Apr 05 2007

Patriarchy Illustrated


Mysterious blamer La Hedonista sends in this link (scroll down 1/3 of the way to the July 8, 2005 post entitled “Cultures of Domination”; here’s the permalink, but I can’t seem to get it to load the pictures). It’s a riveting and hideous compendium of popular images of Patriarchy Through the Ages, described by the unknown blog author as a “continuum, […] a multi-threaded mix of custom and practice, close at hand, in us and around us, that makes the bullying, victimhood and damage of domination seem natural and inevitable.”

UPDATE: The above-referenced blog has been dormant since 2005, and the images, of which there are a gazillion, are very slow to load. So you’ll probably never see them. Which is a bummer, because, although they are mostly pictures of stuff you see every day — like when you traipse on by the warrior-beating-down-the-enemy statuary at the Royal Palace in Prague, or buy a pair of “Hulk Hands” (giant electronic green plastic fist-gloves) for your kid, or watch an ad for a video game (any video game), or see “Lord of the Rings,” or watch the news, or pick up a bag of “Severed Fingers” chocolates at Marks & Spencer — viewing them one after the other, with the author’s disgusted commentary, grippingly illustrates the saturation depth that that winning combination, the normalization of violence/the paradigm of dominance, has achieved.

One picture is merely a photo of the name plate on a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The caption reads “Appropriate ‘Cherokee Nations’ as an icon, delete the pain and suffering that the genocidal destruction of their culture entailed and use it to promote your SUV. What’s next? The ‘Auschwitz Special Edition’ from Mercedes?”

A propos of the imagery of patriarchy: just this morning, while walking the dog, I passed by a flyer that had been tacked to a telephone pole. It was printed on bright yellow paper, was enclosed in plastic, and read: “Beware! A prowler has been seen in backyards in the early morning hours. Lock your windows and doors.” That flyer was tacked up all over the neighborhood. Beware! Condition yellow! Fear predation! Lock yourselves up! Psychokiller on the loose!



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  1. norbizness

    None of the images are loading, so…

    DAVID: Lemme ask you something – lemme ask you something…
    IAN: What?
    DAVID: Have you seen Duke Fame’s current album?
    IAN: Um… yes, yes.
    DAVID: Have you seen the cover?
    IAN: Um… no, no, I don’t think I have.
    DAVID: It’s a rather lurid cover, I mean…ah, it’s, it’s like naked women, and, uh….
    NIGEL: He’s tied down to this table,
    IAN: Uh-huh.
    NIGEL: And he’s got these whips and they’re all…semi-nude.
    DAVID: Knockin’ on ‘im and it’s like much worse…
    IAN: What’s the point?
    DAVID: Well the point is it’s much worse than ‘Smell the Glove’ …he releases that he’s number three.
    IAN: Because he’s the victim. Their objections were that she was the victim. You see?
    DEREK: I see….
    NIGEL: Oh…
    DAVID: Ah….
    IAN: That’s alright, if the singer’s the victim, it’s different. It’s not sexist.
    NIGEL: He did a twist on it. A twist and it’s..
    DEREK: He did, he did. He turned it around.
    IAN: We shoulda thought of that….
    DAVID: We were so close….
    IAN: I mean if we had all you guys tied up, that probably woulda been fine.
    ALL: Ah….
    IAN: But it’s…it’s still a stupid cover.
    DAVID: It’s such a fine line between stupid an’…
    DEREK: …and clever.

  2. hedonistic

    Oh Bollucks, I wonder if the author was hosting the photos on another account (photobucket?) that’s down or (noooo!) cancelled? Rats! They were loading perfectly fine just yesterday! These pictures were very blameworthy.


  3. hedonistic

    Oh, wait, your first hyperlink has the photos. Whew.

  4. Twisty

    They were loading fine just this morning. I hate when I base an entire post on a non-existent source.

  5. Spinning Liz

    They’re loading for me, but it looks like it’s going to take about 14 years to get the whole thing. Worth the wait though, I’d say.

  6. norbizness

    Twisty: Given the number of images and the substantial referrals generated by your site, it might not take too long to overload. That’s why flickr really helps out; it’s kind of an offshore photo album.

