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Jan 18 2006

Twisty’s Injustice Korner


Inmates pondering injustice. Blanco County Jail, Johnson City, TX. January 17, 2006

A day late and a dollar short, the author, like every other honky with an agenda, jumps on the MLK bandwagon

Just as you performed your ritual Holiday Reading Of The S.C.U.M. Manifesto, by now you have certainly completed your annual revisiting of Martin Luther King’s 1963 Letter From A Birmingham Jail. And why not? The price is right. These days inspiration has a cover charge; The King estate wants 10 bucks a pop to enlighten you with the “I Have A Dream” vid, but happily the Birmingham dealio (abridged) is free in your local paper on MLK Day.

As a patriarchy-blamer, it is impossible for me to read Kingly statements like “over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate” and not blow coffee out my nose in a gushing “tell me about it, dude” guffaw. I can’t read it and not bitterly recall that now, 43 years later, white moderates–which of course still means white male moderates–continue to be “more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; [to] prefer a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.” It is impossible for me to cast my jaundiced eye upon these words and not knit the Twisty brow over the white male moderates’ abject disdain for the feminist cause. And I’m hardly the first spinster aunt to notice that you can pretty much substitute the word “women” for “Negroes” in the jailbird essay and end up with a helluva feminist diatribe.

There are those who say that comparing the whiney struggle for women’s civil rights to the noble struggle for black civil rights is just godawful heretical discourse-lowering hysteria, like when lefties and wingnuts compare each other to Hitler, or when anyone compares anyone (besides Mother Theresa) to Rosa Parks.

But you can relax. I’m not comparing them. I’m not contrasting them. I’m not arguing for some kind of hierarchy of victimhood. I’m saying that, insofar as persistent pink-faced patriarchal injustice is opposed by both movements, they’re the same fucking thing.

Yet these days, as always, whenever a feminist makes the shocking and unpatriotic claim that women are oppressed, she is required to cover her ass by reassuring her jittery audience that she isn’t thumbing her nose at the oppression, perceived as more tragic because it is often more visible, of other, nobler classes. This goes double on Martin Luther King Day. So let’s just get it out of the way right now: Acknowledgment of the systemic misogyny that has delimited human consciousness throughout millennia of patriarchal tyranny in no way threatens the legitimacy of the crippling legacy of slavery. Racism is really bad. Sexism is really bad. Oppression, generally, is really bad. The beauty of patriarchy–the social order founded on oppression–is that there’s plenty of injustice to go around.

So on with the show.

As I was saying, it has become abundantly clear that white men own American women (regardless of skin tone) by dint of their control of our uteruses, and that this injustice persists because the white male moderates have failed to step up. King called such complicity with patriarchal oppression “the appalling silence of good people.” I, on the other hand, would be more inclined to call it “fucking jagoffery.” Which disparity of eloquence is partly why King won the Nobel Peace Prize while I am just some bald blogger in a bungalow complaining about high heels and pole dancing.

So, since no handsomely remunerative prizes for gracious activism are at stake here, I’ll just come out and say it: fuck you white male liberal pie-fight lovin’ fucks who say abortion is a fringe issue and “now is not the time.” Fuck you for selling out half the human race because you think they look hot with meringue smeared all over’em. Fuck you for clinging to male privilege because of your sniveling fear that without it you’ll be just like we are: half-human whores.

Hell, why stop there? I’ll take another uplifting page from the Birmingham letter, where King calls out the schmuckism exhibited by intellectually inferior members of his own profession who criticized him for being too “extreme.” In these dark and uncertain times, advocates for women’s human rights are not merely criticized but demonized, and not just by psychotic fetus-worshiping godbags and porn-addicted honky liberals, but even by our fellow women whose brilliant careers would have been impossible absent the work of feminist precursors. To them I say, fuck all y’all!

Another of the many qualities separating the dead Nobel Prize winner from the live bald blogger is that even when King could not count on the support of the white clergy when the going got tough, he never doubted that his cause would prevail. “Oppressed people,” he said cheerfully, “cannot remain oppressed forever.” I, however, am not so convinced. The same unjust laws of which King wrote in the Birmingham letter—laws that he was obliged to advocate breaking because they “degrade human personality”—continue to afflict and oppress women all over the world, and have done for millennia. Women have been niggers since thousands of years before the first asshole honky even made up the word, and if that’s not forever, I don’t know what is.

Freedom, King said, is the destiny of America, and the American Negro would be free because their destinies are tied to America’s. But people who are forced by the state to incubate fetuses against their will are not in the remotest sense free.

The right to personal sovereignty is is a moral right. As long as the right to a safe abortion hangs in the balance, so hangeth the freedom of half of all Americans.

