Archive for the 'Women’s survival' Category

“individualism” and relational deprivation

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about relational deprivation between women in Western countries recently, and even more so since I’ve been spending some time with two feminist friends from a non-Western* country who were here for a few months (and left a few days ago).

Seeing their photos with their friends, how physically close they are together, and seeing how tactile they could be with me too, in ways that would be interpreted as lesbian (sexual) here without ambiguity, when apparently it’s acceptable female friendly touch there, and hearing about how much time they spend with their friends and how casually they can reserve entire days for each other, made me realise that I wasn’t hallucinating about feeling isolated and deprived of contact with women in this part of the world, even from radical feminist friends. To see that women could relate differently elsewhere really opened my eyes to my own situation, and to the effects this deprivation has on women in general, and on feminism.

I’ve been noticing more and more clearly the divide between how I organise my life, travel destinations and work time according to friendships and how this is rarely if ever reciprocated in the same way, and how it always feels like going against the tide when trying to catch up with my local friends. I completely understand now what various female immigrant friends were talking about when they’d say how depressed they were because of being isolated here.

As usual when I strongly need to get my head around a pattern of violence that affects me personally, the things I’ll share about myself with women I know and trust will tend to revolve around it, in the hope that they might have some helpful answers or perspectives. Even just formulating it verbally or in writing helps a great deal. And the insights these discussions lead to are always surprising and incredibly enlightening.

After these friends got back home, I mentioned to one of them (I’ll call her A) how fascinated I was by her relations to her friends and how it contrasted so much with norms of acceptable closeness to women in Western countries. Here much of what we consider friendship often barely exceeds acquaintance relationships. I never thought that differences between countries could be so strong, or that it could even be possible to be so close to women as adults. I thought it was impossible, that it’s something we only experience as a child if we were lucky enough, and everything stops as we become adults and have to give up our friends for men and work. It was really interesting to talk about this with her, to compare social organisation in our respective regions and how it affects women.

Another one of these exchanges was with my mum. Mentioning a close friend of mine who had moved to another town for work reasons a few years ago, she mused about how enthusiastic this friend was in doing things with me, even in sharing mundane chores, which is very unusual. And yes, it’s true, she was the only friend like that, it’s one of the reasons why particularly I miss her since she’s gone. This made us think of how little we do things with our female friends. Our friendships are mostly restricted to fixed appointments for a cup of tea, sometimes booked weeks in advance, which rarely exceeds 2 hours and it’s you tell me your life and I tell you my life and we analyse it a bit and then bye-bye, until the next appointment.

Yet going through common experiences and discovering, learning things together, committing to each other for projects, music bands, repairing our bicycles on a sunday afternoon or sleeping over at each other’s places, gives depth to friendship and teaches things about each other that a once-a-month discussion on its own, sitting in front of each other in a square room or in a noisy cafe without moving doesn’t. It’s like we’re not allowed to commit to each other more than being therapeutical social workers.

By the time I talked to Friend A, I had already given some thought as to why women’s isolation in the past century in Western countries has worsened:

  1. The first factor being, I think, the capitalist nuclear family model becoming much more the single primary unit of socialisation for women, where we are left completely on our own to deal with children and domestic slavery, with much less access to support, community or regular female presence from the “outside world”. Western individualism has reduced some amount of control/surveillance on women by the surrounding group (control by neighbours, relatives outside of the nuclear family (brothers, male cousins, aunts etc), which is the downside for women in less individualist countries), but has increased our emotional dependency on our male-owner and reduced our possibilities of creating sustainable bonds with other women.
  2. The second thing is the ongoing disappearance of sex-segregation in all our major places of socialisation such as schools and workplaces, which means nowadays entire generations of women in Western capitalist countries have never experienced interaction that wasn’t physically monitored by boys and men, where surviving and adapting to their sexually abusive behaviours takes up all or most of our social efforts, where we are kept in all ways possible from bonding to women. Almost two generations of women have been conditioned to despise and fear women-only spaces, to view them as a threat to our social existence, as something backwards, revolting, from a dark distant patriarchal time. This has immensely contributed to destroying our capacity to socialise with and to identify to women early on in childhood and to increasing our trauma-bonding to men / idealisation of maleness, and self-hatred.

Going through our comparisons with friend A, she added a factor I hadn’t quite seen: that Western women tend to be more absorbed by their professional work. She said women she knew from Western countries were always busy, always working, and had very little life outside of work.

Well that was an interesting finding to me, as I had always assumed that because the level of women’s occupation by work was similar in all places, it had similar effects. But it’s very obvious that the kind of work women are expected to do differs from place to place (and social class) and this affects our social relations too. It’s true that here, our outside work and “career” has taken a similar function or status as that of marriage / coupling with men, as we are also expected to sacrifice our lives for it, including our local networks which are essential to our social survival and take many years to build, especially as a woman.

What’s even more interesting is that as I began to write this post shortly after my discussion with friend A (excited about sharing all these new insights), and halted at precisely this stage because I didn’t know how to formulate it — another friend (which I’ll call B) responded to one of my emails with the most amazing analysis of how busyness and work divides women in Western capitalist societies. Answering her question of how I spent christmas, I said (in part) this: “I was a bit frustrated that my friends from my town weren’t available (or even responding) as this time of the year is usually when I have most time, and I was hoping to catch up with them. It’s been a bit frustrating lately that many of my friends are so busy and taken, and not to be able to spend more time with them. I realise how in Western countries adult women aren’t supposed to prioritise friendships at all, and how difficult it generally is to become close to women.” to which she responded this (forgive the long quote, but I thought everything was worth sharing! with her permission of course):

“I can totally relate to what you are saying about your friends. […] I find that other radfems tend to prioritize their friendships more, but I have found it very hard since [..] I have a lot more time on my hands than other women so I am wanting to be in touch more but they are often too busy.

I think a lot about busyness vs not. I know this guy who is happy to work weekends on top of the week because he wants the extra money, and he lives in this incredibly cheap place and doesn’t do a whole lot – I wonder what the hell he spends it on. And him and this other guy I know – both of them struggle to use up their holiday! Can you imagine? I mean why on earth would you want to spend all that time working? I think about the SCUM manifesto, what Solanas says about men not being able to be alone with themselves, and it’s true.

There are two things to think about this. One is that for all this talk about capitalism being alienating, it seems like men like it that way. The world is like this because they built it that way and it suits them. I mean, whenever I’m out in mensworld, I need a lot of down time to recover, it’s always been that way and it was that way too for some of my other women I used to know, nonfeminist ones. Men don’t need to recover from it because it’s their homeworld, it nourishes them, in fact they feel empty without it. In fact married men often work more to avoid their families too.

The other thing to think is how entering into the capitalist workforce was supposed to make women less dependent on men, but in some ways it has increased the dependence and has worked very effectively to divide women further from each other. Firstly, women are overburdened in both the workplace and the home – they do more work for less pay, shittier work, and they work a double shift of domestic labour if they are living with a man or children. So they have less time. I am currently reading The Women’s Room by Marilyn Frye and her account of suburban housewives, it really struck me how much more emotional support and friendship the women had among each other than they could ever hope to have if they were working. The housewives’ community was a women-only space – something which working women rarely have. The mensworld was like a foreign country to them. Today it feels more like women’s world is a foreign country because entering into the male workforce means being around men all the time and it means having to absorb their ideologies to get ahead.

In the home, the women were left largely to their own devices and were in charge, at least of the children. They had a sphere of influence. Even though the man ruled over them, he wasn’t there for a large quantity of the time and also didn’t care about many of the decisions women had to make. Now, women don’t have time to create a local community of women since they are working and child-rearing at the same time. So in both spheres they are isolated from women and alone.

On top of this, since women always have to try harder to get ahead in the workforce, they have to do all this extra training and always feel like they have to be doing some kind of self-improvement activity, endless accumulation of ‘human capital’. Men have to do this too, to some extent, but they can bond with men in the workplace while women can’t bond with women, because if they bond too much with women and stand with women the men will reject them so they will never get ahead. You have to be male-identified to get ahead. Additionally, capitalism says we should move with our jobs, which hinders building a local community of women. And we are indoctrinated into this ideology early on – and it’s not just ideological, it’s legal too. I mean, you might expect your family or your partner to move with you, but to prioritize your friends over your job when deciding where to be? It’s basically unthinkable.