  7. thebewilderness

    It will not show me the picture I probably do not want to see anyway.

  8. thebewilderness

    I got it to load through the picture gallery link. Now It was as grim as I expected. A visual teaching tour of patriarchial indoctrination.

  9. Bird

    What troubles me is how often I walk past this stuff, see it in the paper, or catch it on television and just keep going. It’s so prevalent that the reaction becomes not looking, not speaking out, and not objecting because you just get so very, very tired.

  10. jami

    norbiz, what’s wrong with being sexy?

  11. mearl

    Speaking of the history of domination, I wasted almost two hours out of my life last night watching “300” to see what all the fuss was about. It would have been a FULL two hours if I hadn’t gotten so bored with the lame message this movie has on repeat (entirely about cock and balls and how great they are) and started fast forwarding through the battle scenes while going off and eating smoked gouda with the cats, then coming back to see if anything interesting had cropped up. What a surprise: every time, nothing had.

    The reason I wanted to see it was because I like graphics and cinematography, and I was curious because every straight guy I know can’t shut up about what a cool movie this is. I don’t recommend that anyone here should send two hours of their lives down a patriarchal black hole to view a transparently pathetic, hypermasculinised wet dream for the purposes of research. But it made for some pretty scary musings as to the longings of the male mind.

    Just some thoughts as I wait for the pictures to load.

  12. LMYC

    Jami, considerably less than is wrong with being stupid.

  13. Tracey

    I thought the description of the “hulk hands” was creepy enough, and then I saw the picture of the kid with them on. How does anyone with children sleep at night knowing that this is what’s being marketed to them?

  14. LMYC

    “Beware! A prowler has been seen in backyards in the early morning hours. Lock …”

    And load!

    Sorry, was that out loud?

  15. smmo

    How does anyone with children sleep at night knowing that this is what’s being marketed to them?

    Not very well.

  16. jami

    the collection of images looks like a fairly representative sample of unchallenged brutality in our society.

    we let the patriarchy off the hook, though, if we see it only in images of brutality and clear oppression. glancing about this feminist’s very own desk, the only two personal items i’ve decorated my workspace with depict wealthy white men in power. imho, too many men in power is the cause of the brutality, and it’s so insidious that even a feminist like me surrounds herself with it for fun.

    i blame/promote the patriarchy.

  17. Foilwoman

    Twisty: FYI, I awarded you the incredibly prestigious “Thinking Blogger Award”. Hope that’s ok.

  18. Mandos

    Mmm, interpretations of ubiquity.

  19. BubbasNightmare

    “How does anyone with children sleep at night knowing that this is what’s being marketed to them?”

    Make them cynical enough to know it what it is–marketing.

    Give ’em a strong enough moral compass, and you can do two things:

    1. get them to use that compass to make the right choices
    2. know you did your best

    Rationally moral choices–not just for breakfast anymore.

  20. kate

    I got to the blog and had no trouble downloading the images, but that is probably because I sat in my chair for about two hours scouring the writing on the pope’s funeral and the many links included. The writer supports a lot of evo-psych stuff as well by the way. But the viewpoints overall were fantastic and the illustrations of present day iconography that support and reinforce violence and dominance were excellent.

    Reading all that reminds me once again of how far we as humans have to go to evolve into something properly peaceful and positive, hopefully before we destroy ourselves and the earth.

    I agree bubbas, children need to be taught critical thinking skills and given enough information early, in small doses of stories, examples and anecdotes daily to counter the onslaught of messages of violence, domination and oppression that they are bombarded with. And yes, some will get it, some may get parts and some may not get any of it, at least not until much later in life.

    I am always disappointed when I see well educated persons take little time to educate or guide their own children, it seems just another form of child neglect in my mind.

  21. Sylvanite

    Couldn’t spend the time waiting for the photos to load, ungrateful, terrible employee that I am.

    However, I did have the funniest interaction with a member of the public I’ve had yet yesterday.

    Setup: Me (on in-day, answering questions about the waste management program for members of the tax-paying public, sitting trapped in my cube waiting for phone to ring). Phone rings.

