Thursday, November 12, 2009

Neither Gods Nor Monsters: The Paradoxical Social Nature of White Heterosexual Men


[image is from here]
[Slightly revised on 16 Nov. 2009, ECD]
When white heterosexual men get all defensive due to "feeling threatened" (or insulted, or stereotyped, or just not treated as if they are gods) they often ulitise their access to and control of police and military forces to make sure that those who threaten them die, or are, at least, terrorised into silence and subordination. When people who are oppressed by white heterosexual men get defensive, often using nasty words and blogs and such, we are threatened by white heterosexual men--sometimes to the point of being terrorised. If you're paying attention, the pattern is clear and constant: terrorism, as a social practice, as a daily means of controlling people, flows in one direction only, and that direction is down. From the top. In any social hierarchy, in fact, as Derrick Jensen notes, any violence that flows up is called unacceptable violence and is punishable by death. Any violence that flows downward is considered appropriate, acceptable, and is called "self-defence", or, more callously still, "[white heterosexual] men's entertainment".

The atrocities committed by WHMs are not unknown to us. They happen all the time: rape, invasion of countries of people of color, beating up women and gay men, wrongfully imprisoning men of color, maintaining corrupt institutions and industries which pollute and poison the Earth and all its many inhabitants who are no less valuable, no less worthy of being here than are WHM.

The atrocities committed by WHM are well-known and well-documented. What follows need not or ought not be read by anyone who has experienced genocide or gynocidal atrocities. It is deeply disturbing. And it's not unusual behavior for WHM who want something they have no rights to. Here's an utterly horrific sampling of what WHM have done and still do across the globe, this true story from Mary Brave Bird, aka Mary Crow Dog, a Sicangu Oyate woman from South Dakota. A Chiricahua Apache woman, Lozen, from Apacheria (now a part of Northern Mexico and the Southwestern U.S.), found ways to be a warrior, trying to save her people from genocidal slaughter.

You don't have to go back in time to find such atrocities committed by WHM. They are committing them right now in Afghanistan and Iraq. And in their homes where women live with them. And against their children, verbally, physically, and sexually.

White men killing Indigenous people is not an act of defense. Indigenous people fighting against white men is self-defense. White men killing women of all colors is not an act of defense. Women of all colors finding ways to resist and not comply with white men, including using direct force, are acts of self-defense. But these forms of self-defense do not define the "self" as an individual, but rather as a group who share a common struggle for life--life both threatened and taken by WHM, at will.

However the oppressed try and defend themselves, through whatever means, WHM protect their atrocities with a rather sinister slight of bloody hand called their "criminal justice system". They call things the opposite of what they are. Mary Daly noted this decades ago. What WHM do in the name of civilian peace is to commence and continue military warfare. What they do in the name of liberation is invasion and enslavement. What they do in the name of democracy is create and control media that only tells one or two points of view on every subject imaginable. What they to do maintain their own self-interested form of freedom is to continually oppress everyone else.

What they do is silence people of color, women across all ethnicities and sexualities, and gay men (including white ones). They silence through terrorism, through torture, through threats backed by actual, manifested force. They silence through words backed by that force. Do men feel fearful and nervous when a woman yells out how much she hates men? Rarely, if ever. Do women feel fearful and nervous when a man yells out how much he hates women? Often, if not always. For damn good reason. Men attack women daily; it is a common occurrence, like rain or wind. Women do not attack men, except anecdotally. Remember Lorena Bobbitt and Aileen Wuornos? We have to recall women's attacks on men because they happen so infrequently. And only in Aileen's case did men die. Men's direct lethal and non-lethal violence against women, however, cannot be called out enough. Every two decades or so, we may hear of one case of a woman taking revenge against a man or a few men by killing them. Every day men kill women--because the targeted human beings are women. And those they don't kill they do things to that often make survivors not feel like going on living. To name all of what men do to women, in that name of [fill in the blank with some positive reason men give for doing this violence], this blogpost would not be readable, or believable. Anyone I know would have to stop reading very quickly, out of disgust, revulsion, horror, or being triggered by the reading.

