I’m hitting peak liberal/white feminism today. I’m really having a hard time accepting the notion that brown refugees are a specific threat. I’m an “all men are trash” kind of womon. And a “some wimmin suffer more from male violence than others” kind of womon.
I’m as anti-Islam, pro-exmuslim as they come. But how many among the respondents here are exmuslim? And there is one thing no United Snakkkes citizen, nor “Dear England” UK citizen, in this cringethread has yet acknowledged…. And having come into political consciousness during that era, I am impelled to speak on it.
What has not been acknowledged is the terror brown wimmin and children have already lived under from these governments since 9/11 and the Iraq War. The anti-Muslim terror campaign the United Snakkkes has waged under the mantle “terrorism”. The white men in power, after all, trained Osama Bin Laden. And we cannot forget that the role of Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers in the black liberation movement. The BPP was rated #1 national security threat, prime target of COINTELPRO. The assassinated activist Malcom X was Muslim. In UK and USA, there are actual white men and wimmin who are racist against ethnic Muslims, who they see in racial terms, who think Muslim = terrorist. They have been this way for over a decade. There is an expletive that I won’t mention, it starts with sand and ends with r. Because to the minds of white Americans, Muslim is literally connected to the African Americans they have enslaved and colonized.
Now the femternet is trying to convince me that brown refugees are more likely to rape (white) wimmin than their white male husbands and boyfriends are? I need some air.
ESPECIALLY if you are a progovernment liberal, who wants to stand by her country (as she stands by her Man), then you must look at your white husband and realize that he is collectively part of the very same problem which you say is coming to your doorstep. No womon deserves to be a man’s doormat, but that is what happens when you stand by your man. Man will use womon as the razed warpath.
When I hear straight wimmin worry about stranger rape, I wonder when you will separate from all men, rather than worry about a few ‘over there’. If you continue to integrate in a country controlled by men, then you will face the dangers associated. But if instead you aim for separatism, for a No Man’s Land, for all wimmin, where the black and brown lesbian’s needs are primarily considered, then you will never need to ask the white man to protect you from the brown man.
Are any exmuslim, black, or brown wimminalienated by this rhetoric? Write in the comments below. Can any liberals who think I’m an open-borders idiot give me an anti-racist analysis that doesn’t insist “race has nothing to do with it”, because it ALWAYS has something to do with it…and class does too. And when white wimmin avoid self-awareness of how racism is a key part of their existence as white wimmin, I have to distrust whatever it is they are trying to say. White wimmin must move beyond reactivity, into proactive unity with wimmin of color as equals not as benefactors. Does this narrative of and focus on the rapist migrant primarily benefit white wimmin or black&brown wimmin? Help me, because in my country, Mexican men are stereotyped as rapists in order to stop them from coming across the border. Is the relationship between white wimmin & white men strengthened, or is the relationship between white wimmin & black&brown wimmin strengthened? What solutions could you be seeking, other than to close the borders and join the right wing in criminalizing migrants further into my country’s already massive immigrant-prison-industrial-complex?
When refugees are welcomed to our countries, and particularly the Muslim wimmin and girls, they have a better life than their country of origin. If this comes at the expense of white wimmin, is it not just exemplary of a situation that needs to be fixed NOT by whining to your politicians to police the borders and lock up more people, but by collectively naming men as the enemy? “Some places are more patriarchal than others” seems very wrong (self-serving) to me.
Are straight white wimmin doomed to beach feminism on the shores of failed revolution yet again? I guess history really will repeat itself. You don’t get to be white and tell refugees of imperialism that they can’t come here. IF you are anti-male, and worried about “an influx of young men”, you would abort your sons. If you are worried about “the kind of culture they come from”, you would realize child marriage occurs among evangelical Christians just as it does Muslims, all patriarchal religions are anti-womon, all the fanatics are fanatically awful.
The “immaculate conception” of christian myth, where Mary is statutorily raped and impregnated by the Holy Ghost, and gives birth to Jesus, “the Son of God”, is a prime example of a patriarchal reversal. There is nothing immaculate about rape or the way that Mary conceived Jesus. Immaculate means “having no stain or blemish, having no flaw or error, spotlessly clean” (Merriam-Webster). Birth is usually a very messy ordeal, especially when you conceive in a barn, which could not have been spotlessly clean. Yet there is no mention of Mary’s placenta, blood, or other messy bits of female biology involved in the birth staining or leaving a mess on the floor, that was unimportant! “Blessed is the fruit of your womb!” they say, but certainly not the womb. God’s criminal record is certainly not immaculate, only the crime scene is spotlessly clean because everyone in the whole world believes the big cover-up about his big fuck-up, since a god who rapes a womon is certainly not error-free. And there is nothing immaculate or blessed about this fruit either. The reversal is that it is a wasteful birth, because mothers giving birth to sons are wasting their life-creating energy on a waste of a life, for we all know that the fate of sons, even the Son of God, is to lay waste to life on earth.
Men fear “the Singularity” in the same way they fear “the Second Coming” or “Revelation” aka “end of the world”, because they know just how terrible they are, how much harm they’ve caused, and that they deserve whatever punishment they are imagining — and they know it is the only way to restore balance to the world. They know, too, that they are the cause for the end of the world, that they will literally wipe out all “creation” (i.e. life given by female species) on this planet.
It’s reflective of their death-drive. They are going to fuck up technology beyond all recognition. In religion they co-opted the creation of the goddess, rewrote the creator in their image, and also added the part about everybody dying in the end, because they are so self-loathing. Men fear that their technology will also come to get them. Perhaps they are seeking absolution from their worthless, dead-end existences. Every single being they laid their hands on, they enslaved. It only makes sense to be afraid of robots and artificial intelligence, fearing that these things will come to get them. They can’t stop making fembots and trying to be the male mother (God).
