ahead of women from lower male classes, and so on, but it doesn’t put her in the male oppressor camp since she is still owned by a man / men. All women share the same condition albeit in different degrees. As you can see, the women are isolated from each other because they are shut in men’s homes, and are also divided by men’s class strates, but men aren’t – not on a sex class perspective: all men get to fulfill their sex-based right to possess (rape, marry, etc) a woman.

That’s it for now, the next part will continue my thoughts on the structure of hierarchies between women in patriarchy.

 

Taking notes on male activism

About a year ago, I was deceived into a male activist gathering by a few friends, who assured me the speakers were women, but who upon arrival turned out to be a man. Groan, what a trap! The problem being of course that these friends weren’t feminist enough to understand the danger it represented to be around male activists, as if the mistake didn’t make any difference. I shouldn’t have accepted in the first place, knowing it wouldn’t be feminist. It was too complicated to leave at this point, so I had endure the speech.

However listening to his speech was instructive, as I took careful note of the evening, reactions and content. He was invited to talk about his activism in his own country which was under military occupation (this is as specific as I can get) and what made his presentation rather enlightening was the comparison I could draw between colonised men and colonised women.

This man recounted his experience as an activist, the kind of actions their group did, his perspective on the occupation and on their means of action and strategies, gave some background info on the current situation, etc. It was infuriating and depressing to be reminded of men’s privilege as activists fighting for a male-accredited cause, recognised by a global community of liberals and lefties as the Noble fight for freedom against evil occupiers. A recognition that we, as radical feminists, could never dream of. Depressing to realise how many obstacles we have to face in comparison to male liberationists, how easy they have it all. Weird also to see how I’ve become so used to being attacked and rejected from all sides, isolated, having to constantly slash through the lies and reversals and gaslighting even in my own camp, that I completely forgot what it looked like not to have to endure that. At all.

Since he was speaking of occupation and colonisation, the parallel was glaring with women’s situation worldwide, us being the most colonised and repressed people on this planet, though obviously not one word was spoken about women. The injustice and inequality of his undeserved recognition was so insulting that it was like a constant smack in the face and I wanted to shout at the audience and the speaker that they were all hypocritical self-congratulatory bastards, but obviously I couldn’t do that without appearing completely crazy and inappropriate, so I just had to mutter and grumble to myself, containing myself from bursting at the people around me. These situations really drive you mad, the dissonance is unbearable.

Nobody in this room apart form myself realised or questioned the insane privilege he had as a male activist. The absolute luxury of being taken seriously, immediately. The admiring respect. The luxury of it being self-evident to everyone in this room that we are morally obligated to endorse this cause, to side with the oppressed and denounce the oppressors. He is certain of everyone’s approval. Everything is so easy for him.

He is free from the self-defeating, maddening burden of having to justify his use of the term duck for describing a duck and thus having to show what makes a duck, a duck, and how it applies to his case: since the bird he’s talking about has a particular form of beak, wings and feet, colour, and its capacity to both swim and fly. In other words, having to demonstrate how his condition of colonised qualifies as colonisation and how oppressors are necessarily oppressive. Of having to prove that military occupation is by definition forced on the occupied people and not chosen by them, that beatings are inherently violent and repressive and not expressions of love. He has no dread of being rejected or misunderstood by using straightforward terms to describe the situation. No one would dare come up to him to say “but what if your people enjoy being beaten, arrested and bombed?” I was envious of his privilege to name the agent and their violence in such a plain and matter-of-fact language, and it wouldn’t cross anyone’s mind to dispute the reality of his claims. It is obvious to everyone that the occupation is true and serious, that their need to resist is legitimate. There is no separation between language and reality for him.

Women by contrast are dispossessed from all the words necessary to name and therefore conceive of our condition – this is one of men’s most deadly weapons against women’s liberation. As Mary Daly says, “Women have had the power of naming stolen from us. We have not been free to use our own power to name ourselves, the world, or God.” (Beyond God the Father: Towards a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation (1973), p.8). Radical feminists are cursed with this invisible distorting lens, men’s false reality separating us from the world and from ourselves, the meaning of our words doomed to never reach our recipients – we may repeat the truth of the atrocities again and again but so erased and reverted is our reality that even to get women to glimpse a modicum of men’s oppression and understand that men’s violence against us is not a victimless crime, may take years. Imagine talking about pornography in the same way as the male activist, to that same public: “so, this year male colonisers have captured and tortured 3 million women in their mass rape industry, it is a terrible situation, so we have tried our best to harm men to stop their genocidal progress. We managed to sabotage two of their events a few months ago and we also ended up wounding two men. It’s not much but we do the best we can with the means we have[applause and acclaim].

Men’s reality is so distinct from ours. I wanted to laugh out loud at him, Mr brave hero, ultimate martyr of the 21st century. He believes to shock the audience by saying that every activist he knows has spent several months or years in prison, arrested by the settlers. I wish women had only that to deal with. Not long before, a woman had told me she spent 23 years imprisoned by her abusive husband – like 3 other billion women on this planet. I guess 20 years must be the minimum sentence for married or owned women, if they survive that long after childhood. The kind of lifetime confinement, torture and isolation women are subjected to by men is far beyond any man would ever experience or could ever imagine. Men’s short-term imprisonment is a child play in comparison, not only that but their prison is at least recognised as a prison, and they go in there knowing they will be greeted as heroes in return, that it was worth it, that they’re not alone.

I could go on and on, and I will in fact. I was so angry that evening.

Oh and when these activists organise meetings and conferences, thousands of people turn up in no time. Their primary means of communication is through social networks on internet, and everything they do is documented and open. They refuse to hide anything – their faces, their names, and hundreds of thousand people support them on the internet. People take photos of him during the speech, he’s happy about that. His aim, he says, is to harm the occupier as much as possible. It is his right, he says, according to international human rights treaties, that victims of occupation choose the means of their resistance, whether armed or peaceful.

How free he is compared to us! I think of how difficult it is in comparison to even get 5 women together for a feminist project, and for them to take that seriously enough or put women first. We have to face constant rejection and contempt from women. I also wish I could do everything in the open, and be more open in my writing too – since feminist insights are gained through interacting with daily life events, having to omit personal anecdotes in order not to be recognised has the cost of limiting the context and meaning of my writing. I hide my name and I’m so scared of being harassed by men with my blogging that I have adapted my day-to-day behaviour in order to leave as little trails behind me as possible. I refuse to have pictures taken of me in public. I have to be careful of what I say, at all times. I simply can’t afford to harm men directly in any way because if I went to prison, or if I were attacked or harassed by them, nobody could help me, I wouldn’t have a bunch of activist buddies who would have the power to bail me out in a few months. I would be alone. There is no international community of liberals who recognises our condition as being occupied by men even if it defines as occupation: the right to harm occupiers only applies to men. I wouldn’t be able to rally wider support either because my actions would only rally more hatred against me. Just look at what happens to bloggers and women when they only reflect about it.

