zazen's Journal - Archives
We all supply context. That's how the human mind works--not how our Buddha-nature, Christ-within, or larger consciousness--whatever you call it--works--but how engaged cognition works.
The post card analogy you raise would be culturally meaningless to an illiterate Thai peasant. It's not to us.
The context of sexualized violence against women is all around us, but it's not universally decried. In fact, it's largely celebrated, judging by how much of it is consumed on the internet, every day.
The context of violence against black people as black people may be secretly celebrated by KKKers, but culturally it's decried.
PETA does not create ads that equate violence against animals with violence against black people (black people as black people--to distinguish from pornographized black women) because it's aware that this larger cultural context will be called upon by its viewers and that PETA will thus appear insensitive to that context.
PETA does feel free to equate violence against animals with sexualized violence against women because it gets cover as knowing what it's doing while not really believing that it's bad. If it really believed that, it'd do it equally with black men. And it doesn't.
The leaders of PETA may not be conscious of what they're doing. But to those of us who are involved in various movements against violence against women, particularly in the anti-pornography movement, we're well aware of how this invitation to "not-see" the violence against women as violence against a real human being works.
I was a member of PETA (and the Humane Farming Association, and other animal rights organizations) and have been a vegetarian for 24 years. I agree with most of their positions. But this is not the most effective strategy. It drives more people to attack their causes, which bothers me, since I believe in animal rights and don't like to see them trivialized by bad PR decisions on PETA's part.
No. Because we know that comparing black men to apes is a HORRIFIC stereotype historically used to justify enslavement and racism.
We also know that showing naked women bloodied, tortured, and/or dead--there for the purpose of someone else's sadistic sexual gratification--is an awful stereotype of what women are "for" in a sexist society.
So why is it okay for PETA to play with one stereotype and not another?
Because we are trained to see racism but not sexism.
As I said in the first thread, I have no problem with the stars of both sexes baring all to get the attention of viewers. They're communicating their endorsement and commitment to a cause.
But even in the picture of the man in chains--he doesn't look bound by the chains at all. If he were really chained up like women are in pornography, he'd look like a torture victim, which is precisely the point.
Seriously, thanks for providing the images of the men so we could help further the discussion. We really are trained NOT to see sexism in pornography--to see it as natural and as free speech--so having these comparison photos helps explain the situation a little better. I don't get angry about these things. I had to be educated to "see" differently too, before I woke up to what was really happening.
But I think the deliberate cruelty to animals is horrible enough on its own and presumably illegal in most states. The SCOTUS decision is bizarre to me, and I hope the new legislation recently introduced in Congress is passed.
Maybe I develop a fetish, to, I don't know, watch cars get set on fire. So an industry forms where half-drugged, naked 19-year-old females are "hired" to set fire to people's cars while pretending to orgasm. Destroying others' cars is illegal, but according to SCOTUS, filming and distributing it isn't.
Why is my right to this supposed fetish more important than someone else's right to property and peace? Why, if a large swath of society tracks down such YouTube videos and identifies who set these cars alight in an attempt to arrest them, are instead the car-arsonists protected in the name of their "right to speech?" Why would my right to get my jollies off of destroying someone else's property be more important than their right to have their car left alone? Why isn't the primary issue here that crimes are being committed, rather than that the criminals and the voyeurs have some inherent right to "express" themselves through enacting a crime and then selling a video of it so that another population can condition their orgasm to it?
And to those who would object that a car is property, why is the right to that property more sacred than the right of a mammal, bird, or advanced reptile to its life or at least a life free from sustained, deliberate cruelty?
Catharine MacKinnon put it best, and I'm paraphrasing. Just like in the Dred Scott case in the 19th c . . . Saying Blacks weren't property, ever, was not the same as depriving whites of property rights. And saying that abused, coerced adults, any children, and any animals, aren't someone else's free "symbol" to manipulate, violate, and even kill as they will, is not the same as depriving those people of their free speech. They aren't "speaking" when they're doing that. They're committing a crime.