Posted in conjunction with Blog For Choice

68 comments

1 ping

  1. DrSue

    Twisty, I thank you for this from the core of my being. Never stop. Please.

  2. B. Dagger Lee

    Amen, Twisty, amen.

    The late Bill Hicks had a whole routine about sucking Satan’s cock, and in my mind, I’ve long smushed that together with patriarchal cocksuckers. Stockholm sydrome nothing, most people in this country, male and female, suck Satan’s cock via patriarchal cocksucking.

    Lest I be misunderstood, literal, physical cocksucking is good, if you are that way so inclined. The very few times I ever did it, I thought, shit, I don’t know what straight women are complaining about, this is no big deal. But metaphorical cocksucking, ah metaphorical cocksucking, that’s just suckin off Satan, the biggest Patriarch of all. I’m against it.

    THanks for the get-your-blood-up talk.

    Yours, Dagger Lee

  3. Mimi

    “Fuck you for clinging to male privilege because of your sniveling fear that without it you’ll be just like we are: half-human whores.”

    I’m not sure that keepers of the patriarchy are even aware that they cling to male privilege out of fear of any kind. I think they dominate because of a sense of entitlement. In my experience, the fat-old-white-boy-club doesn’t seem to think deeply about much at all. They stand in dominance by standing on the submissive and that’s just the way it is from their view.

    As a member of the submissive, I resent their blind, dumb thoughtless assumption of dominance but how do we: “Establish new world order by effecting abolishment of global paradigm of dominance and submission”? What would happen along the way, how many thousands of years would it take, and what besides dominance would fill the vacuum left by the absence thereof?

    I’m not against sorely needed challenge of the “paradigm of dominance and submission”, but don’t we need to get the patriarchy’s attention first?!

  4. Hattie

    You are brilliant, Twisty.

  5. Sam

    I haven’t said it yet, but I’ve got say it now. I would so make out with you, Twisty.

    After writing about the crippleosity of women’s shoes as my back seized in spasms earlier this week, you managed today to find just the salve I needed after reading yet another pale male liberal media fluff(er) piece on prostitution in Alternet that manages to avoid any mention of the Swedish model of decriminalization while setting the stage for a follow-up article (with pictures, of course) of high-priced hookers gathering this summer in Las Vegas.

    Your rant was just what I needed to read just when I needed to read it. Thank you.

    So, since no handsomely remunerative prizes for gracious activism are at stake here, I’ll just come out and say it: fuck you white male liberal pie-fight lovin’ fucks who say abortion is a fringe issue and “now is not the time.” Fuck you for selling out half the human race because you think they look hot with meringue smeared all over’em. Fuck you for clinging to male privilege because of your sniveling fear that without it you’ll be just like we are: half-human whores.

  6. Liz

    Hear, hear! Well said. If Twisty doesn’t win a Nobel Peace, she should at least get a Pulitzer or two.

  7. nina

    You are totally fucking brilliant Twisty, and I would so make out with you.

  8. Steph

    The bald babe in the bungalow strikes again. Fabulous post.

  9. Kelley

    Bravo, Twisty, well said!!! I believe you have hit the nail squarely on the proverbial head. With the confirmation of the patriarchy’s right-hand man, (pun intended) Alito, sadly looming, I fear it’s grip on the uteruses of American women will become a stranglehold. Goddamn them all!

    However, I swallowed enough of my rage to call both of my senators (from KY) to tell them to oppose the nomination of (Sc)Alito. Though I know they won’t, since they’re both fetus-lovin’, woman-hatin’, bow-and-scrape-to-the-religious-right kind of legislators, I did it anyway. Sadly, I had to leave out the part I really wanted to day, which was that they either oppose him, or I cut off the appendages they so dearly worship as symbols of their “dominance”. Had to leave that ought, albeit, it’s a nice thought.

    It behooves all of us to get up off our butts and make our voices heard. We can blog the issue all we want, but if we don’t scream and holler at the tops of our voices, we’ll never be heard. I urge all of you to call your state senators. Tell them, nay, order them to oppose Alito and his anti-woman, patriarchy-supporting agenda!!!! JUST DO IT, PEOPLE!

  10. sapphic_beats

    Holy crap!

    I wish I had written that.

    Absolutely SPOT ON! That will carry me off to work to fight the man today (I am a professional tree-hugger!).

    Kudos!

