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Through a Rapist’s Eyes

10 Mar

After seeing this post:  http://banoosh.com/2012/10/16/through-a-rapists-eyes-pls-take-time-to-read-this-it-may-save-a-life-reblog-this/.

The title warns its female audience: THROUGH A RAPIST’S EYES” (PLEASE TAKE TIME TO READ THIS. it may save a life.) Reblog this!

 A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts: 

1] The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle.They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun! , braid, or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who’s clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

3] They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

I only listed three of the many interesting facts in this post because frankly I couldn’t read any further. After seeing this “warning post” to women, I Just had to respond. First let me just get the obvious out of the way; men need to stop hating, violating, raping and murdering women.  Now back to reality or more apt, sanity. Since men are not going to stop hating, violating, raping and murdering women,  we need to stop the insane belief that they will. We need to stop the insane belief that our individual and global efforts of changing our hair, our clothes etc…. will stop male violence because we’ve been there done that for approximately five thousand years.  Imagine the above list if the tables were turned, if men were on the receiving end, would they cut there hair short, change their clothes or stop using their cell phone to stop someone from attacking them? Are men asked to see their world through a rapist’s eyes?

Moreover the sad fact remains that with the majority of male violence and rape, the male perpetrators are men that women know; therefore, the list is merely a smoke screen and a scare tactic that hides the real problem, our relationships with men and our insane need to be with men, the same men who oppress, dominate, disrespect, rape, violate and murder women.  So in my opinion the issue is not whether or not women have long hair or if they talk on their cell phone but instead facing the reality that needing to be with men is insane. The truth is, women need men like they need a kick in the face (because more often then not, needing men = a kick in the face). Women need to realize that the desire or need to be with men is a symptom of male violence or as Graham states in Loving to Survive, Societal Stockholm Syndrome, a disorder that is caused by male violence and trauma.

Let’s face it, patriarchy a society that depends on male’s dominating females through violence, is one big trauma fest, not to mention, the micro patriarchies, the nuclear family and the intrinsic epidemic of domestic violence. The nuclear family was set up by men to support patriarchy and supporting patriarchy means controlling women and controlling women means violating and murdering women and what better way to do so then isolating women under the rule of the Father in patriarchy and of the individual father in the nuclear family.  This way men have covered all their bases in the effort to keep women enslaved and dependent on men; if Patriarchy doesn’t keep women in line then the men we choose to have relationships with will.

Graham’s hypotheses in Loving to Survive, is that similar to kidnappings where the hostages or captives must use their manipulative skills versus their physical skills to survive the captor (s), in male dominated social systems such as patriarchies, the same dynamics exist.  In order to survive, women (the captives) try to curtail the trauma and violence by clinging to their men (captors), catering to their every whim in the hope that they can through tireless effort, love and care, control their men keeping them from being as violent towards them.  This gives the captive/women (even if an illusion) a sense of control and with that a sense of safety. Part of this insane equation is that the captive over time must deny that the captor is dangerous; otherwise, the emotional, mental and physical trauma would be too much and the chance of survival lessened.

The captor will mix violence with small acts of kindness showing the captive that if she behaves a certain way, appeases him (physically or otherwise) that he will be less harmful to her, less dangerous. The captive then finds out quickly that she needs to put herself in his shoes see herself and her behaviors through his eyes in order to behave the way he wants her to, to minimize his violence towards her. She literally needs to become him, to keep ahead of his violence. In some cases she may even push him to harm her in smaller degrees, so that when he decides to beat her, the aggression isn’t as “built up” and the beating less devastating.  The captive also feels a sense of control over her situation by forcing a beating on her terms whether then feeling like a victim on his terms.

This dynamic for women can also cause them to enter into prostitution and pornography for the same reasons because they believe that if they control the rapes and abuse on their own terms, this makes them less of a victim. Knowing this, we then must ask ourselves, do women in prostitution and pornography really make a “free” choice to be there, or have they adapted to their abuse, putting themselves in situations where they can, on their own terms, initiate the rapes and abuse,  changing the abuse in their minds to empowerment; the empowerment resting solely on their feeling like the perpetrator not the victim, even if the perpetrator is the victim.

Women, the victims in this equation like any victims of trauma such as being held hostage, have adapted these captive victim behaviors to survive male violence. Graham also points out that feminine behavioral traits are the same as captive, subservient & victim behavioral traits.  That animals and even men display feminine behaviors when they are dominated and abused.  In patriarchy, women are the victims and their behavior is completely understandable and even heroic. Regardless, women’s biggest enemy now continues to be men but there is an added detriment–the male identified female–women seeing themselves and other women through men’s eyes.

The title to this post, through a rapist’s eyes is a good example of this phenomenon along with many other tag lines such as, violence against women, domestic violence, the war on women and so on. When women name their experience with male violence by leaving  out the male perpetrator, we are speaking from the male perspective.  There is violence against us, but we don’t want to name the agent, because the agent in a round about way–is us. If we are seeing ourselves and other women through male eyes and therefore we are HE, then we are being violated by ourselves and the violence is our fault.  The absent referent, the perpetrator here is missing because women believe (subconsciously and insanely) that they are to blame for the violence against them. They didn’t behave correctly. They failed at what they have learned to do to survive, curtail male violence. They can’t admit this even to themselves because by doing so they would have to admit that they are not safe, their denial threatened.