All crimes could be said to communicate an ideology--battering, murder, even Madoff's fraud. That doesn't make them any less a prosecutable crime.
Hope this helps.
and is dominating the airwaves. The rage that took eight years, from denial to fury, to mobilize the Left and a lot of the Center during Bush, just got triggered only three days after many were focused on Obama's weakness and the renewal of the right wing.
This decision is horrible.
But I haven't seen this much anger and mobilization in 10 hours since the Iraq War began.
A specific, odious decision was handed down today by five human beings on the SCOTUS.
But they are part of a larger resistance on the part of the centers of 21st century power to the unprecedented emerging capacities for citizens to self-organize and communicate on a global scale.
The emergence of the Internet and its potential to undermine central power structures has often been compared to the 15th century printing press and its long-term political, social, and economic consequences, which were inconceivable at the time. One obviously threatened contemporary power structure are the mainstream media, who are having to adapt or die. One witnesses daily their pathetic attempts to remain relevant with their various "viewer input" segments, where they invite users of Twitter, Facebook, or whatever new tool is available, to communicate comments that the MSM continues to vet and then contextualize as minor input within the context of the anchor's overall authoritative "analysis", a context they desperately want to assert and maintain.
And leaving aside its much broader transformational implications, the Internet, electorally speaking, has proved an increasingly powerful organizing, communicating, and fundraising tool, especially since 2004. In the historic election of 2008, American voters at least believed they were electing a highly progressive candidate for President and supported him through millions of small contributions and aggressive, web-assisted voter mobilization efforts.
Thus, for the monied elite; the oil and natural resource profiteers who desperately want to shift public attention away from peak energy and climate change; the narcissists in the mainstream media; the right-wing establishment that feels control slipping away . . for these 21st century equivalents of the Pope, monarchy and nobility . . . citizen activism on the Internet presents a deep, profound structural threat.
So they try to snuff out "dissent" case by case. Instead of burning heretical writers at the stake, they seek to control the means of producing discourse. . . in true Foucauldian fashion, they limit debate by producing false binaries through a bombardment of "speech" that lulls the public into believing they're making authentic choices. And they produce enough seductive discourse, and provide just enough freedom, that individuals internalize these messages and police themselves. It's much more effective than chasing down obstinate gazetteers and lopping their ears off in the public square.
The SCOTUS decision today was part of a broader, maybe only partially self-conscious counterreaction to the exercise of obstinate, non-colonialized, uncontrollable thought and speech by more and more individuals, into whose hands have been provided 'printing presses' with access to a planetary audience. Our 21st century corporate nobility are reacting not by suppressing our speech directly but by using the threat of implied force (the police power of the government, for after all, if we walk into their corporations and scream our speech at them and destroy their advertising departments, we will be incarcerated) to invade our lives with more and more of their speech, as they attempt to maintain their faltering monopoly.
I draw inspiration from those brave souls from disparate walks of life and backgrounds who risked and sacrificed life and limb to express then-revolutionary ideas like the right to speak to one's own God without an intermediating human power. They fought for centuries to enlist new communication technologies for the interests of the dispossessed. To them, like to us, it must have felt like one isolated battle after another, with no discernable pattern or larger vision, other than the particular political or religious heresy of the day they were professing. But they were part of a sea change in human history. We'll fight some bloody battles too, but I have faith we'll win this war.
A potential runoff is the only step between changing the composition of the Wake County School Board (whose leadership encompasses Raleigh, NC) to majority Republican for the first time in several years. Wake County's diversity policy, and its educational outcomes, were recently praised in a Gerald Grant's _Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh_ (May 2009). However, its practices of annual redistricting tens of thousands of schoolchildren, largely in wealthy, mushrooming Western Wake County, and forcing children to attend year-round schools, have angered so many parents that they formed a partnership to oust the diversity advocates in favor of "neighborhood schools." Differences in strategy have fallen into the tired Republican/Democratic designations, though anecdotally speaking, a few people self-identified in each party have told me personally that they support the supposedly "opposite" positions.
