How we might bring a radical feminist world into being

Society’s current hatred of women has been taught and it can be untaught. There are many ways women can resist, from making our voices heard by standing against Self ID and harmful trans ideology, to rejecting gender stereotypes and the beauty ideal, the war against women can be fought even within society that is still a patriarchy.

But women’s true liberation will never be gained under patriarchy.

To get it we have to overthrow the system of control that is exercised through male dominance. Male control of our legal system, medical system, political system, education system, and monetary system all must be infiltrated and the unequal balance of power redressed to even ensure women get a seat at the table.

Even this will not be enough, as the system itself, Capitalism, and the exploitative way we pollute the enviroment, harm the earth, and do business, politics, and trade, all need to end, as they are harmful to women.

There are many battles that must be fought and won, if we want to see total liberation for women, utterly everywhere. This includes a total overthrow of the capitalist system, and a reversal of the privilege system that favours men over women.

Matriarchal cultures exist and have existed. They are not society’s run by “evil man hating demons from hell” they are successful, indigeneous, largely peaceful societies that flourish because they favour women over men, which has been proven to manage men’s worst traits.

If favouring one group over another sounds shocking to you, I hope you’re more than shocked by your current existence, and the historical precedent patriarchy has set of heavily favouring men over women.

Men have been favoured over women for centuries in our current Western society, a patriarchy, yet the current status quo is perpetually touted, particularly by men, as the only right way.

Convenient.

Except it’s not the right way, at least not for women.

Women everywhere are subjected to a catalogue of horrors; murder, rape, sexual slavery, harassment, misogyny, revenge porn, discrimination in the workplace, unpaid domestic servitude, body shaming, and objectification. Not to mention silencing and ridicule if we attempt to speak out about any of it.

Until the capitalist patriarchy is done with, women’s slavery will remain a certainty because the current capitalist system, only serves to prop up the status quo. That includes the interest of men, and since men still hold the reigns in many areas of society, you’re swimming against the tide if you try to play the capitalist game by their rules.

If women were in charge of a capitalist society, the system would be different, though still wrong, capitalism is never fair. It doesn’t to my mind make sense, to fight for an unfair system, a system that pollutes the environment, exploits the earth’s resources and consistently works to undermine the agency of the poor, simply because it turns a profit.

To my mind capitalism, a top down hierarchical system, which demands there must always be losers in order for there to be winners is directly in opposition to all movements demanding freedom, liberation, and justice.

As Germaine Greer said “fuck equality,” women should stop struggling for it right now. There is nothing wrong with equaliy in principle, the problem is, in this patriarchal culture, equality means being equal to a standard men get to decide. The standards by which we currently measure equality will never deliver women liberation, because men will always use an essentially patriarchal system to vault over women. All while claiming we all began the race from the same starting blocks, because, equality.

Yeah, but if society puts obstacle after obstacle in women’s path, and not men’s, if society continues to favour men, have more sympathy for men etc…who’s going to win that race?

Hint, it’s not women.

Capitalism and patriarchy have to go. Until they do women will not be free.

But how do they go?

Well first we must define the type of action we need to take.

We need to get radical.

Nothing short of a female, collective, total commitment to a program of radical action will achieve this.

We need to overthrow the status quo, and to do that we need to build our community, of radical women. We need to gather resources, network, and gather friends and allies who can helps us. We need to trade our skills, pool our resources and talents, and provide for women.

In short we must begin building a world for women, where women can be free.

We must be busy worker bees and be the first ones to plant the seed. Later the seeds will germinate, the plant will flower, and other bees will flock to the nectar that is a woman centered world.

We must also take a hard line no compromise position that does not budge one inch if we are to achieve the goal of our liberation. There are clear ways in which this could manifest, as well as definite actions which can be taken to build community, defend women, and move women closer to the goal of complete parity.

Only radical action produces radical results and in our current woman-hating culture, what could be more radical to society than the idea of viewing women as full human beings in every respect both socially and under law.

Of course, to achieve a total societal revolution like this in our current society, we’re going to need numbers. We must gather and unite and once we do we must ensure we have solidarity and general agreement on our common goals.

