Okay, I’ve reached peak BS. The news items cropping up on my Facebook feed have gotten so bad that it has actually galvanized me to begin writing again.
I just can’t. I’m not even going to link. Off the top of my head: The BS taking place in Poland right now. A cop in the US shooting a breastfeeding mother and her baby. A woman currently serving a 40 year sentence for “failing to protect” her child– while the bastard who actually broke the child’s bones only got 2 years. What else… The Australian girl murdered by her foster father– sorry, did I say “murdered”? The headlines said that her foster father was carrying out an act of protection. Yep, he killed the 12 year old girl to protect his 19 year old son, who had been raping her. He killed her so that his son wouldn’t be charged. Murder of children has now become heroic. Oh, did I say rape? I must be getting confused– because newspaper journalists seem to think the two were “having sex” with each other. Also, a 100% mortality rate among Orca infants on the West coast, due to the radiation leaking from Fukushima. There hasn’t been a live birth among Orcas for 2 years.
On with our work.
I’ve enjoyed so much listening to the “Thinking Differently” videos from London. So many brilliant women being represented. I loved seeing Magdalen Berns there, as I recently discovered her Youtube channel– I watched about 10 of her videos in one sitting.I loved Julia Long’s detailed explanation of what transgenderism is, that it’s inherently violent: the violence of the male self, as that self seeks to assert and expand its presence through the violation of women’s boundaries. Wonderful to also see Andrea Dworkin being quoted–she had a deep and expansive understanding of the female condition under patriarchy and currently John Stoltenberg is attempting to paint Dworkin as some sort of trans supporter. Does it matter that he’s doing this? Can’t we just take Andrea’s visionary writing as our tool in radical feminism and then just leave him to it, just allow him to cherry pick quotes “proving” she was pro-trans?
Well, no we can’t. And yes, it does matter. Because Dworkin was deeply committed to women. Because she lived for the women’s liberation movement. And finally, Because she’s ours, not his. He didn’t even believe her when she was raped. Go fuck yourself, asshole.
I’ve been thinking, perhaps we should stop saying “I don’t care if men wear dresses and make up as long as they don’t call themselves female”. I do care, because they’re parodying women. Gay men in drag are actually taking the piss out of women. The joke is that they’re dressing up like the oppressed class. It others women and smacks of blackface. Asian countries, like India, Japan and Thailand have a long cultural tradition of “third genders”– and I don’t think this is as harmful as the current manifestation of transgenderism in the west. But I think it was Gerda Lerner in The Creation of Patriarchy (correct me if I’m wrong) who wrote that the sign of a patriarchal takeover in any culture is that men begin to adopt certain adornments usually only worn by women. It seems to me that she is not talking about beautification accessories used to look pretty or to attract men. She is talking about female rituals, or status related symbols. Skirts, I feel, were preferred by women historically perhaps because of the menses.
Once patriarchy is established men differentiate themselves from women– ashamed to be mistaken as a member of the lower caste. But as I understand it, in the initial stages of removing the means of production from women, men begin to assume the right to be allowed to mimic females by copying them. Before this stage, women were held in such awe and status as life-bearers that men would not dare to exhibit the adornments associated with our sex.
What we’re seeing now is that patriarchy has come a full circle. Initially, men would not dream of taking things that were meant only for women, but an assertion of domination meant that they mimicked women’s behavior by adorning themselves with clothes, trinkets and jewelry worn by women. Following that, once their takeover was complete, they pulled back and differentiated themselves completely. Finally, at the tail end of patriarchy as we see it today, they are so confident in their dominance that they can freely adopt clothing assigned to women, without worrying about tipping the power balance. Women’s defeat is total.