He needn’t fear that at every speech he is invited to, there will be defenders of the colonisers there to intimidate him, or worse, invited to speak alongside him for a “debate”, to advance the position that occupation is freedom. That every activist he meets may be covertly working for the settlers, identifying to their interests or seeking to sabotage his group’s actions from within. It wouldn’t occur to anyone to complain about the absence of oppressors, it would have been considered a terrible offence to do so. He has the luxury of being part of an essentially undivided movement, where the big picture of freeing themselves from the colonisers is never lost to the activists, even if strategies may differ.

This made me think about our everyday experience of infiltration and sabotage within feminism, how normalised it is – the banality of horror, to take Arendt’s term. We are so filled with crooks, imposters or our very oppressors that finding an un-twisted form of feminism is almost a miracle. Not wanting to be in the same room with our oppressors when we discuss our liberation causes endless retaliation. Our movement is so deeply controlled by male interests or men that merely attempting to exclude infiltrators will warrant punishment and be seen as illegitimate. We live in such a different world.

Where this comparison is leading me to, that he admitted himself he doesn’t like doing what he does, that he’d rather do something else of his life but he does it out of duty, because he wants his people to be free. Well, I find that interesting. Male activism is indeed boring. Deadening, repetitive, necrophilic, threatening. There is indeed no joy, no life. He’s perfectly right. Our situation as radical feminists might be the most repressed but for nothing in the world would I quit radical feminism – because contrary to male activism, feminism saves women’s lives. It brings back to life. I don’t do it out of duty but because it’s a call of my soul, I follow the flow. We become alive again and we regain our senses and sight. I don’t think he will ever experience the beauty of spinning and female-bonding, which all the admiration of the world will never replace. It was interesting to contrast his model to radical feminism here, in fact I never really conceived of radical feminism as activism so much as a transformative movement. It is movement, the real movement of being. Liberation isn’t a distant goal we seek to achieve but something we experience on a daily basis. And each transformation, each revelation, connection and bonding brings back a swirl of energy and joy. You can feel the “pops” and crackling of the fire which lightens your soul and frees from men’s mindbindings.

I don’t know what to conclude really, it’s strange this paradox between our situation being the worst yet our movement being the best thing that happens to us as women, in spite of the unbridgeable gap and all the crushing obstacles, men never completely kill the life in us, this possibility to resuscitate life after annihilation. The extent of men’s power over women even when they’re oppressed is gross and humiliating but our liberation is so distinct from theirs that the only thing we can do is get over it and continue what we have to do, sparking other women and ourselves and withdrawing from men. We just aren’t on the same level at all, it’s perplexing when I think of it. Basically the only thing that men will ever inform you of is the extent of their domination over you, and that’s the only thing you can learn from observing and listening to their speeches. Once you’ve understood the extent of your oppression and their power over you, and gotten over the anger of it all, well maybe we will set the bar higher for ourselves next time but we can learn nothing from male activism except that it’s everything we shouldn’t do.

Sisterhood, sisterhood… Thoughts on identity and what it does to radical feminism.

Last week, through a conversation with a friend I finally came to understand why identity making made me feel uneasy, which led me to think about the definition of identity and why it’s an embodiment of foreground male presence as opposed to female being (I’m using Mary Daly’s notion of male foreground / female background).

I’m not talking about identity politics here, which may be related but is more blatantly liberal and generally comes from the queer / intersectional fringes and has really nothing to do with radical feminism. It’s something else. I was thinking about this more than a year ago, then left it as it was, and these thoughts sprung back again in the same state the other day. I knew something was wrong somewhere but I couldn’t tell how exactly, put words on it. What I felt was a ‘something missing’ which left a dissonant aftertaste in my tongue, as if there lacked some deep understanding. Something appeared superficial. If there was a problem in the understanding of men’s oppression such as with social constructionism, or problems in the way they were acting that contradicted their sayings, I had already broken that down and there was something else still.

I’m racking my brain, thinking about it: superficial, that’s fake. Sisterhood. Why do I not like the way it’s used? Something in there is fabricating an idea of a happy sisterhood that’s too exaggerated to be true. It has a groupie feel to it, that horrible feeling I had in school with girl cliques you were supposed to want to be friends with, and many of us pretended to stick together only because being alone was too dangerous, it meant you would be scapegoated and that was akin to death, so you had to obey to whatever conventions in order to show your belonging to this group, to give the impression to yourself and others you weren’t alone. I always found group assimilation alienating as it would leave me feeling more isolated than when I was alone. I never managed to fit in any of these groups.

In a similar way, I find alienating the repetitive use of ‘sisterhood’ and ‘sisters’ in contexts that don’t relate to the reality of an association or trusted group of friends. You’re invited to feel part of or witness a wonderful community in which all women are happy together dancing, laughing and singing and holding hands or whatever… but you know this isn’t true, simply because it’s not happening as you read / listen – at best you don’t have any connection to the women writing, reading, commenting, publishing, talking etc because you don’t know them – or at worst you’ve heard about behind-the-scenes stuff which are too stressful to think about. In either case, you’re invited to share an experience that doesn’t exist or contrasts sharply with reality.

I presume sisterhood loosely means a large or small group or community of women bound together in a solid and positive way. I do know the existence of groups but I have no interest in mentioning them except if it’s relevant to what I’m writing. So it isn’t something that happens or appears just because you use the word. It isn’t like the word “I apologise” which is also an action and so when you say it you’re making it happen. In this case sisterhood – or derivatives referring to false images of a big loving community, words and names of radical feminists – are used as rallying symbols for following or inclusion, instead of for the meaning they convey in a relevant context.

This is what advertising companies do. This is what male ideologues do, what religious males do. Not that women are any of them, but some of the strategies bear a resemblance as we’re made to believe that diffusing feminism is about recruitment, communication and convincing. But persuasion and recruitment are only necessary for men since their institutions are based on myths and lies. Feminism is the opposite: either the truth of men’s violence is blocked out or either you see it – because it’s always there right in front of our nose. The method of radical feminism is peeling off the veil that men covered our eyes with, it’s consciousness-raising, connecting the dots outside and inside, it is Seeing and Feeling.

Just yesterday a woman told me she wouldn’t attend a woman-only feminist event because it was “politically biased” (in feminism) and she didn’t want to feel tricked or forced into an “ideology”. Well, I found that laughable because she ignores that everything else she goes to which is supposedly neutral is a manifestation of patriarchal ideology, and the only thought and movement that isn’t ideological is feminism. I reminded her that feminism, unlike an ideology, isn’t based in reversals and myth-making as a tool of control of one group over another: it’s naming reality, saying the truth of what men do to us and there aren’t 3,000 ways of naming it, the fact men’s violence exists isn’t debatable. It isn’t about recruiting and brainwashing an army to take power, wage war, occupy or colonise. To this she replied, “well all ideologies strive to tell the truth and give their own interpretation of reality, religions do that, political parties do that, and so does feminism”.

