What is a mind for if it is not for change? I’d written a mea culpa to a certain prolific RF blogger for having said I wouldn’t comment on her blog again because of my perception that her demand for her own brand of “RF think” had run off too many new women bravely trying to comment there for the first time but getting criticized by the blogger’s reply comments … and my mea culpa resulted on a balance of factors because the prolific blogger had written a new post that fascinated me, involving great comments from DaughterIsTheSun, LisaPrime, SheilaG, and others as sparked by the mind-expanding post that, well, caused me to change my mind about participating there.
But although I tried to comment and saw my comment appear on screen for a few hours, the RF blogger removed it.
So I get erased at a RF blog, even when I make a kindhearted mea culpa gesture, and it feels the very same as when men erase women all the time, all the time, gone baby gone.
We can know that it doesn’t seem right, or at least it seems to reflect deep damage in the RF blogger that is unhealed despite the rigor of her analysis and the prolific nature of her blogging (with a strong RF following), but I can at least post what I’d written here.
As a related point, however, if we wonder why RF analysis is so scant among feminists, maybe this sort of sad thing is partly why. Maybe we need to stop blaming it only on MtT and GLBTQQetcwtf political backlash. Maybe we each need to heal ourselves first before taking on a public platform in which any one of us has internet power to solicit and alternately erase other women’s comments. If I were not very strong in my own Be-ing, being erased on a RF blog (for commenting ffs , and in a RF way) would dishearten me to the point of rejecting RF as a philosophy, when indeed it is the only philosophy that ever really helped me understand and face the real world as a woman-born woman for womankind.
Here’s the substance of what I’d commented and had erased:
The natural disaster analogy about male oppression of females is one that resonates for me as to specific instances when I have averted the harm of men to myself and/or daughter by going into instinct about imminent harm avoidance. Before RF consciousness took hold (in that my global patriarchal cult deprogramming has taken years, still ongoing) I’d do unsafe, unwise things like jog too late at the beach. One night I was nearly conked in the head by two smiling men who came up behind me, one with his arm behind (indicating the rock of the would-be conk). It was pure instinct that led me to grab and throw sand in their faces and then run a zigzagging path that somehow through those instinctual connections to what’s alive got me to safety where women were, truncating the men’s pursuit.
There are other similar earlier examples of the natural disaster approach to harm avoidance, including an intruder in my house (baby daughter in back) after the then-nigel husband had left garage door open during my absence. Instinctively I went into raging “get the fuck out of here you asshole,” with my keys in my fingers like I’d learned in a self-defense class, lunging for him, which made him take a circular route running out through the open garage door (“lady I’m getting out of here.”) In those occasions I operated on pure instinct, no conscious logic to it, although it may have helped to have in the gray matter the residues of an 80’s “take back the night” self-defense class (not that going out at night walking alone in the 21st century is ever safe for women any more in most places). :
The parasite model from DaughterIsTheSun also resonates for the chronic, daily reality of men oppressing women. The level of biological awareness is amazing, and this really resonated: “Parasitic wasps turn cabbage worm caterpillars into their bodyguards.” Plus the Alien film reference. Excellent! Men show us who they are by the monsters and “big suits” they create in movies.
When asked by the blog post for another model from nature other than natural disaster, I’d been thinking, yes, well, definitely that (natural disaster) and also men as virus, maybe biologically much bigger but just as debilitating. But parasite from DaughterIsTheSun is a much better analogy, because a parasite usually grabs hold and slowly drains, saps and diverts energy without, in the majority of cases, outright killing the host. (Started to type DITS for Daughter but that’s disrespectful, and I really do appreciate the biology lesson and the women who come here brave enough to comment!)
For the relatively lucky women enjoying relative privilege (not being trafficked, not being constantly raped, not living in a literal war zone in someplace like Darfur, so on), the analogy of how men are would be not the Ebola or AIDS virus but the analogy of a virus like a chronic common cold, debilitating but not life-threatening, depressing but not killing.
A chronic common cold virus as analogy for men and their oppression of women would fit for what’s been on this blog in comments described as the patriarchy-lite of Scandinavian countries. And it would be a common-cold virus always susceptible of mutating wildly and almost overnight (meme-like) into a killer virus like Ebola, yes, even in the patriarchy-lite countries, for individual violence and destruction, by men one by one of women, or in larger groups.
The USA was patriarchy-lite for a brief period of the 70’s and early 80’s for some women with relative privilege, until the men figured out the counter-attack to second wave feminism and women’s consciousness raising. And it has been cult-like mass media man-ipulated programming, fun feminism and porn infusion ever since to our detriment so that, today, how many of us ever dare to walk outside at night alone for risk of male violence if we live in any USA urban or even suburban area?
I’ve noticed lately where I live that the ratio of men outside to women even in daylight (enjoying ordinary things like taking a walk, being in a park, so on) is about 4:1, no doubt by American women’s self-selection to stay inside if they have a home or to be in their cars en route to places like malls and movies, often with security guards, if they can afford the gas.
The cultural change in my adult life suggests that disengagement instead of activism is a much better strategy now, but how very grateful I am for the second-wave academics, activists, and writers like Jan Raymond, Mary Daly (who taught Jan), Kate Millett (whose book, “Going to Iran” from decades ago is another case study in why it’s better now to view men as natural disasters, parasites or viruses than to engage in the futility of social-change activism alongside them), Sonia Johnson (who, perfectly imperfect, at least wrote spinning, inspiring guides to how it might be for evolving womankind even if the times weren’t right for the evolution now) and Andrea Dworkin who was just such a good writer I’d have enjoyed her authorship about how to grow broccoli. Dworkin’s little read book, “Scapegoat,” is the best and most heartrending account of how (in her case, shared Jewry, with post-holocaust Israel as the model) even one’s own historically cultural group of shared-oppression men are still out to get women.
So yes, men’s oppression of women: natural disaster, parasite, virus. Take your pick, sometimes it can be all three at the same time.
If we as women were not incredibly strong by Nature’s design despite everything the naturally disastrous parasitic viral men do to us, we’d not still be standing, not even one of us.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s some evolutionary value to all we as women are learning and have been learning around the globe for millenia in the disengagement and covert warrior modes of protecting ourselves from men that will carry into the next phase of biological evolution for primates (if we even make it at all in primate bodily form).
In any event, for this one day, still standing is something of which we all can be very proud as womankind. Hug it to yourself. Every day is a victory over male disaster.
If you don’t want to believe the words, then believe the image at the top of this post. Take another look. I couldn’t have staged it better. All the penis power-over imagery in the world collapsed into one random digital photo snapped while waiting at an intersection in my car in a city where it is now dangerous (because of unfettered power to the penis in the media-stature patriarchy) for women to be out walking along.