Androcentric view of oppression versus gynocentric view of oppression.
Intersectionality applies the logic of male status on women, which is the second reason why it’s off the ball. One thing I haven’t said in the first part is that what I’m attempting to draw here is a feminist understanding of men’s interlocking oppressive bonds, as opposed to an intra-male-sectarian vision of oppression based on the reversal that women, like men, are always subjects and direct beneficiaries of male status and economic wealth which awards us real power and security. This is true for men, but the same doesn’t work with women. Women’s situation is more complex since we are oppressed by all the different classes of men who are the originators and subjects of patriarchal snooldom. They are the rapists. The multiple violations men put some women into serve a completely different purpose than men’s own class divides – or put in another way, both serve only one class interest: male supremacy. Racism, classism and division of labour between men strengthens men’s global rapist apparatus against women, while from women’s perspective it is a male divide-and-conquer tactic to reinforce our sexual subordination to men.
Even though I’ve been thinking about this for several years now, I haven’t yet come across feminist theories of layered oppression that don’t lose sight of the core (men) and looks at how racism and classism attacks women, specifically as women. This is my first attempt to put it in writing publicly, and since I don’t have that many prior references to rely on or spring from except conversations with friends and a few comments or internet discussions here and there, there will possibly be some things to improve on.(there always is anyway)
For women, racism and classism have sexist intents and purposes, that is to increase our vulnerability to rape and to specific forms of female subordination to men. There is a world of difference between male and female victims of racism/classism: one simple example is the fact that male undocumented migrants and asylum seekers will at worst be enslaved in unethical corporations, whereas the typical route for female undocumented migrants will be prostitution or working as domestic servants, the latter also leading to rape and abuse by employers.
From men’s perspective, racism and classism is what provides male corporations with a continued flow of desperate, pliable male workers to exploit, who seek to escape the misery of their colonised country or impoverished region. It serves a capitalist and patriarchal interest because it supports the accumulation of wealth of a minority of men, which overall strengthens the patriarchal system. When we look at women, racism is what will provide all men with a continued flow of desperate, pliable women to be prostituted, raped and exploited in female subservient tasks. In this sense racism and classism benefits all men as it increases their ability to rape more women. Not to mention that all male economies are largely driven by trafficking in women, pimping, pornography and theft of women’s domestic work.
Men, as a sex-group, are not divided. Men’s borders, countries, classes, divide only women and set women against each other because men will increase their power over women with this system while women will have to treat each other as the enemy, which reinforces our bondage to men. Men fight each other because they want more access to beings to violate and don’t want to be at the bottom of the ladder. They are really at war against women.
Deadly division of women: assigning women to incubator and dick- receptacle functions.
Racism and classism are part of men’s arsenal for dividing women into different rape and reproductive classes. Which means that men arrange women into different reproductive and domestic functions according to their pre-assigned racial and class status. Treating women as machines, this division maximises the efficiency of men’s reproductive control.
Mostly, men distinguish between women belonging to their caste and women belonging to the caste of other men. They use the women of their own group as incubators, and invade other male groups to use their women as prostitutes and domestic servants (second-degree prostitutes). I believe this to be men’s core patriarchal-building method.
1.The in-group women: incubators, or married women
Groomed exclusively for breeding, married women are held captive in the man’s home and are either abducted, sold by the father or, more recently, manipulated or “seduced” into marriage and hetero-imprisonment. Her basic function will be to breed children until she dies from it, and if she doesn’t die after she has accomplished this horrific function, she may be killed, left to starve, or she will be used for domestic chores or to surveil other women’s children, or re-marry. If she’s lucky enough, she might be able to reduce the number of birthed children, survive her husband and enjoy slight freedom as a widow or spinster in the remaining years of her life.
Married women are evenly spread out across all male classes, nations and ethnic groups. All men of all groups conscript a majority of their daughters to marriage and forced procreation. All married women will be raped, forcibly impregnated and tortured to varying degrees according to the whim of their owner and more generally, according to the misogynistic customs of his male group.
Sub-categories of married women:
Married women are typically divided and isolated from other married women, especially from women belonging to other camps of male owners, since their interactions will mostly be limited to people authorised by her owner. The wife is assimilated to her owner’s condition, her self moulded like clay by the man’s identity. Her condition and expected behaviour is determined and tied to the social standing, class and ethnicity of the man who owns her (either father or husband) or by whom she was raised. It will also determine how other men and wider male institutions will treat her. For instance women attached to men of higher class will be exempt from various degrees of external institutional limitations, constraints, scorching poverty, violence and humiliations that will systematically be inflicted to women belonging to men of lower or colonised / genocided status.