Leaving aside the complexity of the issue of rebudgeting to promote diversity while not busting up neighborhoods, two trends are arguably emerging from this election. First, the presidency of Barack Obama has altered the perception of race and of racism in America. While a percentage of white Republicans (and some party line crossing Democrats) were undoubtedly interpreting "diversity" through the lens of the nationally trumped up fears by the far right of some emerging, African American-socialist-authoritarian tyranny, other well-meaning whites (and no doubt some blacks) were thinking that the urgency underlying older diversifying strategies has lessened given that that the President of the United States is an African American.
Since the 1960s, moving somewhere "for good schools" has operated as code for systemic racism, as much as it has been an honest impulse on the part of any caring parent. It has functioned to motivate whites to systemically (and often unconsciously) resegregate themselves into predominantly white neighborhoods and their children into the most predominantly white ("successful") schools possible. Both whites who are self-consciously racist as well as a proportion of those who are actively anti-racist in their personal lives interpreted yesterday's election against "Obama's America," which if nothing else has uncovered the silent, systemic racism still pulsating in the heart of American society. Some redoubled their racism out of fear; others felt it was safe to try new diversity strategies, because of the gains African Americans have made. Regardless of where one stands on the issue, it is hard to miss that awareness of and reaction to systemic racism, and new, more conscious choices around it, will drive a lot of citizens' decisions in the next few years.
Second, the term "neighborhood" is resonating with more Americans from across the political spectrum as part of an incipient movement toward relocalization. Those conversant with "post-peak transition" see neighborhood schools as inevitable, given immiment transportation limitations and the need for neighborhoods to become more unified and self-sustaining. Economic uncertainty and an overall sociocultural withdrawal from the unfulfilled promises of "flat Earth" globlization are also exerting pulls on people, who may not be explicitly aware of peak oil or the unsustainability or our current economy, to retrench in their local lives and with their neighbors. A record number of victory gardens have blossomed (some with less success than others) across America this summer and fall. Conservative fundamentalists have been "relocalizing" for years; liberals, progressives, and the non-political are now seeing benefits to more neighbor-to-neighbor reliance as well. A call for "neighborhood schools" now carries a message of progressive adaptability to frightening new circumstances while simultaneously evoking nostalgia for a pre-globalized America, where the largely white middle class felt it had fixed institutions upon which it could rely.
The political consultants will be rushing to poll, analyze, and read the tea leaves of the recent election in advance of 2010, as their hourly fees rack up. I may be wrong about these emerging trends. I just hope as they examine the underlying drivers of this election, they dig deep.
and people will finally start to listen.
Pornography is defended by much of the Left through arcane, tortuous logic worthy of Pat Robertson explaining how Jesus was a free-market capitalist, but then it's held up as the ultimate evil when men are treated the same way trafficked women and children are in the pornography spread around the internet to which millions of males masturbate.
Were I not to throw up or get arrested, it'd probably take me 10 links from my google home page to find photos of middle eastern women being tortured in scenes set up to look like Abu Ghraib, with those photos being peddled as someone else's sexual freedom.
By all means, I wish Holder would go after these bastards.
And maybe it'll sensitize Americans to what trafficked, drug-addicted, impoverished and battered women and children have to go through every day, so that we will then only use erotica in which the participants are CLEARLY ADULT AND CONSENTING.
Her Raleigh office asked me to lay it all out in detail and send it up to their Washington office, and so I did, hoping someone might read it.
And if you agree with either of my concerns, please consider writing your own Senator(s) about them. Thanks!
1. Lack of any safety net for Schedule C self-employed contractors, a large portion of your RTP constituency
2. Any lack of COBRA relief for recently separated/divorced spouses.
Dear Senator Hagan:
I just got off the phone around 11:30 AM with Muthoni in your Raleigh office, who kindly suggested I write your legislative office in Washington, D.C., directly with the following questions.