  11. Ms Kate

    “Woman is the nigger of the world”

  12. kathy a

    i totally agree about the fear thing — and mimi, i think that fear is the back side of the entitlement you see.

    while thoughtful people are willing to make sacrifices for the larger common good, on a personal level, nobody wants to give up something they believe they own, especially not against their will. sometimes the reaction against changing the status quo is expressed as fear, or fear-mongering; sometimes it is expressed as condemnation and insipid ridicule.

    i think king’s basic strategy was to move people to that more thoughtful mode, to compel productive negotiations by having people “walk in another’s shoes,” and to repel the fear-mongering by using education, beautiful language, and non-violent methods. the correctness of his message was illustrated — tragically but vividly — by the fearful, oppressive, violent tactics of others. those other were afraid that their own lives and selves would somehow be diminished by recognizing civil rights, since a basic plank of their entitlement platform was that at least they were born white.

    rich white boys still dominate in our country, although there have been substantial inroads. unfortunate numbers seem to still have a lot of fears about losing their places, and i suppose the “code” talk about their fears has evolved. they won’t admit racial bias, they have good black and brown friends, but — racial profiling is all about perventin’ terrism and stopping crime. they won’t admit sexual bias, they know a few women who are great at their jobs — but, family values, protect life, kids need a mom at home, and anyway, most of them are too emotional. they won’t admit class bias — they are all for people pulling themselves up by the bootstraps, no matter how hard it is. this is pretty damned inspiring talk from people who were, largely, born on third base thought they hit a triple. [i hate sports analogies, but love this one about our fearless leader.]

  13. kactus

    Wow, Twisty–words cannot express how much you impress me. Everytime I read you I think most of the world has no business blogging (myself included, at the top of the list) and should just shut up and cruise over here. Keep it up.

  14. Tony Patti

    Everyone loved the quote:

    “Fuck you for clinging to male privilege because of your sniveling fear that without it you’ll be just like we are: half-human whores.”

    Especially me, since there is so much truth revealed about the seductive promise of male privilege in these words. Men can be forced to acknowledge male privilege if you offer them the choice to become feminized and they refuse it. Only by walking in a woman’s stilletto heels can a man recognize the position women are put in by a society that turns their very being into sex class victims of ceaseless lust and contempt.

    Until the day comes when a man just says “Why not? Why should I mind pretending to be female?”, we can assume that the patriarchy is still in need of the kind of revelatory blaming you do so well.

  15. Susan/HoldingPattern

    Amen. Bravo, Twisty.

  16. Shalfalfa

    There aren’t cool enough words or phrases to describe my feelings towards this post. It gave me the old fire in the belly!!

    P.S.. I just found your blog. I read and read and even clicked on that hideous Hasselhoff video. In spite of the ooga-chucking, I like it here. It fits me.

  17. sofie

    Twisty, if I scraped together a plane fare would you come make this speech in Cambridge, UK, where the fucking women’s union voted down text because they didn’t agree “all women are oppressed”, where they won’t stand in solidarity with feminist groups in the Middle East in case they are seen as culturally imperialist, where abortion rights are something to be debated for fun?!

    Britain needs you, you rock!

  18. Kate

    “Men can be forced to acknowledge male privilege if you offer them the choice to become feminized and they refuse it. ”

    Oh, they’ll freely admit it without even that needed prompting, just as long as they feel they aren’t around some women holding a pair of snippers. I usually get it out of every man I know or meet, its not hard and they usually don’t realize what they’ve just admitted.

    Once you get them that far they’ll also freely admit that they resent that a woman can make a decision about her body and they go on about how “personal” it is to them.

    Sure as hell is. It means that they can’t get Ginny all horny and humpin in the backseat and be guaranteed a slave for life.

    I very rarely have the opportunity in my business as a contractor to confront the men who don’t think I “belong” in this trade. They are the ones who won’t return my calls or have their wives say, “He’s busy, he won’t be able to work for you.” or “We’ve hired another contractor.” and hang up. Their presumption that they must give approval prior is trumped by my continued existance. But I know they are there, seething in the background and voting Republican and hoping upon hope that either they or someone else will get the chance to fuck me, make me pregnant and put me back where I belong.

    Of course abortion screws up that fantasy.

    All men though operate out of patriarchal framework, even the male activists who feel it is their domain to chose the battleground and battlelines. Welfare is entirely a woman’s issue since the vast majority of women hold the bag for caring for the children. The left conveniently turned their back on the welfare reform fight, of course until the bill passed and then suddenly a few “approved” feminists saw that it affected the ability of women of abuse to leave their abuser. Well, they worked for an exception. Isn’t that nice? So still welfare reform exists to assist the patriarchy in determining when and who shall be able to leave the husband after she’s bore the children.

    The right has pretty much sewn up the fate of most women who want to leave a man after they realize they’ve made a mistake; they can’t unless they can exact funds from the old man. If you married a poor or lower middle class man, too bad for you. And anyway, even to exact funds from an ex to share in the support, a “case” must be made for the patriarchy’s approval.

    Pretty soon, they’ll get the other end all sewn up too, so not only will women not be able to leave their enslavement without prior approval, but they can also be more easily trapped into it by not being able to terminate a pregnancy.