I know probably most of your friends do not have men or kids, but we absorb this mentality early on. I remember living in the US and how hard it was to make friends, everything was so superficial. It seemed like there would be no more friends, only acquaintances to have dinner parties or drinks with, now and again. I thought, is this it? Is this what adulthood is supposed to be? It was horribly empty. But everyone was so busy, all the time, all the time accumulating internships or volunteer work. Not that I really liked those people, but still.

Anyway the point is that while women were largely shut out from mensworld, they had much more opportunity to bond with other women. A lot of that has been destroyed by women’s entry into the workforce, and it has resulted in women becoming much more male-identified. In the book the main character gets divorced and goes to graduate school, and she talks about the contrast between being a housewife, where at least in some sense she was in charge for large swathes of time, and the way she gets treated like a child and an idiot by male professors.

It’s so obvious how relational deprivation, isolation from one another and more generally, the promotion of individualist ideologies are a very deliberate repressive strategy against women: to prevent any form of bonding which is the precondition for concerted rebellion against men’s control. Since the 90s and even more so in the last few years, with the global, massive taking over of neoliberal capitalist politics, it has become harder than ever to mobilise anyone even for non political activities, as the oppressed have so integrated that we have to compete with others and focus on ourselves in order to defend our own interests, and that our interests and life conditions can be separated from those of our class. Yet only members of the dominant class can further their interests (as oppressors) purely through individualist pursuits, because their egocentrism is congruent with their actual dominance.

Men define long-term social isolation and relational deprivation (when used against men in “real” political repression with “official” prison cells of course), as a method of political torture. It is recognised as affecting victims in most durable ways, destroying their ability to socialise even long after their liberation, causing them to lose their jobs and ties with family… 

Indeed, destroying our relationship to ourselves and to women is probably the worst, most deeply traumatic effect of men’s oppression. Intentional male violence is essentially relational, as in, their actions deliberately annihilate our bond to the world and to ourselves, which, when it doesn’t kill us, is an act of spiritual killing — as they need us emptied of our selves in order to be useful for them for very large amounts of time.

In the same way, an essential part of healing from trauma caused by male torture is through reconnecting to women and to ourselves. My own healing largely progressed along with my ability to form stable friendships with feminists, as well as reconnecting to my body, my soul and making cognitive connections about men’s necrophilic system.

It’s more and more obvious to me that there is no such thing as individual freedom and identity outside of social context, social relations and even natural environment. It’s illusionary and absurd to think that our lives and pursuits for improvement can be done entirely on our own, abstracted from social interaction and change.

Our raised consciousness, our leaps, our movements of liberation and solidarity networks are inherently relational. Feminism is entirely dependent on the bonds we create with women, on our continued interactions, and nothing of this would exist if we didn’t meet and spend time together, away from male surveillance. The more we do this (and learn how to do it in healthy, respectful conditions obviously), the stronger our feminism.

This is also why I eventually chose to structure my post according to the genesis of its creation, to show how each new connection and feminist understanding was very directly stimulated by all these spiralling exchanges with women, as well as by my own thoughts, readings and analyses of my social experiences with women. To quote friend B again:

Isn’t it funny how these things are happening at the same time? i think this is like, the wormholes Sonia Johnson talks about. Because I feel you have been working on these issues a lot longer than me, so you can help me shortcut to where you are, and then I can add to that too, and you can add to that, so we all advance more quickly. I’m sure the same is happening with your other friends too, and then I benefit from that too even though i don’t know them because it works through you”

The constant stimulation and discussions I have with other feminists are my life force. Creating an alternative world can’t be done in isolation, it can only develop and evolve in relation to other women.

***

* I use Western vs. non-Western here as I can’t be more specific about location, but I’m obviously not making generalisations about ALL Western vs non-Western countries. What i’m referring seems to be pretty specific to some places.

UTOPIA: what would a women’s society look like?

I haven’t been writing in a while, and it’s not because I don’t like writing any more but things have accelerated elsewhere in my life and I can’t be involved everywhere at once. As this isn’t paid work, obviously I can’t afford to put blogging first.

Anyway, there are still many posts waiting to be finished. In the meantime, I’ll start another one.

I often muse about all the things that we’d need to change about patriarchy if we abolished men’s rule over women and the earth. Everything and every single aspect of social organisation is so much the opposite of how it should be, it’s dizzying to even begin to think about all the things we should stop / change.

Mostly it’s about men stopping from doing harm. But stopping men isn’t enough because beyond that there is the entire world to relearn, to heal, and our entire society to rebuild. We would be faced with the immense task of replacing all the misogynist, genocidal, biocidal practices men have ordered our society with for eons. So many of us now are acculturated, cut from land, nature and from one another.

If we managed to overcome men’s tyranny over us, how would we rebuild our world? I just want to throw some ideas here that I often come across these days. I dream for concrete, down-to-earth, simple and easily applicable measures of stepping out of patriarchy into a female-loving, biophilic world. This isn’t by any means a realistic plan of how to achieve it, but just reading it makes me feel happy. It makes it feel more real, more possible. Enjoy!

SOCIAL STRUCTURES

Men’s position in society

Before we do anything, the very first measure to adopt is to take all men out of all positions of decision-making immediately, and actually out of any kind of social, professional position whatsoever.

Major serial killers, serial torturers, pimps, pornographers, severe domestic abusers, serial rapists, genocide planners, biocide planners and pedocriminals across the world will simply be euthanised: the decisions will be taken by women in a mass world tribunal for patriarchal crimes. This is by far the best solution, and is the most legitimate, ethical way of reducing male population to more reasonable levels. Such men would otherwise forever pose a threat to women, children, animals, the earth and society as a whole, and we know they have no chance of ceasing their violent behaviour after having reached such an advanced stage of sadism and sociopathy. It would be reckless to spend space, resources and energy in keeping them alive in prisons.

All of men’s (alive and euthanised) belongings, property, resources and land will be confiscated from men and handed back to female care and supervision – property rights over land will be abolished. You can’t own land!

All men at least above 15 (or younger if very asocial) should live separately from women and children, on their own in small huts or studios, isolated from one another and scattered around so that women can keep an eye on them (they should never be in groups or packs, that would be illegal). So it would also be illegal for male adults to impose their presence on females, girls and children. Men would have to care for themselves on their own: food, laundry, etc. No male above his age of puberty would be allowed to receive any kind of service from a female. Their life expectancy would probably drop to the age of 40, but that’s how things should be. Women’s life expectancy without men would rise to 130 years at least.

PIV would be illegal too of course, as well as the initiation of any verbal or physical contact to women and girls or boy children, unless solicited by a woman for specific matters. I’m not sure what to do about boy children. Obviously you know my opinion, but let’s say that’s up to the mother to decide what she wants to do before he turns of age to leave the female family circle.

In order to keep all men and post-pubescent boys busy, we’d send them to clean up the vast amounts of detritus, pollution and toxic wastes men have littered and almost killed the world with. Much of the damage to the earth is irreversible, however with a great deal of effort and genius, women will find sustainable, natural and simple ways of healing a lot of the damage men have caused, and send men off to do the dirty work. No man will be allowed to take any decision without female guidance. We know what happens when men decide on their own! DISASTER.

Family, child-raising and reproduction

Fathers’ rights will cease to exist. There is no such thing as fatherhood — as we all know, it’s a myth. Men will necessarily lose all and any power to dominate and control women’s reproductive capacities.

It’s the inalienable right of each woman to control every phase of her reproduction and life creation. Abortion will be possible at any stage of pregnancy, however there will hardly be such a thing as undesired pregnancy since there won’t be any men forcing pregnancies on us any more. Abortion will nonetheless be recognised for the trauma, mutilation and loss of life that it is. The number of children and human population will naturally decrease to sustainable levels, so will the number of males born. Women will be free to experiment parthenogenesis or procreation with two female eggs.

The nuclear family will be abolished, in particular the parent’s property rights and absolute power over her child. Children will be considered as persons in need for autonomy and all form of punishment, authority or educational manipulation over children will equally be abolished. Raising and caring for children will be a collective responsibility for women, and motherhood / childcare and especially capacity to be empathetic towards children will be taken very seriously, as something that needs to be (re)learned and studied over years before being fully competent for this immense task.

Schools as we know them as punitive reclusion centres for grooming into male domination and female subordination (as well as selection system for elite executors of patriarchal institutions) will be abolished. Boys would definitely not be around the girls, certainly not most of the time, and never beyond the age of puberty. And obviously no adult male would be allowed near children.