First, as is certainly anecdotally evident throughout the Research Triangle region (and probably statistically verifiable, though I do not have that information), there are many self-employed professionals, often with advanced degrees, who are suffering financially during what Paul Krugman actually calls an impending economic depression. In fact, I believe that the Research Triangle region absorbed many of the layoffs after the 2000 dot.com crash through the determined efforts of many self-reliant individuals who worked hard to recast themselves as contractors and consultants so as to continue working in their professions and provide for their families, though with less job security (ie benefits) than they had had previously.
Personally, I have been a largely self-employed grants writer working for primarily NC universities, raising roughly $50 million in federal and foundation funds since I began my career in 1994, and have been so successful at times that as a one-person Schedule C sole proprietor I turned away over $100,000 in business in the year 2000 alone. However, due to re-entering my business after breast cancer treatment into a climate of massive university budget cuts at public and private institutions, I have not found substantial work in several months, resulting in a net income in 2008 of just $4,300. I am now running out of earnings from the 2007 sale of my home that were tiding me over and am investigating food stamps.
I do not think I am alone. Whether computing or business consulting professionals, grant writers or meeting planners, or roofers and house painters, there are many, many un- or underemployed Schedule C proprietors who, through no more fault of their own than persons laid off from larger companies (who conversely _do_ qualify for extended unemployment payments), are finding themselves in severe financial straits. I am now actively seeking full-time employment at universities and non-profits here in NC (as a single mother of two-school-aged daughters), but to no avail (I am 42 and "overqualified"), and am no doubt competing with the increasing number of laid-off employees and other contractors who can no longer find business for the dwindling number of jobs in North Carolina.
As you know, the current Stimulus Bill does not provide any relief to such persons like myself except in the form of expanded food stamp funds to the states.
As I've often noted in my grant proposals on behalf of NC's educational needs, North Carolina as a state uniquely encapsulates economic challenges spanning three centuries: displaced farm workers whose businesses dated to the 19th century, displaced textile, tobacco, and manufacturing workers whose businesses suffered in the 20th century, and now highly qualified "knowledge workers" like myself, who were heralded as the critical next workforce of the 21st century and are now unable to even obtain retail jobs at subsistence wages.
Are you or any of the NC delegation taking, or could you take, steps to investigate these issues further and perhaps raise them in Committee?
Second, I have been on COBRA since my divorce in June 2007 (my daughters remain on their father's State Health Plan.) Is any consideration being given to providing anything like the 65% COBRA relief to unemployed workers, to those separated and divorced spouses who _also_ have to go on COBRA? Perhaps this relief should only apply to displaced homemakers (of which I was not one, given that I was earning money in 2007), but it does seem that those persons, primarily women, ought to be able to apply for some discount to their COBRA benefits. My earnings in 2008 were enough to cover my COBRA insurance, and only my COBRA insurance, on which I must stay as a breast cancer survivor so as not to completely bankrupt my family in the event of further illness. But what of other newly divorced homemakers? Do they relinquish COBRA because they can't afford it and add to the Medicaid/Medicare rolls?
I ask that you consider displaced homemakers in your consideration of COBRA relief as well.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of these issues. I congratulate you on your recent victory and hope you are able to represent North Carolina's interests in Washington, D.C., for many, many years to come.
Heads up for everyone to check and re-check.
I had changed my address and submitted all of the correct forms a few weeks ago. However, no information about me shows up on the database, which I do check in advance of every election (and had checked last month before I mailed in my change of address due to moving within Cary. My entire voting history and profile was in the system then.)
And the Wake County Board of Elections is closed today so I can't do anything about it until Monday.
Related to this, my "change of address" with my daughters' College Foundation Educational Savings Accounts two weeks ago was apparently an unalterable barrier to my liquidating their accounts until yesterday afternoon, of which they DID NOT inform me when I changed their addresses a few weeks ago. Although I had intended to put their money in strong CDs at the NC Credit Union on Monday, seeing the market as going downhill fast, I was prevented from touching it due to a policy of which I was not informed (and they ADMITTED as such on the phone) until Friday, watching helplessly as the value of their meagre college savings decreased by thousands each day.