    Interesting how on one hand the children are not worthy of the state’s support, or the man’s support (look at child support enforcement if you doubt that assertion), but a child is a highly valued prize not to be defiled prior to its exit from the womb.

    Humm. Seems to me ain’t the child what they talking about at all.

  19. Violet Socks

    Twisty, I have no idea if trackbacks work here, but I just had to link to this fabulous, fabulous post. I want to print out a zillion copies and make wallpaper. Of the post, I mean, not the trackback.

    So now of course you’ll be inundated, since I have tens of readers a day!

  20. Kikaszgrrl

    Twisty you are awesome. Your blog should be required reading for everyone. Reading your blog makes me angry, but oh so very proud of that anger.

  21. Mandos

    As a member of the submissive, I resent their blind, dumb thoughtless assumption of dominance but how do we: “Establish new world order by effecting abolishment of global paradigm of dominance and submission”? What would happen along the way, how many thousands of years would it take, and what besides dominance would fill the vacuum left by the absence thereof?

    I’ve wondered this too. How does “social order” exist without “dominance”?

    Part of the fear is that if women have control over their own bodies, men become necessarily “secondary” in society, since whoever has control over the conditions of birth and rearing of children is really the controller of society. The only way in which men can become “primary” in this sense is to control women.

  22. Twisty

    Ha, you guys who would so make out with me might change your tune if you saw me. I have turned totally bald, with no eyebrows or eyelashes. I look like some sort of giant fetal alien.

  23. sunny in texas

    MLK and you: two of my favorite writers. whatever you do, don’t stop this.

    some of us need to be reminded that we aren’t imagining the shit we go through really IS shit, and always HAS BEEN shit, no matter what some priviledged male asshole says. and i’m linking to you in my blog.

  24. kactus

    Well violet, I’m one of those tens of visitors to your site. You’ve got a cool profile pic too.

  25. Betsy

    Well, I don’t have eyelashes or eyebrows most of the time anyway, so I am so pleased to know that I have something in in common with “teh Twisty.” Wanna make out?

  26. Violet Socks

    Okay, if I shave off my eyebrows can I make out with Twisty? Wait, I’m not a lesbian. I’m confused.

  27. Violet Socks

    Oh hey, thanks, kactus!

  28. Roxanne

    Dude. I curtsey in your general direction!

  29. Joanna

    Thank you, Twisty! you keep it real.

  30. virgotex

    thanks, twisty. I’ve been mumbling in my head all MLK week long to myself about some of this stuff–Some days i feel like a ghost– a middle aged dyke who is to the world at large, invisible – I don’t carry their fucking currency, they don’t even see me.

    There’s definitely a hierarchy of that “disparity of eloquence”– you fucking nailed it! I can stop mumbling now. At least about that….

  31. miscellanneous

    dear giant fetal alien: like in Alien the movie with Sigourney in her making-patriarchy-happy panties? The mother in that movie might write like you do (if she had had better humor, tacos, and hands): it’s power, and thank you.

  32. jc.

    I don´t really know why but your thoughts on Martin Luther King, oppression, feminism and “moderate” liberals brought to mind Elridge Cleavers book from the sixties “Soul on Ice”. At the time I read this book King was pretty much seen as irrelevant and too moderate by the militant black and left movements in the U.S. who wanted “action”, “results” and to “be heard”.
    I still recall vividly Cleavers claim that the rape of white women by blacks was a truly revolutionary act. (I don`t know if he ever recanted or what)
    I remember this idea being forwarded and discussed by some of my radical teachers (men, of course).
    I´m not really sure how much my 18 year old mind initially grappled with this concept but I do know that it has contributed strongly to my distrust of movements, fellow believers, leaders and the acceptance of injustice for the ultimate good result.
    And although I´m sure that i can easily be considered a knuckle dragging member of the patriarch I still consider the feminist movement which was a strong reaction to the male bullshit of the militant left to be one of the best things to have resulted from the 60`s.

  33. Twisty

    Cleaver, like most prominent products of patriarchy, was a barbarian and a criminal–the perfect embodiment of patriarchal ideology. The only difference between him and all the honkys he hated was his lack of social skills.

  34. Tom

    JC – I tihnk it was Eldridge Cleaver who said that the only position for women in the revolution was prone. Chose your allies carefully.

  35. inspiron in Switzerland

    As a straight, white male (in my 40s), I have learned a few things in my life. If you have ever observed a herd of horses, you will notice that it is the mares (females) who are in charge. The stallions and geldings (males) are the ones making all the noise, but it is definitely the mares who have the last word in any discussion.

    Somewhere along the line, the female humans lost view of this fact that they indeed rule the world.

