What do I write for here?
It’s to write about “insights”. Or to be precise, to convey as honestly and truthfully as possible the insights and metaphysical leaps I gain at a given time. The things I learned from recent or past experience and that are relevant to radical feminism, to our liberation. If I do write and comment at all, it’s to write about and share the insights I’ve had, through thinking, reading and discussing with other women. Especially ones that aren’t discussed very much, to take things further outerspace. I love doing this, sharing insights with women, our insights about maledom, what it does to us, and insights on how to make things better – this has changed my world, and it continues to do so.
If something more than anything has inspired me to open this blog recently, it’s a passage about writing I read from Andrea Dworkin, in “Life and Fire”. She says that when she writes, she tries to tell the truth of what men do. But more than that, she said that she wrote from her own guts. She wrote from her soul and her life and from other women’s lives: this was her raw material. Digging to the bottom of her feelings, pains, joys, and uncovering the layers of what it meant. She may not have said it exactly this way but this is what I remembered from her philosophy of writing. It touched me. Her writing is powerful, and this is where her power comes from: she writes her soul, her guts, and looks for truth.
And this is science, by the way. Science and theory is, from our experience, uncovering patterns and links, identifying regularities, and making conclusions from this, gaining knowledge, expand our minds, and move on from this, and act accordingly. And because the particular is modelled on the whole, and all is one, once you’ve uncovered one pattern, you see all other patterns follow the same structure. The variations are endless, but the patterns follow a same logic – in this case I am talking about patterns of male violence, as it seems to me that only violence follows a cyclic pattern / form. This is true about methodology and true about the living content of what you discover.
What’s so special about this science is that it doesn’t just add to your knowledge or understanding. It is life-changing. It integrates into my whole being. It transforms me. Every bit of feminist information, theory and science, or truth about our lives, our female life material, has seeped into my bones, my life mass, my universe. It opens to a whole new and unsuspected world to me, every time. It brings back parts of me together that were lost or never known of me. It takes me back home, to myself, and to the world
Men have made science to be full of endnotes, dead-talk, lies and boredom. I will never thank Mary Daly enough for coining the word “academentia”. They are not interested in the truth, but interested in concocting fake evidence to support their lies and propaganda against women, to legitimise their totalitarian regime and political agenda of destroying the universe. In particular, Male science, as everything male, is modelled on the male ideal relationship to the world: men as god, who position themselves as external observers of life from the top, separate from life itself: life is viewed as underneath, as an object, a dead object, ripped from its environment and from the life that surrounds and sustains it. To be studied it is imprisoned, held captive, fragmented, cut up, penetrated, prodded, tortured in the most unimaginable ways. From this murder and torture they deduce “objective laws”.
Their science is as objective as pornography, that is, it couldn’t be a worse perversion of truth. And the difference they make between their science and religion, by the way, is a con. So-called “modern western science” is simply Male Religion re-branded as science, with the only difference being that men replaced the omniscient (omni-science) god with themselves – religious paradigm and the male god’s overpowering/towering relationship to the world became the scientific paradigm, ontology and methodology. If you read the proponents of scientific society at the time, they are all very explicit about it, their agenda is hardly hidden between the lines. I wrote an essay about it a few years ago, and spent days and days digging out those quotes. I don’t want to go back to it now for the moment. Towards the 19th century, around the time where the genocide of women and colonisation of the world by western bourgeois men reached it peak and when they were starting to gain serious power over the aristocracy and monarchy (with the resources they amassed from killing half of humanity and nature), they decided they were fed up of being seen as the underlings of some pretend god, wanted to kick out the royalists who said “god gives me my absolute power”; so what they did was to become gods themselves, through science. Or, in other words, they made science the new religion of the world, in which they, men, could be – at last – consecrated as gods. Atheism and male science is in fact a code for “there is no God outside me, because I, as male, am God”. This movement of men becoming gods is the so-called “liberal” revolt of the sons against their fathers, against God and the King, the rise of capitalism, industrialism and scientific society, of “progress” and “enlightenment”, the beginning of “sexual liberation” whereby all women would belong to all men. More accurately, it was the rise of the final stage of Patriarchy, of male obscurantism and genocide.
So, hm, back to the subject. I was talking about writing and creativity. Writing has a difficult history with me. Well, so I came to understand quite well how male science and academentia was as close to death as everything they do. I understood this from the content of what I studied at university, and I also understood this from seeing the effect academentia had on me, my writing and my creativity. I think it almost killed me. By the time I reached my final year, I came to believe it was worth sacrificing my creative activities for the sake of “more serious” studies and getting good grades, in the aim of doing research as a career. I thought I had learned how to write properly when in fact I had learned to kill spontaneity and emotion from my writing, kill the joy and satisfaction from it. Despite that I loved the thought processes from reading political philosophy and the things I learned and understood, writing was mostly a very painful experience. I would spend days and nights re-wording the same paragraphs, terrorised of not meeting the deadlines, of not conveying the right idea in the right way, of being badly marked. I couldn’t write anything without it taking an excessive amount of time, and without it draining all my energy. I hated the things I wrote, I thought it was never good enough. It was so draining in fact that by the end of my final year, after almost a year of having cut myself from the things that I loved and made me alive, I was so weakened, tired and physically emptied that I could barely walk at times, and my head would spin very often, I had chronic stomach problems, worse than I had ever experienced. I had lost all desire to create, creativity seemed futile and pointless compared to the “serious” political stuff. Creativity is very strongly tied to life, and in my case, killing my creativity almost killed my health.