The other added issue is the adaptive captive behaviors, because with these adapted behaviors, there is a level of denial over the reality of our enslavement and male violence.  Men become the good guys and women the enemy.  These adapted captive behaviors also keep women frozen in a state of victim-hood because they aren’t able to admit that they are victims. This denial keeps women believing that their efforts for curtailing male violence through manipulation alone is working, when in reality a more aggressive tactic is necessary. Women can not break out of their captivity if they remain in denial about their captivity and about male violence. Women must also realize that they have taken on the male identity, seeing themselves and other women through male misogynist eyes. Further,  women need to realize that doing this has not curbed the male propensity for violating and murdering women, on the contrary,  it has confounded the problem by isolating women from other women.  In Loving to Survive, Graham wrote about another side effect of  women’s captivity: 

“Women’s self-hatred, associated with Societal Stockhom Syndrome, can cause us to dislike, mistrust and disparage other women. We have come to see ourselves as our oppressors see us—as unimportant, silly, and conniving”

Women who are socialized in patriarchy learn to distrust themselves and other women, because the dominant men have deemed women to be the enemy. When women take on their captor’s (patriarchy and their individual men) perspective, they must also see themselves through His/his eyes. Since men hate and disrespect women, the captive then must hate what the captor hates even if this entails hating themselves. Women learn to hate “femaleness” and respect “maleness.”  Women become male identified.  This is why most male violence against women is by men that women know and this is why women stay with abusive men.  Even abusive men in patriarchy are to women, life preservers amongst a sea of abusive men.  Moreover, if you think about it, heterosexuality in a male dominated patriarchal society can be seen as insane if you put it in the right perspective.  Why? Because in such oppressive conditions, choosing or needing to be with men is insane.

Women have and continue to believe they need men–a patriarchal lie–because they are in denial a survival mechanism that keeps them safe from their own terror, not to mention the constant pressure from our society telling us we must be with men or there is something seriously wrong with us.  In the back of all women’s minds their terror is asking the sane question; who’s to say that if women fight back, men won’t become even more violent towards us?  The idea of needing men to protect us from men is the ultimate oxymoron. It is a circular argument that defies logic.  Would a sane person choose to be with a person who disrespects and violates her?  Would a sane person choose to have a relationship let alone an intimate one with a person who demeans her?  Men disrespect women with their every breath, mentally, emotionally and physically and yet women still stand by men.  Does this sound logical or sane?  Knowing this, we must then look at female/feminine behavior and the need for men differently, as an adapted survival mechanism, not as a choice and then we can begin to analyze and change this.

These adapted captive feminine behaviors have become who women are so much that we actually believe that femininity is innate female behavior, never asking ourselves the hard questions about patriarchal male violence and how this has affected women and their behaviors and their need and desire to be with men.  Men of course will never question femininity and women’s insane need to be with men because doing so would not be beneficial for them or patriarchy; however, sadly women for the most part do not question it either, especially heterosexual women.  Unless women have pursued feminism and finally radical feminism, digging deep into their world externally and within themselves internally, they cannot recognize their own captive behaviors when it comes to their relationships with men, because they have no knowledge to the contrary. They believe then that it is normal, human nature, female nature.  Further, for women to reach for information to the contrary is extremely difficult because, although it seems beneficial to do so, women’s survival instincts and terror tells them not to.

If we questioned our insane need to be with men, this would force us to face our denial about male violence and male hatred towards women and our own hatred towards ourselves and other women. Our identity as we know it (male identified) would be in question. We would then have to face that we are literally sleeping with the enemy and ultimately that we are not in control, never have been and this would uncover our terror. Facing this would also force us to realize that our sacrifice, the loss of our lives, our authentic identities, our relationships with other women, that we were forced to give up in an effort to survive, was ultimately to no avail and finally we would be left with the bleak reality of  our own enslavement.

Women need to understand that there is a fundamental difference between men and women. ALL MEN hate ALL WOMEN most of the time.  ALL MEN believe ALL WOMEN are inferior most of the time.  Men will not change and if we are honest, we would realize that our efforts to change them are not really about changing men anyway–but about changing ourselves. If women are male identified, looking at themselves and other women through the eyes of men (through a Rapists’s Eyes) our efforts to change the way men feel about women, efforts to make them hate us less thereby making them violate us less, is ultimately an effort to change how we feel about ourselves and other women.

Consequently, we are entering the issue through the back door, beating our heads against the patriarchal wall, trying to change ourselves through men and the almighty male perspective.  I think the title of this post, “Through a Rapist’s Eyes” is extremely apt because it points out that even with our best intentions, we have Freudian slips like this title. We are looking at the problem of men raping women, through the rapist’s eyes. We do this because we still insanely believe against all evidence that we can win the battle of male violence by seeing through his eyes, by taking on the rapist’s perspective and by behaving accordingly in an effort to not be raped. The rapist rewards women with the kindness of not raping us because we behaved in a certain way.  If we have long hair, if we wear skimpy clothes, if we talk on the cell phone, walk alone at night, we deserve to be raped. Women have been and continue to be trained like animals through reward and punishment.