We must work together, cohesively to plan strategic steps that will move us forward to our final goal – total liberation from male control. We must implement each of these steps, collectively organising and sharing the labour necessary to reach that goal.

We need to put aside our differences, this fight is too important, and it will not wait. Now is the time for action, not words, and I’m all too aware of this, even as I sit here typing this blog post.

My previous post suggested some things we could do to begin making the change we want to see in the world, though it was meant as a mere jumping off post, not a comprehensive guide.

We need to get out in the real world and connect with each other, online activism alone isn’t enough.

We can volunteer at our local women’s refuge, connect with our FB radfems friends, meet with our MPs to lobby on behalf of women, and organise meetings where we can strategize and consciousness raise. We can leaflet in the community, talk to people to try and raise awareness of key issues, like the dangers to women of Self ID, and attend radfems book readings, feminist talks, and conferences where we can meet each other face to face.

Let’s make it our mission to build those real world connections and do some offline activism.

We all spend far too much time online these days, which contributes to our political passivity and our inability to take decisive change making action.

That’s exactly how those with the power want us to remain, scattered, apathetic and weak.

Don’t let them win sisters. Together, we are powerful.

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Letter to a sick, woman hating culture…

Once upon a time I wanted to be a hero.  I wanted to be brave, like the knights I read about in storybooks who I was told were brave because they were, well knights.

Because they were supposed to fight for what was good and fair, for what was right and just.

I didn’t understand that they were supposed to be male, or question why in those storybooks there were no female knights back then, because I didn’t understand the gender role I was supposed to play.

But the hardest lesson I had yet to learn was that those knights weren’t good at all, that what they symbolized was a system so oppressive that the potential of millions upon millions of bright, beautiful, brilliant, talented people has been squandered for centuries and centuries and centuries more.

The potential of people of colour, gay people, lesbian people, people who refused to conform to the limiting roles that had been placed on them, and of course the massive potential of the female sex.

All this potential squandered simply because it threatened the knights, the false kings, the gatekeepers of our culture.  Because they feared that if they let those people’s talents shine, if they just let them be, then they wouldn’t be heroes or kings themselves anymore at all.

When I was a little older even though I hadn’t realized all this yet, I started to become aware something felt wrong with the world.  I forgot somewhat about the knights because I found some new heroes.

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I read about revolutionaries like Karl Marx, and Fidel Castro, I watched reruns of Dr Martin Luther King  speaking, I watched documentaries about Malcolm X and I was moved by the powerful dignity of his carriage, and even though I am a half Mediterranean white person I could somehow relate to the timeless truth of his words about the injustice of lies that attempt to deny people their dignity.

I was inspired, motivated by these people’s actions, by their courage, daring, or in some cases, sheer bravery, despite everything being in their path.  Learning about them made me feel that I too could be a hero, that I too could change the world.

Then the poison set in.

I started to become aware that I had a female body, and what that meant in this society.  I learned I was expected to be certain things, behave in a certain way, dress a certain way, want certain things.

I learned I couldn’t be a hero.

I didn’t like it.

I became frustrated, unhappy, conscious of my body, I dressed in baggy clothes, I had greasy hair, I ate bad food.

Only in books, in words, lost among the pages could I dare to dream of another life, a better life, a life where I could be free to be who I wanted to be, to be myself.

So I decided to look further still, dig deeper, find out what was causing the nagging sense of unfairness, the feeling of slanted inequality that was pricking at my conscience.

All around me I started to grow aware of my supposed place in the world, the role I was expected to play, the stereotypes that are mandatory for every person with a female body.

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They didn’t look anything like how I had imagined my life to be, those stereotypes didn’t fit the opinionated, bookish, intelligent, undomesticated, selfish, brave, egotistical, untidy, greedy, sometimes over-confident person I was.

I wasn’t passive, meek, subordinate.  I didn’t like pop I liked hard rock.  I wasn’t interested in gossip I wanted to talk politics. I wasn’t interested in babies, I wanted to have adventures.  I wanted my words to have authority, I didn’t want to be sidelined.  I didn’t want to learn ballet though I loved watching it, I preferred holing myself up in my room and playing computer games.