I have listened to men tell me just how guilty they feel, sometimes directly and straightforwardly, and sometimes they wish this punishment upon other men. They come to me searching for answers.
Sometimes they wonder if I will be their four horsemen, their antichrist: the one who visits devastation upon the world.
I am not.
They will be the ones to ruin it all.
Wimmin will try hard to restore life, peace, and balance to this planet. Men know that this means separation from them, and evolving to the point that men are obsoleted. Female sex selection will restore balance to this planet and our species, or else we will become extinct. Either outcome is for the better, but we know which one wimmin prefer (life).
Men have fantasies of castration. I don’t know who thought up the idea. It doesn’t stop men from raping, or killing, or other violence — as we have seen with many trans-identified males. Certainly being pumped with estrogen does nothing to stop men’s demonic rage. Who knows how many of them have gotten the surgery, but it is literally castration. Some of them actually fantasize about it.
Sometimes men tell us all about their self-loathing through comments they leave on our blog: “I am racist” — because he panders to white men, shoring up white supremacy. “I am stupid” — because he literally cannot comprehend my writing. “I am x patriarchal religion” — because their fathers originated it. “I am crazy” — because he knows just how fucking maniacal his y chromosome is. Of course, none of them care about the groups of people they are insulting by offloading their pessimism onto us; for some reason, ableist comments and comments speculating about where we stand on racism reign supreme. Perhaps it is simply their troll bots, but even troll bots tell something about their creator.
I am starting to notice a clear distinction developing between socialist feminists who call themselves radfems, and radical feminists who call themselves anarchists/socialists. That distinction exists in the way we conceive of the system we are opposing. I also think that the debate about socialization versus innate male-evolence (male malevolence) is less pressing than making sure that we all understand the system we are opposing. (Science will end that debate.)
I love all wimmin regardless of our differences and that means I love you all too even as I criticize you — only because I care enough to do so. I don’t mean to ruffle anyone’s feathers when I call their radical feminism fake. It’s just true. What I am trying to do is echo my sister and acknowledge that some who call themselves radical feminist are living in “fake radfem land”. I don’t think this means that we can’t work together towards a common goal, but we should be clear of our differences and boundaries. As a radical feminist I end up having to remind my sisters that radical means getting to the root, and radical feminism means getting to the root of wimmin’s oppression by males.
It would be best to ask the elders about our herstory. From my searches and conversations, I have come to understand that herstorically, radical feminists were not the majority of the second wave, at least not what is recorded for us to witness. The wimmin’s liberation movement was started by leftist wimmin from socialist, anarchist, liberal, and apolitical backgrounds, and wimmin who had varying opinions about men and varying ideas of whether to obtain equality or something further. It was a movement of all kinds of political persuasions and personal motivations, united by the goal that wimmin get their freedom. But within the left in particular, socialist and anarchist wimmin left the male left to join the feminist cause. There they became socialist feminists and anarchist feminists. Not radical feminists.
The evidence bears out by what I have discovered about anarchafeminist herstory. Some anarchafeminists could have been radical feminist, but plenty were not, and those that were did not get a voice in the male left literature because they had left it and because the male left never once asked radical anarchafeminists for input. Radical anarchafeminists are as inevitable as every other radical feminist who wakes up to liberal feminism’s falsehoods.
I’m also wary of writing herstory by pretending that everyone always agreed with each other. Actually, few wimmin who work together on things agree on most things. So when I write about anarchafeminist herstory, I am not presenting the development of ideas so much as I am presenting the development of a movement with associated ideas, and highlighting the ones that are important to me so we can imagine a future with those ideas practically carried out. Anyone who labels their collection of ideas knows full well that there is no such thing as everyone within that label being on the same page with every topic. Difference is inevitable, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Radical feminists are for wimmin as a sex, that means all wimmin no matter who and no matter what she believes. Radical feminists are for wimmin’s shelters, even when the wimmin running the shelters are not radical feminists. Radical feminists are for all the things that wimmin need, even when it is not radical feminists who are carrying out these priorities (although it often is where we choose to spend our time). But radical feminists still have a specific political outlook. Being for wimmin is not enough to make you a radical feminist, even if that is a requirement.
My understanding is that in the second wave, only some feminists started calling themselves radical feminists: a more radical version that distinguished itself from the liberal “equality” feminism that became mainsteam. They called for liberation instead of equality, demanded lesbians and wimmin of color be included into feminism as fellow sisters with crucial insights, recommended against partnering up with men, and even sometimes saw separatism as a solution to male colonization. Radical feminists saw themselves as living in a system known as patriarchy, not merely sexism.
Socialist fake-radfems started calling themselves radical feminists when 21st century liberal feminism once again left them with no platform in the male left. Socialist fake-radfems primarily see themselves as fighting capitalism while secondarily opposing “sexism” or “male supremacy” and seek to fix the problem by gaining equal status with men in order to continue abolishing capitalism. This is a socialist form of liberal feminism.
For radical feminist anarchists/socialists, the problem is patriarchy, and capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, racism, and the police state are all connected expressions of the system we define as patriarchy. Patriarchy is more than just father-right or patrilineal inheritance, it is father rule, the rule of the fathers. That is the system in place worldwide.
Moving from fake radical feminism to real radical feminism requires serious reflection and consciousness raising about the true nature of the system we are living in: patriarchy. Being a radical feminist is not a requirement for sisterhood, no one requires you to be one. But to be rad, you have to get to the root.