There will be no such thing as “teachers” with positions of authority over children. “Guiders” could learn also from the children or students as much the students from them. We’d learn anything we’d want from languages to sciences to art to music to medicine to building to witchcraft to swimming (etc) without restriction of age or time, as long as it’s adapted to our capacities, level and availability. Learning would be autonomous, with guidance when needed, instead of enforced and dictated. They’d be no need for external reward, marking or punishment because the process of learning in itself is so rewarding and fascinating that it’s self-sufficient. Anyway I could go on and on, non-patriarchal learning is truly riveting.

Social structures between women.

All relationships of authority, domination and subordination will be abolished between all women of all ages. We will be able to recognise each other’s strengths, expertise, guidance and capacities (or lack of) without it implying superiority, inferiority, veneration or lack of respect. We would find each other beautiful. We would live our friendships, love and affection for women unhindered.

MEN’S INSTITUTIONS

All oppressive male institutions will be abolished after men have been retrieved from them. We obviously won’t keep these institutions. They will return to the nothingness that they belong, just as a distant, bad memory.

Military:

No more military, no more army, no more wars! It would be illegal for men to hold weapons. Global peace would be the immediate consequence. Most weapons will be destroyed (or recycled into something else), such as weapons of mass destruction, anti-personnel mines, tanks, machine guns, all manners of terrestrial, marine and air-bombers, and all the many disgusting things men have invented. For the remaining weapons such as guns or blades, women will hold exclusive right of use over them in order to defend ourselves from men, from the risk of them taking power over us again.

State:

States, borders, nations, laws would be abolished and totally dispensed with. Laws mentioning the number of prohibited acts will be kept for men only. Women do not need laws to contain ourselves. Laws were created by the male elite to protect their property from other men. Laws are rigid and static, that’s because their purpose is to hold existing patriarchal powers in place. Our own society would be in constant evolution, improvement, creative renewal, yet grounded in reality and adapted to our needs and circumstances.

Women would be able to move freely.

Societal structures and decision-making assemblies wouldn’t exceed roughly 300 women (representing no more than themselves). Keeping numbers low for cooperation is important because the greater the size of the unit, the more horizontal cooperation becomes difficult and requires vertical hierarchy. Possibilities for peaceful, cooperative organisation between women are infinite – as long as they respect the individual integrity of every female – the group should never weigh over the individual but be a source for support and efficient organisation of collective life and space. There could easily be associations of exchange between different groups and peoples in order for women to cooperate regionally and globally where necessary. There would be no limit in age of participation in decision-making for women and girls, which means adapting the format to different ages and capacities.

Medicine:

Men would be permanently banned from any kind of medical practice. All woman-hating, genocidal institutions such as gynecology, psychiatry, obstetrics, big pharma, the torture of living beings in the name of “scientific experimentation” will be banned. Men’s fragmented, objectifying, sadistic view the human body will be part of history, replaced by biophilic medicine. Medical science will no longer be monopolised by a small elite but available to all at any age where appropriate. The (female) doctor’s role will be to guide the patient in her own healing, never to exercise authority over her or take decisions at her expense. Special healing spaces (where surgery is necessary, etc) will be so nice, warm and welcoming that just being there will make you feel better. The soul and life conditions of a person will always be considered part of the body, and symptoms will always be understood in a holistic way. There will be no more chemical, synthetic and toxic products with often worse side effects than the illness itself it claims to heal.

Perfect health would be the normal state of women anyway, as we will learn by experience and observation what we should eat and do to stay healthy at all seasons and times. Most women will have rediscovered our healing, divination and extra-sensory communication powers.

Religion:

Patriarchal religions will crumble down with men’s oppressive system. Religious ideologies, along with its hierarchies and vacuous rituals will cease to exist. I believe a woman’s world would be spiritual. Spiritual connection isn’t based on faith but on critical observation and experience, on a real personal connection to the elements, beings and spirits that surround us, and on the real magnetic power of beings.

Economy (tied to ecology):

Obviously, Slavery, men’s exploitation of women, men’s capitalist systems will be abolished too. The most important aspect of male economy is that it’s based on men’s competitive accumulation of resources (by killing, destroying, commodifying, taking control over, extracting the greatest possible amount of life) and based on production of poisonous, addictive, programmed obsolescent goods — in order to win the patriarchal game of achieving greater domination over women and girls.

This necrophilic relationship to the world and the environment will be abolished, to be replaced by biophilic ecological and economic principles. This will encompass every single process of our life activities, from house building, to food consumption, to communication, travelling, furniture making, cooking, etc. They will have to be carefully designed and thought out in a way as to never endanger the survival of any species, never pollute any environment, never require the use of poisonous, non-recyclable materials, never to require indentured labour or exploitation in order to be maintained. This would obviously impact the nature and scale of our activities. “Work” (exploitation and division of labour) as we know it would disappear. It would be the responsibility of each individual or group to sustain herself more or less autonomously.

We should learn to observe our environment and deeply understand the interconnectedness of all beings around us, as well our own impact before deciding whether or how to transform it. Our lives have no more or no less value than those of a rabbit, fly, tree, plant, fish, seashell or stone. For instance, if we pick leaves of some plants, it’s important not to rip the whole plant off, to take only parts of it so it can grow again. Or to only take a few plants (or seashells, whatever) where there are many, so to respect the survival of the species where it is settled. If we cut trees to build our house, replant them. There are also infinite ways of making the most of materials for energy, food or production while using it as efficiently as possible. Building houses in ways that don’t require heating in winter or cooling in the summer. It is now widely known that energy such as electricity can be infinitely renewable if we use wind power, magnetic power, water power… And everything can be made DIY.

We will learn to be autonomous again and make our own clothes, food, furniture, houses, soaps, detergent products – or maybe someone else will make them but most things can be handmade and it’s so much more rewarding.

In a biophilic world, nothing is garbage, nothing is pollution. Everything is conceived so as to be part of a life cycle. This doesn’t mean we should keep the same toothbrush for 50 years or never improve on our machines, technology and infrastructure, but there’s no such thing as a dump, or toxic spilling. All materials should be harmless, recyclable or biodegradable, given back the earth if we no longer need them.

Industrial agriculture and farming:

Genetic modification of plants, pesticides, monoculture, field ploughing and consequent aridification of the land will be considered criminal. Our right to self-sustenance would no more be confiscated by mega food corporations – as they will no longer exist.

Agriculture should always be small-scale, local, and as much as possible be modelled on wildlife, self-growing / self-renewing conditions (the less work and intervention, the better), and especially be conceived so as to nourish and sustain rather than deplete wildlife and environmental balance. Again, possibilities are infinite, we have so much to learn.

And seriously, killing animals you’ve raised yourself in a farm or keeping animals enclosed is cruel. I’m for the liberation of all farm and domestic animals. It’s up to them to decide whether they want to live with us or not, and they should be able to come and go freely. Maybe after a few decades, after the human population has stalled, male population has decreased, and after we’ve made serious efforts for reforestation and restoration of wildlife on the earth, it would probably be fairer to hunt animals occasionally. Right now, given the extinction rate of animal species, I find it criminal to hunt or fish. We don’t need to eat that much meat anyway.

****

This post is already too long!

I hope you got the point of it though. It isn’t so much as dictating what women should do but establishing basic principles of respect of life and female integrity along which we can devise an infinite number of possibilities.

It seems The End is to come.

Earth, I love you. I always have. You and your elemental inhabitants are the most beautiful beings that I have ever seen, met, felt and experienced. You are the most beautiful life experiment in this universe. You are music to my ears and soul. And your green! The sound of the leaves in the wind. The scents. The sunrise and sunset. The moon. The humming of the bees, the rushing of the waves. The infinite moments of sensory ecstasy and blissful encounters with other beings. Discovering woman-identification has been a constant dance of fire and joy.

***

Alexis linked to the convo going on at Wwomenwwarrior’s. I had already read her post some time ago, when she published it, but not followed the conversation. I had a look and this comment by bronte was of particular interest.

I’ll copy her comment here:

Re: “If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accomplished by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males.”
Mary Daly

Much as I hate disagreeing with my beloved Mary Daly, with regard to the decontamination of the Earth and how it will be accomplished, I must. Mary was not an earth/climate scientist or ecologist and never professed to be one.

Apart from lurking silently on radical feminist blogs I read NTHE sites: (Near Term Human Extinction) sites, because, according to the science, Near Term Human Extinction within one or two generations is where the parasitical/ cancer tumorous system of patriarchy and Homo Rapiens (males) have brought not only humans but all complex life on Earth. The Sixth Extinction experienced in the 5 billion years or so of
Earth’s lifetime and presently underway is being caused by Homo Rapiens.
Why is this so thorougly ignored on radical feminist blogs? Please don’t tell me that radical feminists – of all people- are climate change denialists?

