Twelve Thoughts On Feminism And Its Place In Today’s Political Environment
I don’t write about feminism much. There’s too much vitriol and too little curiosity from those who vehemently oppose it; you wind up preaching to the choir of those who have explored these issues while staving off the frenzied mommy issues of those who have not. I vowed a long while back not to waste my energy trying to justify my ideas about the plight of women to men who are only interested in shutting those ideas down, but this is actually something I think about quite a bit and I’ve got a few things I’d like to say to anyone who’s sincerely interested.
Here are twelve thoughts on feminism and where it plugs in to the political dynamics of our time. Some men will find some aspects of it abrasive and egoically confrontational. Those men will find a way to live with that.
- In my last article I wrote about how the very legitimate and necessary protests of NFL players against police brutality and institutional racism have been hijacked by the Democratic party and turned into an establishment wedge issue. In the exact same way, the very legitimate and necessary agendas promulgated by generations of feminist thought have been hijacked and turned into establishment wedge issues by this same party. Just as with the grievances voiced by black rights activists, the fact that a political party has attempted to twist feminism into a corporate tool of the oligarchy in no way invalidates the movement itself.
- Clinton feminism is fake feminism. Women need unrestricted reproductive sovereignty in order to be free, and Republicans collaborate with Democrats in a good cop/bad cop game to blackmail women into supporting an establishment political party whose crushing neoliberal policies hurt women using the threat of revoking their reproductive sovereignty. These plutocrat-friendly policies have created a society wherein 83 percent of all single parents are women, only half of whom are able to work full time year-round and who make a third of the median income of married-couple families. It bolsters income and wealth inequality in a society where women are forced to stay in or return to abusive relationships to avoid unsustainable financial hardship, and a system which disproportionately hurts women of color, wherein Latinas earn half as much as white men. Democrats are just as guilty of creating this system as their “bad cop” counterparts.
- Underneath all the establishment wedge politics and corporate manipulations there is an authentic feminism, which just might save the world. The way for women to get in touch with it is not to listen to the Clinton feminists, but to listen to your own body and reflect deeply on your actual experience of rape, abuse, harassment, commodification, coercion, condescension and subjugation in a society that was forged in the fires of misogyny. The way for a man to get in touch with it is to listen deeply and sincerely to a woman’s reflections on these experiences.
- By “forged in the fires of misogyny” I mean that human civilization was formed without much input from women, and developed during a time when women were essentially all slaves. After the invention of agriculture and the institution of marriage, women all over the world became property, bought, sold and owned like cattle, whose job was to be a receptacle for their husbands’ reproductive fluids whether they liked it or not and to toil in the house raising children without pay. During this time men invented religion, money, economics, war, government, hierarchy, class, culture, rules, laws and traditions, and women had no influence over any of it.
The last few generations have seen women birthed into a society that feminine sensibilities had very little hand in constructing, and told that this is what equality looks like. Welcome to equality, women; the bank’s over there, your jobs are over there, the Church of the Patriarchal God is around the corner, and FYI we still expect you to bear and raise children. Good luck.
- Money is the engine room of the patriarchy. Money was invented by men and its innate intelligence only recognizes men’s value, and when you create a system where money equals power then the alpha man and his ideas are always going to be the ones to rise to the top. Money can’t see the very obvious value and hard work in bearing and raising children, and caring for the disabled, vulnerable, and elderly family members, for example. The only way we’ve been able to get money to support these things is through socialism. Socialism is a way of forcing money to value women’s work.
- We’re blind to the value in disappearing problems and making harmony which is primarily the female function. The masculine solves problems through doing, whereas the feminine solves problems by un-doing. So much of every woman’s work is invisible, and I’m not just talking about our domestic and maternal work. We create social cohesion through our networks, knit families together through celebrations, lessen the need for new things by distributing goods, and do an awful lot of unpaid counselling work which leads to less stress, healthier people and therefore lessens the load on the medical system.
But money doesn’t know how to reward making problems go away. Money only knows how to create more demand, so when you point the “intelligence” of money at a problem like health, you just create more demand, which means creating more illness. Money fails as an arbiter of value. If you let money run things, you are relying on individual men to be good enough to see the value of looking after their women so that they may be free to use their skills to better everyone’s life.