There's something weird here--that changing a local address that's literally five minutes down the road would, within the span of a week, cost me thousands of dollars and purge me from the voter rolls. Maybe it's more the flawed, inflexible world of ubiquitous computing that resulted in these nasty little happenings, but I wonder if hundreds of thousands of people are being disempowered each day with new rules and regulations that require more work to understand and entail hours and hours of time to remedy systemic problems.
I know it's minor compared to being put on a terrorist watch list--which isn't an impossibility given some of the activists with whom I've hung out over the past few years--but it seems like this blind creeping totalitarianism. They "say" this is all to prevent fraud--not being able to access chunks of money without being double checked for crime--but it's really intrusive.
95% of the discussions at DU assume that the right-wing media through multiple methods has propagated outrageous lies over the past 25 years that prop up our corporatocracy and have led to the mess we're in today. Media matters, whether or not we directly choose to consume it. I've never intentionally listened to Limbaugh, but he's poisoned the public discourse and incited violence. Why do we suddenly forget that when the sacred cow of pornography is discussed?
This is attacking her AS A WOMAN. By doing this, Flynt admits (though I doubt he cares) that pornography is in fact a weapon against a woman. Why isn't he making a porn flick about nasty ol John McCain and his notorious womanizing through the years? I bet for the women he later used, it was hard to keep a straight face with that pasty fat guy on top of you. A movie from a woman's point of view that reflects the million ways women have to fake it with guys like that might be genuinely funny. And too subversive.
Flynt's doing this because the humiliation only works because he's reducing her to a well-known pornographic stereotype. All she's doing is having sex while saying these lines. What's funny about that? It's boring, really. It's only "funny" because it's perceived as degrading her. All but the most brainwashed "porn-is-liberation" women will see this as an attack on all women. She's being punished for being sexually attractive. Bad move.
I hate her guts. She's more loathsome than Bush. There's plenty else wrong with her and many more clever ways to justifiably humiliate her for being the despicable human being she is without having to make this crap up.
unless they're clearly 10 or under. Get caught up in the mafia run sex-trafficking trade, have your regular rapes and torture filmed as "hot Russian teen sluts," and you've just become someone else's free speech. That crap's globally damaging to males who regularly use this stuff, who develop conditioned perceptions that females really want to be treated that way, and especially to the victims who are in it and whose rapes and played over and over again for some creep's enjoyment. I'm sorry the European approach couldn't encompass this physical damage of "free speech" being done today.
He does imply that egoic consciousness may ultimately lead humankind to off itself unless there is this culture-wide "end of time," so to speak, where enough people see through the affliction of our fear-based human conditioning to somehow make a quantum leap out of a constant need for power and control. I think this is where Kucinich is coming from with some of his remarks about just walking through the wall--seeing the wall as an illusion. (But it comes off as flakey on national television.)
In this sense, I don't think he's predicting anything that's not an obvious risk from a careful, naturalistic observation of the globalized madness around us, all the more potent since the early 20th century because of our advancing technologies of destruction. I don't think he's making some prophetic prediction that carries more weight than what you can just perceive around you every day.
Given the potential of dieoff, nuclear war over diminishing energy, food and water resources, and a rigidifying of egoic consciousness (the very issue that brought us to this place) to deal with these problems (aka fundamentalism), it does seem like a 50/50 prospect.
I've believed these elections were stolen by Republicans since 2000, but as demonstrated in 2006 and in their state by state pastiche of suppression, computer tampering, absentee-vote tossing, etc., it's not like there's one switch that controls the outcome. I absolutely believe they're doing whatever they can to steal this one, but while I'm terrified that McCain's erratic behavior is an even more dangerous prospect in the WH than Bush, his behavior is making me wonder how sure they are they have this wrapped up.