    Caller: What’s up with this ordinance that *Town* has just passed banning open burning of yard waste?

    Me: Well, sir, you shouldn’t be burning your leaves. It’s against the law (the state actually made it illegal almost ten years ago, and *Town* is only just now coming into compliance, probably because they want money from the DEP. I don’t tell the caller that).

    Caller: I’ve lived here for 50 years! How come the schools can still burn stuff for their football games?

    Me: Well, schools can get a special dispensation for those sorts of things.

    Caller: What! A special dispensation! That’s not fair! Why can’t I burn my yard waste?

    Me: Um, there aren’t that many schools, and they don’t burn frequently. There are lots of homeowners, and they burn a lot. It’s the tragedy of the commons.

    Caller: Well, are you going to come out and pick up my yard waste?

    Me: You’d have to call your municipality about that.

    Caller: What am I supposed to do with it?

    Me (taking deep breath to make sure I remain calm and polite): Well, sir, you could always compost it. You’ve heard of home composting?

    Caller: But, you can’t compost sticks!

    Me: I suppose you could get a wood chipper, then compost it.

    Caller: What! Are you going to give me $989 to buy a wood chipper? (never mind that he could rent a chipper, or even burn the sticks in his home fireplace).

    Caller: They spray the roads with salt, and that gets into the groundwater! When are you going to do something about that?

    Me: We are encouraging people to use alternatives like sand.

    Caller (the kicker at last, italicized for emphasis): We need another war, so President Bush can be reeelected! *hangs up*

    What Bush has to do with anything is beyond me, since his being in office clearly did not prevent a burning ordinance from being passed in this gentleman’s municipality. Plus, this gentleman seems to be grievously misinformed about the Constitution. He was just mad because his state legislature took away his god-given right to burn leaves, and he was outraged that his municipality will no longer let him get away with being lazy and cheap. IBTP.

  22. bridgett

    If you’re having trouble getting pics to download, try clicking “Picture gallery” at the top of the blog. It’s a very effective and unsettling visual post.

  23. erin ambrose

    the children factor is a tough one…theres always the chance that if you are too intent on a certain world view…even an awesome, revolutionary, non-violent, groovy one….they will rebel and become the ceo of walmart or open a strip club or go evangelical on you.

    i watched the other day as my queer friends 2 young boys, sweet caring, non-tv watching young boys…were playing with some other kids and as i watched i realized that the game was something to do with being pirates and guess who their captives were? well, the 2 girls amonst them ofcourse….2 girl captives for 4 little boys. the girls ran around saying “i surrender i surrender” while the boys weilding stick-swords and bossed the girls around. harmless childhood games?????????? i was , ofcourse, mortified.
    and thats the catch…you can do your best with your own kids but they are still exposed to the dominant culture and are still gonna hang with other kids who’s parents aren’t so keen on remaking society…an act of letting go and trusting i suppose…but wow…hard stuff.

  24. 'soup

    I was walking down a hipster street in PDX when I saw a poster of a comic strip called Cocoa the Clown. In which he drags a dead prostitute into an alley and “plays”-stuffs things up her vagina. Oh you trendy hipsters! It gave me some satisfaction to scrawl “Fuck off, patriarch scum” and “give girls guns” on it. Freedom of speech works both ways and commenting on stupid-ass public stuff is my sky-fairy-given right, dammit!

  25. vera

    Watching two daughters grow up made me more aware than ever of the pervasive imagery of the patriarchy, because I quickly realized I couldn’t shield them from it. Raising them made me really see, with clarity, what I had grown up with.

    There’s little you can do; you have to watch while the patriarchy tries to turn your daughters into mayonnaise. You try to give them some strategies for resisting. If they get Barbie dolls for their birthdays, you praise them when they cut off the dolls’ hair and give them marker pen tattoos. You point out that although the Mom on the TV loves the power of Clorox, the Dad is not in the picture. You express disgust at the soft porn billboards lining Highway 101; especially the one that compares software to the three types of women (the date, the bride, and the prostitute). You pretend that one of the dining room chairs is the school bully who has threatened (at age 5) to rape your daughter and “cut her neck,” so she can practice what’s she going to shout back at him the next time he approaches her.