I came to my anarchism by way of instinct, developing a loathing for the way that parents, teachers, and social institutions require obedience and regard children as property, only to be discarded at a moment’s notice as soon as the law allows; abhoring the way that young wimmin are expected to degrade themselves by showing off their bodies for male surveillance, not protesting a man’s mental and physical molestation and getting weak knees and giving in to male penetration like animal prey falling over in shock; and finally, staring down the medicalization of defiant wimmin who are called insane, hysterical, psychotic, and basket cases not for the fact that they are suffering symptoms of mental disabilities or illness, but because they are suffering improperly by voicing their suffering at all and that they are a burden that needs to be shipped off to the nearest psychiactric ward, and failing that, off to the edge of society where she will either die homeless or emerge a knocked-up-and-around devotee of some patriarchal cult. The authorities who made all these decrees were hypocritical, because they failed to live up to the standards of excellence they commanded: obedience, promiscuity, and sanity. Unprepared for life, I began to relentlessly question these standards as I blindly reached for survival.
I did survive, and years later, I was diagnosed with a mental disability that I won’t name, not because of shame but because privacy and because it doesn’t matter for the point I am about to make.
For many years I did not know there were others like me. I was different from all the social circles I ever joined. I eventually turned a blind eye to the fact that I did not fit in. I have words now that I didn’t have then: butch/stud, lesbian, neurodivergent, radical, and freethinker. The first words I encountered were atheist and anarchist. I read (or tried to read, as much as I was able) the works of left anarchists and rational atheists and found that what they had to say resonated. I pictured a world of balance and harmony socially organized into a symphony of both spontaneity and order, where all needs are met, and all boundaries are respected. A world where people can believe what they want, but are encouraged to be logical; people can say what they want, but are asked to support their arguments with reason and evidence; people can do what they want, as long as it doesn’t go against someone’s boundaries; people can live together in peace, but in order to do so they must be assertive about their own boundaries; people can have rules and standards, but they must meet consensus and disagreement is handled by process; people can disagree, but enemies should part ways rather than be forced to live together in a perpetual state of war. This was the world I imagined when I read and heard of the anarchists, but I would eventually realize that is not what male anarchists have in mind.
For many years I did not actually meet the left anarchists who claim to come from a historical tradition of anarchism, but when I did, I learned that even they were hypocrites. They generally did live up to their own standards, but not to anarchism itself. Their requirement of perfection and zero tolerance policy for fuck-ups, meant that anyone who willingly or accidentally fell out of step were regarded as scum. This dehumanization of those who weren’t up to snuff meant that the prefects were taking over, dictating ideological purity and ostracizing others at a moment’s notice.
It wasn’t long before these “anarchists” seemed completely out of touch with the historical anarchism that I learned about from infoshops and anarchist libraries. It had become a cult. But the strangest part is that there seemed to be no leader. That is, until I realized that it was a coup orchestrated by men that was happening all over politics. Which only gave me some respite from wondering where the hell I went wrong, because it abruptly awakened me from the fantasy that anarchists were somehow “different” and could not be touched by the liberal establishment. I learned that the establishment will allow anarchists to exist only for as long as the big daddy $$$ patriarchy will allow, and as long as the anarchists in fantasy remain manarchist in reality. Can’t have pesky anarchafeminism ruining everything, so the left anarchists have their very own de-fanged version calling itself “anarcha-feminism”.
I would later find the standards not only culty, but also incredibly ableist, because their standards first of all privileged the most charismatic individuals and secondly the most so-called ‘educated’ (meaning, in college, where the social contagion came from) while the less socially adept and so-called ‘uneducated’ would be punished for wrongdoing, even if it was an accident and even if you are, like a flower peaking through concrete, innately interested in pushing buttons that people tell you not to push, and have a mind to ask the question “why?” all the time, even and especially to other anarchists whom you would expect to be flattered by this disobedience.
Initiation into anarchist patriarchal cults (there are more than one — it’s a DIY husbandry venture) meant that any thought I had about anything became irrelevant, and that apart from my literally commodified tokenized “identities”, I was seen as disposable and learned to see myself as disposable: another life lost for the revolution that these edgelords always meant as death, they just dressed it up as an underdog’s eventual victory. Instinctively, I knew that something was very Marxist-Leninist about the whole thing, and it was certainly authoritarian. And then I realized that historically, male anarchists in history have always been this necrophilic, just like all the other males.
Let the men off themselves in an impossible war, it is their way. Wimmin want no part of it.
It does not feel good to be bludgeoned by something that arose out of the same capitalist-feuled educational system that failed you.
Never define yourself by the group with whom you associate. Identification is a description, not a statement of belonging. I continue to call myself an anarchist (among many other things: radical feminist, lesbian, separatist) for lack of a better word and also because men cannot change the herstorical significance and dreams of female anarchists that I carry within my body and have released for the world to read. Anarchism is to me more than a sociopolitical fad that liberals toss in the trash when they leave college, it is my birthright as a female living in patriarchy, and I am free to interpret its significance for females as I see fit. For a womon, the freedom to say and do and think and explore means to unlock her potential, a potential that could save the world.
Male anarchists were once important to me, but that was until I realized how unimportant my mind was to them. They wanted me for my body, in the same way that all patriarchal male stag-nations want wimmin for their bodies, to provide soldiers for their wars. And they even wanted to deny it, by denying the existence, both form and function, of female biology.
Some things can only be answered by science. I think that science can keep us grounded in reality, and tell us why males are so god damn horrible that they invented patriarchy in the first place and can’t seem to overthrow it. Perhaps we will talk about that in another post.