That is, my radical feminist reflections/ spinning/ taking my thoughts to their logical end have not resulted in Mary Daly’s happy beliefs that women will overcome patriarchy, that there will be a cosmic revolution or that evolution (an unthinking, blind process that cares not a jot about women) will somehow step in at the very last moment and save us and the planet from the male disease.

Instead, my radical feminism – based as it always has been on the search for Truth no matter how ugly and unpalatable- led to the study and cross-analysis of biology, climate science, ecology and complex systems theory.

I wanted the Big Picture of what is happening to the planet because of Homo Rapiens. And that picture is not a pretty or hopeful one.
Hence, whether the male Y chromosome goes extinct within 5 million years (as stated by Professor Jenny Graves) or whether it goes extinct within 1 million years is moot. The rabid ape Homo Rapiens has done so much damage in its 250,000 years on Earth that it is not only extincting itself but everything else along with it.

I believe all radical feminists should be preparing themselves now for what will be the collapse of civilization because the reality and inevitabily of that is, perphaps, one of our blind spots: a dangerous one.

To answer your question, Bronte, as to why this has been ‘thoroughly ignored’ on my blog: I did not know about it. For your information, of course I have never been a climate change denialist, I have always attentively read information on the destruction of the environment, read about the floodings to come, about the collapse of the monetary system, of this and that, but I believed, as Mary Daly did, that some of us could survive the impending doom, and hoped the next generation of survivors would only be females.

Now as I read Bronte’s comment a few days ago, it struck me and was very compelling but I read it in a haste (my attention span on computers is limited these days -maybe I need glasses?- so I usually just read or write things fast) and skimmed past the reference to Near Term Human Extinction (NTHE), especially as there was no link. So as much as this comment was alarming it didn’t stir me particularly, and the next day went on as usual. I didn’t really get the message, I thought ‘oh well, this makes sense, I just hope females will still survive’. Until a friend, yesterday, told me what she had found by googling “Near Term Human Extinction”.

Oh. My. I looked it up for myself. There’s this guy called Guy McPherson, who’s a spokesperson of all of this. I googled various entries and quickly found his website. And I found this essay, a summary of the findings on climate change. Read it yourselves. I’m not going to quote anything because it is too long, just read it very carefully.

What this guy, Guy, says, or rather what he demonstrates with the support of hundreds of long term scientific evidence from many sources including very conservative and mainstream sources, is that all life on this planet will come to extinction by 2030. The major cause of this extinction will be that the global warming and melting of the ice has triggered a series of feedback loops of toxic gas emissions such as methane and carbon dioxyde which were trapped in the soils and underwaters of the earth by the ice and frost. These feedback loops have already started, are now unstoppable and life on earth is already on its way to extinction. No technology can stop this – especially since male technology is part of the problem and their use and fabrication will only emit more greenhouse gases. Even if men’s system collapsed now, if all men died and we returned back to stone age, it is unstoppable. Unprecedented levels of methane and carbone dioxyde have already been released into the atmosphere because of the warming and the more gas is emitted, the more the planet heats because of the greenhouse effects of the gas, and the more gas is emitted again. Once the air is too intoxicated plants will start dying too and if all or most plants die together, all the carbon dioxyde they sequestered will be released too, which only further intoxicates the air. There will simply be no more oxygen to breathe and the time it will take for the earth to regain cool temperatures and for the gases to be sequestered again, if that ever happens, which might be between 100 or thousands of years according to the extent of the damage, all species and life will have been already gone. I’m just paraphrasing these statements from memory, so read his essay for detailed information and explanations of the different feedback loops.

Right. This is estimated to happen by 2030… 2030! That gives us 15 years to live, if we even survive that long. Before that there will be floodings and terrible tsunamis, the sea level is likely to rise at least 50 meters higher. The monetary system will crumble down before, and I shudder to think what men will do once their system falls apart and they will no longer be able to hide the truth.

Do I believe this? Is this credible, is it a hoax? If only. How could this not be credible? The facts are indisputable. Who am I to dispute the long term data and biological facts observed and measured by hundreds of scientists? I’m the first to be critical about male science but this doesn’t seem to be a matter of personal opinion to me. Even if there were room for doubt or error regarding the probability of certain species surviving such as bacteria or fungi, the evidence is so compelling that I don’t think it’s an option to ignore it. I sorely wish it wouldn’t be true.

Now. One by one, my reactions.

It is a Strange moment. I cannot describe the sense of utter horror and grief that first overcame me. It seems utterly surreal yet it is real. Worse than I could have ever imagined. Life on earth as we know will no longer exist. Our beloved, sacred Mother Earth, how I love you, how it grieves me to know that all this beauty of life will disappear. I look by the window, at the trees, the grass, the birds, dear companions. How painful. This is a terrible moment of realising.

I’ve known all along that patriarchy would collapse. It confirms what we have been hearing more or less explicitly for some time now. It also confirms some visions that women have shared with me. I myself have been saying it out loud for a while, that men’s system will collapse, maybe not so much online. My only question was whether men would destroy the rest of us in their demise or if some of us would survive. We now have the answer. It appears that men will take everything away with them.

Men, homo rapiens, you scum, you filth. There is no word to describe the extent of your evil, you are pure evil, pure lechery. I hate you, how I hate you. In the 250,000 years of your rotten, defunct existence, you have managed to kill 5 million years of life on earth.

Men like Guy McPherson, you are also part of the problem. How dare you – yes I’m talking to YOU, and to all liberal men like DGR & co, and I hope you will come across this – indeed how dare you continue to write about the near term life extinction while pretending it is “humanity” who has sentenced to death all life on earth. The unstoppable death-machine has always only been orchestrated by the homo rapiens. By men. YOU. Women are not and have never been responsible for the atrocities committed by men, for men’s global industrial rape and death system. By lying and deceiving you are continuing to be part of the problem, because you are masking the fact that the obvious solution all the time, long before the extinction of all life was impending, was to depopulate the earth of males or to reduce them to manageable levels again – only by doing so would have men’s patriarchal and industrial necrophilic sado-system come to an end without destroying the rest of life.

Those men warning about the final extinction have existed for centuries, predicting the end of the world. Ffs men’s end is even predicted in their genes, their dead-endness is constitutive of their biology. All of men’s stories have a deadpoint, a “the end”. Every second film for the last decades has been about the apocalypse. They Know. Even the Mayan predicted the apocalypse at this period, they got it right. Why have none of them taken action? If these men cared for the planet and knew men would end up killing her, why haven’t they created a global male euthanising service to save the planet? Women know how to care for life. We have known better all along. Goddess knows women have been trying for millennia to put an end to male rule by all means possible, including by culling men. All this time you KILLED us!! you SUPPRESSED us, exterminated women and our life-preserving, earth-loving societies, our cultures, our lives!! And now it’s too late.

Now, even if a few men talk of committing suicide and of reducing global human population – well that’s still doing us a disservice, you egotistic liberal cowards. How many men, at best, will commit suicide? Maybe 1%? Or one in five thousand? What difference will that make? Let me tell you: if the least worse men bother to commit suicide without bothering to euthanise the rest of man-kind, they will be leaving women alone to fend with the worst of worse males: the MRAs, the pornographers, the army-men, the right-wing climate-change denialists, etc. Not to mention the problem of the suiciders that will kill their wives, mothers and daughters along with them, of course. You fucking idiots! You will be leaving the few moments of life on earth to be ruthlessly raped, pillaged and looted by the reamining barbaric males.

So, to all men, before all life goes extinct, you could at least do us the favour of leaving us these 15 last years free of your foul presence. You never really cared about life anyway. You’re not even capable of interacting with her. What difference does it make to you? What is one sub-male human species compared to billions of species on earth? Nothing.

Also, isn’t it ironic that men can publicly talk of drastically decreasing global human population as a final attempt to save the planet without anyone batting an eyelid, when we merely state the obvious – men are responsible for this global, now irrevertible catastrophe, and since they will never change the obvious solution would have been to cull them (which is now pointless) – well, we are threatened to death, killed, and heavens knows all the atrocities men do to us. Anyway, decreasing ‘human’ population isn’t a solution because the problem aren’t ‘humans’ but males.

Phew. This was the rage part.