Oh dear. No, male institutions don’t ever strive to tell the truth, this is female projection and blindness here. I gave up the conversation at this point, as she was too far away into male liberalism to understand a word I said.

The point being, while feminism isn’t an ideology, it’s sometimes treated as such. My friend pointed out references to rituals. Rituals! Yes that makes sense, it’s like religion. It’s about upholding an artificial reality through regular gestures, pomp or actions, and are explicitly or implicitly mandatory to show your belonging to a male group or institution (religious, legal, military, other).

Ah. Now I understand. Identities may be a form of ritual – performance, role-playing. Just like rituals, you have to repetitively execute a certain number of actions or use a certain number of symbols to keep up those roles, to uphold the myth, to prove your belonging to the fictional group, collective or nation. This is male identity-making. Actions are retrieved from their experience, the goal is separate from the process of doing the action in itself. You’re deprived of the sensory experience, which is why it makes you feel empty and repulsed by it. That is you’re no longer doing something regularly because it feels good and it sustains you but because you have to do it in order to be part of the group at this particular time. And if you don’t comply, you risk being excluded, of being called unsisterly, you’re punished in some way or another, it may be subtle enough so you don’t realise it but feel guilty. It really is about control.

I think this is what we mean when we criticise the use of radical feminism as an identity: the actions, symbols, words and names are emptied of their meaning and context and used in ritualistic ways to uphold a fiction of group-belonging, for power over or to show conformity to a group because you need to feel included, so you become emotionally attached to it and it’s actually what prevents you from continuing to understand things on a deeper level. Identity = ritual = fiction = trauma-bonding to false inclusion = tool of control. Hence why it’s so stressful to read / listen, and my impression of shallowness.

Blogging and internet makes this role-playing easier I suppose, as you can just create an alias and invent a whole persona, the truth is easier to hide. But dynamics are the same online as well as in real life.

I don’t think the identity-making is always done deliberately or maliciously. Often it is, as a manipulation tactic to gain control, but sometimes it just flows from our desperate need to feel part of a group, because radical feminism may have been the first thing that broke our isolation, it may have been the first thing that gave sense to our suffering. I think this is very sad. We have all terribly suffered from being abandoned, scapegoated, excluded, and we want these women to be the happy family we never had. We cling to women very quickly and place all our hopes and dreams of a free sisterly community in them. Except that it doesn’t work this way. It’s tempting to make an identity out of radical feminism because our female culture and sense of being in this world is constantly erased and we want to recreate a sense of community and belongingness very fast because we’re desperate, so we recreate one before it exists, in ritualistic ways. These idealistic images of sisterhood are tempting but most often they’re not true.

That’s it, it’s lovebombing – a word that Delphyne used some time ago. Don’t be fooled by love-bombing, because it may hide abuse, control or manipulation. Experience has taught me that in patriarchy it’s dangerous to leap into a group or a relation without taking a very long time to build trust, without giving it the test of time.

Intellectually dishonest?

It’s quite by chance that I stumbled upon Elizabeth Hungerford’s latest post, and had to read it a second time before I understood that it was a hidden critique of my and other women’s posts on essentialism and PIV as rape (Anntagonist, FCM, TYP…) – it was so indirect that I totally missed the point of the post at my first reading:

The gist is that you can only be a Real Radical Feminist if you agree with the specific ideas currently in vogue. For example, male essentialism is very popular among women identifying as “radical feminists” on the internet. That’s fine, but it is intellectually dishonest to present this as The One True Radical Feminist Way. Andrea Dworkin wrote a scathing critique of biological superiority in feminist thought.^4 If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend taking the time to do so. Even her preamble is interesting. But presenting certain conclusions as foregone– such as the biological inevitability of male dominance, or that all heterosexual sex is rape– when these ideas were not universally accepted in the first place is historical revisionism. And nobody likes that except The Man.

(Italics mine).

I usually ignore the vacuous, passive-aggressive criticisms from other women because they’re boring and replying to them is even more so, but I think this time is a good opportunity to address them and break down what’s happening and what it means politically when they say that. I know how easy it is to be convinced by it through intimidation even though the arguments have no substance whatsoever. So I think it’s worth recalling basic principles of rational discussion and assess those criticisms in this light. Just so you know, this isn’t about EH specifically and I don’t want it to be understood that way, it’s about a wider patriarchal mechanism against radical feminism.

E.H. claims male essentialism is very popular in internet radical feminism. I find it weird to frame radfem thought in terms of ‘popularity’ because radical feminism isn’t about advertising and making things nice and palatable to the masses. To me the purpose of radical feminism has always been a rigorous and honest research for truth about men’s system of domination, where the insights we gain through discussion inform our actions and reshape and transform our lives, shape the way we free ourselves from men’s dominance. This is very important because it might be life-saving or fatal. It’s not an abstract intellectual pissing contest; it’s thought that emerges from the real horror of what men do to us, grounded on the real emergent need to escape men for our survival, and grounded on millennia of universal and timeless EVIDENCE of who men prove to be. The truth isn’t nice. The only reason we take the insane risk to publish those thoughts on a blog isn’t to gain popularity but in the hope that our insights may be shared with other women, as a way to transmit our knowledge and research for the sake of women’s liberation.

Agreed, the view has gained a bit of momentum in the last year or so, but if we talk of popularity in terms of numbers, it isn’t difficult to see that the vast majority of women in the radical feminist community, especially those who have written and influenced current feminism, are not male-essentialist. As bloggers and regular commenters, including those who left, we’re just a handful, probably around 8-9 women, and the only published essentialist writers I know of are Mary Daly and Sonia Johnson. That’s two. Sonia Johnson, who in order to have her work published uncensored, self-publishes, and Mary Daly, whose immense philosophical work is often discounted as merely spiritual, and her essentialism is rarely if ever discussed seriously in radfem work. By contrast, the number of non-essentialist, genderist bloggers is around 30 (probably more), and published writers, around 50-60 (that I know of).

So we have on one side, the genderists who comprise of the vast majority of published writers and bloggers under the name of radical feminism, and on the other hand, a handful of women writing on male-essentialism and PIV as rape. Now when a group is numerically much smaller, and isn’t recognised as representing radical feminism as a whole, you call this a MINORITY. We are a minority, that’s a fact.