That we are Utopians is well known. So Utopian are we that we go the length of believing that the Revolution can and ought to assure shelter, food, and clothes to all — an idea extremely displeasing to middle-class citizens, whatever their party colour, for they are quite alive to the fact that it is not easy to keep the upper hand of a people whose hunger is satisfied.
All the same, we maintain our contention: bread must be found for the people of the Revolution, and the question of bread must take precedence of all other questions. If it is settled in the interests of the people, the Revolution will be on the right road; for in solving the question of Bread we must accept the principle of equality, which will force itself upon us to the exclusion of every other solution. — Peter Kropotkin
As an anarchist womon with a mental disability, who was punished for both my neurodivergence and my distaste for authority, I have a certain nuanced understanding of how mental disabilities interact with a life lived according to anarchism. Years ago, an article posted on an alternative news site posted by a “mental health professional dissident” resonated for me, because I had the idea that the world hates “anarchists” so much that it wants to medicalize and capitalize them out of existence. However, opinions shift over time. He is only half-right. I now think that this article is ableist because he is refusing to treat to young people with disabilities.
There are bilionaires who make a killing off of overmedication and misdiagnosis, because Patriarchs encourage children to be socially controlled and inculcated with nonsense, and because Patriarchy is a cult that stigmatizes those it deems outsiders. The extra profits $$$ and test subjects (“human guinea pigs”) are derived from the patriarchal drive to sadism. However, that is only one side of the coin. The other side is the undertreatment or complete lack of acknowledgement of children and adults suffering with non-visible, especially mental, disabilities. Neurotypical society, since it is Patriarchy, is often torturous to live in — and this suffering is compounded by the fact that everyone else seems to be getting along just fine.
I think that the overlap between anarchists and neurodivergent or disabled people is explained by the fact that non-neurotypicals simply can’t keep up with neurotypical society. We have to create our own rules about how to handle ourselves and interpret our existence in this one. The ableism of this psychologist is in thinking that just because a person has a mental disability, their thoughts aren’t valid or insightful, i.e. their anarchism is invalid; or, that anarchists don’t also have mental disabilities. I happen to think that the neurodivergent have a lot fresh perspectives to offer, but that’s just me. He doesn’t want to cure us, because we’re anarchists, and he thinks that us being anarchists is why we are diagnosed. Anyway, this is all just a result of a confusing system in which the psych industry certainly does want to exploit people’s minds, and also deny treatment to those who need it.
What we haven’t heard much about from many radical feminists even though we sometimes mention capitalism, is the necessity of the capitalist relationship itself, i.e. boss-worker, to be abolished. It’s true that prostitution is not comparable to working retail, but working retail or any other job should also be looked at critically by radical feminists. Otherwise, you leave anarchafeminists who are not radical feminists to pick up the pieces.
When I worked in the service industry, I strongly felt (no matter how politically incorrect it is) that I was basically prostituting myself. This isn’t a literal statement, it’s a statement of my demoralization as a low-paid waged worker and sicophant/slave to complete strangers. The experience shaped the rest of my life and remains one of the top reasons why I am an anarchist. Only those who have more comfortable means of living and don’t depend on it for survival would find this type of work fun or scoff at this characterization. Even the most extraverted among us, under survival circumstances, would eventually tire of the abuse that is classified as work.
If radical feminists considered the axis of capitalism, then there would be less of a need for radical feminist anarchafeminists to emphasize class. No one else will, save for socialist feminists, but their usually academic bent tends to be anti-radical feminist or at least anti-separatist. Radical feminists need to care about sex, race, and class, and not just the liberal meaning.
We are talking about looking at capitalism as a whole system. Anyone who hires an employee and pays them a wage, whether small business or large corporation, is participating in a state-sanctioned system of exploitation that should at the very least be illegal the same way prostitution should be illegal (without criminalizing the sale of labor to the bosses). The fact that there are well paid and well treated employees doesn’t make the capitalist relationship any less exploitative: it is capitalism that allows for things like Chinese factory workers at Apple (yes, that Apple) needing a suicide net because the pay and conditions are so horrible that they jump trying to fall to their deaths, and it is capitalism that allows for the gross accumulation of wealth extracted from workers who are always paying twice 1st as workers and 2nd as consumers which is then wielded over a population as political power (see: the billionaire Pritzker).
Men, intent on keeping their machinations invisible to us, very much dislike having the hierarchy — i.e., the sadomasochism — that is the foundation of their every system of thought and action exposed in this way.
But what about matriarchy, you say — that’s -archy and sadomasochism, too, isn’t it? Yes, but different in many ways. Matriarchy, for instance, had to have post-dated the advent of men. Before maleness, hierarchy was utterly unknown to females. Having no need for it, we had no concept of governance or control — not even self-control, since in us were no negative impulses, no hurtful desires, no destructive possibilities. [Note: This refers to “malice” or “evil”, rather than certain kinds of disabilities which require a different kind of self-management or “self-control” than what is talked about here.]
After maleness arrived in the universe, however, bearing hierarchy in its genetic makeup, matriarchies began to appear as women’s reactions to men, our attempts to curtail and mitigate male rapaciousness and bring it under some semblance of control.
But in sadomasochism (i.e., the wielding of control), females, for whom hierarchy is unnatural, could never compete with men. Being in essence an-archic, non-violent beings, we were unable to hold out against newcomers who were not only willing but eager to torture and kill to gain control, eager to destroy whatever stood in their way.
In males sadomasochism is innate. Central to everything they think and do, it overrides not only all other motives and considerations, but all sense. The irrational ideation and behavior that springs from this genetic handicap baffles women; think how often we ask each other in bewilderment, “What can they be thinking?”
