NYE

It’s 10pm on NYE and I’m watching the movie “The Help”. I rarely watch TV or movies but this one was on cable and I remember reading the book on a Mumsnet Book Club and thinking that it was one of the best books I’ve ever read.

It covers the civil rights movement in America, except it is a story about women. Not only does it pass the Bechdel test with flying colors, but it is set deeply, and convincingly, in the background. One particular scene from the book had me writhing in laughter, which is something that happens all too infrequently.

However. It is also one of the rare novels/movies that demonstrates how powerless white women are in the face of patriarchy, while not excusing or hiding their racist behavior. A life full of charity balls, hairdressing appointments, women’s auxiliaries and (unpaid) community meetings does not a powerful person make. “What is he going to do with me now?” asks one “white trash” Mississipian who had “married up”, but was unable to carry her husband’s child and had miscarried for a third time. “Whatever he wants”, is the only truthful; answer to that question.

Before I have my NYE wine I’m going to sum up my two favourite radfem blog moments of 2014. The highlights.

 The first has to be the musing done by radfems about whether we have to do anything at all, or whether that by doing nothing, by simply refusing to care for men or give them energy, would be enough to push them a little farther towards their inevitable doom, all of which culminated in in this absolute gem of a quote, by FCM at femonade:

“heres a thought. every woman who can afford it should get their adult male child or male partner an Xbox (or whatevers clever these days) for christmas, and then DO NOT nag him to stop playing. men have been known to die this way, they will not eat, they will not sleep, they will literally game until they drop dead of sleep deprivation (i think this is the cause of death in these cases?) let them get fired from their jobs, drop out of school, get sick and die. merry fucking christmas (and a happy new year for women!)”

I also very much enjoyed the point made about how women’s actions and thoughts are so controlled under patriarchy, that when there is no violent coercion involved, women will only do what they want, and it is very difficult to get them to do things they don’t. Women will also quite easily do things they actually want to do with flair and panache. It just tickled me, and it’s a POV that keeps coming bac, it is impossible to “get” women to do anything they do not want to do.

this goes to the naturalness of female autonomy, and that this is indeed our natural state/natural law — this is the way it is and cannot be changed or challenged. “herding cats” really is what it is like to try to organize with women, this was my experience (and hugos LOL) and i am sure old hugo was just gobsmacked that for the first time in his life, he was unable to control women. it was striking enough for him to publically comment on it (there are screenshots at the HUB). i suspect that his fear of losing his feminist credibility probably prevented him from exercising his normal amount of coercion and violence on those women, and it was not a paying gig for the women either, which is important, and the result — women saying NO to him and refusing to be controlled, meaning, refusing to do things they did not want to do — from his perspective was unexpected, frustrating and bizarre. k to me and one that I often think about.

Women are like cats.

Last, but not least, the post that most struck a chord with me this year was Witchwind’s post entitled “Men’s theft is more literal than we think”.

I loved this post because of the hope it inspired. If you have an awareness of how patriarchy is structured (politically, economically, militaristically)  it can often be overwhelming and depressing to see the laws that are in place which are designed to steal women’s resources and keep us opressed. I still have Marilyn Warner’s “Counting for Nothing” on my shelf unread because I know I’ll get so angry reading it that I won’t be able to bear it.

What I have seen from being close to powerful men is how, for example, taxes are taken from all women who work and then are distributed among men for spurious reasons. For example “the council” or “the government” will decide that it will “invest in small businesses” and what it then does is offer (tax-collected) money to “young entrepreneurs” to “help improve the local economy”. If the recipients of this cash are women, I’ll eat my hat.

It was in the papers recently that a man in Wales had received a pay out of millions of pounds to start up a home-made ice cream business. Well… with millions of pounds at your disposal you’d have to be a complete fucking imbecile to fail at your “business venture”. Men are just wrapped in cotton wool and not allowed to fail–NOT because of any brightness or skills on their part, but because they’re fucking CONSTANTLY STEALING money from women. Legally.

Anyway, if you get too far into all of this it depresses you and you feel hopeless, which is where Witchwind’s post comes in. She is absolutely spot on and correct in pointing out that men also steal from women directly. This is good news, in a sense, because it means that if you manage to remove yourself from men, then you are going to be financially better off. NOW that this has been pointed out to me, I closely watch women who are coupled with men, and those  who have been without men for a number of years and it is absolutely right what she is saying.