Joy and serenity are fundamental to feminism. To connect to the pain and despair we experience after surviving to so much violence, and finding a safe place where we can express this pain is also fundamental, but joy and serenity are my litmus tests to tell me if what I’m doing is appropriate or not on the long-term. If it feels destructive, induces stress, anxiety, feelings of guilt, of feeling like shit, then I know I’m not in the right place, and I’m not doing the right thing. It means it reproduces violence and there’s no point pursuing this road. Quite early on I told to myself that there was no point engaging in feminism if it made me miserable, because then not only was I miserable but I was also making men’s job of destroying me as a woman much easier. Sacrificing my joy for feminism was antifeminist to me.
Now between the time I understood why applying the academic mindset had put me such in a miserable physical state, how creativity and joy was so important as a life force for me and for my feminism – which was some months after my degree was finished and after having grieved and let go of my life project as a researcher – well, it has taken me several years to even BEGIN recovering
and to regain just the desire to do and create things again, and most importantly to experience joy from what I do. It’s a very, very slow process. And the process advances at the same pace as the unpeeling of internal wounds, fractures and disorders caused by the violence we survive, which is millimetre by millimetre, day by day, experience by experience. It’s the same time it takes to come back to ourselves.
One thing I’ve noticed is that one reason why writing felt so much like a chore is that the process was separated from the ends. Men focus everything on an end product, which is a dead object, a finished object, a square frame. It is very much based on ejaculation, or perhaps male notion of extinction. I read that from Mary Daly in Gynecology more than a year ago and she formulated this in a way I hadn’t really found words for. It’s not living work. University essay-writing was all about deadlines, dead ends. This is deeply alienating. Of course it’s not the only thing that makes university writing alienating, it’s one of many. But this in particular. What made writing so joy-killing and draining was that I wasn’t focused on the process itself and what it did to me, but on the end-product idea I wanted to express. I didn’t write because I wanted to write and because the thought of writing it inspired me, but only because I wanted people to know about what I wanted to write, and I felt morally obligated to do so. It was basically a chore. Thoughts take two nanoseconds to appear and continue to spiral infinitely, having to write them down feels painstaking, pulling me downwards and forcing me to go backwards, time-consuming and annoying. I never wrote regularly for that reason, because I didn’t enjoy it that much. In fact I enjoyed much more commenting on blogs than writing, because it was more spontaneous, and I was reacting to what others were saying.
But I forgot that I used to enjoy writing. I used to write a lot. That amongst one of the many things I wanted to become as I was a child, was a writer. I used to write poems, plays, short stories, and I even started novels, without ever finishing them. Reading Andrea Dworkin and reading FCM’s articles on the process of writing, talking about this with friends and women poets, has made me rediscover this.
I tried it the other day, just to write my ideas as I wrote, without thinking about it much, as if I were writing a long comment, just to let the words flow: and I found it very enjoyable. So easy! It was such a relief! I let the ideas appear as they came through, it’s very soothing, relaxing in fact. Being relaxed and trusting in what will come out of the process is very important because this is when the ideas, insights, images, creative spinning come: not when we’re tense, fearful, harshly judging and contorted, crippled, as men want us to be to silence us. To discover that was amazing. And the ideas do come through, it’s a lie that you can’t make yourself understood this way. I didn’t have to contort my brain into pieces to fit every bit of my insights into a structure, a steel built argument, thesis antithesis crap, it was liberating. And this is what I mean by process instead of ends. It’s using writing as a thought process itself, not transcribing past thoughts, or reorganising them so they conform to deadening babble. It’s making thought and action into a single movement. I like it when writing has the same quality as the spiralling discussions I have with other radical feminists, or the thought processes generated through reading radical feminist books, or from reading a story that is women. I would have stopped writing if I hadn’t discovered this really.
My life as “raw material”?
Not really. What I’m interested in is telling the story of the insights. Of how it came to me, what was the thought process. Abstraction, I believe, is patriarchal. It means dissociation, fragmentation, separation, and it doesn’t make sense to life. The concept of abstraction was invented so men could pretend that what they were saying was more true, universal and objective, so their ideology and political, destructive agenda could be hidden, so experience grounded in reality (and truth) could be discredited and so this erasure could appear legitimate. Intellectualism and abstraction is also meant to make us feel stupid. They invent a jargon and “concepts” so they can exclude the oppressed from the decisions they’re taking, so they make sure they’re understood only by the elite rulers. But when you say what they say in simple words, and untie the layers of reversals, you realise that the supposed intellectualism also masked the fact that what they were saying was totally stupid and insane. Or it makes sense only if you see their destructiveness and stupidity as intentional. Intellectualism is also a political tool of oppression in that by valorising abstract “rational” thought over emotions and feelings
Ideas are never abstract.
I hope that the more I write in this way, the more it will bring me joy and the better it will convey the things I want to convey.
Finally, I would like to thank Cherryblossomlife and Factcheckme, whose writing above all, has inspired me to open this blog. thank you.