So what has happened in the last year or so is that some women such as FCM, me, Cherry and TYP have carefully outlined arguments, based on evidence, observation and reason, leading to the conclusion that men are inherently violent, that PIV is inherently harmful and PIV is rape. And have pointed out the various contradictions, false equivalences and problems in genderist thinking and politics. To this, E.H. says:

It is intellectually dishonest to present this as The One True Radical Feminist Way. … presenting certain conclusions as foregone– such as the biological inevitability of male dominance, or that all heterosexual sex is rape– when these ideas were not universally accepted in the first place is historical revisionism.

Her first criticism is that we don’t accept the genderist view as true: well that’s true, I do hold the view that genderism is an inaccurate, misguided and even endangering perspective of male violence, and there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s correct. Critical thinking is perfectly reasonable, and is part of what research and learning is about: you understand where something went wrong in order to improve on it, to take it further and not repeat the same mistakes, remember this is in a situation where we are trying to save our lives from men’s violence.

The next bit is lies. Our conclusions aren’t foregone at all since we formed them with serious consideration of evidence and arguments. And I don’t see the problem with an idea that’s not universally accepted, why that makes it wrong and how that links to historical revisionism. What the hell! Nobody’s denying the historical presence of genderists and their prominence in the radfem movement. In fact to criticise genderism we have to acknowledge its existence. And yes, if we define radical feminism as dedicated to the truth about the roots of our oppression, well that does entail excluding certain positions or definitions from radical feminism if they prove to inaccurately explain the root of our oppression. Why not? What’s wrong with that, again?

I expect women, when criticising my work, to measure up to very basic standards of rational discussion and reading comprehension. If you say my conclusions (ie that all PIV is rape) are wrong, you need to demonstrate it, explain why I’m wrong and where, otherwise your criticism isn’t valid. You need to show for instance how the conclusions don’t follow from the arguments, that the evidence used is incorrect, the global worldview (ontology) is unsound, something doesn’t make sense or the pieces don’t connect together and fit, on a logical/rational or even intuitive level. And I always appreciate good criticism. If I’m told I’m wrong, and that criticism makes sense, well I’m going to accept that and move on, or take that seriously and review my work to verify that.

E.H.’s criticisms and many others in the same vein aren’t valid. They fail basic reading comprehension, never address or discuss the content of my work, let alone demonstrate why it’s wrong. In fact EH never even says my conclusions are wrong, she’s not really concerned about the truth or falseness of my (and other women’s) work. Her real problem seems to be with these conclusions being published and gaining minor credibility amongst a tiny group of women.

So when that takes the form of lies and false statements about what we say (foregone conclusion, historical revisionism, erasing feminists, intellectual dishonestly) we call that slandering. It’s intimidation and reprisal.  Interestingly, all the accusations can be reverted to her own post. Her statements are foregone conclusions and intellectually dishonest since based on no evidence or demonstration whatsoever; slandering has the effect and intent of silencing essentialist feminists; she effectively erases essentialist feminism by failing to mention the content of work and the writers even in name.

This is not new, and has recent historical precedence of which FCM has discussed at length on her own blog. It’s a classical antifeminist response, and you know it’s antifeminist precisely because it’s full of slander, mindfucks, reversals and gaslighting, which are male anti-woman tactics / patterns. Antifeminism occurs when women are colonised, act as token thought police on behalf of men. The very nature of colonisation (type two colonisation) means that such women will have to shut down and prevent any discussion, event, or whatever because they perceive it as a threat to themselves: it’s a survival mechanism, which works as continued self sabotage.

What’s happening here, is women from a male-embedded group – reformists, liberals and genderists, a number of whom are given token status by a some males and male institutions for holding and publishing these views – attempting to quash women from a minority group – essentialists, who certainly aren’t given token rewards by men for publishing these views: and women know this, that there’s a threat, a loss of token status, a loss of hope that men will change, something to lose, at least in appearance. They see what men do to the women who say such things. The rift is thus between those women more colonised by male ideologies such as reformism and genderism, and those who see through the traps of reformism and tokenism and name them for what they are.

In retrospect to the 85,000, reformism and other things

When men view our blogs in such large numbers, it’s a threat. They’re not just looking at it, they view it with the intent of harming radical feminists and women in general. They do it to collect information so they know what next to do to prevent women from going there. They batter radfem work in public for all women to see and show the result of their verbal and written battering as an example of what will await women if they do, think or say the same. They write nasty and threatening comments, that in order to trash, I have to read at least a few words of. Even though it doesn’t hurt my feelings, they are still harmful and inevitably affect my thoughts.

85,000, that’s the maximum number of views I had in one day a couple of weeks ago when the liberals and MRAs circulated my PIV blogpost for punishment. Unlike a normal blogger, attracting 85,000 hits isn’t something I want to celebrate. It’s threatening: you know they’re after you, it only means you’ve hit men’s radar and you have no idea what they plan to do. Will they attempt to hack into my blog? Will they try to find info about me? The kinds of thought this leads me to is 85,000 men going after me in real life. Probably a bit less if you discount the women. If that happened, how on earth could I hide from tens of thousands of men?

Receiving so many comments denying what I said one after the other reinforces my sense of isolation, of outlandishness, of being the only one who knows. It makes me doubt the reality of my perceptions, it makes me waver, it shakes my foundations for a bit. I start questioning what I said. If so many people assert this with such confidence and if it contrasts so starkly with my perceptions, how can my assumptions be real? The wavering doesn’t last for long thankfully, I regain my senses quite quickly, sometimes more so than others. Writing, talking about it to friends and receiving radfems comments helps a lot. It’s the only thing that ever helps actually.

All this is gaslighting and bullying, men’s lies are meant to sound convincing. They convince with the use of force, ordering me to comply to their view by using an authoritarian, terrorising tone. ‘How dare you see otherwise. You’re crazy. You’re a bully. Etc.’ Which is why it works so well to instil self-doubt because it’s a mindfuck, it’s thought-blocking, it’s also an assault and it creates fear and willingness to appease to avoid further assaults. Brainwashing works through a mix of mind assaults, terror and constant repetition of a same message until it’s hammered into our brain, which is psychological violence. 85,000 views and hundreds of trolling comments is in effect a blitzkrieg brainwashing attack by men and male-colonised women. Hundreds of men and their pawns attempting to reprogram the minds of deviant female bloggers, women who don’t comply and who break through men’s myths and lies.

It’s interesting that Cathy Brennan’s response to the whole thing led a commenter, Tracy, to comment about what it meant on reformism: I hadn’t framed it in that way (see discussion here, here and here). I’ve been thinking about it for a while but haven’t had the time to comment on it properly so I’ll continue my thoughts in this post. Tracy defined CB’s post as reformist to the extent that CB doesn’t name the agent, that is why men isolating us from one another is so dangerous, why it’s so important to huddle together in this circumstance [because men are waiting in line to rape and kill us]. CB asks us to take safety measures against a threat -men- that she won’t name, and at the same time treats men as an audience to appease, as if they would take note and change their behaviour accordingly. Tracy named that gaslighting because it’s acting as if two opposites (truth vs. omission/lie; threat vs. safety) were the same. Of course it’s not CB’s fault because she herself is victim of it.

