This is a painful and sensitive time for American women. I know my readers aren’t reformists, or hold any belief in the system– but just this once you wanted to see a woman win because it was the right thing, and because she was competing against a fool.
So I want to try to express a theory that I’ve held for many many years, and I hope it can make you feel a little better.
One of the reasons I think that American women have taken this so hard is because there is a strongly held belief in the West ( by “west” I mean America, Canada, Australia and some parts of western Europe–U.K. France, Germany, the Nordic countries) that western women have it better than most other parts of the world. I put it to you that this is a myth. This is propaganda that you have been drip fed.
Why would you be fed such lies? For lots of reasons, but mainly to impose humility and gratitude upon you. (How dare you complain! Disgusting, when you’re so privileged! Look how bad THOSE women have got it. Now shut up and make me a sandwich).
But it is lies.
I argued in my previous post that women’s biology isn’t enough for men to be able to oppress us. They require a well-oiled political regime. Censorship and propaganda are important, and the propaganda you’ve been fed is that western women are privileged and better off than women around the world, especially third world women.
The notion that American women have it better dovetails neatly with nationalism and possibly racism too– which is not coming from the women, but is the purpose of the propaganda itself, to encourage the notion of superiority.
And this is why the election result is so galling for women who have an awareness of patriarchy. Because if American women can’t make it, then what hope have other women around the world got.. the thinking goes.
I had to wait until I began my series on food before I brought up this topic, because I thought it would be difficult to get my point across. There’s no point having a theory if you can’t express it, so the best way I can put it is like this:
90% of third world women are self-reliant. They have sophisticated methods of horticulture in place. Most make their own clothes, sometimes even from plants they’ve cultivated and grown themselves.
Western women ALL depend on a food supply chain system invented by men. How does relying on men for your food and essentials make you privileged over women who depend on themselves?
Well it doesn’t.
It’s really important to consider this. If the grid goes down most women in the world will be absolutely fine. I keep talking about the witch-craze (and I’m going to keep talking about it) because this was crucial in usurping the means of production and getting women to rely on men for access to food. It was also a way of getting women to report on each other and become handmaidens. The Soviets applied the same tactic. People would report their neighbors to the KGB only so that they themselves wouldn’t get taken away. In France and Germany there were villages with not a single female left. This is a western phenomenon.
And the reason I want to say this, is because it might make you feel better to know that you’re not the measure of how well women are doing in the world.
India has already had a female president. South Korea currently has a female president. Vietnam currently has a female president. Radical feminists understand that having a female president is not generally a measure of how well women are doing within that country– but it can be.
Many women around the world don’t need maternity leave or childcare. They just take the kids with them. I once watched a documentary by some western journalists who were “horrified” that a Columbian coffee bean picker had her kids with her and they weren’t in school. What smugness! The kids were having a great time running about, helping their mother. These disgusting journalists tried to make her feel ashamed that her kids weren’t in school. In the West kids are forced to go to school for many years only to finally be told they’re too stupid to get a proper job. Even in Japan, which is not “western” but is developed, I know many mothers who take their kids to work.
The U.S has one of the worst maternal mortality rates (42nd by ranking in order of how safe it is to give birth) in the world because doctors basically kill women in hospital .All those female lives, gone because of medical intervention. There are only two countries left in the world without paid maternity leave: the U.S is one of them. While everyone’s on the trans merry-go-round, this fact is being neatly overlooked.
In addition, women around the world have looked at western feminism (libfem) and rejected it. Because to them it means letting fathers take care of the kids, or leaving their babies to work. All the “gains” western women have fought for have been useless. Now we see women paying child maintenance for kids they’re barely allowed to see. We see women aren’t allowed to leave their kids at home because they’ll be charged with neglect.
What I’m saying is, other women have a lot of power around the world and in their respective communities. FGM in the third world is now the “in vogue” thing that is being drip fed to western women by the media so that they turn a blind eye to all the young women getting FGM to “neaten up” their vulvas in their own countries. The fact that western women are ASKING for FGM is not a measure of their choosy choice privilege, but a measure of how their minds have been bound by the patriarchs.
I have been studying and working with women from around the world for many years. I am still in touch with the women who I lived in a dormitory with in the Netherlands who were studying the same masters degree as me. Women from: Ecuador, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, China, Taiwan, Ghana, Sudan. Two of the Muslim Indonesian women had small children back in Indonesia but had left them by choice to study abroad. We discussed many topics, including women. I lived in Russia for one year and talked with women there.
It’s complicated. American women are brilliant and have come up with the most advanced feminist philosophy I have ever come across. But time now to branch out. Let’s begin looking at what other women are up to, not as observers, but as sisters. An Indian woman has recently published a book damning Ghandi’s pedophilia. She believed she was the first person to ever do so. I drew her attention to Mary Daly, and pointed out that she had already done it. The Indian author thanked me and asked about her books. Instead of being convinced of our privilege, let’s ignore the tropes that men tell us about what is going on around the world. Let’s not only look at wealthy third world women who are working for some government organization. Let’s look for women deeper at the grassroots … and maybe we can ask them for help.
Edited to add: The Nordic countries, while seeming egalitarian today, have carried out the most lobotomies on women by percentage of the population. The most dangerous place for women was Sweden. Lobotomy is still practiced on women in the U.S and the U.K. It has been outlawed in Japan and Russia
because it’s fucking barbaric on humanitarian grounds.