Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A sincere and heartfelt apology, and a manifesto going forward

I owe you an apology. 

I have wasted your time, and my own. 

How? By constantly trying to fight an enemy that isn't worth a damn in the first place. 

As a post-feminist man, my biggest challenge has been to develop my sexuality according non-power-based norms. I have simply never felt comfortable with sexuality and power being intimately mixed. And it is a journey that I am still on. 

Those who take pot-shots at me, and who record this blog so that they can one day use it against me, like to make blanket generalistions:

Of course, the only reason a man like me would bother to write this stuff, is because he doesn't get laid. He's not succeeded as part of the privileged and patriarchal system, so he has to carve his own little emotional and sexual castle for himself. Poor little patriarch. Right? Well....I have no time for this any more. I simply have no time for it.

My sincere desire and goal with this blog has always been to explore masculinity. To examine myself and my sexuality in the wider social context and examine how it relates to that context, as I see it. It was never meant to be a scientific blog, where I put forward a theory. It was, and believe me, always will be, simply a form of thinking out loud.

I have deviated from this basic aim, because I have allowed narrow minded and childish drivel to distract me. So that is my apology. No longer will I allow people who are obsessed with gender violence and conflict to distract me. Their aim is to prove themselves right. They seek to provoke others so that they can turn around and say, 'oh look, they are all the same.'

And I have stupidly allowed myself to get drawn into these little battles. I have allowed myself too be played, and to be played by people who congratulate themselves on what is ultimately a half-developed intelligence.

No more. This blog will focus on masculinity, and only masculinity. Not out of out some weird obsessive anti-female MRA pathology. On the contrary, I think that feminism presents a challenge to men. It demands that they must change. It demands that they must develop new ways of expressing and manifesting their sexuality. It demands that we as a race re-examine sexuality as a form of power dynamics, and it offers a kind of ultimatum. If we don't re-examine these things, then we are doomed to perpetuate archaic and violent forms of sexuality until we destroy ourselves.

One of the themes of this blog has been the link between our social and environmental problems, and the socialised pathology around male sexuality. The apparent intransigent need to dominate and control in the human psyche is what links male sexuality and environmental collapse. In fact, I think the pathology is the same at the root. It's more than an idle link.

I don't like terms such as 'rape culture' because such terms are normally used by doctrinaire types who have made a career out of patriarchy theory. It's just a way of propping up their own prejudices and social assumptions and carrying them off as if they were some kind of sociological fact.

If by 'rape culture' we mean a culture which denies the reality of sexual violence as a normalised cultural dynamic, then yes. Hell yes, we live in a rape culture. But if this term is used in the way that I see it usually brandished about, as an umbrella term for the inherent violence of men, and as a term that is synonymous with 'patriarchy', then no. I will not accept that use.

But I am no longer going to waste my time challenging the type of person that uses the language of gender violence in this way. I am just not going to distract myself any more, because such people are simply trying to lure others into a fight, so that they can turn around and act righteous. They are not interested in genuinely evolving sexuality, and developing new forms of non-power-based gender dynamics. In fact, they are interested in perpetuating the archaic 'patriarchal' norms, under the guise of radical gender politics. It's insidious, it lack intelligence (though it congratulates itself as being otherwise), and ultimately it's a fringe distraction.

The sexual revolution of the late sixties and early seventies presents a challenge to masculinity. Some might disagree with this statement, in which case I urge them to stop reading. If you don't agree with that primary assumption, we can do no business together. The primary assumption here is that feminism as a social movement presents a challenge to men and masculinity – the challenge that it must change and evolve to meet the needs of a new era in gender dialogue. An era that includes blurred gender lines, reversed social roles, transgender experience.

But the real challenge in this new era, as far as this blog is concerned, is to salvage sexuality from entrenched forms of socialised violence, domination and power games. 

The second assumption of this blog, then, is that such dynamics are real and that they have a pervasive and destructive impact on our social reality that extends way beyond our narrow conception of the sexual arena. Implicit in this second assumption is the belief that such violence and power dynamics have played an evolutionary function, they have developed to play specific role in society, and that this itself is something we must explore.

So, to sum up. The key assumptions are basically, a) there is a problem, and b) the problem is that we have for too long, and for very real evolutionary and social reasons, associated sexuality with crude forms of power, and outright violence.

If these assumptions do not resonate with you, then god-speed, honestly. I sincerely hope that your own personal experience has been one of sexual fulfillment through non-power-related dynamics. But please, don't try and ridicule this blog, or to take personal pot-shots at me. Doing so means you are not as evolved sexually as you might like to think you are. It betrays an investment in archaic gender violence.

The above two assumptions satisfy what might be called my point of departure, but if I have a third guiding assumption it will be this: women are as capable of gender-based violence as men. 

I would call it a basic assumption, if I didn't know better. It seems that it is so controversial that I can't afford to make it an assumption. There needs to be more dialogue around this topic, and in doing so, this blog is not trying to establish some implicit misogyny. Rather, I believe that an examination of female sexual violence, contrasted with the the more obvious forms of sexual violence performed by men, will illuminate the problem on a wider social level.

The real enemy of this blog is not the snipers and the snickering false-feminists and reactionary MRA types. These peoples' views are just regurgitated forms of passive or aggressive sexual violence. No, the real enemy is any kind of sexuality that is intimately linked with violence, emotional or physical.

Now, let me just say that yes, there is personal motivation here.

Yes, this blog is in large part inspired by my own experience with emotional violence and sexuality, as well as inheriting a consciousness about male sexual violence through family history.

But please, please, don't sit there and congratulate yourself on reducing the whole thing to that. 

Perceiving a subconscious drive and need to let go of baggage in any act, does not qualify you as a great 'observer of people' or some kind of gifted psychologist. You don't have to read Freud, or anything for that matter, to know that there exists such a thing as a subconscious. It proves nothing. So please, please, please for the love of the holy father SHUT UP. Pointing out unspoken drives and motivations is like sarcasm – a sign of a semi-educated and half-developed mind. It proves nothing. Not a damn thing. If this is your take on things, then, again, we can do no more business here. Jog on.

And in truth, it is really only half of the truth, anyway. My own experiences of sexual violence are irrelevant compared to the social and environmental costs of our normalised violence around sexuality. There is a link between the dynamics of your average Friday night club scene, and rape. And further, there is a link between rape and our economy, rape and our politics, rape and our educations system and rape and our environmental destruction. 

Too heavy? Sorry, like I said. Jog on. 

On the upside, I started this blog because I really believed that humanity doesn't have to be this way. I personally have never resonated with the idea of sexuality and violence, or dominance, being bedfellows. Unless we examine this normalised relationship, the intimate connection between sex and power, we can't make progress as a race. Because the issue goes right to the heart of human evolutionary consciousness. (If you don't like the term, jog on). 

The challenge of the human condition might be reduced to this simple problem: integrating violent instincts. The reptilian mind versus the cerebral cortex. 

However you want to phrase it, we are a race divided between short term and long term survival, and we have been struggling for centuries.

Male sexual violence emerges out of this conflict. That is why it is important to create a dialogue around masculinity. The massive advances of feminism and gender-liberation will go no further unless we examine why sex and violence are so intimately related in human consciousness, and within our cultural assumptions surrounding masculinity. That's why I write this blog. It's important. I need no further explanation. 

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