But what if the names of these killed women were named daily, on every morning show, on every evening news broadcast, on every internet site? What if every time a woman was killed by a man, the news of it, including his name and photograph, was sent to every cell or mobile phone globally. What if we collectively had to bury each of those women? We'd have a graveyard too large with a list of names too long to read, of women killed by men.

And not just white men kill women, of course. But class-privileged white men do have power in white supremacist societies that men of color do not have. White men with material resources are networked, not as a whole group, but in small to large groups, whether to brag about their latest conquests of women's bodies and women's wills, to share their live videos of sexually assaulting children or women, to put pressure on legislators to reverse laws that attempt to make women safer when dealing with men who batter their female partners. WHM in hierachically lower places have connections to other WHM in high places. And those white men have social-political clout, influence, and effect. There's no massively organised conspiracy to oppress women; there needn't be because it is so thoroughly infused into society that there's no need for that level of organisation. But WHM still do organise politically against all they oppress: against all gay men, against heterosexual men of color, against white women and women of color, whether lesbian or not. Increasingly and with great paranoia, WHM organise. And they work for themselves, always for their own interests, as if they didn't have enough access and rights, privileges and entitlements. As if they didn't already have enough power with which to abuse other people. These WHM are not strangers to me. I've grown up with them. While they studied the histories and literature of other WHM, I studied them.

I loved them because I didn't know how not to, and for two other reasons as well. One reason is because of having what is more commonly and currently referred to in the white West as "Stockholm Syndrome". I have learned, in a visceral way, that one had better love those who can harm and kill you. Be nice and maybe they'll be kinder. Maybe they won't pick on you. This is a selfish mode of being, allowing others of your class to be injured and oppressed while you believe you are safer and still oppressed. But I've loved WHM also because they are human, despite their insistence on acting utterly inhumane, despite their utter callousness, denial, and disregard for the harm WHM do, collectively, in large groups, in small groups, and individually. Despite their unrelenting assaults on women of all colors. Despite their callous disregard for the suffering of anyone who doesn't have their skin, their genitals, and the same sexual desires. Despite what WHM do to be oppressively manly, white, and to appear straight, I have cared about so many WHM. And I have wasted a lot of energy, trying to get WHM to see the world as the rest of us do. It's been a lesson in the power of position. When you're at the top you don't ever want to know what's below you, or underneath you. Or you willfully forget your own history, and the history of your people. It's easier to think you're a good guy (or good guys) if you don't see the backs, necks, and hearts of all the other people under your shoes. Or feel it. Or know or remember what it once was like to experience it when you were, once, very young. Or see and feel the terror you incite in the night, entering beds you own, thinking you also own the people in them.

I have never accepted the idea that batterers and rapers of women--almost always men known well by the woman beaten and raped, unless living in a country invaded by WHM--and incest perpetrators, usually very well known father figures, are monsters. (So much for the theory that men do harm because they have dehumanised the one they hurt. They hurt the ones they humanise too.) And I've come to believe, with the law and all WHM institutions stacked against this stance,  that those who do such harm ought not have any rights to life at all.

I know soldiers and other servants of the corporate kings are pawns in more powerful white men's hands. And that those white men who are ranked more highly don't really give a shit about those men who are lower down, much as they claim otherwise when the network cameras are running. (How soldiers--women and men, of color and white--are treated once home tells you all you need to know about what the most powerful WHM think of those they exploit, moving them across "their" international chessboard.) There are white men who misuse a lot of power because the WHM around them will not intervene and report their crimes against humanity, their crimes of inhumanity, to the press, which in the West is owned by very powerful WHM who do not want their own atrocities to be called out. Informally or not, there is a code of protection of privileges and an agreement to keep predatory perpetrators free to roam, often from church to church. Father figures all of them.