Men are known for robbing old women’s handbags and other similar valiant crimes, sure, but what she was trying to say is that husbands steal from wives, sons steal from mothers, brothers steal from sisters. I knew this on some level, because I’d read of tales of brothers putting sisters in mental asylums in order to claim their savings and inheritance for themselves and so on. But the theft can become even more.. insidious than that. “A cocklodger” is a well-used mumsnet term for a man who lives with a woman… but simply doesn’t contribute much. Men emphatically AREN’T the providers of the race; they’re the skivers and dodgers. And once this has been pointed out to you, everything makes even more sense than it did before you embarked on your radical feminist journey. A case in point: men EAT more; they can consume a family’s resources, just by eating. They are particular and picky about what they do eat (unless they are responsible for meal preparation, of course). They are the shoppers, in that they narcissistically take pleasure in buying shit for themselves, such as electronic devices, cars, special pension schemes and insurance plans and so on. Other than that, they might simply just ask the woman in their life for cash and if she doesn’t comply, they react with violence or passive aggression or punish her in some way. Or failing that, they actively prevent women from working by making life difficult for women to organize. Once you start thinking along these lines, you begin seeing how pathetic and crap men actually are.

Happy New Year!

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11 thoughts on “NYE

  1. my aunt’s common-law husband died a few years ago (they shared a house/furniture/some money together but because they were never officially married she didn’t get to claim anything of his when he died) and she really is better off financially for it (i know that sounds hideously cruel, but that’s of course how it goes under male rule–“legitimate” relationships are perverted into ownership and vice versa). it also seems like she’s gotten a bit more emotionally open because she has new friends and spends more time with the old ones and she sees our family almost every week. it’s a lot easier to talk to her now–although that might be the whole me-being-older thing–because she’s got a life that is 100% her own and she’s not always worrying about her partner or his family or his kids or anything like that. i’m going to tell her how i proud i am of her for doing so well for herself when she’s clearly going through a LOT of pain because of everything. although, in all fairness, if he had to die for her to gain this level of freedom, was it really such a great relationship? yikes. (also, sorry to ramble a bit)
    happy 2015 cherry. i hope this year is absolutely wonderful for you and you get your life back. i keep coming back to your post on travel and it makes me weak with excitement :’)

  2. Perfect example of women’s tax money being wasted on this pornographic bullshit band that is an insult to all Chiac speakers.

  3. Happy new year, Cherry.

    “The first has to be the musing done by radfems about whether we have to do anything at all”

    Yes, I loved this idea, too, even going back to the original post.. “Doing nothing” will likely feel dangerous to us, even if we are unobserved in doing nothing. If we do not defend ourselves 24/7 are we in more danger? Is this the reason that women police themselves and one another? Just keep working away with never a moment’s rest.

    One issue with this is that if we “do nothing” in the foreground, we may notice what is happening there: patriarchy. We may also notice the background, or begin to live there if all our gynergy is not going to the patriarchy interactions. Obviously we need to be aware enough of the foreground to defend ourselves if needed. But fighting it all the time? In our heads, in our hearts, in our bodies? How about we just “do nothing” instead? And get good at doing this “nothing.”

    So, wishes to you and to all for a wondrous (background) new year!

      • Oh, and while putting on a show of doing something from time to time in the foreground. You’re right, that one is important.

        omg, off topic, but on Christmas day, I watched Mary Poppins, which is a classic children’s movie. An often-forgotten part of the movie is that the mother (who requires a nanny) spends all her time on the women’s liberation movement. She even sings a song called “Our daughters will adore us”. I’ve got no idea how or why this scene came into being but it did. And she was “infuriating her husband” by being an activist and actively involved in the cause. I nearly pissed my pants when the wife says to the cook “You know how the cause infuriates Mr. Banks”.
        The cause?? So in the 80s we were actually allowed to have a cause, whereas now we’re not because we’re all equal…
        Anyway, we need to do less “infuriating teh menz” with activism and more “keeping out of sight of teh menz so they can’t see us”

        Happy New Year!

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