Saturday, 22 March 2014

Why I am a better feminist than you

I am sick and tired of people reading this and extrapolating convenient misconceptions so that they can more easily dismiss what is being said. It is a typical liberal and middle-class academic strategy that allows you not to engage with the subject matter and it allows you to walk away unscathed and not get called up on your own theories and your own half-baked and dogmatic ideology.

The main idea here is to salvage the heterosexual male experience. I believe that if we explore and enrich male heterosexuality, create a more nuanced culture around it, and allow men to experience their sensuality, their vulnerabilities, and the multifaceted nature of their sexual power, then we will be able to end misogyny and abuse against women almost overnight.

Now already, before I am out of the gates, I am like a lame horse. If I was writing a gay blog, or a male feminist blog, I would probably have a column in the Guardian by now. However, I am writing about the very 'class' of people that are supposed to be 'privileged', who are the supposed 'winners' in society. Men who identify with the heterosexual experience.

Why is this important? Well, believe it or not, this blog actually started as a way of accepting the challenge of feminism,. It is NOT a way of claiming feminism for the boys, so please don't harp and carp on that. (I feel that no matter what I am going to say, a scatter-gun attack of intellectual tropes is about be unleashed on me, and that by my speaking out, I am in MORE danger of being silenced.)

This is the sorry state of identity politics, and in particular feminism, in our current culture. If one at all seeks to develop, or critique 'the revolution', you feel like you are in danger of being sent to the cultural and intellectual Auschwitz. And many men are.

Not this guy however. I am not scared, and I will not be intimidated by people who call themselves feminists but who are in reality, bullies.

This blog was a conscious effort to reshape the cultural memes around heterosexual masculinity, and the project has always had a very grave subtext to it. In order for true feminism, true equality and true emancipation of women to take place, we have to look at where the abuse and the persecution comes from. Not so that it will make aggressive white males feel less guilty (yes I know that's what you think), but so that the problem can be dealt with at the root.

Whatever you might think about my motivations, I have grown up around strong and wounded women. In my childhood, it was the women who had the power, women who occupied the 'masculine' roles. And on top of that, it was the women who did the abusing.

All the while, as a backdrop to that, there was always this sense of disappointment and resentment at men. I grew up therefore, both intensely sensitive to the needs of women, and yet bitter and paranoid about my masculinity.

I say this not to be mawkish, but to make a point that I think a lot of men can identify with.

The culture around masculinity is so narrow, so closed off, and so entrenched, that very few men get to express their true selves through their sexuality. And contrary to the popular opinion, the big question of gender politics for our age is, How do we evolve heterosexual masculinity?

If we do not ask this question, if we do not allow the examination of gender norms within this realm of experience, all the work of gay rights and feminism will be for nothing. It will just vanish, and then we will really see what the word 'reactionary' means.

Until we understand the process by which men are infused with the cultural assumptions about their sexuality and the roles that they must perform in society, and the emotional repressions and abuses they must internalise to survive, then feminism will be nothing more than a paralysed form of identity politics, and despite all the anger and the rage against the 'patriarchy', it will change nothing, and will actually serve to intensify and congeal the very ideologies of power from which it emerged.

On this blog, I reject that kind of power. On this blog, I have no time for machismo and the culturally accepted forms of masculine bullying I, and many of the men I know, have had to engage in and with throughout my development. Instead, I seek to understand this system of power, I seek to take it apart and put it back together again. I see it for what it is, a cultural brainwashing, a way of harnessing human energy as a resource for war, agriculture and industry.

If you feel a resistance to what I write here, then I charge you with being misogynistic in worst way possible.

I accuse you of being the most insidious and ignorant kind of hypocrite imaginable. You most likely pride yourself on your feminism, but if you were a true feminist, you would be muttering to yourself 'yes! yes! yes!' as you read this, instead of sneering and huffing and puffing and thumping the table, which is most likely what you are doing.

Here's what's behind your resistance. You don't WANT to deconstruct masculinity. If women and gay men seek emancipation, and that involves a cultural rethink on some level, then that's fine. People on the fringes of society get a bigger piece of the pie, and that's okay by you. But if we seek to deconstruct heterosexual masculinity, we are not just talking about emancipation any more.

We are talking about the value system itself. We are talking about examining the very superstructure of our cultural assumptions. Your so-called liberal emancipation movements are really just disguised forms of greed and selfishness. Your so-called feminism, is really just a form of sexual politics, a way of asserting abusive and sexual aggression but simply reversing the direction of patriarchal bullying.

In reality, you don't want change, you want power. You ENJOY patriarchal power, you enjoy the machismo and the bravado and the privilege, you just want it for your own identity-group.

If you were serious about changing things, if you were really a feminist, then you would welcome an heterosexual man's campaign to enrich and reconstruct that experience, and you would understand that in supporting it, you would be tackling domestic abuse, misogyny and rape, at the very root, and you would be committing yourself to lasting change.

Instead, you hide behind the idea of 'male privilege' because it stops the dialogue, it keeps the unwelcome truths about your own position at a fitting distance so as not to allow any self-examination on your part.

However, unless you let go of this concept of 'privilege' we will never be able to see the beast you call 'patriarchy' for what it really is.

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