I've never accepted what white Christian countries preach: that G-d resembles a white man. Their god, Jesus, was a Jewish man of color. He stood with those cast out of society, who were deemed immoral. He saw their humanity and he also saw the grotesque immorality and inhumanity of the primarily non-Jewish kingdoms on Earth and told people not to worship such kingdoms. It's curious how WHM Christians do little else other than worship, protect, and defend such kingdoms, often considering themselves the moral kings of their own homes. (How WHM I have known intimately do this while incesting their own children, molesting the children they get to know or travel great distances to be with, all the while betraying the women they say they love, would reveal a kind of inhumanity, a mode of being in the world, chillier than an arctic night. WHM's corruptions and abuses of power are international and intimate, and even by WHM's public codes of conduct, often illegal and immoral. But even while WHM demean and degrade everyone and what they term everything else on Earth, I won't place them in a category that is not 100% human. They may not behave humanely, but they are human beings. This is one of the most frightening truths of all: They aren't monsters; they are men. If they were monsters, we'd have to fight back in ways people fight monsters. Another horrifying truth is that they find ways to organise and use power that seem omnipotent, yet they are not gods.If they were gods, we'd have to pray to the Lorde Goddess that She'll somehow transform them into humane creatures.

They are men--male, white, heterosexual human beings. And so I don't hate them, not because they collectively behave in ways that justify not being hated. (Why more people don't hate them is a bit of a mystery to me.) I don't hate them because I don't want to give them that much of myself. I don't want to be in so much reaction to them that I can't be present to those who need my emotional support and determination to stand with them, lovingly. To be consumed by hatred doesn't serve me as I maintain connection to the woman who call me a friend or an ally. This is not to say hating one's abusers cannot serve the oppressed. But, if the truth matters at all, it is because of social position and structural social support, that the oppressors far more efficiently to hate on others. (And, ironically, because of that position and power they can also love and do great harm.) In the West and in other regions of the world as well, they've got they institutionalised power and status necessary to be cruel, callous, uncaring, or kind while committing atrocities without being held to account; WHM have the socially bolstered dignity that is actually as flimsy as flakes of ash. But part of my commitment to women is that I'll do what I can to become more humane, not less. And loving humanity requires that I call inhumane men to account--including those I know well. I am a white Jew, after all. I am not "a good German": I don't believe in being silent when atrocities are happening all around you. To do so, in my book, is a grave immorality and ought to be an unforgivable form of betrayal.

Social justice workers, fighters for freedom from WHM supremacy, civil rights activists, human rights organisations, and individuals who are tired of being oppressed, do find ways to resist and momentarily take power away from WHM who so abuse it. But since WHM power is systematic, and now "globalised", they don't have to do much to keep things "status quo". An oppressive male-dominated system in motion stays in motion unless the oppressors stop it from crushing and chewing up more people. Call it a physical law of patriarchy.

When women inform men that things need to be radically different, men freak out. And men get ready to fight, never picking on someone their own political size. They generate images for their "entertainment" magazines that tell women what they think women are: even more inhuman than meat. (I won't link to the Hustler magazine cover. If you've seen it once you'll never forget it.) Given that women are often meat to WHM, I suppose we could pray that they all become "socially vegan" very soon. Not that they treat the land and its green life in any way respectfully.

To those reading this thinking, "There he goes again, putting white heterosexual men all in one box" I say this: One of your greatest privileges you WHM have is to avoid conceiving of yourself as a politically powerful group, unless it suits you to do so. When those you harm call you out, as a group, you pretend you're all just individuals. ("You talking to me?! I'm not like HIM, and how insulting to me that you'd think I am!") But when you look at pornography, you don't ever see individuals. And when you make racist assumptions about people of color, you don't ever see individuals. And when you tell your homophobic jokes, you don't see gay men as individuals at all. You resent the view of you that the oppressed have, because in the West, only WHM are allowed to name a political reality that to me is as obvious as fire is hot. And so you reject others' perspectives and experiences, because to accept them, to really see what we see, would mean you'd have to realise how utterly ugly and morally useless you've allowed yourselves to be. You'd have to own that your behavior is both disgusting and contemptible: two things you project onto all you oppress. And so instead of moving out of denial about what you let each other become, you project all your worst characteristics onto the oppressed, and pretend you're G-d's gift, if not the Giver.