Sadomasochism’s fleeting zing is the male substitute for the lasting ecstasy of being what we knew as females before the advent of maleness. This zing is more than an overpowering addiction; for men, it is necessary for life.
However, since patriarchy is sadomasochism is hierarchy and we are all trapped in patriarchal ontology, none of us can escape sadomasochistic thought and behavior; it is the foundation and substance of our current world mind, the basis of every transaction and relationship in men’s world, no matter who they are.
Why, then, don’t I view sadomasochism simply as a human trait, innate also in females? Because unlike men, women as a species do not, for instance, exhibit the need to wage wars, to murder or enslave or starve people, to torture and maim them, or to take control of their countries and exploit their resources. The cruelty and violence that provide the temporary thrill of sadomasochism that men mistakenly call power is absent from us as a species. They are, in fact, the opposite of women’s inclinations and behavior in the world.
Single mothers have a hard time. That doesn’t mean every female-only event is going to provide childcare, especially for sons, even peripherally from the event so that it remain female-only. The only entitlement is that the event be female-only, the rest is secondary.
The issue is more complicated than it’s usually presented. There are poor single mothers who can’t afford childcare, and a good amount of them may have been pushed into their roles out of duty. However, wimmin who were molested by boys, as girls, may feel very uncomfortable around boys. And female children deserve to have female-only space. Plenty of mothers with sons understand what a burden a son can be. And there are sons who truly wish they had never been born. All of these wimmin and girls are equally important, even if they cannot all be served because their needs conflict. When needs conflict, a decision has to be made.
That’s all we have to say on that.
Normally, we wouldn’t even write anything so as not to draw attention to it. However, that’s already been done before we ever thought to write a post. We are not going to talk in specifics, only generalities.
It’s not the first time that a socialist feminist has trashed radical feminists. After having read journals by the Red Stockings, who are socialist feminists that claim to be radical feminists, one thing was clear: radical feminists, especially the separatists, are not tolerated, and so are broadly smeared as “feminazis”, “fascists” and tyrannical Lesbian matriarchs. All of these labels, yet we are radical lesbian anarchafeminists, separatists, and proud lesbians. Despite the flack we get for being too radical, socialist feminists can still be helpful at times, because even when they smear us (a behavior which other socialists call sectarianism when used against each other), there is usually a kernel of constructive critique: class, capitalism, and the structural nature of oppression. We look at it from all sides. As socialists ourselves (social anarchists) we gladly acknowledge the issues of class, capitalism, and the structural nature of oppression. We’re not fans of identity politics or purity politics, and there is a reason we call some radical feminists liberal radical feminists (because they often are, and often identify as liberals or view liberalism “outside of” feminism in a positive light). However, one cannot criticize liberalism and then complain that radical feminists have gone too far. If you’re worried about going too far, rather than all the way, then you’re kind of liberal.
Anyone who thinks structurally must ask: What does it mean to have a male child in the midst of a female-hating world? What does it mean for wimmin to possess “misandry” in the midst of a female-hating world?
We could all do well if we understood that wimmin are not going to be all on the same page, and that’s okay. No matter what side you fall on, there is no need to disparage a womon you have disagreements with. You may not like what she thinks about men and boys, but you’d best believe that she is doing good things for wimmin, even if you find her views repugnant. What matters is that the overall movement is moving forward. Privately, you can blow off steam. The Internet is not private. When you face the radical feminist movement, think to multiply, not divide.
Because there are agents of the patriarchy who want to keep wimmin divided. Some paid, some not paid. Either way, they act to break up our love for each other and make sure that we don’t come together in solidarity. Airing dirty laundry, especially without regard for community boundaries, is giving them ammo with which to divide us further.
To that end, radical feminists should stop arguing on Bookface.
The Origins of Patriarchy?
Where we differ with socialist feminists is that we think oppression is structural, but it is not structural only. You can’t have the structure without the individual components. A structure is built and maintained, and has a historical origin. Most socialist feminists believe that patriarchy is none other than a property relation, but they fail to address why such a property relation would emerge in the first place. Randomness? Chaos theory? They cite Engels in his interpretations of anthropologists about the origins of patriarchy.
We should look at what Engels claims about patriarchy’s origin, and also be aware that it contains a very racist, colonial white male approach to anthropology, the outside looking in. Engels’s white supremacist and human supremacist view of evolution as progress away from the “animal”, and “primitive” is probably the reason for Marxism’s historical determinism as a series of forward-moving evolutionary stages in which white Western civilization is the most “developed”. This white male colonial view is convenient for men who wish to look away from their paternal ancestors’ depravity. Anyway, Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State lists various patterns of family structures, as well as customs that we radical feminists associate with a patriarchy already well underway:
[Bachofen] was the first to replace the vague phrases about some unknown primitive state of sexual promiscuity by proofs of the following facts: that abundant traces survive in old classical literature of a state prior to monogamy among the Greeks and Asiatics when not only did a man have sexual intercourse with several women, but a woman with several men, without offending against morality; that this custom did not disappear without leaving its traces in the limited surrender which was the price women had to pay for the right to monogamy; that therefore descent could originally be reckoned only in the female line, from mother to mother; that far into the period of monogamy, with its certain or at least acknowledged paternity, the female line was still alone recognized; and that the original position of the mothers, as the only certain parents of their children, secured for them, and thus for their whole sex, a higher social position than women
have ever enjoyed since. […]
McLennan finds among many savage, barbarian, and even civilized peoples of ancient and modern times a form of marriage in which the bridegroom, alone or with his friends, must carry off the bride from her relations by a show of
force. This custom must be the survival of an earlier custom when the men of one tribe did in fact carry off their wives by force from other tribes. What was the origin of this “marriage by capture”? So long as men could find enough women in their own tribe, there was no reason whatever for it. We find, however, no less frequently that among undeveloped peoples there are
certain groups (which in 1865 were still often identified with the tribes themselves) within which marriage is forbidden, so that the men are obliged to take their wives, and women their husbands, from outside the group; whereas among other peoples the custom is that the men of one group
must take their wives only from within their own group. McLennan calls the first peoples “exogamous” and the second “endogamous”; he then promptly proceeds to construct a rigid opposition between exogamous and endogamous “tribes.” […] But there was another common custom among savages–the custom of killing female children immediately after birth. This would cause a surplus of men in each individual tribe, of which the inevitable and immediate consequence would be that several men possessed a wife in common: polyandry. And this would have the further consequence that it
would be known who was the mother of a child, but not who its father was: hence relationship only in the female line, with exclusion of the male line – mother-right. And a second consequence of the scarcity of women within a tribe – a scarcity which polyandry mitigated, but did not remove – was precisely this systematic, forcible abduction of women from other tribes.