    Keep up the good work, and I hope that you are able to open the eyes of some women to help them regain their rightful position at the head of the pack. It would make the world a better place for all of us!

  36. Crys T

    Twisty, I truly, truly love you.

  37. nina

    Twisty your giant fetal alienhood does not faze me. It’s the fucking brilliant part that renders you so make-outable, not the damn eyebrows.

  38. Sam

    Tom, it was Black Panther and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) leader Stokely Carmichael who said, “The only position for women in SNCC is prone.” Your sentiment about choosing allies carefully still applies.

  39. magikmama

    mostly I lurk – but i wanted to add: I don’t want to make out with your eyebrows. Also, bald women = totally sexy, mostly because hair is a fucking nightmare during the best kinds of making out!

    But yeah – you’re fucking brill!

  40. Twisty

    Inspiron, welcome. Your heart seems to be in the right place, so I’ll let you in on a little patriarchy-blaming secret: telling women that they “really do rule the world” is like saying “our cat Puffy is really the boss in our house.” In other words, it’s patronizing bullshit. Why? Well, most of us have noticed, lo these past thousands of years, that not only do we not even remotely rule the world, we are in fact generally regarded, like the cat Puffy, as high maintenance pets, or worse.

    For the record, I Blame The Patriarchy does not espouse global female rule. We do not even espouse equality with men. We espouse liberation from male dominance.

  41. Kerlyssa

    So, Twisty IS the alien love-messiah.

  42. philosophizer

    Twisty, what if we like the bald fetal alien look?

    seriously, I’ve been meaning to say this for a while now – you are neato. Keep up the good work and the cancer beating and the taco eating.

  43. Sharoni

    Twisty, your post really rocked. But your comment about those who would like to make out with you being turned off by your baldness? THAT is buying into the patriarchy in a big way! As a later commentor commented, it is your brilliance that makes you so make-outable, NOT your eyebrows or lack thereof! The point is, those of us who WOULD so make out with you don’t care whether you have hair or not or any other appendage that might or might not make you PHYSICALLY attractive . . . get it?

    Meanwhile, your patriarchy blaming today was great on a massive scale only imagined by mere humans.

  44. Twisty

    Dang, Sharoni, I must really be losin’ it. Maybe the wacky tabaccy is rotting my cerebrum (thanks, Anne) or something, but this is like the 3rd time in as many days I’ve tried to make a joke and failed.

    But thanks all the same for the nice compliment. And that goes for all yall who have heaped the praise upon me recently. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I Blame The Patriarchy readers have exquisite taste, and I very much appreciate it.

  45. Finn

    Mandos sez:
    “Part of the fear is that if women have control over their own bodies, men become necessarily “secondary” in society, since whoever has control over the conditions of birth and rearing of children is really the controller of society. The only way in which men can become “primary” in this sense is to control women.”

    I kinda don’t buy this version of the story, Mandos. Especially since most US courts award custody of the kids to the mother in the majority of cases. If patriarchy was determined to control the kiddies, this wouldn’t be so. Men don’t become primary by controlling the rearing of children. Most men want very little to do with it, stereotypically… except when it comes to the sex part of the babymakin’. Now, when the baby gets to be old enough to have sex, Daddies everywhere get nervous. Fathers, traditionally, want to control the sex lives of their children, primarily the women/girls. That much seems true.

    So, I don’t think it’s the progeny control part so much as maybe it was a hundred years ago. These days, with overpopulation pretty much assured, and less emphasis on continuing the family in perpetuity (read: midlife crisis, 2nd, 3rd wife is more important to keep the sex life exciting), I believe the primary male fear is that they will no longer control the sex, children and any other results of sex being secondary.

    If control of progeny were more important than controlling the sex, there would be more custody lawyers than Viagra salesmen… and we know that ain’t so.

    Mandos also sez:

    “I’ve wondered this too. How does “social order” exist without “dominance”?”

    It’s darn near impossible for those of us born and raised and programmed with patriarchy to imagine a social order without some form of dominance/submission paradigm and, indeed, we have very few examples in the animal kingdom to lead the way. But, those of us who believe that ‘love is all you need’ are hopeful that eventually many more will agree.

    -finn

  46. badgerbag

    Twisty, you’re fabulous and brilliant! Keep on ranting!

    I’m coming to Austin in March for sxswi to be a token radical feminist and kick some ass. Let me take you out for tacos!