So reformism defines as gaslighting because it acknowledges a threat -violence- and the need for it to stop, yet it never names the threat -men- and then requires us to RELY on that threat as a source of help. It requires us to resort to men as sensible beings who would stop being violent if told so, which causes the opposite of the aspired safety: renewed vulnerability to men’s violence. So it IS a mindfuck: we should see there’s a threat, but treat it as if it weren’t, then go back in harm’s way to try to plead with our rapists and murderers instead of getting AWAY from them. Resorting to men – policemen, lawmen, statesmen, whatevermen, to protect us from… men! It always leads to more abuse, not less. We are supposed to seek safety from abusers, and truth from lies. This is very deliberate, the very point is to prevent us from seeking safety where safety is, and from identifying men for what they are, so we never get away from men’s dominance.

Gaslighting is an abuse tactic of individual abusers against individual women. But all male abuse patterns work on the structural level, too. If we apply gaslighting to reformism – which men institute globally as a mode for liberation through state policies, daddy-funded NGOs, the UN, male-led activism etc – well that gives us, as Tracy mentioned, a campaign of gaslighting women at a global scale: therefore reformism is worldwide psychological abuse of women. The repetitive, circular nature of reformism, the erasure of the radfem alternative to reformism (liberation / separatism), the fact it’s always planned from within patriarchal institutions (or with their approval) and applied in ways that assault women, also defines it as brainwashing of women on a global scale: it’s the fabrication and implantation of a false reality into women’s minds on a mass scale – as with all other false feminisms.

This led me to the following insight: thinking about reformism as abuse by men on a collective level, it struck me that the cycles of abuse from relapse to outbursts of more explicit violence applied to the system too. Male abusers of women, especially husbands and boyfriends, never or rarely maintain a constant level of violence over time. There are ups and downs, there are phases, and these phases serve a purpose. After a certain time of ongoing overt violence, women inevitably begin to get a wake-up call. They reach a limit, I have to go now or I will die, I have nothing more to lose. This is a breaking point where the spell of fear or trauma-bonding is broken, where she has the potential to free herself. When men sense that this wake-up call is happening, that women are no longer responding with the usual terror and preparing to escape, they might increase with violent repression to put her back in line, OR they might shift tactic altogether and pretend to be nice for a while to revive her hopes that he will change, that he has finally stopped being violent. He may buy some flowers, say “romantic” things that he stopped saying a long time ago, say he’s sorry, allow her some leeway that he didn’t before, and keep a low profile for a little while.

The fact is that during this relapse phase he never really stops being violent, but the contrast is stark enough in comparison to the previous one to give the illusion to his victim that the violence has stopped, especially if she has been accustomed to much worse for a long time. This phase is crucial in that it enables the abuser to restructure his dominance over her, to reinstall her trauma-bonding and emotional dependence to him, her belief that he has changed for the better, to make sure she won’t escape again. He needs to regain his psychological hold over her. And once this control has been re-secured, he will then rise the bar of violence again progressively and insidiously enough that it won’t alarm her.

On a structural, global level, this is what reformism is about. It’s a phase of relapse between two phases of more overt violence and genocide of women. It’s men collectively pretending to have changed for the better by agreeing to superficial transformations of their system of domination – which contrast enough with the previous phase to give an illusion of a halt and freedom, even though the violence hasn’t stopped. It’s a crisis response to movements of liberation of women, to reinstall women’s collective trauma-bonding and emotional dependency to men. Indeed, it seems that women have never been so trauma-bonded to men collectively now than ever before we can remember.

If you look at the shifts more closely though, none of them pertain to an actual decrease of men’s violence against women – number of rapes, abuse by husbands, etc. The levels have probably never changed, and the power structures have remained completely unchanged too. What has changed is the number of token women in the patriarchal institution (Mary Daly calls this strategy “assimilationism”) and the number of women with token economic and civil rights (to have a bank account, to be salaried exploited, to vote, etc). Have these shifts freed women collectively from men? Nope, not in the slightest.

Historically, it fits, at least from a western-centric perspective, but as far as I can see, western treatment of women and genocide tactics in occupied territories mirrors and complements its own internal genocide of women. We have, from the 12th or 13th century up until the 19th century, a very long period of overt genocide of women by western men across the globe. It has never really stopped of course but at the time there was no illusion that male institutions and colonialists were and could be helpful to women. In Western countries, this wave of genocide was itself a reaction by the religious states to women fleeing men en masse and taking more and more importance in society to the extent that they threatened the monopoly of the states’ power. So what ensued was mass, organised slaughter of women to physically prevent them from gaining autonomy, and men’s global colonisation, resource pillage and genocide served to increase their institutional caste power over all women and reinforce the global rapeability of women with worldwide trafficking in women for prostitution.

What happened from the early 19th century onwards, is a vast and global movement of liberation and decolonisation of women from men in western and colonised countries alike, which continued in major ways until the end of the 20th century, and continues today too. But what has happened this time is that men caught women in the traps of assimilation to them and to their own anti-classist and anti-racist movements: into the trap of reforming men’s system. Men indeed shifted their institutions, their outside appearance and discourse to give the illusion of benevolence to women and shared interests in fighting ‘sexism’. Colonialists, capitalists, pornographers, pimps: they all sold their invasion, raping and killing of women as sexual liberation.

Time and again, woman liberationists in every place of the globe were lured back into male institutional control by being offered money and offices or positions by states and institutions such as the UN, European Union and their derivatives, in exchange of complying to male interventionism and control, and of focusing only on useless, exhausting legal change and tokenism, or ‘gender mainstreaming’ or whatever shit they invent. Women being sorely deprived of money and land, it wasn’t difficult to hurdle them back in with this carrot, or to use this as a way to divide and destroy the integrity of groups between those who refused to take the money and those who believed it would work despite the compromise to their autonomy. The irony today is that there are many woman-only so-called autonomous movements in western as well as non-western countries who’ve identified this male state / institutional takeover of feminism and refuse to have anything to do with them, but on the other hand are completely colonised by the male academic takeover of feminism with all this queer, postmodern, pro-trans and pro-prostitution bullshit. It really has been a takeover on all fronts.

Anyway, so what this presages, is that if we see reformism as an intermittent relapse phase, well that doesn’t look very good does it, it certainly means that there will be a progressive resurgence of overt violence soon. And I think it’s already happening really. It’s not my type to cast doom though, and the good news is that patriarchy fundamentally doesn’t change, so I really don’t think it’s cause for more alarm than usual. All times are good to free ourselves from men. We should do it now.