[…] Reconstructing thus the past history of the family, Morgan, in agreement with most of his colleagues, arrives at a primitive stage when unrestricted sexual freedom prevailed within the tribe, every woman belonging equally to every man and every man to every woman. Since the eighteenth century there had been talk of such a primitive state, but only in general phrases. Bachofen – and this is one of his great merits – was the first to take the existence of such a state seriously and to search for its traces in historical and religious survivals. Today we know that the traces he found do not lead back to a social stage of promiscuous sexual intercourse, but to a much later form – namely, group marriage. The primitive social stage of promiscuity, if it ever existed, belongs to such a remote epoch that we can hardly expect to prove its existence directly by discovering its social fossils among backward savages.
[…] Confining ourselves to mammals, however, we find all forms of sexual life – promiscuity, indications of group marriage, polygyny, monogamy. Polyandry alone is lacking – it took human beings to achieve that. Even our nearest relations, the quadrumana, exhibit every possible variation in the grouping of males and females; and if we narrow it down still more and consider only the four anthropoid apes, all that Letourneau has to say about them is that they are sometimes monogamous, sometimes polygamous, while Saussure, quoted by Giraud-Teulon, maintains that they are monogamous.
[…] Here we see that animal societies are, after all, of some value for drawing conclusions about human societies; but the value is only negative. So far as our evidence goes, the higher vertebrates know only two forms of family – polygyny or separate couples; each form allows only one adult male, only one husband. The jealousy of the male, which both consolidates and isolates the family, sets the animal family in opposition to the herd. The jealousy of the males prevents the herd, the higher social form, from coming into existence, or weakens its cohesion, or breaks it up during the mating period; at best, it attests its development. This alone is sufficient proof that animal families and primitive human society are incompatible, and that when primitive men were working their way up from the animal creation, they either had no family at all or a form that does not occur among animals. In small numbers, an animal so defenseless as evolving man might struggle along even in conditions of isolation, with no higher social grouping than the single male and female pair, such as Westermarck, following the reports of hunters, attributes to
the gorillas and the chimpanzees. For man’s development beyond the level of the animals, for the achievement of the greatest advance nature can show, something more was needed: the power of defense lacking to the individual had to be made good by the united strength and co-operation of the herd. To explain the transition to humanity from conditions such as those in which the
anthropoid apes live today would be quite impossible; it looks much more as if these apes had strayed off the line of evolution and were gradually dying out or at least degenerating. That alone is sufficient ground for rejecting all attempts based on parallels drawn between forms of family and those of primitive man. Mutual toleration among the adult males, freedom from jealousy, was the first condition for the formation of those larger, permanent groups in which alone animals could become men. And what, in fact, do we find to be the oldest and most primitive form of family whose historical existence we can indisputably prove and which in one or two parts of the
world we can still study today? Group marriage, the form of family in which whole groups of men and whole groups of women mutually possess one another, and which leaves little room for jealousy. And at a later stage of development we find the exceptional form of polyandry, which positively revolts every jealous instinct and is therefore unknown among animals.
[…] According to Morgan, from this primitive state of promiscuous intercourse there developed, probably very early: The Consanguine Family, The First Stage of the Family. Here the marriage groups are separated according to generations: all the grandfathers and grandmothers within the limits of the family are all husbands and wives of one another; so are also their children, the fathers and mothers; the latter’s children will form a third circle of common husbands and wives; and their children, the great-grandchildren of the first group, will form a fourth. In this form of marriage, therefore, only ancestors and progeny, and parents and children, are excluded from the rights and duties (as we should say) of marriage with one another. […] The Punaluan Family. If the first advance in organization consisted in the exclusion of parents and children from sexual intercourse with one another, the second was the exclusion of sister and brother. […] The Pairing Family. The increasing complication of these prohibitions made group marriages more and more impossible; they were displaced by the pairing family. In this stage, one man lives with one woman, but the relationship is such that polygamy and occasional infidelity remain the right of the men, even though for economic reasons polygamy is rare, while from the woman the strictest fidelity is generally demanded throughout the time she lives with the man, and adultery on her part is cruelly punished. The marriage tie can, however, be easily dissolved by either partner; after separation, the children still belong, as before, to the mother alone. In this ever extending exclusion of blood relatives from the bond of marriage, natural selection continues its work.