- Essentially, libertarians want a benevolent patriarchy. They want the intelligence of money to take care of everything, and where it fails to recognize value in the many unpaid areas of essential female work such as child-bearing and rearing, the patriarchy will take care of it through volunteerism. In short, for libertarianism to work, we have to have a lot of really good men willing to support women’s work out of the kindness of their hearts.
This is is why I love libertarian men. They must be such good people for that to work in their brain. They must be projecting their goodness so hard on their fellow men for them to think “Well, I’ll just look after the children I have and the mother/s that bore them regardless of whether we’re in a relationship or not, and I’ll donate to charity for the rest, and everyone else will do the same.” That’s really sweet. The stats do not back you up though, buddy. Only 31 percent of single moms report receiving any kind of child support payments, which is why 77 percent of young children in single-mom families are poor or low income. If the world was full of guys like you, then sure, no worries… but it’s not.
And also — can we really claim equality and freedom for women when we are inherently relying on the benevolence of men to see and reward our value? Ideally, a free and equal woman would be valued and supported regardless of whether men liked her enough to give her money or not.
- For these reasons, the only truly pro-woman political movements are those that move to the left. Clintonist feminism is designed to keep that from happening at all cost, and to instead steer women into the safe ideological container of the neoliberal neoconservative one-party system of establishment politics. The voice of the feminine is ideologically leftist — not the left of the patriarchy-controlled Democratic party, nor the left of the male-dominated Marxist power grabs we’ve seen throughout history, but a compassionate system wherein everyone gets what they need. When unmolested by patriarchal influences, this is where woke women will inevitably lead politics.
- In addition to learning how to embody an authentic feminism by eschewing establishment indoctrination and sincerely grappling with our own lived experiences as women, another way to help bring our healing influence into the world is for women to begin collaborating in large groups together in private. When agriculture was invented and the ownership of separate plots of land became possible, men began taking wives, separating us into isolated family units policed by the bigger, stronger males, with far less interaction with the women in our communities and crippling our ability to collaborate together. With rising internet access we now have an unprecedented ability to reclaim that collaborative spirit.
I say in all sincerity that one of the most seditious and effective ways that we can fight the insanity of our times is to start secret women-only Facebook groups together to talk about women’s issues. Just start one with your trusted female friends and set it to secret; you’ll be very glad you did. There’s a very different dynamic that takes over when a large group of women know they’re not being observed by men folk, and a new-yet-strangely-familiar sort of collaborative chemistry begins taking over. The collective wisdom that comes from such collaborations will gradually change the way you operate — your relationships, the way you think about yourself and your body, and the way you move in the world. I can say with absolute certainty that I’d never have been able to do this job without the influence of such groups, for example.
- There is nothing more dangerous to the status quo than a woman who has stopped apologizing. A woman who is acutely aware of all the various ways that she has been manipulated throughout her life, who realizes that there is nothing to be gained by compartmentalizing away her grievances any longer, who is absolutely finished with all the bullshit and who is ready to begin roaring unapologetically at a society that is inseparable from the misogyny it was formed in, will terrify people. And rightly so. Her voice will cause the death of the familiar. The death of the known. Her voice will bring our species toward something wildly unprecedented. It will bring us into health.
- If men want to help us out with this, the best thing they can do is get curious and listen. Talk to a woman who’s been chewing on this stuff and get curious about her perspective; eventually your openness will build a trust between the two of you, and she will tell you things about gender and society you may never have realized before. Just give us your sincere curiosity about our experience and you’ll be giving us more than we’ve ever received throughout the entirety of recorded history.
- Our species’ male-dominated way of operating clearly does not work, and you can’t say we haven’t given it a red hot go. The patriarchy has been ruling since the beginning of agriculture, the results are in, and guys? You get a D-minus. We are barely scraping by. Looking to the past we see violence, destruction, exploitation and degradation as far back as history can see, and looking to the future we see certain death by ecocide or war unless something changes drastically. It’s time to give the feminine a chance. She’s just there, just under the surface. All she needs is an ear that’s willing to listen.
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