On colonisation by men, friendships with type #2 colonised women, and how we understand it as radfems

There seems to be two types of colonisation:

#1: one where the woman is colonised but something of the spell or the rigidity of the colonisation has been broken somewhere and she is ready for the leap. In other words, radical feminism has the potential to create connections and liberate her from invasive male presence. If talked to about radical feminism, it will immediately make sense, or very shortly after. These women are great to be around with as a radfem because convos just flow, there’s no mental blocking out to what you’re saying and you can trust that she understands the words you use, which is not a small feat in patriarchy.

#2: one where men have placed auto-immune defences against feminism in a woman: she is made to fear and block out feminism from her mind or some parts of it, to see it as a threat, and will eliminate, sabotage or shut it down or turn against herself and other women.  It works very much like an auto-immune disease or cancer where she is unconsciously, unwittingly acting on men’s behalf, defending their interest by destroying her healthy cells. (Men are cancer).

In fact the two are really different things or states. I still don’t know exactly what makes the first situation possible, that is, how the transition or short cut operates from #1 to #2. There has to be some freedom from a man at some point to have been able to go to the end of our thoughts somehow, but how exactly, for instance if that transition or realisation happens while still being individually enslaved or controlled by a man, is still something I’m thinking about. However I do know what puts women in state / stasis #2, I know what makes spiritual, intellectual access to radical feminism IMPOSSIBLE in the present moment – which is male violence and men’s constraints. And this is what I’m going to focus on here.

**

Note. I’m writing on colonisation because I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships with non radfem (though already into feminism) women lately and how difficult these relationships are. This is a really important question to me because talking to women about feminism (spinning) and creating bonds with women in order to decolonise collectively from men is really what’s most important and what I believe feminism and liberation is based on. But sometimes I just get so much shit, and it never stops being painful and exhausting. I make friends with women, I introduce them to feminism, I’m full of hope that finally there will be women with whom to discuss and further radical feminism, just BE with them and not in dissonance as it usually is with colonised women, but at some point they end up betraying me, hurting me, they stop and stagnate in the middle of their tracks, may revert even, turn against me, because i’m too far ahead and they can’t go there yet, because they’re not ready to meet certain feminist standards, they have a boyfriend who keeps undoing what she just learned, they’re still not feminist enough to value our friendship and the feminist space we’re giving each other, they have no idea how rare and precious it is, or may still prefer male company. It hurts every time the same.

At first I was always wrought from brain contortion by trying to figure out what I’d done wrong for them to do that to me, I’d go over and over the situation to decrypt some hidden understanding I might have missed, something I could do so it wouldn’t repeat itself. But something new always crept up again. And I had enough, I had to find a way to protect myself because the whole thing is just too unbearable, it’s not feminist to let myself continually be hurt by women. So recently I’ve figured out a pattern: that every time a woman does this to me, this weird turning down and gaslighting or whatever she chooses to do to harm me, it’s because she was type #2 colonised. It is the common denominator to all these women, no matter how ‘almost there yet’ I thought they were. It never happens with women who aren’t type #2 colonised, or if it does happen, it mends itself easily, I know I can trust them and I don’t feel like our relationship will be threatened every minute, not knowing what to expect from them.

Through thinking and talking with other radfems, I came to the conclusion that it’s just too dangerous to have high expectations of and become emotionally close to women who aren’t yet radical feminists, in the nut sense – especially women who are still with men and colonised by those men. They are too occupied by men’s violence to prevent themselves from exposing it to you too, they will inevitably turn against you because it’s the way male colonisation is configured to work, there’s nothing personal about it; so long as they’re colonised they will be likely to turn down the relationships with women that are most likely to lead them to feminism or free them from men or embedded maleness.

Even just acquaintance-type, friendly interaction with a colonised woman is stressful because I know to some extent that I can’t rely on her, that I’ll be in the waiting for her for whatever we’re involved in together because she might pull away for being freaked out by what I say, cancel meetings in the last minute because of a dude or out of disrespect to my time and won’t take me and our/my projects or work seriously enough because we’re women, I’m a woman, and a feminist. Or she’ll expect me to abide to mindfucking politeness rules that are impossible not to break. She won’t share with me the same desperate need to talk about feminism, blame men and value feminist discussions, spinning and sparking. Now I know for my own safety not to expect too much of colonised women, to not place too much hope in them, not to drain my energy – and trust that they will take their own path in their own time even if they end up rejecting the stuff I say (and myself with it) at the beginning. I won’t take it personally any more.

My disposition now is to what I can do, say as much truth as I can in the short time I have, and then run away to leave her with processing while maintaining distant contact in case she’s ready to move forward again. Becoming close to her too soon is not only risky for me but for her too, as it might damage any chance of being there when she’ll really need it: because it gives her the opportunity to destroy that relationship before she can appreciate what it means.

**

Male psychic colonisation is the most deadly and effective way for men to maintain our submission. It consists in them turning our uncontrolled self-defence mechanisms against ourselves, so that each time we defend and seek to protect ourselves from male threat, we hurt ourselves, not them. Hereunder are a few illustrations to make my point clear

Case #1: reduced psychic colonisation.

low colonisation

This illustration isn’t describing the ‘transitional’ situation #1 as written above, but rather a post-first-transition situation, after a first leap into radical feminism / lucidity or male-myth cracking. In this situation, psychic colonisation may still subsist in the form of PTSD. That is, we are still internally inhabited or spooked by men’s violence (past or present) through traumatic memory and may continue to act in ways that go against our interest or expose ourselves to violence, but we are aware of its workings to a certain extent and continually seek to free ourselves further from the layers of embedded trauma / male violence.

#2: strong psychic colonisation

high colonisation

Another way of putting embedded maleness: instead of being whole like this:

looking whole

We are pushed outside of ourselves like this: (it’s as if we take the shape of the impact of men’s violation)

impact male violation

In this state, we are colonised, occupied in every sense: men occupy us totally, it is a totalitarian regime in every possible aspect.

PHYSICALLY: men physically and sexually violate us with extreme frequency and severity (PIV, impregnation and sexual violence and harassment), enforce lack or absence of physical and body autonomy, privacy and integrity, restrict and tailor our physical and biological movement in many ways. Men can touch, grab, verbally invade, take and penetrate us whenever they want, impose their presence on us. The repeated and ongoing nature of men’s sexual and physical violence and our captivity to those men who claim ownership rights over us, makes escaping psychic and spiritual colonisation by those men almost impossible, even without their added tools of anti-woman propaganda, reversals, erasure and brainwashing and their whole system that supports them.

SPIRITUALLY: we are constantly spooked and spiritually invaded / alienated by men’s virtual presence. Our soul is driven outside of ourselves through forced dissociation, because we wouldn’t otherwise be able to survive the amount of violence and invasion men inflict on us. We are like ghosts trapped outside of ourselves in nothingness, somewhere between life and death. We follow our lost, invaded self/body around from outside of ourselves with melancholy and a painful sense of loss and separation, without understanding where the pain comes from, believing men’s lies that it’s because we lack them or their attention, instead of lacking ourselves.