For once in your collective lives, be the more spiritually disciplined and emotionally mature people. Stop condescending to those who critique you. Stop the defensiveness. You own the castles and the canons, remember? Act from the love you say you feel. Treat women with respect. Treat people of color with respect whether or not we are in your presence. Treat lesbian and gay people with respect, physically, socially, and verbally. Please do that when you gather with one another, online and offline. Please stop treating women with misogynistic, racist, and heterosexist disrespect. Stop yourselves from mistreating people. Tell the WHM less and more powerful than you to stop also. Tell your political peers. Together you and they can stop the institutions, systems, industries, and private practices of WHM supremacist evil. Prove it to yourselves that you can care more about all of humanity, and the whole of the Earth, than you care about protecting your egos and economies. Show the world that you can be collectively humane. Leave lands where you don't belong. Leave women alone who don't welcome your company. Stop harming the children you know, and leave the children you don't know alone, even if they welcome your company.

And if you don't do these things, please be honest about why you won't; we don't have the luxury of waiting for you stop lying to us and deceiving yourselves. Do it now or we'll figure it how to. The advantage we have is we know way more about you than you know about yourselves or us. Your self-preoccupation is ultimately a liability because all you know about us is what you project onto us, which means you know very little to nothing at all. (Hence you can think a woman who is outraged by male supremacist oppression must hate you, personally. Because you get to think of yourselves as individual people, after all.) One way or another, you're going to stop this madness one day. We may all have to die for that to happen, but that time will come. And, speaking only for myself, I'd prefer you prove yourselves worthy of being called humane by being less mean in the mean time.

18 comments:

recorta said...

The really awkward thing about this post is your instance on using the W. Because it is simply HM who use rape as a war crime in Africa, who rape one-day-old babies to try to cure their STDs, who make women a rare commodity through the one-child-policy, who murder their own daughters if they wish to marry someone from another tribe (let alone someone with a different skin-colour), who beat and abuse women in the home...

What is your justification for insisting on the W?

Julian Real said...

Hi recorta,

Regarding your question, I need to find out a bit about you before I answer it.

Regarding my instance on using the W.

Because it is simply HM who use rape as a war crime in Africa, who rape one-day-old babies to try to cure their STDs, who make women a rare commodity through the one-child-policy, who murder their own daughters if they wish to marry someone from another tribe (let alone someone with a different skin-colour), who beat and abuse women in the home...

Are you white and from the U.S. or the UK? Even if this is so, were you raised in sub-Saharan Africa? If from sub-Saharan Africa originally, what country did you grow up in. If you're not from the continent, which continent did you grow up on?

Which African countries, exactly, are you speaking about when you mention all those atrocities against women? Please connect each atrocity to the countries in which they are prevalent. Speaking about people from the entire continent of Africa is problematic for me, as it collapses all the hundreds of societies, languages, histories, cultures, and national links to white male supremacy, and people into one big mass, in my view. Which regions of which nations are you speaking about, and when did those atrocities there begin?

I'll answer you after hearing back from you regarding the above because your answers will help me make the case for why I insist on the W.

dog16arma said...

recorta's comment makes perfect sense to me. Name one country in the world where men don't rape women and children. Somalia, hundreds of thousands of rapes, genital mutilation, child brides... India, rape and widow burning, Nigeria-- rape and torture. Every country in the world is filled with males who are subhuman in my opinion. Why stop at saying white men do this, when you have nigerian feminists or Ethiopian feminists who can report attrocites men commit against women in their own lands.

What is it with leaving non-white men out of the picture? I've never been to a single country in the world where women were free, where I didn't meet rape victims, for example.

One women I met years ago from South Africa, a lesbian, told me she was raped by a man, and as a result, became infected with AIDS-- she told me this story herself. She died at the age of 26. A black man killed her. This was after the end of apartheid. No, male supremacy didn't end with apartheid, rape is now rampant in large South African cities, one in four women are raped and the crime is out of control. I don't think white men are at the heart of the rape epidemic in that country.

Chinese women and other Asian women simply had women only groups, and thought white western women were crazy for even being near men. Japanese lesbian feminists used to bash molesting men on subways. They hated men to such a degree that they made western feminists seem like positive man lovers in comparison.

No, all men are guilty of rape and woman murder. All men worldwide treat women like sex objects, servants, baby making machines and maids. Patriarchy is global and it has its own culture spacific horrors, but the bottom line is, it is always men who rape women, always men who beat them and always men who stand in the way of women running their own worlds without them.