  47. Finn

    By the way… I was recently converted from the “what about the men?” camp by Twisty herself. However, being a hetero married guy about to turn 40, and being prone to the same behavioral tendencies of the general population, I will still often read one of the IBTP posts and think, “What about me? I’m not like that, am I?” But, often, sadly, I am. And so are you. But, this ain’t about judging individuals, it’s about liberation of all people from a f–ked up paradigm. And, I’m not about judging, but…

    For Inspiron, who mentions the herd of horses, I would suggest that it would be a f–ked up paradigm if we were a matriarchal society, too. The oppression comes from the dominance and submission, not from which gender is in charge. I’d like to think, and maybe it’s idealistic to suggest, that humans, being the smarty farty pants that we are, could come up with a better answer than to look toward animals (with a fraction of the brain we lug around like a laptop used only for playing games) for example paradigms for happy lives.

    If it’s inherant in humans to seek a better life throughout our lives, isn’t it ironic that we tend to look backward, rather than forward, when trying to find the way? Why do we so often look to native cultures as being more pure than our own, for example? Observations of Native Americans culture are often cited, mistakenly equating a simpler existence with a better life… as if they didn’t kill, rape, or torture each other, too. Why is it that when we try to advance our quality of life, we so often look in the rearview mirror when the view through the windshield is where we should be focused?

    Not to beat a dead metaphor, but once the horse has left the barn… you can’t go back. Like returning to a home town, or an old girlfriend/boyfriend, it doesn’t usually work out. The paradigm we need to envision is one that we haven’t lived in, yet.

  48. Liz

    Back in the early ’90s, the joke used to be: There are only five Republicans living in Berkeley, and one of them is Eldridge Cleaver. Dude was a bad-ass born-again far-right wingnut, with his codpieces and crack addiction and evangelicalism. Probably not the world’s best roll model for our youth, in spite of his violent criminal racist sexist shoot-em-up revolutionary past.

  49. Sharoni

    Dang . . . it was a joke? Well, sorry, mostly I do have a sense of humor but sometimes these things just whizz right over my head. With all the people who so admire you and would so make out with you, there could be quite an orgy going on if we all got to your neck of the woods at the same time . . . not likely, I suppose, I’m being drug off to SoCal, but I’ll be near my grandchildren and can indoctrinate them into the Twisty way of thinking, given half a chance and my daughter’s turned head; Rant on, Twisty, make us all proud!

  50. Twisty

    No, see, it’s not you. What’s happened is, I’m not funny. Which would be fine, except I don’t know I’m not funny. Which is just sort of sad.

  51. Mandos

    I kinda don’t buy this version of the story, Mandos. Especially since most US courts award custody of the kids to the mother in the majority of cases. If patriarchy was determined to control the kiddies, this wouldn’t be so. Men don’t become primary by controlling the rearing of children. Most men want very little to do with it, stereotypically… except when it comes to the sex part of the babymakin’. Now, when the baby gets to be old enough to have sex, Daddies everywhere get nervous. Fathers, traditionally, want to control the sex lives of their children, primarily the women/girls. That much seems true.

    First of all, your mention of custody fails to note the conditions of inequality under which custody is bestowed to women, in addition to the existence of Father’s Rights Activism. It’s not about who gets to do the work of childrearing, it’s about what children are born and when and where and why.

    I think this is the point at which analogies between racism and sexism fail: the fact that most women gestate (or are capable of it) makes the politics of it that much more complicated, since it creates an incentive beyond labour to oppress, among other things.

    It’s darn near impossible for those of us born and raised and programmed with patriarchy to imagine a social order without some form of dominance/submission paradigm and, indeed, we have very few examples in the animal kingdom to lead the way. But, those of us who believe that ‘love is all you need’ are hopeful that eventually many more will agree.

    What do you do when someone behaves badly?

    I’m not saying that order and dominance have an entailment relationship. I’m saying that a component of the definition of order is likely to be dominance.

    For the record, I Blame The Patriarchy does not espouse global female rule. We do not even espouse equality with men. We espouse liberation from male dominance.

    This seems to imply that one can be liberated from dominance without being equal.

  52. Nebris

    Over years of study and observation I have come to the conclusion that the total out-breeding of the male is the only real long term solution to the problems of the race.

    And about two years ago I read that Dutch genetic engineers had developed egg-to-egg fertilization in mice, so the same technique should be forthcoming for humans within a decade.

    Michael

  53. Twisty

    Quoth Mandos in #51: “This seems to imply that one can be liberated from dominance without being equal.”

    Actually, for the reason you cite (gestation), men can never be “equal” to women. But there is no reason other than patriarchal hegemony that romantic notions about female biology should automatically confer on women a state of rape-able oppression by non-gestaters.

    You seem to be implying that liberation from male dominance is not feasible. Why not? Because there is some biological justification for marginalizing those who gestate? That there is unexcisable aggression in male DNA that compels men to brutalize women? If there is, then men should be eliminated. If there isn’t, liberation should be a piece of cake, since the “reason” for oppression of women can obviously be boiled down to just a nasty cultural habit for which there can be no moral justification.