I hated being patronized.

I wanted to create culture, not be created by it.  I wanted to write, I didn’t want to make dinner for anyone.  I didn’t want to be on a permanent diet, I didn’t understand why I was given a smaller dinner than my brother or told to eat salad.  I wanted to eat what I liked.  I was told I should watch my weight even though I was thin, even though I was already so underweight my hipbones used to stick out through my clothes.

I felt like I was cross dressing whenever I wore a dress, I preferred the casual ease of jeans and a t-shirt, or combat boots.  I hated my period because it reminded me I was becoming a “woman”.

Most of all I didn’t know why I was supposed to care what I looked like, why there was only one right way for me to look, when all around me I saw infinite varieties of men, being liked for who they were anyway.

The only thing that fit with my new supposed identity of “female” was the fact I hated sports.  And loved neon pink and unicorns.

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As I grew more aware of the self I was told to be, I felt a mounting sense of frustration  .  It felt stifling, smothering, like the real me was drowning but I couldn’t articulate quite how.

If I couldn’t be a hero like Martin Luther King or Malcolm X or Karl Marx because I had a female body then how could I be a hero at all?  If I couldn’t be brave, and lazy, and untidy, and selfish, and loud, and opinionated, and bossy, how could I be me?

After some more exploration I found that there were people who had felt like me, exactly like me, who had raged at the injustice and unfairness of it all.  I found out about great activists like Angela Davis of the Black Power movement, who didn’t bow their heads, not ever, but walked into court with a raised fist when they were put on trial for false crimes. I found inspiring feminists like Germaine Greer and Andrea Dworkin, who spoke about the experience of living in a female body in this society in such immediate and raw terms that it made me feel every woman’s pain.

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I found out about George Elliot, who managed to get published and become a respected author by men and women alike, in a century where women were not even allowed the vote, by taking a male name.

I learned about how she flouted convention, wrote books, discussed politics with men, wore pants, took lovers, lived as she pleased.

I knew people in that time wouldn’t have taken her seriously if they had thought she was a woman, so this made sense to me.  I didn’t think then about how much harder it would have been for George Elliot to get published if people had thought she was black because I was indoctrinated by white teachers, by white schooling to learn about white heroes, but I did see that she wouldn’t have been published if people had guessed her sex.

I didn’t really think about white privilege even though I already knew about the racism people of colour had suffered in Western Culture, because I was looking through the warped, surrealist lens of our tilted society, and because I was suffering myself, I hadn’t yet grown the empathy to even try and understand their experience, only mine.

I found out about Virginia Wolf, and Emmeline Pankhurst, about Shirley Chisholm, about Maya Angelou, and I was inspired.  They had female bodies and to me they were heroes.

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I felt like I had purpose now, once again, that these people had done so much to change the world, that if we could just make it right, liberation would be just over the horizon.

I started to espouse feminist ideas and found they were quickly met with scorn from all but a few people.  I wondered why these great ideas, which felt so honest, so fair, and so right, and which I knew would deliver to me my complete liberation were constantly being suppressed, ridiculed,  stymied.

I didn’t know then that if you speak a simple truth that denies white men the privilege to be kings in our Western culture they have to kill you.  I didn’t know yet that in any patriarchy, anywhere, men of all colours will have to kill you if you are female because that is what patriarchy is.

I just felt frustrated.

Then I found sex.  I liked sex but I didn’t understand why I was supposed to pretend I didn’t.  I liked girls, I liked boys too but I was only supposed to like boys.

And I was told boys wouldn’t like me if I didn’t do this, think this, be this, act like this, look like this.

Luckily there was a guidebook for how to look, how to dress to win the prize of being liked by boys.  Being competitive I decided to follow it.  It involved daily rituals of plucking, shaving, waxing , tweezing, and counting calories, followed by layers of make-up, and uncomfortable clothes that made me feel self-conscious.

I thought the prize I had been promised would be a compensation of sorts because I liked sex and so did boys.

At that point I wasn’t looking for love.