White men and black men and Sudanese men and Saudi men.... radical feminists in all these places report their evil deeds. Let's get real simple here --- all men are the problem all the time. And there is no way to tell whether or not a man is a rapist or not, no way to tell whether a man watches violent porn or not. All men need to be avoided as much as possible by all women.

Julian Real said...

I take it very seriously that I am a white blogger in a white-dominated country, a country that pretends it can speak to the world, and for the world. It pretends it knows everything there is to know about all matters affecting all people, while simultaneously being in denial about the atrocious things white people do--women and men, collaboratively, to women of color (and men of color).

And so I keep my focus on what I know: Western white heteromale supremacist societies.

Women of color are more than welcome to post comments here, from anywhere in the world, about the violence they know, they see, they survive.

And I have several posts here by women of color about men of color's violence against them.

Recorta, I simply wanted to know your race and where you live. Because, again, my experience is that white U.S.ers try and speak for all of humanity, and I want this to be a space where whites don't name harm done to groups of women when those women can speak for themselves.

If you are a woman of color who has lived outside the U.S., in places that are not white-dominated, I welcome you posting as many comments as you wish here about what you know.

I welcome ALL women of color to post here about what you know about how men harm women and how whites harm women.

Julian Real said...

This is what it says under "A Radical Profeminist" so please realise that's most of what you'll find here:

This blog exists to challenge white heterosexual male supremacy as an institutionalized ideology and a systematized set of practices which are misogynistic, heterosexist, genocidal, and ecocidal.

Christina said...

I think the comments made here about the horrors that non white men have committed against all women are very real. I can certainly vouch for what is happing in South Africa. It has a huge rape problem which is mostly committed by black men towards both black and white women. The fall of Apartheid simply empowered back men to become the new oppressors.

As feminists and pro feminists from all parts of the world we need to support each other, but at the same time we also need to concentrate on fixing up our own environment and dealing directly with what we believe to be the route of the problem.

I have no problem with the use of WHM because in my experience I have both endured and witnessed the horrors caused by the WHM and this has contributed to my desire to see them removed from power and brought to justice. This is what I believe I am called to do.
But I certainly don’t dismiss in anyway the absolute horrors that non white men have committed towards women

One of the things that upsets me the most about the feminist movement is that there are so many divisions within this movement for example there has always been a great division between black feminists and white feminists.
Can you imagine how much more effective we would have been if instead of fighting each other we had, despite our differences stood together.


Without sacrificing our own feminist beliefs we must also respect and if possible support those of other feminists.
So even though I stand for the down fall of WHM supremacy I will also stand with women who want to destroy HM supremacy

What I am trying to say is that whether a feminist determines in her heart to concentrate purely on the down fall on WHM supremacy or whether a feminist determines to concentrate on the down fall of HM supremacy I personally believe both are very noble causes and each feminist should respect the other and follow what she has determined as been the right thing.

So if this blog was created to show us the horrors of WHM supremacy then we need to respect that as a good thing.

Julian Real said...

Thanks so much, Christina, for validating women's lives with concern and outrage.

May women rise up everywhere on Earth, in self-defence, and end men's violence against them. That is my wish. That rape never happen again. That wife-beating never happen again. That incest of girls (and boys), that sexual slavery of girls (and boys) and women, never happen again.

That every girl learns self-defence from as early an age as appropriate, and especially how to use it against males who she knows well, because "males well known" tend to be the perpetrators of interpersonal atrocities against women and girls.

dog16arma said...

I think THE most powerful thing in feminism is for women to speak for themselves. In every country of the world, women have something to say, and complex social networks that help they resist abusive male power. Women are the ultimate counterculture in my opinion.

However, we have yet to work well together cross culturally. I'm not saying we can't do this, I'm saying that racism infects feminism. How to get out of that?
Well all women can determine what their most important issue is and stick to it. We can respect each woman's quest for her own profound feminist future.

We'll never agree on anything, but I find agreement boring anyway. I know where I stand, I know women who share my particular solutions and I leave it at that. There are things I won't ever do as a lesbian feminist... I will never work with men, I will never be in groups where men are in the room. I will never deal with children or birth control, I will never do a thing about abortion one way or the other.