PSYCHICALLY: men occupy our thoughts at all times, there is no thoughtspace left for ourselves, we are not allowed to go to the end of our thoughts, we aren’t allowed to even think of being free from men or from thinking about them. We have to control our thoughts so they don’t deviate from submission to men and their orders. We identify to men and no longer to ourselves, we are in a constant state of terror and occupied by obsessive, circular, anxious thoughts.

Psychic and spiritual colonisation is nothing else but trauma-bonding or stockholm syndrome to men or their virtual substitutes (institutions, ideologies, beliefs… such as religion, male gods, universities, states, the law, corporations, schools of thought / political dogmas such as marxism, any form of male instituted dom/sub hierarchy or status, or female token torturers). For more on trauma-bonding and stockholm syndrome, see my previous post on heterosexual grooming, FCM’s excellent post on trauma-bonding or Dee Graham on societal stockholm syndrome. Colonisation is indeed achieved through trauma-bonding. The latter far encompasses so-called “love” relations to individual men, that’s just ONE aspect of it. As all men are our oppressors, their oppression is inescapable and we are forced into dependence on them, we necessarily trauma-bond to ALL men as a class, and their virtual substitutes.

Trauma-bonding and stockholm syndrome, at their very basic, work through a reversal and mindfuck which is achieved through men holding us captive to them.

The way they hold us captive so we can’t escape their sexual violence is by making us dependent on them for our physical, emotional, psychic, economic survival. We have no other choice but to depend on them or their institutions in order to survive and EXIST. This is the reversal / mindfuck / paradox: we’re thus dependent on their violence to survive, but their violence is precisely what destroys us and threatens our survival. The reason it works so well is because on top of this they erase our awareness and memory of the violence from our consciousness, through gaslighting, isolation of women and reversals (such as PIV/rape is love-making, marriage is romantic and being exploited for a salary is independence). IOW they wipe off all external and internal reality of the violence from our minds and prevent us from naming and identifying it, which causes amnesia, dissociation and burial of our awareness in the traumatic, unconscious memory. The violence thus disappears from our conscious perception and we experience this captivity and violence on a conscious level only as being saved and helped by men or by their virtual substitutes. It’s a very clever illusionist trick that men play on our psyches.

As we can no longer experience or perceive men’s violence directly and therefore can no longer identify men as violent, our terror of men is thus misdirected, too.

So on the conscious level, men’s violence has disappeared because we dissociate and we see them as our saviours or life/existence-givers (they have right of life and death over us). Our terror of men is thus experienced not as terror from their actual violence but as terror of losing them (or their substitutes) as our vital saviours and protectors. Loss of that man or male substitute is seen as annihilation or as a threat to our physical, economic, emotional or psychic survival, rather than the violence itself seen as annihilation. It’s a reversal.

As an example, a woman might not go into feminism because she is economically and emotionally dependent on her husband and thinks that she would be homeless and nothing without him, therefore that he protects her. So if she went to the end of her thoughts, that all men are violent oppressors including the man she lives with, her actions would have to follow and she would have to leave that boyfriend but as she sees leaving him as a threat to her life, she stops her thoughts from going there. The thing is that the reversal or myth that the boyfriend is protecting her is based on a half-truth, and that’s why it works well: she is in effect made to be dependent on him. But it’s a complete lie that she can’t live without him or find an accommodation without his financial help, it’s a lie that he’s supporting her since he’s stealing or appropriating her own resources, time and and work, and it’s a lie that he’s protecting her, since he’s invading and violating her. The truth is that she will be far better off without him, in every possible way.

You can replicate this model for anything patriarchal that women fear to lose. Reformism, status, male ideology, etc. It is always based on the lie that our life, career, social recognition, meaning of life, existence depends on it and that these things are helping us, making our lives better. What makes the violence and the illusions / lies inherent in them harder to acknowledge still is that it means letting the reality of the pain and the reality of our situation coming back to us in full blow, it means to reintegrate. And it may be very painful at first, there may be a lot of grieving necessary, to grieve what we have lost of ourselves, what men have destroyed in us. It means letting go of what we built our lives around, admitting that we built our whole lives around myths, lies and self-destruction. It means making a leap into dramatic change, and overcoming the fear of change, or rather redirecting our fear towards men instead of ourselves. The biggest lie of all is that it’s difficult to make the leap. It’s actually really easy, once the spell is broken, the change happens viscerally. What is difficult is to bear male reality on an every day basis, to face your unbearable loneliness because most of the women around you may not have followed your leap and you see them still in middle of destruction. But this is a million times better still than being colonised.

Second, in a colonised state the threat of men is experienced no longer as coming from men, but from:

#1: OTHER WOMEN / FEMINISTS: what we have to cling on (male attention) is a scarce resource and we are in constant threat of it being taken away (loss is inherent to it because the resource in question in a myth, it doesn’t exist: men have never loved, supported, cared for us): as a result any woman is seen as a competitor, an enemy and threat to our access to this perceived vital resource – even in feminism. So we believe that by eliminating other women, by turning them down, pushing them away, sabotaging their work – as a way of eliminating competition (for male recognition, status, resource, etc.), this will increase our chance for survival. The very nature and structure of men’s oppressive system does this, because we don’t have the power to attack men anyway and we attack those who won’t retaliate: women – but men reinforce this dynamic tenfold with this form of colonisation and pervasive woman-hating propaganda, next to constant glorification of men, which means that women despise and distrust other women all the more. What all of this does of course is that we keep betraying each other, destroying our only allies, our own kind, the only bond that saves us from men’s deadly hold.

#2: The threat is experienced as coming from OURSELVES. This is the deadliest of all. everything in ourselves is experienced as as an obstacle to pleasing men (or their substitute) and therefore as an obstacle for gaining this perceived vital male resource, as an obstacle for our survival / existence. We are forced to into ourselves what defects may have caused his anger, his coldness or inattention, his sadism, or to blame ourselves for our lack of social (male) recognition, our lack of (male) status. This is reinforced by men’s reversal of guilt both on an individual and systemic level, and ongoing, all-pervasive woman-hating propaganda in the form of mind and body surveillance dictates.

Any part of our body or thought may be seen as an obstacle to pleasing men and therefore as a threat to our existence, since our body and thoughts never fit to men’s standards, as their purpose is to destroy us, not for us to fit in. A pimple, skin colour, stretch mark, hairs, nose shape, stomach shape, leg shape, hair form and colour, eating food, clothing, body noise, body smell, sweat, body functions or body fluids (etc.), ALL of which are NATURAL and NORMAL human features, will terrorise and disgust us beyond limit. We will hate every fragment of our body and it can be as strong as wanting to rip off our own skin.

