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A little push-back at the more toxic prescriptions of our society.
Ah, friendly readers, behold the surreal world of MRA ‘reality’ compared to what, in fact, is reality.
Nice of Deep Green Resistance to illustrate what Patriarchy is for women.
“Female socialization in patriarchy is a process of psychologically constraining and breaking girls—otherwise known as “grooming”—to create a class of compliant victims. Femininity is a set of behaviors that are, in essence, ritualized submission.
We see nothing in the creation of gender to celebrate or embrace. Patriarchy is a corrupt and brutal arrangement of power, and we want to see it dismantled so that the category of gender no longer exists.
… Patriarchy facilitates the mining of female bodies for the benefit of men – for male sexual gratification, for cheap labor, and for reproduction. To take but one example, there are entire villages in India where all the women only have one kidney. Why? Because their husbands have sold the other one. Gender is not a feeling—it’s a human rights abuse against an entire class of people, “people called women.”
Warning – Crusty Second Wave Analysis ahead :>
OK, let’s say your plane crashes on a desert island, where a mysterious group of Others brings you to a temple. They give you two options: One, you can stay with them and have all your needs met, as long as you wear a little bikini and feed them grapes. If you don’t like that, you can go back out into the jungle. You’ll probably survive, but life won’t be easy; you’ll be cast out from the only society existing on the island, and you’ll miss out on a lot of comforts, and you might get eaten by a polar bear.
One castaway, Claire, has genuinely always wanted to wear a tiny bikini and feed people grapes. She’s hot, she’s maternal: it’s perfect. She still doesn’t really get to make that choice freely, because it’s the only one available that lets her stay in society — when the options are “cake or death,” it doesn’t really matter how much you like cake. But at least she lucked out! She’s not just making the best of a bad situation; she’s actually enjoying it.
Sun, on the other hand, didn’t spend the whole first season becoming self-actualized just to take a job at Dharma Hooters. She flips the Others the bird and goes back out to the jungle, and once she’s there, she joins forces with other jungle-dwellers to destroy the Temple and its unfair restrictions.
Guys, this would be a WAY better show than “Lost” ended up being! But that’s not the point. The point is, it’s not fair for Sun to judge Claire — the problem isn’t her, it’s a society whose main rule is “You must be decorative and servile or be cast out.” Claire’s just trying to get by, and enjoy her luck at actually liking the thing she’s supposed to do anyway.
But if Claire rolls her eyes at poor humorless Sun — “I love wearing bikinis, you buzzkill” — she’s missing the point. Wearing a bikini because you love it is great, but that choice is diminished when it’s the only one available. Making it OK to wear other kinds of clothes and do things besides serve fruit won’t keep Claire from passing out grapes in a bikini, if that’s what she likes. It’ll just mean that she gets to do it solely because she wants to.
The real world, being many times the size of the island and also not magic, is significantly more complicated. But the same basic principles pertain: If there are only a handful of options available to you, then it’s damn fortunate if you like one, but that doesn’t make it OK that there aren’t more. If your favorite pastimes are dieting, getting shiny hair, and having your legs looked at, hallelujah: You will receive plenty of support in doing the things you like best. But liking your limited options doesn’t mean your choice is free. It’s still constrained — you just happen to be lucky.
So you should go ahead and do things that are patriarchy-approved, if you want to.
But don’t fool yourself that you’re doing so of your own unconstrained free will. Until the woman who doesn’t want to be seen as sexually available can go out with certainty that she won’t be harassed or ogled, your choice to turn heads and revel in attention is a privileged one. Until the woman who doesn’t prioritize appearance gets taken just as seriously in just the same contexts, it’s a privileged choice to achieve certain standards of beauty. You may be doing what you love, but you’re also doing what you’re told.
Damn women getting all uppity and full of agency, the nerve…
“Men celebrated our sexual liberation — our willingness to freely give and enjoy blow jobs and group sex, our willingness to experiment with anal penetration — but ultimately many males revolted when we stated that our bodies were territories that they could not occupy at will. Men who were ready for female sexual liberation if it meant free pussy, no strings attached, were rarely ready for feminist female sexual agency. This agency gave us the right to say yes to sex, but it also empowered us to say no.”
Well, another antidote to the ferocious level of managed-shortsightedness by the media on the Santa Barbara mass murders.
“I have been a radical feminist for as long as I can remember. As I witness the marginalisation of radical feminism in the cultural discourse, in publishing, and in women’s studies programs, I see the feminist movement I once loved become powerless to explain what is happening to women -especially the horrific levels of violence against women.This failure has reached a new level following the massacre by Elliot Rodger of students at UC Santa Barbara. The media is on fire with women, and some men, writing about misogyny as the cause, as if that explains why Rodger targeted young women and rambled on about “sluts” refusing to date him.
Misogyny is not something created out of thin air, to be caught much like a cold, that drives those infected to commit horrendous acts of violence. It is an ideology produced and disseminated by social and cultural institutions that work seamlessly together to create a social reality that normalises, legitimises and glorifies violence against women.
Karl Marx was one of the first theorists to explain that ideology is not a free-floating set of ideas, but rather a coherent system of beliefs that are purposely and carefully created by the elite class to promote their interests. Using their ownership of key cultural institutions, the elite then set about distributing these ideas until they become the dominant ways of thinking.”