As I continued reading the essay, as with any moment when we are faced with imminent death and annihilation, everything around me seemed futile, petty and distant. I thought of the things that mattered most in life and all I want is to spend as much time as I can with female companions, whether human, animal, plant or elemental, before we go. We now more literally than ever before, have nothing to lose. I had already begun a survival plan for myself and female relatives for some time, but it certainly encouraged me to pursue this more readily. This feeling resonated with another nagging feeling that I’ve had for several months now, which is that all my radical feminist undertakings seemed to be in slow motion, in such a stark way that it felt like a deliberate message. The more I attempted to respect my limits and the limits of life-time and rythm in the things I did to keep on communicating radical feminism to women, in all and any possible ways, the more I realised how ridiculously slow and tiny it was compared to the sheer speed and scope of men’s destruction. I felt like a snail competing with light-speed, or a twig competing with a tornado. Especially because our situation is now so dire, that most of what I do, I have to it alone since I am either separated in distance from other radical feminists or most of my closer friends don’t have time, swamped by survival pre-occupations. I don’t have much time either but I’m the only I know who has the time to devote myself almost entirely to feminism in ways that I choose. I was more and more coming to a conclusion that radical feminism could not at this point, in and of itself, save women and the planet, and if something were to save us, it would be greater than us. These intuitions or subliminal thoughts became explicit through the last conversation, especially thanks to the intervention of Tracy.

Wandering further into my troubled thoughts, I wondered what would happen with our souls and the souls of all these dear beings on earth once we will be separated from our earthly bodies. Will we continue to hover around the earth and wail the loss of life like rattling ghosts? Will we seek reincarnation somewhere else, maybe on another habitable planet? Will we go and find our life companions and live happily ever after in the ether? Will men continue to parasite our souls even in after life? I remember a woman telling me that the problem of maleness was not only a problem on earth but reflected a cosmic problem, on the level of the universe. Well, I have no idea whether this is true or even if it can be verified.

I now acutely understand why, since when I remember, I have always felt sadness -as well as joy- whenever coming in full contact with the elements and wild life. The sadness was a feeling of loss from the present and past destruction and of a loss to come. It came from the intuition that we would be parted eventually. I think we must have all experienced this more or less consciously since the dead-endness is written in the DNA of men’s civilisation. I now see how real this sense of loss is. I have probably come to life here and now to witness this last phase of patriarchy – or maybe even the last phase of this kind of life on earth. For some life will survive, I am sure. Maybe bacteria, fungi of some sort. I wish I could have been old and left just a few years ago, like Mary Daly and millions of other women. They are lucky, they left at the right time.

I suddenly remembered a time when I was an adolescent, and I used to laugh and say that I would die when I’d be 37, or something like that, for no paticular reason, and people would look at me weirdly. I thought it was an old enough age to die, I saw it as very far away then. Until someone told me “that’s an early age to die”, so I decided it wasn’t such a good idea after all. Later I interpreted it as the effect of a family member dying when I was young, and that strong awareness of death was part of my life for a very long time, so maybe it didn’t occur to me that I could live longer. Maybe I hated myself and my life so much then that I didn’t care if I died. Maybe because I disliked old people because my grandparents had always been stiff and I didn’t see the point of living old if I were to become like them. I tried to remedy this by picturing myself older and seeing it as a good thing, and accepting myself at all stages of life. What if it had something to do with the fact that I subliminally knew I wouldn’t live very old? Maybe, maybe not. It’s a flash of memory that crossed my mind while reading the essay.

Today is one day after I started reading this essay. My life will never be quite the same again, now that I have this picture in mind, now that it is so clear. It is strange to see to how much we can adapt. I am somewhat more tranquil than yesterday. What is strange is that despite this knoweldge of extinction, which still seems surreal, I also know that we will win. That we will succeed. This intuition has never left me. What kind of form will this really take I wonder, maybe this is the only solution to the end of maleness. And something new will emerge again. I still wish this wouldn’t happen, I wish this wouldn’t be true. But somehow it feels somewhat peaceful to know that there will be an end to all of this.

Reacting to Skulldrix’s post and thinking about reclusive separatism vs. boundary-living separatism

Just a few days ago I read Skulldrix’s post on a separatist state of mind, which I have found very refreshing and enlightening, and which brought me back to many of my own first experiences of separatism. I remember some conversations going on at FCM’s on separatism, maybe a year and a half ago, where several of us bloggers and commenters discussed whether we should call ourselves separatists or pro-separatists. FCM at the time argued that separatism wasn’t a realistic or feasible goal for most women under patriarchy because the reality is that we can’t completely escape men, so it would be more realistic to envision ourselves as pro-separatist instead of separatists.

I can’t quite remember what I wrote at the time or whether I expressed myself clearly but I thought that the distinction between pro-sep and sep was unnecessary once we conceive of it as a way of being, an ongoing journey and struggle, according to the means we have and what is safe for our survival. Though I agree about the fact that most if not all of us can’t escape men on a daily basis. Most women will have to work alongside men to some degree because that’s the only or least worst job opportunity we can find. Very often we will have to depend on men to learn a skill, or to heal from severe illnesses, because men monopolise and control all disciplines and sectors of their society.

Well Skulldrix’s take on it as state of mind is really important, because that’s how it is really, and that’s also how radical feminism works. Once you have the state of mind, a strong perception and insight of how male domination works – including on how it affects and colonises us – the willingness and drive to move on, and out, and take women with us on the ride: that’s the only thing that counts. Everything stems from here. And radical feminism and separatism from men and from male mindbindings are one and the same to me, both theoretically and in my experience: both were absolutely synchronous in my life. Radical feminism can’t go without separatism because separatism (or a separatist state of mind) is the logical conclusion to radical feminism, that is to seeing and understanding how men’s domination works and understanding the danger men represent to us. Once you perceive and feel viscerally how destructive men are and how their mere presence may suffice to sap our vital force, your gut reaction is to run away from anything male.

But this is where the importance of separatist state of mind comes, versus mere physical separatism from men. Refusing to interact with men as much as possible is not enough. It is not enough to flee men and hang around with women only, we also have to unwork the effects of men’s ideological and traumatic mindbindings on us and unlearn woman-hatred, and transmit this to other women in some way or another. Separatism is of no use at all if it’s to reproduce similar male hierarchies and values of domination and subordination between ourselves. In order not to do this, it requires a particular state of mind: both a clear vision and focus and a willingness to maintain and especially develop this vision and focus over time.

This is because in patriarchy, our radical feminism / separatism is constantly put at trial, and all strategies are used, from attacks to manipulation – to put as back into fragmentation. There is no moment pure free consciousness or place where we can leave our status of oppressed and where men’s violence will no longer affect us if we are subjected to it. Oppression continues to affect us and our mind, because that’s what violence does, and men’s violence remains pervasive, even if the degrees of violence vary. The separatist state of mind is a commitment to persist into radical feminism, deep empathy towards women and hatred of male oppression over time.

And sometimes, we have to choose between physical separatism of men and our own survival, most notably when we need a job, money, skills, care or resources and we have no other choice but to get them from the hands of men. This is where the state of mind is important because we will choose to give as little energy and mindspace to men as possible, and to try to bond with the women whenever possible.

Finally, one thing I’ve noticed is that to continue sparking other women and reaching women requires to a certain extent working on the boundaries of male institutions (whatever these may be, whether blogs or other platforms that we can bear staying in for a certain amount of time) because there is simply no chance of interacting with women if we live recluded or hidden (although this choice is perfectly understandable). Mary Daly talks about this living in the boundaries in “Outercourse” and Janice Raymond talks about it in “A Passion for Friends”. It takes a very, very long time to bring women to radical feminism and for women to be in a safe enough position to be able to think about it; If we want to find women, we can mostly only find them in places controlled by men, because the vast majority of women in western countries are too afraid of separatism. Separatism therefore also means to me creating a pocket of freedom or an open door within this place from which to move on to and transcend, create true women-only identification and place.

I think this boundary-living must be done with extreme caution however because such experiences can be very abusive and getting the measure of how far we should go or which institutions we should be in the boundary of or when it’s time to leave before things get too nasty, is very hard. I’ve been thinking about the reclusive / vs boundary-living separatism for a long time and I know Mary Daly and Janice Raymond have criticised reclusion, as opposed to Sonia Johnson who embarked on this route fully with her partner Jade DeForest, and documented it in her books – they decided that they wouldn’t even interact with other women any more because it was too endangering to their integrity.