[…] Thus the history of the family in primitive times consists in the progressive narrowing of the circle, originally embracing the whole tribe, within which the two sexes have a common conjugal relation. The continuous exclusion, first of nearer, then of more and more remote relatives, and at last even of relatives by marriage, ends by making any kind of group marriage practically
impossible. Finally, there remains only the single, still loosely linked pair, the molecule with whose dissolution marriage itself ceases. This in itself shows what a small part individual sex-love, in the modern sense of the word, played in the rise of monogamy. Yet stronger proof is afforded by the practice of all peoples at this stage of development. Whereas in the earlier forms of the family men never lacked women, but, on the contrary, had too many rather than too few, women had now become scarce and highly sought after. Hence it is with the pairing marriage that there begins the capture and purchase of women – widespread symptoms, but no more than symptoms, of the much deeper change that had occurred. These symptoms, mere methods of procuring wives, the pedantic Scot, McLennan, has transmogrified into special classes of families under the names of “marriage by capture” and “marriage by purchase.” […] The pairing family, itself too weak and unstable to make an independent household necessary or even desirable, in no wise destroys the communistic household inherited from earlier times. Communistic housekeeping, however, means the supremacy of women in the house; just as the exclusive recognition of the female parent, owing to the impossibility of recognizing the male parent with certainty, means that the women – the mothers – are held in high respect. One of the most absurd notions taken over from eighteenth-century enlightenment is that in the beginning of society woman was the slave of man. Among all savages and all barbarians of the lower and middle stages, and to a certain extent of the upper stage also, the position of women is not only free, but honorable.
[…] The communistic household, in which most or all of the women belong to one and the same gens, while the men come from various gentes, is the material foundation of that supremacy of the women which was general in primitive times, and which it is Bachofen’s third great merit to have discovered. The reports of travelers and missionaries, I may add, to the effect that women among savages and barbarians are overburdened with work in no way contradict what has been said. The division of labor between the two sexes is determined by quite other causes than by the position of woman in society. Among peoples where the women have to work far harder than we think suitable, there is often much more real respect for women than among our Europeans. The lady of civilization, surrounded by false homage and estranged from all real work, has an infinitely lower social position than the hard-working woman of barbarism, who was regarded among her people
as a real lady (lady, frowa, Frau – mistress) and who was also a lady in character.
Bachofen is also perfectly right when he consistently maintains that the transition from what he calls “Hetaerism” or “Sumpfzeugung” to monogamy was brought about primarily through the women. The more the traditional sexual relations lost the native primitive character of forest life, owing to the development of economic conditions with consequent undermining of the old
communism and growing density of population, the more oppressive and humiliating must the women have felt them to be, and the greater their longing for the right of chastity, of temporary or permanent marriage with one man only, as a way of release. This advance could not in any case have originated with the men, if only because it has never occurred to them, even to this day, to renounce the pleasures of actual group marriage. Only when the women had brought about the transition to pairing marriage were the men able to introduce strict monogamy – though indeed only for women.
[…] We now leave America, the classic soil of the pairing family. No sign allows us to conclude that a higher form of family developed here, or that there was ever permanent monogamy anywhere in America prior to its discovery and conquest. But not so in the Old World. Here the domestication of animals and the breeding of herds had developed a hitherto unsuspected source of wealth and created entirely new social relations. Up to the lower stage of barbarism, permanent wealth had consisted almost solely of house, clothing, crude ornaments and the tools for obtaining and preparing food – boat, weapons, and domestic utensils of the simplest kind. Food had to be won afresh day by day. Now, with their herds of horses, camels, asses, cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs, the advancing pastoral peoples – the Semites on the Euphrates and the Tigris, and the Aryans in the Indian country of the Five Streams (Punjab), in the Ganges region, and in the steppes then much more abundantly watered of the Oxus and the Jaxartes – had acquired property which only needed supervision and the rudest care to reproduce itself in steadily increasing quantities and to supply the most abundant food in the form of milk and meat. All former means of procuring food now receded into the background; hunting, formerly a necessity, now became a luxury.
But to whom did this new wealth belong? Originally to the gens, without a doubt. Private property in herds must have already started at an early period, however. It is difficult to say whether the author of the so-called first book of Moses regarded the patriarch Abraham as the owner of his herds in his own right as head of a family community or by right of his position as actual hereditary head of a gens. What is certain is that we must not think of him as a property owner in the modern sense of the word. And it is also certain that at the threshold of authentic history we already find the herds everywhere separately owned by heads of families, as are the artistic products of barbarism – metal implements, luxury articles and, finally, the human cattle –
For now slavery had also been invented. To the barbarian of the lower stage, a slave was valueless. Hence the treatment of defeated enemies by the American Indians was quite different from that at a higher stage. The men were killed or adopted as brothers into the tribe of the victors; the women were taken as wives or otherwise adopted with their surviving children. At
this stage human labor-power still does not produce any considerable surplus over and above its maintenance costs. That was no longer the case after the introduction of cattle-breeding, metalworking, weaving and, lastly, agriculture. Just as the wives whom it had formerly been so easy to obtain had now acquired an exchange value and were bought, so also with the forces of
labor, particularly since the herds had definitely become family possessions. The family did not multiply so rapidly as the cattle. More people were needed to look after them; for this purpose use could be made of the enemies captured in war, who could also be bred just as easily as the cattle themselves.