This battle cannot be won through osmosis, through men. Women must put down men and put down the insane idea that we can solve male violence through or with men and attack it directly. WOMEN DON’T NEED MEN. Women would be more effective fighting male violence directly instead of continuing the insanity of depending on men to protect us from men (and ourselves). Instead we must depend on ourselves and other women by banding together in solidarity and defending ourselves and our sisters in any means necessary.  Finally, women need to avoid men like the plague because historically, traditionally, figuratively, literally and reasonably– they are the plague.

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Doing Work for Patriarchy

3 Mar

After seeing this poster at this link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151502804657110&set=a.51895502109.87823.684087109&type=1&theater;  The poster states:

“Pussy Power, Slut Nation is Here and We Are Pissed Off. Run and Hide You Misogynist Crusty Fuck Heads!”

I was immediately struck by two emotions, on the surface I wanted to raise my fist and yell, “yeah, you fuckers!” and then my secondary more deeper response was sadness. I agree that women need to get very angry and to express their anger and this poster connected with my own rage as a woman; however, I take issue with using the words, “pussy” to define female power and “slut” to describe the nation of women.  Both pussy and slut reduce female power to their sexuality, which is exactly where patriarchy and men want our (false) power to remain. Because women have had no power historically, they have had to use their sexuality in an attempt to gain admittance into a male dominated society. This type of sexual “power” is dependent on men therefore it is not true power.  Woman must use their pussies (allow men to penetrate them) to gain favor with men, which is not real power at all. When the men leave, the power leaves with them, without men giving the favor, women have no power.

Moreover, in patriarchy, female sexuality has been forced into heterosexuality because this is the only sexuality that is enforced; therefore, female sexuality in patriarchy must be very different then female sexuality in an egalitarian society. The word “slut” is used to define women who have sex with a lot of men (not women) therefore to claim the word “slut” or to use it to define a nation of women continues to force women into heterosexuality, into having sex with not just one man exclusively but with a lot of men — a patriarchal wet dream.

Historically, women have had to use sex to temper male violence in an effort to survive.  How can this type of sexuality be empowering? Female power is female power, independent of sex and independent of men.  Women are powerful because they are women, because they are human beings, not because of our pussies or because we are “sluts” who choose to have sex with many men. I understand that our pussies are a biological part of us and we need to accept this part of ourselves; however, limiting the discussion to our pussies and naming ourselves sluts, makes a mockery of women as human beings.  Men have power because they are considered to be autonomous human beings in our society– unlike women who are considered to be men’s sexual property. We never talk about men’s penises or their promiscuity when we talk about male power– so why are we focused on a woman’s sexuality when it comes to claiming female power?

I understand the desire to take back our pussies from men—& the merit in celibacy because quite frankly it makes good sense to do so; men disrespect women and they do not deserve our attention, sexually or otherwise; but I do not agree that a woman’s power is in her pussy or because she “chooses” to be sexually liberated. If women claim “pussy power” and at the same time also claim that they are “sluts” aren’t they sabotaging the power of their pussies by claiming to be sluts?  I understand wanting to emphasize the power of the pussy, if the pussy stood alone on its own merit because I agree, pussies are powerful independently (without men or their penises), much like women are powerful independently.  But to also claim to be a slut, negates this independent power because the word “slut” defined is a woman who has sex with many men; consequently, to be a slut you must also be sexually dependent on men. In my opinion, women claiming to be sexually liberated or claiming to be a slut, choosing to have sex  with whoever she desires, is merely patriarchy entering through the back door.  If heterosexual sex has been and continues to be one of the ways men control and violate women, isn’t women having more sex with men, a win, win for men and patriarchy?

Graham wrote in, “Loving to Survive”

“Women’s sexual organs may be the essential battlefield on which the war for male domination is fought. The more violent a sexual crime against women, the greater the social distance between men and women, and the more clearly that distance is emphasized. Male sexual violence against women and “normal” heterosexual intercourse are essential to patriarchy because they establish the dominance of the penis over the vagina, and thus the power relations between the sexes. The sexualization of people and male/female interactions is central to the practice of patriarchy because it keeps group membership (and thus power relations) salient. Thus, when a male sexualizes and interaction with a female, he is doing work for patriarchy.”

As long as there is a difference in status between men and women and as long as men dominate women, heterosexual sex will be a vehicle for men to oppress and control women.  Heterosexual sex in patriarchy cannot be equal.  Because of the power dynamics of the gender roles in our society, men approach sex with women in a very different way than how women approach sex with men.  Whether this is subconscious or otherwise, women have been forced, due to there being no other vehicle available to them, to use sex as a vehicle to gain favor or power and men use sex as a vehicle to control women. When women depend on their sexual interactions with men to gain favor or power, they become inadvertently dependent on men and this allows men to control them, quite the opposite to what women believe the situation to be.

This of course was set up by men, a patriarchal sleight of hand. Men cause a deficit for women by dominating, violating and oppressing them and women respond to this by behaving in a specific way to make up for this deficit.  Of course this is the dynamics of what we consider to be “healthy” heterosexuality and not the dynamics of rape and sexual abuse which has nothing to do with women trying to gain power or favor and everything to do with male domination and control.  Consequently, if it is true that the male sexualization of females works for patriarchy, isn’t it also true that women equating power to their pussies and claiming words like “slut”,  words that sexualize females, also doing work for patriarchy? By focusing on female sexuality (predominantly heterosexuality) aren’t we glorifying having sex with men and thus inadvertently doing work for patriarchy?  How does either further the cause of female liberation?