When I first became radical feminist and separatist, not only I couldn’t stand being with men but it was physically impossible for me and endangering for my sanity to be around women who were even slightly colonised. I couldn’t deal with the dissonance, radical feminism was too fresh, I had barely discovered myself, I had much less confidence in my perceptions then and my greatest fear was too lose my mind again. I had a visceral need to expel everything male from my life. Now, with several years of experience in radical feminist journey behind me, I don’t feel that my world will crumble down so easily when my reality as an oppressed woman is denied, because I have much more confidence in my own perceptions than I used to. I have also bonded to a network of radical feminist lesbian friends, learnt not to beat myself up any more when women turn against me out of misogyny or because they can’t follow me farther in my bus ride. I feel my feet and my soul are much more anchored into the ground and it’s less easy to topple me. I’m better at protecting myself, at creating situations that are safe for myself and women and avoiding those who aren’t. It is only with this background that I know feel slightly more confident about finding other women and understand better how it works. I know that the most important thing is to talk with women and create spaces where this is possible, without interference. Three or two years ago this wouldn’t have been possible the same way.

Most importantly, I love being around with women too much. I love feeling the electricity and spark of when we share and create insights together, I love witnessing women unpeeling the mindbindings and freeing themselves from the bonds of a man. I love the stars in our eyes when we See each other and our reality, when we become visible to ourselves. I love our laughter. Being with women-identified women and making this woman-identification possible is like dancing around a fire of joy, you can feel the fire inside you becoming bigger. I would never be able to become a reclusive separatist.

***

Here are the comments I wrote on Skulldrix’s post which spurred me into writing this post. I’ve rephrased the first one and put it here for clarity.

it’s great to see such a nice article on separatism. I relate to your perceptions on separatism, on many levels, and have followed a very similar path. Separatism started for me in a crossroads of circumstances. It started in part when I decided that I wouldn’t date any men because dating with them had been so painful and traumatising and I wanted to protect myself from that. I was already feminist, had almost perceived that PIV was inherently violent and a way to humiliate women, and that all men wanted was to use us as receptacles for their dicks. So I first thought that if I wanted to date a man, a way to prevent being used by them as their dick-socket to be thrown away the minute after, I’d have to choose one I knew for a long time and could trust he wouldn’t abuse me, had already built an equal, friendly, respectful relationship with him which stood the test of time, and especially, they would have to understand feminism and i should be able to be feminist with them without feeling uncomfortable about it.

Well I very quickly realised that this standard was totally impossible! Once I held this standard for interacting with men, they all disappeared out of my life very quickly. It became obvious that men didn’t want to interact with me or with women in general on an equal level, and that what “attracted” them in women was subordination to them – as soon as we wanted to be their “equals” they were repelled by it, lost interest or tried to thwart the feminist drive in me some way or another. This was a major eye-opener. I’ve said this before in various comments but I found this experience really amazing – just setting the bar high for men made them disappear out of my life.

Also once I saw how everything men do is always directly or subliminally a rape threat and reminds us of our penetrable caste, I couldn’t bear being exposed to anything male, either in physical presence or in mediated ways (religion, ideology, media, art, etc, etc,). It re-triggers unconscious or conscious defence mechanisms to rape, PIV and sexualised invasion. It’s stressful and traumatising.

 

Intersectionality, part V: additional notes on amnesia and springing from Outercourse

When we can’t see men as the oppressors, men’s violence is suppressed in the unconscious realm (or in the “subliminal sea”1) and what remains visible and conscious to us in the foreground2 is the betrayal by puppeted women orchestrated/remote-controlled by the invisible male lords/puppeteers.

Failing to see men’s oppression and turning our anger against women is fundamentally based on amnesia: our forgetting of men’s genocide. The depth of this insight popped up to me with instant clarity as a friend of mine and I were discussing why some women so readily turned against other women even in cases such as having been raped or tortured by their fathers. For months one woman angrily resented her mother for about everything her father had subjected her to, and instead felt sympathy for him. Her mother wasn’t enough this, she had failed to do that, etc. There were vast periods of torture she had forgotten but she remembered the lies her father had told her about her mother and this is what stayed. However when she started recovering memories of what her father had done to her, her anger against her mother abated, she began to see how she too was victimised as a wife to her father and started to express anger against him.

This works on all levels. Our capacity to feel empathy towards women, to reverse the reversals and to make the connections about men’s violence is deeply and directly connected to our uncovering of the suppressed memories of what men have done to us. When we forget the oppressor, there is no other option than to turn against women, because that’s how patriarchy is configured: there is one oppressor class, men, and one oppressed class, women, and if you’re not against men, then it’s mechanically at the expense of women and of ourselves. There is no in-between, or third outlet: women are the only counterpoint to men’s violence. Either we see men as the oppressors and therefore our rage is turned against them, either we have effaced some or all of their role as oppressors and we automatically resent women for one thing or another.

The amnesia is organised both on an individual level and collective level.

It’s individual in that men’s violence and psychic warfare tactics which causes the amnesia happens to each one of us. Individually, we are forced to suppress some awareness and memory of what individual men or institutions have inflicted on us and on our female peers at various points in our lives (violence from our father, husbands, brothers or other males / institutions). The amnesia is organised on this micro level through the lies and reversals of the perpetrators, the denials and terror of our peers and the complicity of surrounding men with the perpetrators. The true stories of rapes against our sisters, mother, aunts, grand-mothers, cousins and daughters will be silenced. We will never understand why our aunt was alcoholic all her life or why our mother had fits of crying and nervous breakdowns every now and then, or why our friend became muted after the age of 8. Men will tell us they are crazy, liars, will instil distrust and contempt in these women. We will never or rarely be told about the women who escaped, the lesbians, feminists or spinsters, whether in school, by our peers or family.

The amnesia is also organised by men collectively: the perpetrators’ lies wouldn’t have so much impact on us if men’s violence wasn’t so absolutely obliterated from discourse everywhere we go – nothing in foreground reality, whether written or spoken, ever confirms the reality and depth of the what we’re subjected to, it is spookily omni-absent. Men have monopolised the power of naming and thereby blocked our capacity to even name our experience and ourselves with their words. We live in this reality of war-zone under male-rule, dying inside and outside, yet all there is to see on the surface are those tantalising fake smiles, “sex”, “marriage” and plastic happiness. For this silence to be maintained, men actively repress our re-calling of the genocide and be-speaking of the truth. They erase all evidence of their crimes, both external historical evidence and in our own psyche, by reprogramming our minds. They erase our culture, our writings, our art, our discoveries, our history of liberation, our presence and love to ourselves. In this context we have forgotten who we are before we could even know who we were.

Amnesia is also a form of dissociation. It’s a coping mechanism to ongoing trauma when the violence is both unescapable and unacknowledged. It is one of the many ways in which the self splinters itself for survival – which is why so many of us suffer various degrees of “multiple personalities” from having to forget event after event, life after life, each time having to distance ourselves farther from who we were and reinvent a new plastic persona in the attempt to add more make-up over our suffering.

It splinters the most traumatic parts from our conscious memory and digs them deep into the unconscious memory, which then only resurfaces in cryptic ways: through flashes, panic attacks, physical and psychic disorders, cancer, etc. Formulating the truth of men’s oppression even in thought being an unthinkable crime, these cryptic ‘symptoms’ or outbursts are messages from ourselves to desperately try to reconnect and awaken our consciousness, to break the spell of dissociation and phallic coding so we reintegrate and get away from the source of harm (men). These messages are there to bring the truth back into our conscious thoughts and direct our rage at men instead of against ourselves. We are saying to ourselves “hello, I’m here”. “Doing this to me is harmful”. “I’ve been hurt.” “These rapes / violations / insults / psychic devastation have hurt me”.

Anyway, all this to say that I recently realised more than ever the importance of seeing and naming the connections, and how this is really the first momentum of liberation because organised amnesia is men’s primary form of psychic – and therefore physical – annihilation of women. Without consciousness there is no doing, and by destroying our knowing/seeing (or pushing it into unconscious, subliminal realms), men paralyse our doing and being.

Amnesia, the obliterating of men’s past and present violence and erasure of our past and present selves, leads to blindly turning against women and more generally, to what Mary Daly calls aphasia, the “inability to Name the Background reality as well as foreground fabrications and the connections among these” and to apraxia, the “inability to act as Radical Feminists” (Outercourse, p. 6 and 195).

Intersectionality, just as any form of anti-feminism, are part of men’s phallic lies and global brainwashing tactics which generate amnesia and the inward-twisting of rage against ourselves and other women. Again, to paraphrase Mary Daly, exorcising amnesia requires acts of unforgetting and be-speaking, of unmasking and breaking through the foreground lies into our background presence. The task of the radical feminist is to actively explicate the connections, to make the reversals, fragmentation, destruction and genocide explicit and overt. (P. 6-11, Outercourse).