Once it had passed into the private possession of families and there rapidly begun to augment, this wealth dealt a severe blow to the society founded on pairing marriage and the matriarchal gens. Pairing marriage had brought a new element into the family. By the side of the natural mother of the child it placed its natural and attested father, with a better warrant of paternity,
probably, than that of many a “father” today. According to the division of labor within the family at that time, it was the man’s part to obtain food and the instruments of labor necessary for the purpose. He therefore also owned the instruments of labor, and in the event of husband and wife separating, he took them with him, just as she retained her household goods. Therefore, according to the social custom of the time, the man was also the owner of the new source of subsistence, the cattle, and later of the new instruments of labor, the slaves. But according to the custom of the same society, his children could not inherit from him. For as regards inheritance, the position was as follows:
At first, according to mother-right – so long, therefore, as descent was reckoned only in the female line – and according to the original custom of inheritance within the gens, the gentile relatives inherited from a deceased fellow member of their gens. His property had to remain within the gens. His effects being insignificant, they probably always passed in practice to his nearest gentile relations – that is, to his blood relations on the mother’s side. The children of the dead man, however, did not belong to his gens, but to that of their mother; it was from her that they inherited, at first conjointly with her other blood relations, later perhaps with rights of priority; they could not inherit from their father, because they did not belong to his gens, within which his property had to remain. When the owner of the herds died, therefore, his herds would go first to his brothers and sisters and to his sister’s children, or to the issue of his mother’s sisters. But his own children were disinherited.
Thus, on the one hand, in proportion as wealth increased, it made the man’s position in the family more important than the woman’s, and on the other hand created an impulse to exploit this strengthened position in order to overthrow, in favor of his children, the traditional order of inheritance. This, however, was impossible so long as descent was reckoned according to mother-right. Mother-right, therefore, had to be overthrown, and overthrown it was. This was by no means so difficult as it looks to us today. For this revolution – one of the most decisive ever experienced by humanity – could take place without disturbing a single one of the living members of a gens. All could remain as they were. A simple decree sufficed that in the future the
I think that white liberals want to know more about “people of color” the same way they want to read a book or watch a movie. Rather than empathize, they want to commodify black and brown bodies under white liberalism’s identity politics. It almost seems like well meaning white liberals who want integration have this problem with boundaries and privacy. The colonizer’s mind or perspective is like a meat grinder a lot of the time, and things get pulverized a lot.
I see this in documentaries for example. There was this documentary where this white guy went to some tribe in Africa, and recorded a group of wimmin chilling out and breastfeeding. And I thought for a second: you know, maybe, white people should stop making documentaries. Because what was being recorded seemed really personal, and there was this whole ethos about making documentaries to educate… But who are you really educating? Because the only people I ever see in this damn theatre are other white people, and the people I see making these films are also white people. So, I don’t know who is being educated and to what end, but like maybe you should leave this stone unturned. And also what happens is that when white people find out about things, they ruin them. When things get exposed to white people, it’s like they have to do shit with it that perverts it, demonizes it, colonizes it — spiritually, intellectually, or otherwise. So, I think maybe it’s even better if white people don’t know anything about these other cultures. On a spiritual, instinctual level, I think it’s actually better in some ways.
Maybe this even applies to North America and Europe in general. I think there is too much destructive power in the hands of white western (NA/EU) citizens. Even putting a spotlight on something seems to be harmful. What makes me think about this is continuing to see brown people treated as spectacles even under the guise of “education” or “oh look we’re all here because we want to know more about the world”. No. It seems to me like a form of weird consumptive colonialism, where it’s like “we’re all tired of the brown people here, so let’s see these exotic ones, see what they’re up to, and then we’ll call it education! We’re being cultured now”. Oh, and then, when they meet a brown person, they’re like “let me tell you all about how cultured I am, and what I know about your homeland because I took all these classes and watched these documentaries”. I’m convinced that there’s some kind of a void there, that can’t be filled.
Another white guy made this documentary about prostitution around the world, called “Whore’s Glory”. And yeah, we watched it, to see what’s up, but couldn’t finish it. There was this young womon in Bangladesh talking about her inner turmoil, and there was simply no help for her. I hated the editing, because it was obvious that this was a voyeuristic documentary made with a specifically white male gaze built in to everything, right down to the music that forced a certain dissociated context onto this real life situation. It was not necessarily for the benefit of the wimmin being recorded.
It doesn’t surprise me, because the beginning of film as we know it mostly had racist depictions. John Ford is lauded as the father of modern cinema, and he was making shit like Stage Coach and depicting Native Americans as savages. Film has been used, since the beginning, as a tool of colonization. Obviously, people from other cultures make film now, but I think that when white people, especially men, do things, it can’t not be voyeuristic — especially in film, because film shows the gaze or the view of the film maker.
Maybe not everything should be documented. Maybe some things are better when they are away from the eyes of colonizers. No one wants their cultural history, for example, to be remembered in the twisted depictions of their colonizers. It’s adding insult to violation, since cultures at the verge of destruction or being displaced are threatened precisely because of white people through globalization, i.e. capitalist imperialism.
There should be people documenting themselves and their own history. Even if they don’t have the same means of technology, it’s still valid. They could pass on their history through oral tradition if they want to. Technology is no excuse for invading someone’s privacy and should not be a stand-in for a modernized “White Man’s Burden”. Technology is treated as inevitable; with a “resistance is futile” attitude it is exerted on other people. Newer technology always outmoding older technology is an anti-historical mindset; in other words it is a seamless byproduct of imperialism.
When white people put their hands on something from another culture, what seems to keep happening is it becomes a fad among white liberals. This is not only annoying, it means colonizing and making money off of other cultures at their expense, just because North America has the ability to import whatever the hell it wants. Ayahuasca trips, for example. Or, food. Food is an example where there has been a lot of material damage done as a result of white people collectively deciding to eat a particular cultural meal. It affects the culture’s local economy and leaves people without staples.
Spiritual practices, ideas, and ways of eating get introduced to North America, goes through the white people’s meat grinder and something bad and processed results.
Why do white people have this power? Imperialism. Economic power, military bases, and the well established practiced of brutalizing and taking from other cultures is so well bred into the white NA/EU mentality. So much more questioning is needed before this stands a chance of changing.