By Michele Braa-Heidner

Bitch, the journey

29 May

Bitch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

 “Generally, this term is used to indicate that the person is acting outside the confines of their gender roles, such as when women are assertive or aggressive, or when men are passive or servile.”

If  however you understand the patriarchal context that the word “bitch” was created and defined in, you begin a journey to the true meaning.

Our journey starts here:

When a woman behaves like a man, by acting assertive or aggressive, she is called a “bitch”.

When a man behaves like a woman, by acting passive or servile, he is called a “bitch”.

We can deduce then that the word “bitch” refers to assertive & aggressive behaviors in women and passive and servile behaviors in men.

We can also determine that it is insulting for a woman to act like a man and equally insulting for a man to act like a woman. So what exactly does this mean? Who is being insulted?  To find out we must continue our journey:

If a woman acts like a man, she is called a “bitch” in an effort to take her down a notch to her place in the patriarchal hierarchy below men.

If a man acts like a woman, he is called a “bitch” in an effort to take him up a notch to his place in the patriarchal hierarchy above women.

The word “bitch” then appears to serve as a patriarchal hierarchical gender leveling device.  However, by using the word “bitch” we still need to understand who or what we are we protecting therefore our journey is not yet done:

If  a woman acts like a man, she taints and/or dishonors the male reputation and exalted status.  

If a man acts like a woman, he taints and/or dishonors the male reputation and exalted status.

As you can see, although in both cases the gender lines are being crossed and in both cases “bitch” is used to deter this, we are concerned only with protecting the male reputation.

The word “bitch” then acts as a device to protect the male reputation and exalted status over women.

Why?  Because girls have cooties! 

So next time you decide to call another human being a “bitch” please remember who and what you are protecting. 

Our journey ends here.

We Don’t Need Super-man

21 Apr

At the Facebook group “https://www.facebook.com/groups/202351239877610/211126279000106/?comment_id=211887978923936Anarcha Feminism“,

Mavis Mantis posed the question: “Why can’t we just abolish all militaries and all governments? What are we fighting for?”

Because men created patriarchy and because all of the systems created out of patriarchy such as the military’s and the governments are systems that support patriarchy; we must abolish patriarchy and male rule to get rid of its military’s and governments. The truth however is that some of the fuel for all of the above systems has been and continues to be female energy, female blood & female sacrifice; consequently, females must remove their energy, their blood and their sacrifice from patriarchy in order to starve it and ultimately kill it. Ironically, females are not being represented in the very social system that they are fueling. Females continue to be oppressed & victimized by male hatred stemming from male fear and yet females continue to exist within this enemy system, supplying men and the system with their precious energy. Females have done this to survive–yes–but now they must wake up and do more than survive. Females need to act and create positive change. Females need to get humans back on track as stewards of our planet, instead of supplying their energy to the male parasites bent on destroying it.

Patriarchy and all systems created out of the same are masculine systems and they come from masculine ideas of what our world should be and how it should be run and they are all a barbaric digression from evolution. The ideals of violence, oppression and exploitation must be eradicated because these ideals do not in any way represent female ideals and they do not in anyway represent human evolution and growth. To begin the process of growing again, of evolving again, we must abolish social systems that dismiss and oppress the female half of human population. With masculinity alone, we have death and destruction, war and famine. All of our plights are because of a lack of female energy–and too much male energy. The human male is extremely dangerous and a threat to all life and our planet, especially when the human male is not tempered by opposing female energy. This is what ails us and our planet. In Native American culture, females are essential to providing this balance of male / female energy. With respect for females comes a respect for nature, without this, nature suffers and we can see this suffering all around us.

Until these truths are realized, until all females are able to name the problem, name their oppressors through gaining knowledge about the same, change will be extremely slow.  However, until then, females will infiltrate all places of power.  Females will continue to chip away at patriarchy’s foundation from the inside, by adding their voices and female ideals, their opposition to masculine destruction. Females will represent females because males have not and will not. Females will represent all living creatures on our planet, because males have not and will not. Females will represent Mother Earth because males have not and will not.

We don’t need superman.

Females will save the day.

The Sex Trap

31 Mar

Why would we want to own a word like slut? Why not choose to own words that have nothing to do with sex? Why not own the word “Independent” or” Strong” or “Empowered” ? Especially knowing that females in patriarchy are by male design considered to be the sex class? Especially knowing that when it comes to talking about female liberation or equality we always end up debating and actively fighting each other about sex. Why?? Why do we focus on our sex? Are we not human beings? Because we are conditioned to believe females are nothing more than sex, our male prescribed role in patriarchy, we get caught in the trap of arguing about sex like it is the only thing that matters when it comes to being female. This conditioning is extremely evident in feminism and it has divided feminists into opposing groups that actively fight each other, the sex positives, the liberal feminists and the radical feminists.

The sex positives and liberal feminists are focused on claiming the word slut and the sex trade in an effort to claim empowerment. This unfortunately is a trap. It keeps them fighting for the right to like sexually pleasing men, a right that they already have in abundance, instead of on liberation and equality. This is a male wet dream. Not only does this keep women divided against each other, it also keeps women in their place as the sex class. Men created the gender roles of male and female and it was by their design that females were conditioned to serve men sexually and otherwise. In patriarchy, women are considered to be sex, not human beings who matter for their own sake. Men on the other hand are human beings that matter for their own sake. When it comes to talking about men, we don’t get stuck in debating about their sexual preferences. So why are we allowing sex to divide us as feminists? Why do we get caught in the sex trap?