    Rage, rage, rage. I need the goddess’s keyboard. I want a giant BLAME button, right next to a giant SMITE button.

  26. vee

    All of that ‘yay killing is fun and normal!’ and women = animals imagery sure doesn’t make me regret my decision to go vegan.

    PS: This is my first hit of the blame button after months of lurking. I’m nervous yet so excited!

  27. Gayle

    That’s a very powerful visual essay. Thank you to everyone who advised going through the picture gallery link. It works!

    I appreciated the editor’s decision to include domination of nature (animals) and women in the piece. I’ve seen similar essays in the past, which didn’t include either.

  28. Sylvanite

    Well, golly, the Bible says that it’s the job of humans to subdue nature! It’s ours to use from the mightiest oak to the smallest goldfinch. Right? Right?

    Seriously, I’ve never fundamentally understood the trouble people seem to have with the idea that humans are not separate from nature. Why is it so difficult to understand that we are animals ourselves, and that our existances are intertwined with and dependent on the natural world around us? Why does the idea seem to cause such deep ego-wounds? I mean, it really does seem to cause the most fanatical adherents of the idea of human exceptionalism profound emotional trouble.

    I guess it’s that mindset that’s behind questions like “What’s the use of mosquitoes”? Well, dumbass, they may have no use to us at all. Why must everything be viewed through a filter of use?

  29. Terrance

    I’m linking to this a bit later today. Amazing essay! I couldn’t resist grabbing a screenshot of it. I think I might try to create a somekind of slideshow/photo-essay based on it, and post it online.

  30. saltyC

    The Author also includes racial domination and domination of children through violence.

    Historically Legal, acceptable chain of violence:

    The state beats men down, men beat women down, women beat children down, children beat their pets, everybody beats the dark-skinned.

  31. LCforevah

    Sylvanite, you mentioned the source yourself–the Bible. Genesis proclaims that Man shall be given dominion over the animals and everything he sees. And even though roman catholics for instance, are allowed to study evolution, the theology teaches that humans are different from the animals–we have souls and they do not.

    Christian theology really separates its adherents from nature and the planet. There is no acknowledgment that we are inside the system. A favorite quote:

    “We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realise that we ARE apes.” Richard Dawkins

  32. kate

    One of the points I liked best was how the author examined the trance state of prayer and ritual that plays such a heady role in religion and its control of its subjects. Also, the spot-on analysis of replacing body memory with stories, rituals and trance and body disconnection and disconnection from reality.

    We have and still most do, have a violent childhood past and the trauma and emotional stunting lead to either taking on a splitting mode of defense, or acting out against the aggressor/offender in a projected sort of way, or replacing the trauma and resulting insecurity with the safety and assuredness of religion. No doubt in my mind that violence in the family/community befits and makes the tolerance available for oppression on the social/state level.

    I have three kids and right now one of them is really concerning me, she, at twenty-one has chosen to move in with a boyfriend that I think is a potential abuser/low life scum, but I cannot wipe out with good words and great effort on my part, the fact that part of her history is of a father just like that. Children will repeat the mistakes of the forebears; at least some will. My other two have fared better emotionally but are struggling economically and have adopted a serious mistrust of popular institutions, such as college, which comes with growing up on the wrong end of the state; being poor.

    I don’t have any ideas today nor answers I wish I had, just sharing my thoughts and frustrations.

  33. Luckynkl

    The state beats men down, men beat women down, women beat children down, children beat their pets, everybody beats the dark-skinned.

    Sounds like you’ve been listening to too much “Old McDonald had a farm.” The only one you got right was that men beat women down.

  34. Luckynkl

    Scratch “Old McDonald Had A Farm.” Make that “Farmer in the Dell.”