Is his behavior consistent with someone absolutely convinced that the White House will be his?
At first I wondered if, in addition to his vile temper, the reason why he couldn't look Obama in the eye is that not only is he lying his ass off about his policies and past but that he knows the fix is in. Then again, I thought, he's so aggressive that he'd then enjoy displaying the dominance of looking down an opponent he absolutely knew he was going to defeat.
He's clearly an angry, controlling, resentful, sexually insecure male, who can't ever get enough emotional distance from his own demons to "fake it" very well--hence, the almost saccharine nice-guy vocal cadence that barely contains the rage behind it. The good news, I guess, it that he doesn't appear to be a sociopath. Sociopath's fake it. Or don't even feel it. This guy isn't a sociopath. He's an emotional batterer. I can't speak to how he behaves physically, but he fits the profile of a batterer, and most of their abuse is psychological anyway and simply depends upon the threat of violence as a drumbeat in the background. The John Bolten type. (The DSM should have a classification for this other than "intermittent explosive disorder," but we all know how political that is, so we won't get into that.)
In short, if McCain's sure of something we don't know, he couldn't hide it very well. He's a strutter. He'd have to give it away in little throwaway asides. He'd have to rub it in Obama's face already. Given his psychological makeup, he couldn't help himself. He's a dominance junkie.
I believe he believes he's _entitled_ to the presidency, but that doesn't mean he's sure of it. He's furious he's having to deign to defend himself and go through the motions, but I still don't think if he knew for sure he had this in the bag he'd be acting so enraged. He's enraged because he's having to tolerate the possibility of another male very publicly demonstrating dominance over him, and he's clearly so miserable with that proposition that he'd grab at and telegraph any proof he had that he wasn't going to end up in the lower primate status. I have to conclude he's not sure they'll succeed.
Now, that doesn't mean that Rove et al aren't up to something. Maybe they've set him up to lose. Maybe they're trying to run things and he's taken it from them and is screwing it up.
So, while the McCain /Palin candidacy is terrifying me, McCain's raging, erratic behavior does give me a little comfort.
(The discussion we're having here http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu... ... reminded me of an e-mail I sent a friend at Feral Scholar a few years back, in response to some rather Jungian articles about the "fun" of Peak Oil. I'm sure Mr. Bliss is a very nice man and I have enormous respect for Carolyn Baker, but I heartily disagreed with their comments regarding these issues.)
"When the masculine and the feminine work well together, they can get more accomplished then when they are apart, separate, and isolated from each other, or competitive and hostile to each other. Plus that, it can be more fun, especially if we are facing what James Howard Kunstler describes in his book as “The Long Emergency.”" (Shepherd Bliss)
Bliss and other Peak Oil writers, however unwittingly, have danced around or completely ignored the pervasiveness of male sexual violence and dominance in everyday life, as if it will miraculously disappear in some global conversion experience. Here's what worries me, in no coherent order. . . .
In the West at least, several 20th century technologies preceded consciousness-raising in reducing the work traditionally demanded of women, and greatly improved women's reproductive health and freedom. What technologies can be sustained post-peak? Will we revert to traditional divisions of labor that increasingly push women back into the domestic sphere? Communications technologies, for example, have been critical in the battered women's movement. Transportation has helped women escape abusive homes and enables them to travel distances independent of male supervision without exposing their bodies to sexual predators (and this is quite serious--as any woman who's simply walked on the side of the road will tell you, and I believe this is worse for minority women. This, in the "non-combat" zones of North Carolina, although we all know that most rapes still occur in the home.)
I'm just not very hopeful about sustaining women's freedom and safety, which comparatively speaking, at least in some pockets in the West, are still greater than they have ever been, for all the suffering male dominance still inflicts . Historically, all "frontiers" have meant open season on women, and the tradeoff has almost ALWAYS been the protection racket of a community where women's sexual, reproductive, social, and intellectual behaviors are policed. Over time cultural narratives incorporate these power structures and mystify their origins. Mothers become some of the primary agents in the policing to ensure their daughters remain "protected" (meaning owned by one man). Maybe I'm just describing contemporary Afghanistan, but I just don't have a lot of faith in the ability of the collective class of humans with penises (however courageous their individual exceptions) to give up sexual access to females on-demand, or to relinquish the deference and domestic labor that becomes more required of women as their communities polarize into the protectors/hunters and the keepers of the hearth.