“Knowledge [of patriarchal horror] … is compelling and expelling. When a woman really faces the horror she is morally compelled to Act (overcome apraxia) and to begin changing/Be-Witching. She becomes empowered to expel the demonic embedded Self-censor within, who has blocked her from Spinning. She dares to begin Be-Witching.” (P. 197, Outercourse).

1Term by Mary Daly : the Sea of subliminal knowledge, knowledge which is covert, “Background” knowledge that is shared by women in patriarchy (Outercourse p. 13).

Background means “the Realm of Wild Reality; the Homeland of Women’s Selves and of all other Others; the Time/Space where auras of plants, planets, stars, animals and all Other animate beings connect.” (Wickedary, by Mary Daly and Jane Caputi).

2Foreground is defined as “male-centered and monodimensional arena where fabrication, objectification, and alienation takes place; zone of fixed feelings, perceptions, behaviours; the elementary world: FLATLAND”. (Wickedary, by Mary Daly and Jane Caputi).

 

Men’s theft is more literal than we think.

We often underestimate that many women do in fact have some amount of resources of our own. Even though we may be ourselves privately owned by a man, father or pimp and most of our work and production are stolen by men, whether with forced domestic and child raising work in the home, by slaving for husbands or other males of the family to sustain their businesses, the constant extra burdens of unpaid chores required from women in paid jobs or when men steal and exploit the products of our intelligence, findings, inventions, genius and creativity at work – many of us still manage to earn something of our own, even if it may be minimal: we may have some income, and if we’re lucky enough, we may have just enough money to be able to pay a small rent and food for ourselves, or we have some property, furniture of our own, a flat, house, land, or we may have inherited of a bit of money from our grandparents, or have some daddy government benefits, etc. It might be barely just enough to live, or maybe not enough to live with but with a few arrangements over time can eventually made to be bearable. That is, we could potentially find ways to survive on our own, if our captor didn’t kill us after leaving him.

So despite women being the poorest and most destitute, pillaged people of the entire world (obviously, since men’s system of oppression is only directed against women), we are often not completely without any resources at all.

What I realised recently, is how misleading the male-centred view on labour exploitation is on explaining women’s primary source of impoverishment. Women’s first and foremost source of excruciating impoverishment is not, as reformists say, the 20 or 30% pay gap, the “double work shift” of paid job plus unpaid domestic work, the “glass ceiling” (man-ceiling) preventing women from accessing better-paid positions, etc. At best this perspective doesn’t explain anything and is dead circular logic. It takes a peripheral fact disconnected from its context by presenting a microscopic symptom of men’s accumulation of wealth (based on rape, theft and destruction) as a cause as well as consequence. Which is like saying the explosion is what caused the house to explode. The tautology is even worse than that actually, a more apt example would be: the presence of flying debris caused by the explosion is what caused the house to explode and this is at the same time a consequence and symptom of the explosion. Get that level of mindfuck and omission of agent? (where’s the terrorist who put the bomb in the house?)

Even if we adopt the more radical view that men’s global accumulation and monopoly of wealth is primarily achieved from trading women for rape and forced reproduction, and from pillage, genocide and destruction of the elements (one of men’s most lucrative businesses are prostitution, pornography, general trafficking/trade of women for rape and marriage, and derivative “cosmetic” businesses capitalising on the systemic torture and crippling of women), well that still doesn’t completely explain women’s excruciating poverty compared to men in places where women can work and have minimal income. Even these horrors alone aren’t enough to completely quash and disable all owned women economically, whatever their economic status.

That’s because the central cause of women’s impoverishment isn’t impersonal and institutional, but comes from men individually stealing from women in their individual homes. The owner, husband, master, stealing from the woman’s own pocket. I only realised how literal it was quite recently. This is the primary pattern of women’s crippling poverty. It became clear to me after hearing story after story of women being ransacked to the bone by their own husbands or boyfriends, it was typical of every abuse story I’ve heard of – these men systematically stealing their salary, signing credits, debts or mortgages in the woman’s name, binding women in suicidal financial situations or reckless business plans, stealing women’s property, flats or houses by signing it in their (the man’s) name, taking siege of the woman’s flat or house and refusing to move out, spending women’s income on drugs, cars, expensive restaurants, gambling, prostitution or whatever their pet fetish is, controlling access to their bank account, or systematically sabotaging their access to work, income or property in any form, by moving her far away from her work, wrecking her chances to find employment in any way possible, sabotaging her relationship with her employer, or finding ways to cut her benefits for childcare, preventing her from using the money she has for herself, etc, etc. The list is endless.

And what is peculiar about this theft is that men will do it regardless of their own status, income or actual financial needs, regardless of the woman’s status or income – they will steal her money or any potential to make money of her own, leaving her with barely enough to feed herself and the children and to pay for her daily necessities, and very often with not enough to feed herself and the children. The man can be rich and the woman earning a minimum wage, the woman may be earning a good salary and the man unemployed and without any resources of his own, or both having similar income – I have seen every possible combination, nothing stops them.

This is what “Domestic violence” training programs would call “economic violence” (yes lots of quotes here). What they mean euphemistically by “economic violence” is control of the woman’s resources by the “abuser”. This is actually inaccurate because they don’t just control her resources, they literally take it away from her. We call this theft, plain and simple. It’s the systematic pillaging of woman’s personal resources, and her complete financial crippling. The element of control is added to the theft when he demands his victim to justify her slightest spending and has to provide receipts to him for everything she buys. Well, that reminds me of something doesn’t it, isn’t that what the father state requires of women’s organisations, to justify every penny spent on the pocket money he gave them?

This sheds further light on the complete reversal and lie which is the idea that men maintain women financially so that women have to depend economically on them, explaining why they don’t leave. Well, the reality is worse, and men are far more parasitic than I even thought. The reality is that most women are most poor when living with a man, regardless of how rich or poor he may be, or regardless how rich or poor she was before she met him – he will rob her. I’ll always remember the example of Virginia Woolf who was well-off thanks to the success of her writing, yet her husband made her poor by taking away all her money: “By April 1938, the year she published Three Guineas, she was existing only on the pocket money Leonard allowed her– out of her own earnings.” (Cherryblossomlife, “The Life and Death of Virginia Woolf”)

Women can survive economically without men, and most would actually fare better without men from an economic point of view, contrary to what reformist stats say: stats generally state that after a separation or divorce, men’s net income increases, while women’s net income decreases: what it fails to look at is in who’s hands were the resources of the woman during marriage. Despite all the horrors committed to women at work, the fact women are globally impoverished by men in every way, the underpayment, the theft of our labour and creativity, the fact we have to raise kids in terrible conditions with no help at all (etc.), well despite all this, women are far better off economically on their own than with a man, because they avoid the worst kind of theft – of being financially drained by her own husband. Men don’t marry women to support us economically, they marry women to suck the life out of us, to own us, rape and forcibly impregnate us, and this requires plundering everything and anything we may have for ourselves – even our souls.

The reason why the reformist perspective is so misleading, above being a mindfuck, is that whenever we look at men’s oppression of women in male-centred terms, that is in terms of collective exploitation, slavery or institutional oppression, we miss the centre of men’s oppression of women which is the oppression and ownership of one individual man on one individual woman, whether by a husband, father or pimp. It is essentially a one-to-one oppression, of one man against one woman, and the wider institutions are only there to aggressively uphold this one-to-one appropriation. The reason it is configured this way is of course because this is how each man gets to control reproduction and force reproduction on women – in order to have this reproductive control, it is biologically necessary for men to keep raping a woman over time. And to prevent her from escaping she has to be locked in his home, deprived of any autonomy. This is what marriage is all about.

When we see it in these terms, it becomes obvious that the primary source of all women’s horrendous misery and poverty comes from being owned by a man and not from remote, impersonal pay gaps or lack of political representation. Women will always be safer by staying away from the men closest to us; always.

What this led me to think about is what it meant for women to free ourselves individually from each of our own primary oppressor (husband, father, boyfriend, pimp). That is, if we survived the hardest part, which is getting away from him without being maimed or killed by him in retaliation and managed to disappear from his reach after our flight, then I think the hardest part of liberation has been overcome. The rest is decolonising progressively from embedded maleness, and surviving in a hostile, male-driven, genocidal world. Surviving on our own in a male economy and confronting our pain and wounds might be harsh and even excruciating but it’s nothing in comparison to living under the constant reign of terror of a husband, father or pimp. It’s nothing in comparison to being imprisoned by our torturer 24/7. The biggest threat that we face in our lives is of being owned by a man or pimp, and being raped and killed by him or any male occupants. If we manage to escape this fate, anything else is violence of a lesser degree. It left me wondering what would really happen if all women started to leave men at the same time. What would men do? Would they start an open war against all women? Or would they target individually each woman that left them? Would everything collapse? Is the leap easier than we think it is, given that many women are persuaded that they’re better off with men despite all evidence of the contrary?