  35. Miller

    When someone posted about trying to teach their daughter to handle rape threats, I cringed. When I was a mere 8th grader, two 6th grade boys whom I had never met, began walking behind me as I walked home after school, spewing slurs and laughing. I never turned around, telling myself just to ignore them, besides they were younger than I (as if that made it non-threatening). Then, they said, “We’re going to rape you! Yeah!” Again, laughter ensued. I had no clue what to do or say b/c I legitimately feared them. They eventually left me alone, but it chills me even now that it happened b/c I look back and think, “How dare that happen to a little girl?” Today, it is absolutely common for male entertainment to be a brutal, ritualistic hate crime (rape, killing) committed against a woman or a girl. Seriously! When ultra-violent hate has become normalized what chance do we have? Our existence is considered a crime against Nature, against God, for which society asks, “Why don’t you deserve to be tortured, raped, and killed?”
    I doubt we’re even aware how extreme the situation is. I had to use anti-Semitism to clue me in. Imagine if Jews were systematically dehumanized and their image, usually derogatory, was used to sell all sorts of products or open suitcases on a game show > Jew was synonymous w/ greed or evil, whether denounced by pop culture or the Church > anti-Semitic slurs become synonymous for Jews > Jewishness used to attack anyone or anything > Kike becomes the ultimate put-down used casually > Kikes universally condemned for the downfall of morality and family > Gentiles pay money to have Kike slaves act out degrading tasks or be tortured or killed as a “necessary release” while other Kikes point out that those killed were immoral so good Kikes were safe (prostitutes) > Kikes systematically killed at a school and society excuses it an isolated incident, a “crime of passion” (Amish schoolgirl massacre) > Kikes tortured and killed off in music, video games, pro wrestling matches marketed to young male Gentiles as “harmless fun” while violent crimes against Kikes simply for existing skyrocket throughout the world….
    Even then anti-Semitism doesn’t have the awesome power of sexuality to ruthlessly reinforce it nor family members of those targeted who are directly involved. That’s how severe the level of bigotry is. Discrimination is what every other group fears. Being slaughtered for a self-esteem boost or sheer enjoyment is our everyday threat.

  36. Miller

    I used the slur “kike” throughout the latter part of the passage to show how extreme our society is w/ regard to bitch, slut, whore, and now even “cunt” is acceptable and, worse, assumed to be justified.
    Sidenote: Matt Damon said on a recent episode of Inside the Actors Studio that it was both his least favorite yet favorite word and the audience loved it (He was pleased with himself). I was, like, “You’re the brand new father of a baby girl, whom you profess to love and you choose the most powerful anti-female slur as your favorite?!” Mind you, Matt Damon presents himself as a humanitarian (Poverty is so not “in” right now). Too show how radical things have changed: in 2001, Robin Williams was on the show and he said “bitch” was his least favorite word and the female audience members cheered.

  37. RadFemHedonist

    Twisty, I thought you hated culture, my concern is with the taking of their actual lives, I agree that the article illustrates well the violence and endorsement of violence that surrounds us, the only thing on that list I’ve got any acknowledgement of is The Killers, who I really like as a band, if they’d change their name that’d be good. Also I didn’t like the article blahing about spirituality, what rubbish. We need science, not faith (which induces a strong desire to throw up). I was particularly disturbed by the distressed babies, the child holding up the sign, the models being groped and the tortured person.

  38. LMYC

    Miller — actually I believe he said “cunt” was his least favorite word. He said that was the one that went too far, and there was no positive use to the word at all — and he most certainly did get applauded for it. I think he said “pussy” was his favorite, though — and oddly, he was not insulting when he said it. He compared it to a cat and said, “It implies affection, but you gotta work.”

  39. Miller

    With regards to Matt Damon on Inside the Actors Studio:
    No, I caught a rerun. He said “cunt” was his least favorite AND his favorite word, which the audience thought was highly amusing (He said it was his favorite for the same reasons it was his least favorite).

  40. redwards

    “Sounds like you’ve been listening to too much “Old McDonald had a farm.” The only one you got right was that men beat women down.”
    Bullshit, Luckynkl, complete bullshit…abuse has downward vertices, and trying to deny that makes you sound like you’re saying the abuse suffered by those whose mothers were abused and consequently turned on them (either with words or hands)is nonexsistant, a completely untenable position…obviously, men abuse children more frequently(no one is arguing that men don’t do the overwhelming majority of violence)but there are studies indicating that women who are battered are at a greater risk of using violence against their own children( http://www.columbia.edu/cu/csswp/journal/news1997/abuse.html)…this an incredibly serious and painful issue, Luckynykl, please don’t be so reductive or simplistic….