When we focus on reclaiming the word slut and on the sex trades pros and cons we fight each other and lose sight of female empowerment and equality which for the most part has nothing to do with sex.  Sex does not = female empowerment, just like sex does not = male empowerment. Sex is just a small aspect of who we are as women and sex is the one role that men have forced us into.  Men and unfortunately most women, have been programed to believe that women are the sex class.  That women are sex. That women are sex objects. So if women are sex in patriarchy and women are fighting to break the chains of patriarchal conditioning and male designed gender roles, how can we  do this by claiming to own or like what we are fighting to break out of?  When we fight for the right to claim the word slut and claim the sex trade as our own, are we not essentially fighting to be what men have already designed us to be in patriarchy?  Are we not playing right into the hands of our oppressors? Shouldn’t we instead focus our female energy on becoming autonomous & powerful so that we can celebrate and express our strengths as human beings?

Females are Sex

17 Mar

I posted this article, http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2012/03/08/nude-revolutionaries/ from I Blame the Patriarchy because a certain paragraph stood out for me in regards to all the debate we have been having here on this site regarding the sex-positive posts:

I allege that, in a patriarchy, all images of women, particularly but not limited to those that involve nudity, and particularly but not        limited  to those that allude to a traditional cheesecake aesthetic, are inherently pornographic. I allege this not because I believe that women  are themselves inherently degraded pornbot livestock, but because the imagery is always realized under the auspices of — and for an audience acclimated to — a culture of pornsick patriarchal oppression. Images of women can only be interpreted from within a framework of misogyny that universally defines women in terms of male desire, male fantasy, male incontinence, and male power. No framework for interpretation exists other than that which defines women as the sex class.”

The writer is suggesting here that it doesn’t matter what the females are trying to protest by being nude and we can insert here as well that it equally doesn’t matter whether or not women feel empowered by being strippers, prostitutes or porn stars, they ultimately will be interpreted by male voyeurs or the johns or punters in the patriarchal framework of misogyny because no other framework exists. Consequently, the sex positive “feminists” will continue to feed right into this misogynist framework even though this is not their intention. By choosing to promote their sex, only one small aspect of who they are as women, the only aspect of themselves that men claim ownership over, they are promoting that yes indeed women are sex, nothing more.

Females in our society have been conditioned to be the sex class and unfortunately, I can see this conditioning everywhere I look and especially at feminist sites.  I think it is extremely ironic that feminists are focused on sex when we talk about female equality and liberation. A female’s sexuality is only one small portion of who she is and the sex act is something that she can live without not to mention that the availability of females for sex is one subject that is extremely important to men; however, even so, we are still primarily focused on female sex and the question of whether or not female sex is empowering.

What is more revealing is that we don’t question why we are focused on female sex; we don’t ask ourselves why we are stuck on this subject? We instead go on and on and argue the pros and cons of female sex. The liberal and sex positive feminists argue that choosing to be strippers, sex workers or porn stars can be empowering because females are free to choose; the empowerment then hinging on the choice. The Radical Feminists argue that just because females are free to choose to work in the sex industry doesn’t mean that it is empowering, but quite the opposite, it means that females are choosing to objectify themselves and this sends the wrong message to women and men, that women like being sexually objectified.

We get caught up in this sex debate not realizing that we are doing this because we are stuck in our own conditioning, playing it out like puppets of a sinister patriarchal play. I am suggesting here that it is the non-questioning that is important here not the pros or cons of female sexuality.  In other words, the reason why we don’t think about why we are focused on female sex is because the idea that females are sex, is a male idea that is built into patriarchy and into our minds.  That is why female sex is the foundation of most discourse regarding female equality and liberation. This mentality or idea is  normalized to the extent that we don’t see it and this is a win, win situation for our male oppressors because when we continue to debate female sexuality, we continue to live within the patriarchal confines of the male prescribed female. We are sidetracked into the subject that they hold the dearest and if we are sidetracked into fighting about female sexuality, we are not debating the important female issues such as equality, sexism and misogyny.

Unfortunately, a female for female’s sake doesn’t exist in patriarchy. In other words without her sex, she is invisible. Men exist just because they are men regardless of their sexual preferences. They exist because they are seen as autonomous human beings. I want to scream to the heavens that females are not sex! They are autonomous powerful human beings and this has nothing to do with sex! Instead of having off shoots of feminism celebrating female sex, fighting for the right to just love sex such as the sex positive feminists, why not off shoots of feminism that celebrate our autonomy, our power as females? When we fight for the right to enjoy sex with men, we aren’t fighting for something we don’t already have. We aren’t thinking outside the patriarchal box. Because to have sex with men is one of our only rights that is spoon fed to us every day of our female lives! It feels like there is literally a giant red blinking neon sign that says, MUST HAVE SEX WITH MEN — MUST HAVE SEX WITH MEN–MUST HAVE SEX WITH MEN constantly running across my line of vision. Females are programmed to have sex with men. They are groomed for this very reason! So why are we still fighting for something that we already have in spades?