Since we are alive and that means we ARE all the time, our body / self is transformed into a PERMANENT threat, at all times. AT ALL TIMES we have to survey our existence, at all times there will be a protruding hair, stomach, foot, pimple, eyebrow, chin, buttock, fingernail to punish. Since we are alive and not dead, there will always be a movement of body or thought to control, it never stops so long as we’re still alive. So it’s like trying to kill ourselves and our natural life movement every second of the day. This is the form that mental occupation takes when we are not possessed / obsessed in thought by an individual man (“love relationship”): the constant, ongoing thought and body control, obsessing every minute of the day about whether our body will be good enough for us to survive in the eyes of men.

What it means is that men have managed to turn our very breathing, Being, into our enemy. It is an unbearable mindfuck and paradox: our existence is made to be a threat to our existence – which is what it means by turning our vital life energy and survival movement against ourselves. This is terrible because it makes every minute of our life excruciatingly painful as we are forced to become a constant burden to ourselves, which makes us want to disappear. We are ripped off of ourselves, committing small suicides, mutilating our life, spontaneity, our creative movement, our organic and biological functions. The end result of this is death.

This I believe is the depth of men’s genocide against women, this inside, every day murder. It is the invisible yet ubiquitous killing of each woman – all the more effective that men have made women do it to ourselves and each other and erased this killing from our conscious perception – from the inside as well as the outside, it looks like the victimless crime, the perfect crime. Their system is very well rounded. But the reality of the violence and the consequences never lie, we are the most colonised, destroyed and traumatised, dissociated people on earth – the signs are there for whoever wants to see them, no matter how much men try to hide it. So just to conclude that when we speak of colonised women, we speak of women who are in terror, a terror which even they themselves aren’t completely aware of since that terror of being annihilated by men is not only misdirected against themselves or other women but completely normalised and made invisible as femininity.

When we’re angry against women

I’ve finally figured something out. That we’re not supposed to be angry against women, as in, our anger against women is purely manufactured by men. And if we are angry, we’re angry against the male colonisation in her, not really her, though what happens is that we confuse it with the woman and hit on her instead.

This ’embedded maleness’ or ‘incarnate male presence’ as Mary Daly called it, are insidious male ideologies that men have hammered into our psyche, like an anti-personnel landmine fastened inside us which explodes in contact of other women, so that women turn against us, instead of turning against men and feeling sorry or compassion for the pitiable state that men have put us in. The things the colonised woman does out of male colonisation are effectively unbearable, or even violent because embedded maleness will always externally discharge as token torturing of other women, since it’s set up as an inside dagger pointed against all women, including the woman colonised by it, because she’s a woman too. Therefore what we must always remember is that the landmine explosion is hurting the woman infiltrated by the landmine as much as women in her surroundings. Or to put in another way, it can’t fuck with my mind without it having already fucked up hers.

I knew that on an intellectual level you see, but somehow I didn’t apply it to all cases. I would get frustrated or really angry with some women because she would want to hurt me, she would be too alienated for me to be able to communicate with her, or she would talk or write in such a male bespoken or mindfucking way that it would drive me crazy. But instead of being angry against the maleness in her, I would be angry against her, in person. What it does on an interpersonal level is that I am endlessly angry against this woman and this anger has no limit at all either in time or depth. This is because woman hatred has no bottom to it. You might as well do it forever, the reason for this is because being angry against a woman doesn’t change anything to the situation, doesn’t unblock the lock or repair the tension, it’s like running endlessly on a hamster wheel and you can feel that it’s destroying you, too. This is fundamentally because the anger is misdirected. It’s completely the wrong target. You’re targeting the victim and there’s nothing she can do for that anger. It’s not the woman’s fault she’s behaving that way, it really isn’t, but the fault of men who buried their phallocratic presence into her head, it’s the fault of that crept-in phallocratic presence. She’s behaving as an automaton for men, as a vehicle for MALE violence; it doesn’t belong to her as a woman, it belongs only to men.

Being angry against a woman for her male-embedded behaviour is destructive because it’s based on misogyny and reversal of blame, which may ultimately lead to death, because misogyny is genocide of women and necrophilia. I’m saying that because I really do feel the death and dead-endedness of anger against women.

The changing factor was to stop seeing the shit coming from her. I suddenly had this image of my friend as her whole body strangled and tangled with barbed wire and the needles sinking into her skin. The only way for her to stop the harm she was doing was by realising what harm she had been put into herself, because only then would she understand why it’s harmful to others. So I should consider it as our common interest to exorcise her from that entrapment. And it IS our common interest as women, because there’s no liberation if she doesn’t free herself from that black blob or the barbed wire. She’ll continue to harm other women and harm herself. She should better figure out how to break that evil spell on her, for instance by naming what that behaviour is, what it does, where it comes from, that it isn’t her self acting but a persona acting on behalf of men, and try to decolonise from it, break the mechanism down and get rid of it – or ‘exorcise’ it, which is a term Mary Daly used.

Before you’re all up in arms against me for saying that we should embrace token torturers and antifeminists as our best friends, that’s really not what I’m saying. What I’m suggesting is a way of understanding our own anger against any women and how we react to other women’s embedded maleness (in ANY form), what is our disposition to it so that we don’t let that blob fulfil its purpose of destroying ourselves and wreaking havoc between women, between me and her. It’s a way of cracking the blob’s soul-killing projectiles, of neutralising its deadliness. It can be with women we don’t know and whom we’ll never get to know, or with women we know and are close to, the workings are the same. It may not imply interacting with her if you don’t want to and if it’s unsafe or abusive for you to do so then it’s best to run away fast, but at least having that understanding preserves from self-destroying in pointless rage against her.

So what it means as well from an ethical standpoint is that it’s possible to consider a woman responsible for her actions in the sense that she’s the one doing it and she only has the responsibility and moral obligation to stop doing it – and at the same time see that it’s not her own agency and integrity acting because she’s been implanted with this horrible man-made self-destruction weapon inside her, telling her to go against her own interest, her own good and the good of her own kind: women.

See, this principle works with women only because women have a default humanity underneath the male layers of shit, and only women can be colonised by maleness / male violence. Women aren’t natural mindfuckers, we are born integral and healthy, or this is the way we are meant to be at least. We become more like men because we are forced to assimilate to them through violence and trauma which turns us into a sort of victim mirror image to them. But this isn’t how we would normally be. Men obviously can’t be colonised by maleness because men already *are* men, they *are* the male colonisers. It’s not only false but really dangerous to project our being and experience of oppression onto our oppressors, to apply the same kind of understanding with men because it keeps us exposed to their violence without the man or men ever changing for the good: it will only make them worse in fact, because men knowing exactly what you think of them and you intend to do increases their lethality.


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