On writing and comments

I didn’t take the time to explain why I closed comments at the time I did. This is what I’m going to do now, as I now have a bit more time at hand.

The irony is that what made me take my decision to close comments isn’t directly because of the trolling, threats and MRA hits although it was an absolutely terrifying moment and I almost did close comments as a result; but because comments were beginning to work. I closed comments at a time where conversations were actually becoming very interesting, and the last few ones were the most interesting discussions ever held on this blog so far. Once the threats abated and the trolls decided I wasn’t their pet target any more, I expected to feel relieved and better, but I didn’t. There’s something inherently wrong with modding.

I love writing, and I love discussing with radical feminists. In fact there are few things I like more than being with and discussing with radical feminists, and if I didn’t have to find money to live, I would surely spend most of my time doing this. It’s maybe what brings me most joy in life.

Comments aren’t exactly like discussing with radical feminists in real life. They were making me feel physically and mentally sick. I wanted to run far, far away from modding and never come back to it again. I couldn’t think clearly, all these responses from so many different women were making my head spin and I didn’t know what my own thoughts were any more. I was starting to lose the desire to write, to feel that there wasn’t any point to it. It was intoxicating my entire life and thoughts, I was constantly worrying about the comments, not to mention behind the scenes tensions between this woman or that woman. And the obsessive checking, not knowing when the next message will be, or who it will be from. It might be from a woman you know, but maybe it will be form a complete stranger.

Modding is far too extreme and stressful. In no other situation in life am I to expect at any time of the day or night that someone, anyone might contact me in person, for which I have to check regularly in order to publish that message. Worrying about whether I want this or that message to be published or not. The message in itself might be good, but if you don’t know the commenter it’s stressful not to know whether she’s genuine or not. Or you see there’s a reading comprehension failure, but you don’t want to disappoint or hurt the commenter by trashing the comment because you know her. It is very unlike any form of internet communication such as emails or forums, where you may be in contact with several people but you expect a message only when you’ve sent one to them or because they said they’d write to you, and if you know the person you know more or less her speed of reply, so you’re not going to check every hour of the day to see if she’s sent you a message. And you can sense what they’re going to write about according to the conversation. You know more or what to expect, and who will get in touch with you.

No other writers but bloggers have to deal with such a high amount and scale, scope of constant intrusion, feedback and interaction. I find it insane. I only just realised this recently, as comments before used to be low enough so not to intrude in my life, but this… It’s a full-time job, and worse. I so understand why FCM decided to cut comments to three days a week for a while before she closed her blog, but even three days a week would be unbearable to me.

Paper-published writers spend a considerable amount of time writing on their own. The period before their work is published is usually fairly long, a time during which they choose who gets to read their work for feedback and with whom they want to discuss it. It may be their colleagues, friends, trusted people, etc. And once their work is published, well most writers don’t get a constant flow of letters and emails every single day in their mailboxes to which they have to reply, or republish. Their interaction with the public will be mostly through limited, specific and chosen, agreed-upon times such as gatherings, seminars, talks, conferences, workshops, inerviews etc. There will be a beginning and an end to it.

I’m not saying this is necessarily the best model but I find it so much healthier to have public interaction limited to one-time events, meetings or gatherings, maybe once a month or several times a year (or whatever is suitable), and to otherwise choose the women with whom I want to discuss my work, or thoughts. When I discuss my work with a woman, or discuss the topic of what I’m writing about, I choose her because she’s the appropriate person at this this particular moment. I don’t necessarily want to hear all women’s opinion about it right now, but only hers. Because I value her opinion, first, but also because I know her enough to be able to provide me with the kind of insight I need at this time. Because I know she’ll understand me in the way I need to be understood just now. Because I’m currently seeking one kind of feedback and she’s the person for that.

I found that having too many different unsolicited reactions at the same time made me lose focus, it dispersed my mind to the extent that I lost the meaning of things, even if each contribution, viewed separately, was immensely insightful and valuable. When women comment on my space I have to personally approve each one of their messages, which means somehow that I have to integrate their messages and voice as my own, by agreeing it to be coherent with the political and ethical stance of my blog; this absorption of so many comments at once is what caused the dispersion of my mind and why I had the impression of having 15 different voices jabbering in my head, which really was on the verge of explosion.

By publishing women’s messages on a radfem-only space, I also become responsible for endorsing what other women have said on my blog and for judging this to be radical feminist. The responsibility of judging, approving and publishing what other women say is a heavy responsibility which I find too burdensome, and this is not what I write for. It easily creates tensions and rebuttals about whether or not I should have published or trashed this or that comment. Concessions may be contested, and rightly so, but it’s all just a headache. Sometimes it’s painful even to deal with good comments when I would have enjoyed to only discuss one point further with this or that woman, yet deleting the other radfem comments and allowing only a one-to-one discussion would have been completely inappropriate given the context of semi-public discussion. And it’s painful because just the thought of wanting to discuss with one woman over another on this specific topic makes me feel like I’m a terrible person, yet it’s a perfectly normal thing to do in real life. Besides, unlike normal conversations or meetings, the other woman is dependent on the blogger/modder’s approval for having her message heard and seen, she has to use me as a vehicle to have her message expressed to others. I find that a very unbalanced and unequal form of interaction.

Private discussions with radfems are more equal and go more in depth since privacy allows for far more freedom to go to the end of our thoughts and follow each lead after the other. With public discussions we are always more or less self-contained because of fear of what others will think, fear of reprisals from MRAs, fear of comments not being approved, impossibility to mention relevant anecdotes or thoughts since they might reveal personal information that could compromise anonymity.

Finally, I realise I much prefer writing to an invisible audience rather than a regular, visible one, as I realised that I was increasingly censoring my thoughts or writing according to what I imagined commenters would think of it – fearing their judgment in other words, fearing to be misunderstood, and always dreading those threats if I went too far. I don’t think this fear can be avoided actually, it’s inherent to the comment format, to the possibility of anyone and everyone being able to comment on your writing at any time. Not having to confront myself with people’s unsolicited reactions to what I say is really liberating.

Now at this point I really want to stress that nothing here has anything to do with what a published commenter might have said or done personally, and really the contributions and insights have meant a lot to me in many ways. My thoughts here are about the inherent problems with modding and not with radfem discussions per se. There are few exceptions, but on the whole, spinning conversations is very much hindered by the blog modding format – to which we add the constant fear of receiving threatening comments and having to bear alone the responsibility of reading and deleting the threats and trolls in order to maintain a safe space for other women (which makes the space (moderately) safe for everyone except the modder).

I never had this impression as I was reading comments as an outsider, but being an insider it’s an entirely different story, and it’s interesting to see how it works. However even as an outsider I did experience the stress of obsessive checking and replying, the anxious waiting for my comment to be approved or for new comments to show up. Sometimes it would be excruciatingly frustrating, and it’s very dissociative too, as I could stay for hours in front of my screen without feeling sleepiness or tiredness when I was tired and sleepy. Separation is what causes this – separation in time and space between the emitter and transmitter, deferred sending and receiving. The screen deprives us from the sensual experience of interaction – there is a constant delay or lapse which doesn’t exist in instant / present communication, where each interaction phrase, gesture, tone of voice, touch is communicated and sensed immediately. Interacting with a screen is sense-numbing anyway. Internet and computer communication is probably the bleakest form of human interaction from a sensory point of view, despite all the advantages it has in terms of easily accessible information and fast communication.

Now that I’ve closed comments I feel immensely relieved, freed, and my clarity of mind and desire to write reappeared almost as soon as I closed comments, which is quite funny. Or rather makes perfect sense. I’ve been thinking about the effects of blogging and of the internet on radical feminist writing for a long time and these are certainly my most informed thoughts for now. That short experience in modding was surely a learning experience and I’m glad it allowed me to better understand how it affects writing.

All things considered, I’ve decided for now to try leaving comments open on the most recent article three days a month, every 1st, 2d and 3rd of each month; because these days are easy to remember. I hope I’ll remember them myself! If this is still too much to deal with, I’ll just reduce that to several times a year.

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.

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.


past musings

themes

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