Kept on a leash by their husbands, married women have no choice but to be loyal to her owner’s group-belonging and take his side in their useless wars, invasions and social divisions (racism and classism). Women’s autonomous class mobility is very limited if not almost impossible compared to men simply because all men will continue to treat us as property and not as subjects. The appearance of social mobility in women is achieved if a woman of lower class is married to a higher-class man, or if the low-class man she’s married to happens to climb the social ladder over years. But of course she will never be the primary beneficiary and her class belonging will remain that of a woman, underneath all men.
Another distinction between married women according to the social belonging of their owner, will be the amount of work and the type of work required from them inside or outside the man’s house, and the conditions in which they will have to breed and raise the children. While upper-class, wealthy men will hire an army of subordinate females to cook, clean the house, feed and raise the children, lower / midlle-class women will have to do everything by themselves or with little help, and those on the lower end of the class spectrum will have to work or toil outside of the house to earn money on top of her domestic and breeding obligations.
Finally, according to the country or region in which the women are married, degrees and intensity of men’s systematic violence against the women they appropriate may vary greatly, and women’s material and legal possibilities of escape varies also in degree from country to country or from group to group.
Anyway, there’s no way I can be exhaustive about all the different conditions in which men encage married women and what it means since my view is necessarily limited in time and scope. The point isn’t to get lost in details but to pin down the mechanism of oppression and class-division between women.
2. The outer-group women / unmarried women:
– Prostituted women: these are the women reserved for men’s leisure rape, a sort of necrotic public service organised by pimps and woman-traders who offer men the possibility to rape women without the bother of having to individually attack, manipulate or capture the woman themselves. This is the fate reserved to loose women, those who weren’t married or those made homeless through invasion, land expropriation, forced exile, child abuse or other.
Unlike married women, prostituted women are systematically othered: they are extorted from outside the dominant group, from colonised lands or oppressed minorities, generally bearing more outlandish traits compared to the local women. Women othered and debased in this way are more likely to be held in contempt or feared by the married women, so it reinforces division and illusion of lucky exemption in the married women. The point of men warring each other is for the male invaders to increase their poole of rapeable women, and to generally have free reign to rape all women since it’s the only time where they can break the rule of having to respect other men’s private property (women), when it comes to colonised men. Which is one reason why colonised men feel so “emasculated” (deprived of their rape host, probably experienced as their dicks being cut off). Of course the colonised men define it as an attack against themselves and their sacred rape-right, and not as an attack to women, since women aren’t considered as subjects. But I digress.
Hence most prostituted women will be found amongst those who were expropriated from their lands, severely impoverished or made homeless and forced into exodus to big towns where their only chance of survival is prostitution; those whose region or country was invaded, and the women systematically raped and sent to brothels, whether for the defending or invading army; those who formed the subsequent generation of women after the occupation or war and who are now so extremely impoverished they are abandoned by their family or have to leave their home to be prostituted in men’s big towns. In such colonised countries, as many as one woman out of two or three may be forced into prostitution at a given time, even many decades after the war has officially ended. Indeed the vast majority of women trafficked for prostitution or forced domestic work come from the global south. Within the group of colonisers or higher-class men, homelessness in women is mostly generated through severe child abuse, incest rape and pimping of their own children for child prostitution rings or pornography. All this appears to be true at the local as well as the global level.
This is my speculation but it is quite possible that the institutionalisation of prostitution and brothels came about through men’s systematic raping of unmarried or homeless women as a way of punishing them for not belonging to a man, to make sure no women escaped rape and male conscription. Collective raping of women is also men’s preferred form of bonding so it might be that men always considered prostitution necessary for holding the cohesion and fabric of men’s society together. Given that they’re obsessed by paternity and furthering their genetic lineage and that it’s considered a crime for another man to sully his reproductive property, they must have decided for the sake of male-peace-keeping and preventing too many fights over ownership to set some women apart for public, collective raping – to make sure that every man could have a go at raping. I guess they would otherwise always want to rape other men’s wives or daughters and it would have disturbed men’s social order or strict reproductive control scheme. I wonder whether the history of prostitution development has been documented anywhere. Someone told me that it first started in Sumerian societies, alongside the practice of veiling married women.
– Domestic servants: Same mechanism as for prostituted women except that their acquisition will be reserved to wealthier men who can afford to have slaves and/or servants in his domain. They act as surrogate inferior wives, wet nurses, cooks, cleaners, nannies, completing work that would otherwise be reserved for the married woman. The pater familias usually has right of rape over the domestic servants.
Then of course there are all those wild women who have bravely or luckily escaped male bondage: spinsters, lesbians, witches, hags, and other such revolting women that men have hunted down with all their might.
This is it for now. Stay tuned in for the next part which will focus on what it does when men inflict different degrees of violence between women.