When we continue to fight with each other over this sex issue, we play right into the hands of our oppressors. When we fight for the right to feel empowered by sexually pleasing men, we continue to make men our legitimizers. We need to stand apart from men and legitimize ourselves; therefore, our sex whether we like it or not, whether we want to have it with men or women or not at all, should be irrelevant because…….wait for it…..

FEMALES ARE HUMAN BEINGS

Plunder

9 Jan

All of this debate about female sexuality & the empowerment of women that hinges on their ability to choose whether or not they want to be sex workers, strippers, porn stars, mother’s or wives, in my opinion, is merely a smoke screen, a diversion that keeps women and men from being concerned with what really matters in regards to the oppression of women and the inequality of the same.  I find the argument as well as any other argument regarding women’s sexuality and how it relates to her empowerment superficial and quite frankly irrelevant. Would we be discussing a males sexuality in regards to his sense of self or his empowerment? Females however are the sex class therefore distinguishing a females sex from her sense of self or her empowerment is unlikely–in other words females are sex.  In this writing I will attempt to explain why this is the case. First however I want to introduce a novel idea. Females are human beings that matter just because they are female…….. Sex worker, stripper, porn star, mother or wife are all roles that women play and they have all been prescribed by men to benefit men. Women have been socialized in patriarchy to be the role and not to be their authentic selves which is a much deeper problem than the role she plays or the men or children she takes care of. Women are not taught to love themselves because they are women, they are taught to love themselves in spite of it.  Men do not need a role to be recognized in our society, they just are. They are human beings that matter just because they are men.

Women on the other hand, if not connected to a role, a man or a child, are invisible.  In other words, without the role,  there is no reason for her existence.  The origins of this mentality come from the origins of patriarchy and its counter part religions, Judaism, Islam & Christianity.  From the Old Testament of the Bible we all know the story of Adam & Eve but do we really understand how it has effected us as human beings and as societies.  Adam was created as an autonomous human being.  He was created whole from the stuff of creation. Eve however was created as an after thought, to keep Adam company. Eve was created from Adam’s rib. For Eve to exist, Adam needed to exist first. Without him, she would not be. She is made out of the stuff of Adam.  Eve then is perceived as only a part of him and not an independent human being.  She was created to keep Adam company and she does not matter apart from this role.  He animates her, but not the other way around. This idea about the female sex, that they exist for the sole purpose of keeping men company, that they exist only through the male is still in our psyches today regardless of whether or not you are an atheist or Christian because this mentality is built into patriarchy, it’s the foundation of patriarchy, the lifeblood that keeps it erect.  I like to call it the Viagra of patriarchy.

In our ancient past, men would wage war and girls & women were considered the plunder along with the gold and livestock they stole after conquering their enemy. The young girls were sold or taken as wives or put to work as sex workers and the old women were usually killed because they were of no use to men in regards to slave work, sex or childbearing.  And now in current times most people think that females outnumber males but this is only true in America. In third world countries females are literally being discriminated to death. The percentage of females vs males is strikingly low.  Studies have shown that almost 100 million girls “disappear” each year, killed in the womb or as babies.  In many of these cultures if a family does not have enough food the boys eat first and the females starve. If a female is sick medical attention is withheld and the females die. And too often parents will kill their female babies because females are disposable compared to males. This mentality is again due to females not being seen as autonomous human beings, but instead their worth is completely dependent on their use for men. I had an argument recently with a man on Facebook who told me that genocide was more of a concern than sexism. I begged to differ and told him that it is sexism that has lead to female genocide in countries outside America and inside America in more subtle ways. This mentality regarding sexism is pretty typical in patriarchy. The importance of sexism is downplayed and dismissed because the victims are primarily female and again females are not considered to be human beings. Within genocide there are men and it is the men that matter, so if the victims are female, it isn’t genocide at all. Even though this particular man considered himself a feminist, he subconsciously held the same biases we all do in regards to females.

In the book “Half the Sky” the author illustrates how the Bible plays a large role in the sanctioning of the killing of females.

If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity.” then the girl’s father and mother….shall display the cloth [that the couple slept on] before the elders of the town..If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. – Deuteronomy 22:13-21

Of all things that people do in the name of God, killing a girl because she doesn’t bleed on her wedding night is among the most cruel. Yet the hymen–fragile, rarely seen, and pretty pointless remains an object of worship among many religions and societies around the world, the simulacrum of honor. No matter how much gold may sell for, a hymen is infinitely more valuable. It is frequently worth more than a human life. This harsh view has dissipated in most of the world, but survives in the Middle East, and the emphasis on sexual honor is today a major reason for violence against women. Sometimes it takes the form of rape… because often the simplest way to punish rival family is to violate the daughter. Sometimes it takes the form of honor killing, in which a family kills one of its own girls because she has behaved immodestly or has fallen in love with a man (often there is no proof that they have had sex, and autopsies of victims of honor killings frequently reveal the hymen intact). The paradox of honor killings is that societies with the most rigid moral codes end up sanctioning behavior that is supremely immoral: murder.