    When a person behaves “badly,” isn’t it almost always a result of his attempt to exert dominance? I’m sayin lose the dominance model, and you lose bad behavior.

    Just to be clear, I don’t personally believe that love, as one optimistic commenter suggested, has anything to do with any of this. I just want women to be able to define themselves independently of men.

    Nebris, I often fondly imagine a manless future, since it appears unlikely that a world with men in it will ever be pleasant for anyone except an elite few (men, you know, believe they have the right or the duty or the obligation to kill people. Go USA!).

    But I’d settle for that wild, impossible experiment: a 24-hour moratorium on rape. Wouldn’t that be a hoot.

  54. Twisty

    Oh, and Finn: I agree that equine society might not be the best place to seek answers to human problems. As someone who was raised on a horse farm, I’m here to tell ya that few creatures are stupider.

  55. Finn

    Mandos sez:

    “I’m saying that a component of the definition of order is likely to be dominance.”

    I sez:

    First off, order is overrated.

    Secondly, if we’ve only ever experienced order as a result of dominance, we could assume what you say to be true. But, order can come from many situations, some of which have not been imagined by the male dominated culture. I would suggest that order more specifically comes from power, which is not necessarily dominant. Individual sovereignty (sp?) is the necessary ingredient. Control of oneself can be achieved through dominance by another, but it’s not the only way.

  56. Twisty

    I would assert that we have never experienced order as a result of dominance.

    Men might appreciate the sort of “order” women experience if, as Andrea Dworkin suggested, somebody shoved a broom handle up some guy’s ass every three minutes.

  57. Mandos

    You seem to be implying that liberation from male dominance is not feasible. Why not? Because there is some biological justification for marginalizing those who gestate? That there is unexcisable aggression in male DNA that compels men to brutalize women? If there is, then men should be eliminated. If there isn’t, liberation should be a piece of cake, since the “reason” for oppression of women can obviously be boiled down to just a nasty cultural habit for which there can be no moral justification.

    Oh, I’m not saying that “there is an unexcisable aggression in male DNA that compels men to brutalize women” as such. Not yet, at least—it may be that men are “more aggressive” than women, and I’m told that FTM transsexuals report feeling aggressive more quickly on receipt of hormone therapy, but there’s not likely much in the DNA of men that specifically targets aggression at women. (And I think that “aggression” is the wrong word since aggression can be directed to positive things, like art.)

    I’m saying that there is a tendency in human beings in general, male or female, to take control of resources (that is not the only drive, but an important one). Women have a resource that men don’t. Now you could say that men have a resource that women don’t, but that’s a much easier resource to produce and get… As long as one class has something that another doesn’t, one class is going to have an incentive to take control of the other class. Incentives are prior to dominance.

    Of course, you could argue that we simply need to restructure our culture so that it doesn’t matter…but how do you restructure a culture so that children aren’t a resource? I suppose the same problem might exist to some extent in an all-female culture, since a woman might decide she wants control over other women’s chidlren, but in this case we have a class (men) that can’t gestate at all, so is it so surprising that dominance takes this particular form?

    When a person behaves “badly,” isn’t it almost always a result of his attempt to exert dominance? I’m sayin lose the dominance model, and you lose bad behavior.

    How do you prevent someone from coming up with dominance de novo? Assuming DNA Is irrelevant, as soon as one creative person decides he/she can live better by controlling other people (which frequently they can, obviously), you immediately have a dominance model. As soon as this happens, the only way to stop it is to control that person.

    I would suggest that order more specifically comes from power, which is not necessarily dominant. Individual sovereignty (sp?) is the necessary ingredient. Control of oneself can be achieved through dominance by another, but it’s not the only way.

    What do you do with power except control or not control? Power cannot be discussed separately from control and hence dominance.

  58. Twisty

    What you’re suggesting about some innate human need to regulate the ownership and distribution of genetic material (or, as you put it, “resources”) comes uncomfortably close to those creepy ideologies used forever to justify the social ascendancy of the fittest and which have occasioned more than a few genocides. But you accurately describe the social model in place today. So what I want to know is, do you actually purport to defend it?

  59. Mandos

    What you’re suggesting about some innate human need to regulate the ownership and distribution of genetic material (or, as you put it, “resources”) comes uncomfortably close to those creepy ideologies used forever to justify the social ascendancy of the fittest and which have occasioned more than a few genocides.

    Actually, I hadn’t gotten to the point of discussing “genetic material” as such. I mean, everything I’ve said so far remains true if we simply discuss in terms of comfort. As an extreme example, if I decide, say, that my life’s ambition is to lie in bed eating bonbons all day, well, the only way I’m going to be able to do that is by controlling other people. Now you could say, I suppose, that my desire to lie in bed and eat bonbons all day is a product of domination and submission. If you were to say that, then, forgive me, but I would be skeptical that desiring a lower-energy state follows from domination.