All this talk about "the feminine principle" in new communities just underscores my point--that among those who survive a throwback to 17th century (pre-industrial) technologies while living in unprecedented global climate crises, the drift into historically traditional roles will be irresistible. And we already see this with the contemporary glorification of women as having some deeper connection with the Earth because we can become pregnant, nurse, and menstruate. How insulting to men. And Bliss equates the feminine with "emotions," as if learning to read the massuh early on doesn't beef up one's intuitive skills considerably. (I believe African Americans have been called "closer to the earth" as well.) Leadership by women is one thing--I'm all for it--but I'm not interested in this supposed yen/yang nirvana these authors keep offering up. The tone of the Bliss article makes me wonder if he has any conception of what it's like to live in fear of contemporary sexual control and violence, let alone the terrifying scenarios of the post-carbon age. Does "more fun" mean getting laid? Carolyn Baker seems to think that women will get to choose between "abstinence" and new forms of sexuality. Hell, most women can't meaningfully make that choice under pre-peak conditions. Are the majority of gun-toting males, in or out of "intentional communities," suddenly going to explore their sensual sides? Especially when the literal patriarchal authority they feel they have lost over the past 50 years is suddenly within reach again?
I don't see post-peak as an opportunity for men to get in touch with their "feminine sides." We can't figure out, with all the luxuries of the early 21st century, how to drive a wedge into the generational reproduction of boys' defensive reactions to differentiation from their mothers in early childhood--and then how to grow those boys into a system without a pre-existing class of males policing each other to maintain sexual and political dominance over females. Why do we think it's going to be easier when somebody's got to sew the clothes and catch the rain and make the soap and cook all goddamn day and can the extra tomatoes and have a fourth baby in so many years cause your mate just wants to have "more fun" but there's no birth control, while nursing a sick child and chasing the others around and knowing that you might die in labor? And that's a slow day. One under 90 degrees. Without hurricanes.
Institutionalizing our strides in women's rights into emerging, post-peak conscious communities makes a lot of sense, but I'd like to see it emanate, as Stan (Goff) has suggested, from the realities of our lives today. Why all of these Goddess and ecofeminist utopias never resonate with me is that they seek a connection with a power greater than ourselves out there in the future, rather than beginning with fully inhabiting and accepting the reality of the present, the only place that IMO such a source can exist. Yes, I get that those very male ego boundaries, out to continuously prove their rigidity--that very male dominance--has driven much of what is decimating the planet. But positing this false binary, in which the coping strategies of the oppressed, and their caricatures by their oppressors, become congealed into the "eternal feminine," perpetuates this system in the name of overturning it.
I always have a frozen smile on my face when the conversation turns to this "new paradigm" crap. When there's no semblance of police, how do I keep my daughters from being raped? Will my comparatively smaller frame keep me fully dependent on a male protector, and what independence must I relinquish thereby? Will my community support me if I need to leave a battering partner, or subtly push me back in because they need his labor and want to minimize conflict? How do I, or children, get away from abuse without safe transportation? How do I keep my women friends from dying in childbirth? How do I keep my children from dying of any number of previously preventable diseases? Will my lesbian friends have to go back into the closet, or give up their lifestyle entirely, in a highly connected community that might revert to more traditional principles of male dominance? As these issues are worked through, new paradigms will come. Constant elaboration of the "new paradigm" is like the team that substitutes endless strategic planning meetings for action. Dreaming up utopias by fusing false archetypal binaries isn't going to get me there any sooner, and waxing eloquent about the "eternal feminine" may even hasten a reversion to traditional divisions of labor.
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