The author suggests here that the Middle Eastern men are acting from a moral code directly from the Bible and yet they are committing a mortal sin-murder. How can they justify murder when they are so strict in following the moral code of the Bible? Again, it is because they are murdering females, non human beings who are the property of men, this is their loophole so to speak in regards to the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. This goes way beyond sexism or discrimination. You can’t discriminate against property. You can’t murder property.  In the Eastern Congo, the world capital of rape,  the militia consider it risky to engage in fire fights with other gunmen, so instead they assault civilians. They discovered that the most costs-effective way to terrorize civilian populations is to conduct rapes of stunning brutality. Frequently the Congolese militias rape women with sticks or knives or bayonets, or else they fire their guns into woman’s vagina. In one instance, soldiers raped a three-year-old girl and then fired their guns into her. ” Major General Patrick Cammaert, a former United Nations force commander, spoke of the spread of rape as a war tactic and said something haunting: “It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in an armed conflict.”

This message about the female sex is everywhere. Currently, in almost every movie or every TV show leading men have women hanging on them like jewelry. If you are a rich or powerful man, you have a dozen cars and a dozen women, all interchangeable as objects that he has purchased with his wealth. These women never seem to have identity’s of their own, but instead are an extension of the men. Everyday we see subtle reminders of this “Adam’s rib” mentality. For example, when women submit to being under the terms; guy, fellow, man, brother, master and so on. Can you imagine what would happen if heterosexual men were told they have to submit to being under the terms, lady, woman, sister or mistress? Men would consider this an insult and they wouldn’t tolerate it. Why? Because they believe that females are inferior to males therefore being called a female term is degrading to them. If you think this is not true, test it out, call one of your male friends a girl, female, woman or a lady while he is in the presence of other males.

Similarly, females submit to being under the male terms because they too harbor the false belief that they are inferior to men; therefore by submitting, it’s like a step up to females because they are then part of the human race, they are human beings. This belief that males are superior to females is inherent in patriarchal societies and is therefore going to be equally inherent in both the female and male psyche. But it doesn’t stop there. We have to dig even deeper and ask the question why are females seen as  inferior. Again we are back to the Adam’s Rib mentality, she is a part of him and she is nothing without him.  Her worth then is dependent on her relationship with him. If a heterosexual female is independent, without a man, she is seen as lost & out of the fold and there must be something wrong with her and she is called a spinster, a term that in our ancient past prior to patriarchy meant a woman who spins, but now post patriarchy is used to demean women who refuse to be with men.  She then needs to be roped back into male dependence otherwise she is a threat to the patriarchal order.

Even more revealing is our English language and the defining terms for females: Wo-man, lad-y, s-he, he-r & fe-male, all contain complete male terms; man, lad, he & male however the part of the word that makes the words female are not complete words but instead a letter or letters added on. The female part of the words  are incomplete, literally dependent on the male words to complete them–to exist. Further, the female part of the words are just letters that can not stand on their own as autonomous words. This language echos the belief in our society that females are not complete human beings but instead merely a part of the male human being.  Mary Daly, a Radical Feminist writer & scholar wrote:

Julia Stanley and Susan Robbins have written of the peculiar history of the pronoun “She”, which was introduced into Middle English as a late development. During the Middle Ages, “he” had come to be both the female and the male pronoun. After “she” was introduced, it referred only to females, while “he” became “generic,” allegedly including women. This transition in the history of the pronoun “he” was hardly significant: “Since the female pronoun always designates females–while the male designates all humans as well as all males, patriarchal language, as manifested in the pronominal system of English, extended the scope of maleness to include humanity, while restricting femaleness to “the Other,” who is by implication nonhuman. Any speaker internalizing such a language unconsciously internalizes the value underlying such a system, thus perpetuating the cultural and social assumptions necessary to maintain the patriarchal power structure.

The same goes for many traditions that we still uphold to this day because we do not think about their origins and what they mean; for example, a father giving away his daughter in marriage. He owned her prior to her husband and her husband then takes ownership of her. When the person marrying the couple says; “I now pronounce you man and wife”, the man was and still is a man, but the woman is a “wife” a role that is dependent on him. You will sometime here “I now pronounce you husband and wife, but you never hear “I now pronounce you woman and husband”. Or as assessed by the English conservative moralist Sir William Blackstone: “The husband and wife are one, and the husband is the one.” He keeps his identity because he always had a separate identity not dependent on anyone else unlike the woman who, if you look at marriage historically from its origins, never had a separate identity to begin with.

In the seventeenth century, the idea that females should have control over their own decisions was preposterous. Fathers had authority over daughters until they married. Once married, women were required to obey their husbands. Women exercised some choice over whom they would marry but a decision not to marry at all was impractical, given the restrictions on their access to education or well-paid work, their only options were then prostitution or entering the clergy and becoming a nun. Therefore a woman goes from the ownership of her father to the ownership of her husband and in the ceremony this happens literally when the father takes her by the hand and hands her over to her husband. Further, women are automatically expected to take on their husbands last name and drop their own and this is illustrated in our laws.  If however a man wants to drop his name and take his wife’s either alone or to add it onto his last name, he has to do this through additional legal channels with additional cost; in other words, his last name is important in that it needs to remain in tact however the female last name is not.  A woman’s feelings about losing her last name a part of her identity is not considered. However, if a woman specifies that she wants to keep her last name, this is considered emasculating for the man and she is pressured to submit, and she usually does.  The question here is, why is it that a man feels weakened when a woman wants to keep her own identity separate from his? Why is female independence so threatening and why is it associated with male weakness?