So I compromised.  I played the stupid games, pretended I was a porn star in bed, didn’t ask for my own pleasure, and I was liked by boys.  After a while I discovered the prize wasn’t all that good, and that I was still bored.

I wanted to experiment.  I had a strange sort of romantic yet not romantic sexual relationship with my best friend, a girl, and found it was better than any relationship I ever had with a guy because I felt like she knew my soul.  I felt like she could see me, like with her, I could be me.

But culture being what it is, she too found boys again, and so we parted, drifting back, lost to the prize that was supposed to be the big compensation.

Sex and fun.  Or for others, love.

It was a distraction for a while, I even fell in love.  It felt good but it also felt painful.  It felt like it should be different but something was getting in the way.  I didn’t feel fully seen.

Nothing could quiet the clamour inside to be myself, to be free of all this, this drag, this role I was supposed to play.  My full potential I felt, was stifled by my biology and the cultural restrictions it brought with it.

I was not allowed to be a hero, only a bit part.  Having a big ego, I wasn’t happy with this.

The only white man I ever admired was Kurt Cobain, whose raw screechy voice articulated the anger I felt.  He seemed, to me, different somehow yet even he succumbed to the neurosis of addiction, tortured by the plague of our broken, sick society.  I loved too, his wife Courtney Love, how her lyrics reflected the ironic, sardonic, stifled bitterness of a class of people oppressed by a society that tried to mandate who they should be because of the biology of their own bodies.

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When I found out why I was feeling this way, it felt like a relief.  I wasn’t unnatural, after all, I was transsexual.  That’s what the new information I discovered told me, that I had been born in the wrong body.

This made sense to me since nearly everything I was fit so completely what society was telling me was a male sense of self.  I “came out” and gave myself permission to do and be all I had wanted to do and be that society had told me I couldn’t if I was female.  I even told myself that I was born in the wrong body.

I felt something like freedom.

After a while though, I started to notice that since I wasn’t passing yet, I was still being treated as though I was female.  And that’s when I realized that even though, one day I might pass, what it took to be transsexual in this culture, for those of the female sex, was a denial of one’s biology, of part of one’s self.

No matter how free I felt, no matter how much permission society might give me if I was seen as male, I knew I would not be free until I could claim all of myself.

I was a biological female.  I did not want to be ashamed of that anymore.  Society told me I had a male identity and certainly in this culture, much of whom I am would be considered male.

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But is it really?  In a culture where I could be anything I wanted, would I really be so unnatural?

There is nothing wrong with me.   There is nothing wrong with any of us.  There are no square pegs in round holes because the holes have been created by false gods.  False gods that wielded a chisel in my name, who carved out the identity I should have, just because of my biology, when I was not even asked what I wanted to be.

In this culture I have a male identity. But I have a female body.  In another culture, I would just be me.

I do not wish to harm anyone.  I am and I should be, as we all should be, providing we don’t harm others.   In a normal world, we would all be able to sit at a great round table, to respect each other as human beings.

But in patriarchal cultures, in Western Culture, these false gods, these pseudo Kings , in an effort to hobble others that might take their privilege away from them, others that might even outshine them, make them unable to self-actualize themselves through denigrating others, well in that culture, then they have to work hard to silence the truth.

They have to continually work hard to suppress the truth, they know is threatening to burst into voice, they have to work double time to limit, and to restrict, to torture and to humiliate.

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Even then, they cannot ignore the truth.  They know they are not Kings at all.  They know the chains they attempt to bind us too are bound to them also.  They must drag the weight around, bear the burden of their own prison.

And they know, too, that they can do all this to us, the oppression, the slander, the centuries and centuries of lies, but they cannot kill the truth.  It simply, is.

Whether a whisper or a mighty roar, somehow, the truth, survives, in the consciousness of those who have humanity, still.

And eventually, when the roar grows to a level they cannot ignore, and the kingdom crumbles into dust, they will have to admit what they have always known, that you can torture, rape, sell, enslave, brutalize, beat, lie, and denigrate human beings, men, women, girls, and children but you cannot break and you can never own a human soul.

To the mighty Kings who sit upon a stolen throne. The roar is coming.  It may not be in my lifetime.  But it will come.