  41. Bird

    Thanks, redwards, for standing up for those of us who weren’t sure how to say that for ourselves.

  42. Morgoth

    First time commenter here.. though like others I lurked here for a long while, enjoying the wit and brilliance and sharp insight of Twisty, and many of you other ‘blamers’…

    I thought this visual post was very interesting and throught provoking in the way it pointed out and brought to the surface so many things that we just take for granted in culture. I tend to notice the all-pervasive amd depressing images of sexism that surround me when I’m out, but it’s rarely that I actually think about ones relating to domination more widely speaking. This was definitely a good summation and linking up of a lot of shitty attitudes and ideas and beliefs and practices, that seemed also to tie together lots of apparently separate expressions of patriarchal thinking.

    I agree that there is a very strong culture of domination in comtemporary Western countries and I would also claim that, largely speaking, the history of humanity has basically been one long, shitty, cruel line of exploitation and abuse. Society seems to have always been founded upon the domination and subjugtion of others, especially women, but also children and poorer people in general, and of course of those deemed different and/or inferior due to ‘race’ or religion.

    Speaking for my own country (Scotland, though it also applies to the UK in general), in the past its ministers, its government, its landowners, its money-makers, its property owners, its businessmen and traders, and its royalty, all rose to prominence over the dominated, poor, diseased, starving, disenfranchised backs of the working class, of all women, and of people in other countries the UK invaded and enslaved. The wealth gained in past was founded on exploitation of the most extreme type, with the poor women, men, and children (although women and children got even less money than men) basically ground up in the machinery and dust and grit of the factories and mines and plantations and farms in order to increase the wealth of the already wealthy.

    And of course, I’d say that masculinity is pretty much defined ‘over and above’ the bodies of women, with a clear divide between domination/submission and masculinity/femininity being one of the cornerstones of patriarchal thinking.

    So it’s not really very surprising that, with that kind of historical background of extreme exploitation, and with the continued exploitation of women, and especially of women and men in other, poorer countries, that there remains such a fascination with the glorification of violence and domination.

    I also appreciated that the suffering of animals was included in the pictures, because I think that the cruel ways in which animals are treated and abused for various human purposes is utterly abhorrent, and one of the most important and extreme forms of domination that are around today. And I liked the illustrations of the links often made between hunting, domination, masculinity and killing. Also the things about the military and cruelty and abuse of civillians and other soldiers were very true.

    The images of guns and fighting in entertainment were thought provoking because . I’m someone who actually enjoys some elements of film violence, even though I don’t at all condone or appreciate real life violence. I’m also generally critical of any kind of militaristic, yay war, or lone-gunman cowboy sort of stance. But I still like films with violence providing its not overtly cruel or misogynistic. Looking at film violence within the context of all the real world expressions of ideas of dominance and submission and violence did make me think about it a lot and reconsider my acceptance of the kind of guns and sword ‘justice’ that films and games and books tend to be about.

    However, I balked a bit at the addition of the face of somebody I’ve seen in person many times in the set of pictures. The woman who ‘mutilates herself’. Very strange to see her suddenly appear there. She is the most pierced woman in the world, and she lives in Glasgow. I’ve seen her at practically every anti-war and anti-nuclear power march I’ve been to in the last few years. I personally don’t think piercing is a particularly good example of the culture of domination. After all, its towards the self, not towards others. And taking it to the extreme this woman does actually flies in the face of a lot of ideas about appropriate appearance and femininity and so seems to stand apart from mainstream culture, unlike most of the other things in the set.

  43. Artemis

    The MSM is indulging in an orgy of illustrated patriarchy with the video, photos, and words of the Virginia Tech psycho himself.

    They love this shit, it’s plain as day.

    Sick fucks.


  44. Artemis

    Morgoth – glad to have your perspective. As for self-mutilation being a part of the gallery – it’s a completely straightforward relationship. The common outcome of the women-hating pressures of the patriarchy is for women to hate themselves, or at least their bodies. Self-mutilation follows and comes in various forms. The long violent arm of the patriarchy operates by proxy.