The reason of course is that in patriarchy a woman is not allowed to be separate, she is not allowed to have her own identity and her trying to do this is a threat.  If she remains in tact, independent of him, then he is weakened because she helps him, supports him, gives her energy to him.  He would then have to take care of himself and his energy would then be used for domestic tasks. This would weaken patriarchy, and rightly so.  Even though he can survive without a rib and is considered a whole human being without it,  he has ownership of his rib and he wants it back because she (his rib) takes care of him, props him up.  On the other hand, a rib is not a whole human being that can exist independently. She needs him to exist and apart from him she does not exist.  On a larger scale females are a part of patriarchy in the same way, in that it stands on the backs of women.  Females have historically done most of the domestic work for free, freeing males up to do everything else unhindered including keeping their dominance and privilege in place.  Males and patriarchy have too much to lose to allow females their independence because who then would do all the “demeaning” work and who would take care of them and their children?  Consequently, even though females are invisible,  disrespected, unappreciated and underpaid for all of the back breaking work that they do in our  society and even though without females doing all of this work, our society would collapse, females will never be recognized, appreciated or rewarded for any of it because they and their work is invisible, hidden within the the human male and collectively within patriarchy.

So you tell me, would any male you know put up with this kind of treatment?  Most females not only put up with this abuse but they do what they do without complaint and they do it brilliantly.  This tells us a lot about the character of females.  They are humble, hard workers that tend to care about the well being of others more then themselves. This type of altruistic character is what our planet is missing. Men on the other hand created a world order that dismisses females, half of the human population as being human beings, stole their independence and made them dependent on them for the sole purpose of making their own lives easier.  Most men need praise for everything they do because their fragile egos demand it.  Most men need to dominate others because their fragile egos require it. To me it isn’t a reach then to contemplate the idea that perhaps females would be better candidates then men for the charge of our planet. So why then do we skirt this truth? Why do we at all costs never, ever name the real disease that plagues our planet?  Like the female sex this non questioning in and of itself is also a part of the Adam’s Rib mentality. Because females are not human beings, there is no problem and/or the problem is invisible because females are invisible.

As a society and as individuals unless a person has taken steps towards unearthing information that is not mainstream, for example, Women’s Studies & Feminism , she/he will not realize what is going on because this way of thinking is ingrained in us all and it is then considered “normal”.  It is the very foundation of patriarchy and it is all we know consciously as human beings. She is not independent of he — literally. This is the truth of the matter and this truth is buried within us all.  Females are excluded because they are included. Their exclusion is due to their inclusion. Males on the other hand do not have to worry about this ever. Males are by rights separate autonomous human beings because they are the default sex and and we take this for granted just like we take for granted that females are not.  Females just for females sake is seriously frowned upon in patriarchy because females for their own sake are not dependent on males and this does not support patriarchy. This is why males exclaim when they see a beautiful woman who is a lesbian, “what a waste!” They express the “Adams Rib” mentality, that if a man can’t have her, she has no value.

So again the issue here is much deeper than the roles women play and the controversy surrounding these roles. The issue resides in that empty place deep within all females where their authentic selves, their power as independent females, used to be, prior to patriarchy. The authentic female has been plundered by men and replaced by a prescribed female who only exists through her dependence on him, through the roles of wife, mother, sex worker, stripper and so on.  Not only did males physically enslave females by taking away their physical freedom, they  did something much worse, they crippled females  by taking away their authentic selves, their identity that exists independent of them–their power as autonomous females. This theft of the authentic female has caused enormous suffering for females and it has also caused an imbalance internally within all humanity and externally in our world. Consequently, the authentic female and her offer of a more balanced, holistic and cooperative way of living is missing and sorely needed. The emptiness where her authentic power and energy should have been is apparent throughout patriarchal history and is palpable now, in the devastation to all living creatures including our mother Earth.

This is the crux of the issue and it is particularly disturbing.  We know that males will never value females just for their own sake as independent human beings therefore it is imperative that females value themselves and each other. Females need to realize that they have a common bond, the emptiness where their authentic selves used to be and the promise of a return to their power which is their birthright. Females also need to realize that they have been supporting the very system that oppresses them by continuing to invest their energy into it. This of course was not their fault, men did this to them by programming them to believe that their prescribed femininity was their true identity. Females need to understand that because their authentic selves were plundered, leaving an emptiness, they then were tasked with taking care of men, that this was what they were told they were created to do, what their real calling in life was supposed to be.  Females then were forced into filling up their emptiness by supporting men and by supporting men they also supported a patriarchal and masculine way of life.  Consequently, it is extremely important that females take back their energy from men and from patriarchy thereby rendering it impotent and no longer feasible as a worldwide social order.

On a more personal note; as a woman, socialized in patriarchy, I know this empty place intimately; it is my constant companion. This emptiness has been the driving force behind me trying to fill myself up with men, drugs, sex & children. I can’t run or hide from it and I’ve tried to kill myself because of it. My authentic female self was stolen from me and because of this I have been a slave to men and to patriarchy my entire life. This is why I take care of others, this is why I do not allow myself to stop for one moment. If I stop, if I slow down, if I allow myself to be vulnerable, let down my guard, I can feel my own and the collective despair of millions of women. In that emptiness, I feel the loss of who I could have been, for the empowerment that was stolen from me, the longing for my authentic self. As a woman, this is what I struggle with every day, every hour, every minute and this is what matters.