    But you accurately describe the social model in place today. So what I want to know is, do you actually purport to defend it?

    It’s not a question of defense or not defense. I’m in favour of mitigating and ameliorating it. But I’m suggesting that there are Natural Limits to the extent that you can mitigate it. It may be that removing some unfortunate things completely—digging them up by the root—might require another universe. This may have an effect on strategy, ie counterbalancing vs eliminating, etc.

  60. anne

    Absolutely fantastic post. I can’t believe I just found your blog this week! I’ve been Twisty-deprived for far too long. No more.

    Thank you, Twisty and your remarkable forebrain!

  61. Finn

    “What do you do with power except control or not control? Power cannot be discussed separately from control and hence dominance.”

    A person can feel power to control their own lives without feeling the need to control others.

    Power and control may be linked, but they do not necessitate dominance. I would suggest there are two types of dominance: involuntary and voluntary.

    She runs faster than her sister. – involuntary

    She killed her sister and stole her baby. – voluntary

    He has a higher IQ than his father. – involuntary

    He seized power through a violent coup. – voluntary

  62. Mandos

    Except that you’re using “power” in two different senses here. Your “involuntary” examples are all abilities. Your “voluntary” examples, however, are relations with other people. Clearly the only relevant discussion here is power as in social power.

  63. Violet Socks

    That there is unexcisable aggression in male DNA that compels men to brutalize women?

    Compels, no, but maybe predisposes. Male aggression against females — and particularly sexual aggression — is pretty widespread in nature. Humans aren’t the only ones who commit rape. The animal world is full of males bullying females, forcing them into sex, killing their offspring by other males, and other assorted delights. That doesn’t justify it by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think it’s worthwhile considering.

    When it comes right down to it, males exist in nature solely as carriers of DNA. Before sexual reproduction evolved, every living thing was female. Sexual reproduction led to the development of organisms who don’t gestate offspring, but just fertilize them. Males are pollen bearers, sperm bearers, whatever. That’s their raison d’etre. Their lives are governed by sexual competition. When you get to mammals, sexual competition involves higher levels of testosterone, which in turn probably contribute to the brutalizing of females.

    Humans are culture-bearing critters, but we’re still critters. Somebody famously described civilization as one long attempt to domesticate males. The process continues, alas.

    Disclaimer: Please do not construe the above as support for half-assed theories of evolutionary psychology that because something occurs “in nature,” then it’s inevitable and we might as well just lie back and think of England.

  64. Twisty

    My argument has always involved the idea that sexual competition is not the only thing to have evolved in the male brain. Some dudes are also capable of elevated thought, moral reasoning, and fashion design, which proclivities might just as easily be said to occur “in nature.” So why is hardwired fuckism the only thing these evpsych dipwads ever mention in their boys-will-be-boys arguments?

  65. Violet Socks

    Some dudes are also capable of elevated thought, moral reasoning, and fashion design

    Sure they are, but would you cast such capabilities as distintively dudely? Those are just human abilities, of course. Well, maybe not the fashion design.

    And I do want to be clear that I’m not suggesting that “nature” is any argument for accepting testoterone-fueled aggression. My thinking goes something like this:
    If the male instinct for aggression didn’t exist in human animals in the first place, it’s unlikely that male-dominated human societies would arise. But, in order for that male dominance to flourish, there has to be a culture that reinforces it. In human cultures that don’t reinforce it, males do a much better job of disciplining whatever it is in their brains that makes them batshit crazy.

    Lesson 1: Create a culture that doesn’t reinforce male dominance! (No shit, Sherlock.)
    Lesson 2: Doing so requires immense retraining of males and may require constant vigilance until the end of time.

  66. Mandos

    So why is hardwired fuckism the only thing these evpsych dipwads ever mention in their boys-will-be-boys arguments?

    Because evolutionary theory is centrally about successful propagation, and the genes that exist are only those that successfully propagated, and hence, it is claimed, successful organisms must be “wired” for as close an approximation to optimal propagation as possible. Since sex is the means of propagation, they are asking the perfectly reasonable question as to what extent the human mind in involved in propagation strategies, aggregated over a population.

    Whether their conclusions are right is another matter.

  67. Twisty

    Be that as it may, it strikes me as exceedingly narrow-minded, not to mention inappropriate, to take an approbatory view of a behavior that is fundamentally detrimental to half the population. Particulary now that sex isn’t even required for reproduction.

    I speak of the proponents of the argument to which you allude, not of you personally.

  68. tisha

    wow. major lightbulb moment:

    evpsych = modern priapism

    damn!

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