    But maybe there are exceptions. You’ve raised the possibility that maybe this woman has a different story. Food for thought, thanks.

  45. Ethyl

    In response to Morgoth and Artemis on self-mutilation, I too was struck by the inclusion of that image in the set of photographs. I can understand Artemis’s point on the patriarchal origin of “self-mutilation,” but I (sort of) disagree. First of all, calling it “self-mutilation” seems to clearly imply that the self is harmed or damaged. I think many (if not most) people who engage in body modification would disagree with that characterization. Many people, in my experience, do extreme body mods because that’s what they think looks nice. In addition, many people get multiple piercings (myself included) because they think it feels good. You might be tempted to jump to conclusions about my mental health and my past and all that, but you would probably be wrong.

    As an example, a recent study (ok, I just took like forever looking for where I read this, and I swear I did, but I’m at work and can’t find it, and I don’t know if it’s a firewall problem or what) indicates that people into BDSM are no more or less likely to have been abused as children. So I would hesitate to jump to conclusions about anyone’s motives for freely choosing to engage in what might, to an outsider, appear to be self-mutilating behaviors. Because it may or may not be the case. I suppose you could argue that it’s not ~really~ a free choice, but how could you ever really know that? So let’s not jump to conclusions, and let’s not assume we know how people are feeling or why they do what they do.

  46. Mar Iguana

    “So let’s not jump to conclusions, and let’s not assume we know how people are feeling or why they do what they do.” Ethyl

    Oh, lets. I don’t assume people themselves know how they are feeling or do what they do. Patriarchy works hard to divorce people from their own feelings. For instance, those who can’t/don’t want to connect the dots between BDSM and patriarchy personified.

  47. LouisaMayAlcott

    Hey! What happened to the Bee Dee Ess Em filter?

    T-W-I-S-T-Y !

  48. Twisty

    What’s the matter, LouisaMay? Don’t tell me you tire of discussions that go

    “You haven’t experienced empowerfulment until you’ve whipped a dude in black latex, you prudes!”

    “Oh yeah? BDSM is the fetishization of oppression, you moron!”


    The filter’s getting reinstated.

  49. Eurosabra

    Just a side note on The Killers: their song “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” is an excellent piece of anti-harasser/stalker/killer agitprop, perfectly encapsulating psychotic weirdness, possessiveness, and denial, if it can be taken at face value. I do hope they’re not being snide, hip, and ironic. Lyrics omitted b/c of triggering potential and generalized ick factor.

  50. Denis Postle

    Heh! I’m the author collector of the Cultures of Domination material that has been mentioned, enthused about here. The blog version died a while back under attack from Viagra/porn spam. I shifted the picture material, but not all the texts, to livingfromlove.org
    There is another longish highly illustrated section on cultures of dominance in my CDROM Letting the Heart Sing. I could extract and post it if there is sufficient interest.
    I wonder that I didn’t find this blog before but congratulations, it does the job. Let’s connect.
    Maybe I’ll write a ‘contents’ for all my writing/picturing on ‘facilitating the power of love’ and ‘confronting the love of power’

  1. “Culture of Domination” remix at I Blame The Patriarchy

    […] Hey, remember a blurb I wrote a while back referencing a photo-filled post at a dormant blog? The one called “Cultures of Domination,” which illustrated, with hideous eloquence, the alarming extent to which the paradigm of dominance and submission invisibly saturates human culture? But it took forever to load? So most of you never saw it? Well, Terrance at Republic of T did see it, was summarily moved, and could not resist the compulsion to execute an excellent Flash remix of the material, with ominous soundtrack complete. It’s a little jumpy at first, but stick with it until the whole thing loads. It’s supercool. In an it’s-horrible-yet-I-can’t-look-away way. […]

  2. Black Looks

    […] Republic of T remixes some text and images [via I Blame Patriarch] As evidence of this naturalisation, to bring it into awareness, I collect images of my local cultures of domination. Take a look at the selection of them below. I’ve found, as I hope you will, that rather than seeming to be a given, like the weather, by bringing them out into the light of day they become more susceptible to choice, interruption and confrontation. And less undermining of ‘living from love’. […]

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