I will work for strictly only women's space, I will support all lesbians who share the desire to have male hatred be honored and respected in our war against men. That's right, we declare war on men, and find this very powerful. Most heterosexual women aren't going to understand this... they can fight for abortion rights or child custody rights or other civil rights that protect them in male / female relationships. I have no problem with that, just don't ask ME to get involved with that, or to want to have anything to do with husbands, boyfriends or boys.

I believe the hatred of men is central to certain kinds of lesbian feminist consciousness... it's the phrase men always use to keep women in line, so I say, yes I hate men, and that's that. Don't anger me further, you have safe passage out of my way, before I attack, and that usually does the trick. Straight women have a very hard time in life, I often feel sorry for them. I particulary feel sorry for teenage girls who waste their youth on boy craziness, created by male supremacy. When I meet women who come out late in life, they often have this look of utter pain on their faces, they wasted their entire youth and adulthood on some male oppressor, only to find out that they never needed to ever be with men to begin with. They lived lives of being raped and brutalized by husbands that they married for economic survival, as was very common in women of the great depression, and now they are finally free.

If only lesbian feminism could have reached these women sooner; they would have had a grand adventure of a life, would have owned homes, would have created wealth, would have owned businesses. But men controlled the media, men kept these women away from real jobs and education through fear and poverty threatening tactics and social conformity.

Talk to women in their 70s and 80s, spend quality time with them. Listen to everything they have to say. Because their truth about men is something younger women could really learn from. A lot of these "widows" are lesbians now. They would have been lesbians sooner, but men scared them away by shaming them for hating men, and hating your enemy and oppressor is a very noble thing. You should hate the oppressor, that is the right of the oppressed, and the oppressors certainly hate you. Those men who battered and raped their wives for 30 some years died, the women finally escaped. They are the very best and brightest lesbian separatists out there now. Learn from them.

JENNIFER DREW said...

Thank you Julian for explaining very clearly why you are focusing on white heterosexual male supremacy as both institutionalised ideology and systemic practices which are used to maintain white male power over women and also particularly women of colour.

I had felt such a stance would invite WHM to claim 'how dare you tell us our behaviour and attitudes serve to maintain white male power over women when there are innumerable men of colour who commit similar atrocities against women of colour.' But now I understand you are rightly focusing on what you know and have experienced.

Certainly as Christina says the innumerable acts of male violence committed by non-white men against all women are indeed real and this is a global issue, because no country is isolated but rather due to globalisation and capitalism is increasingly subjected to similar racist, misogynistic and religious fundamentalism and even just plain men hating women misogyny.

But having said this, I do recognise the various ways in which such male violence against women occurs and that justifications for such violence are varied. I know women of colour experience male violence in different ways to white women and of course, many white women support men in their hatred and contempt for women - especially women of colour. But certainly there are clear links between white men's violence against women and non-white men's violence against white and non-white women.

Power is the issue - continuation of male power and why it continues to be hierarchal which in itself causes less powerful men to attempt to seek the same power white men have had for centuries.

Christine is right - feminists and pro-feminists globally need to support each other and learn from each other. However, we need to look at what is happening in our own culture first because we can't do everything.

I am constantly learning about the multiple ways men both white and non-white justify their violence against women, as well as learning how and why women's experiences of male violence are not all identical. Likewise learning how and why many women are complicit in promoting and justifying male violence against women is another complex issue. Racism, heterosexism, misogyny, class are just some of the issues but I believe central is men's continuing pseudo belief in their right to retain and have power over women as a group.

Julian Real said...

Hi Jennifer Drew,

[...]
I had felt such a stance would invite WHM to claim 'how dare you tell us our behaviour and attitudes serve to maintain white male power over women when there are innumerable men of colour who commit similar atrocities against women of colour.' But now I understand you are rightly focusing on what you know and have experienced.

And whether or not I focus on all men or on WHM, WHM will still charge me with targeting them, because to shine the light of scrutiny on THEM is not supposed to be done. It is done all the time by whites to men of color.

[...]
due to globalisation and capitalism [each country] is increasingly subjected to similar racist, misogynistic and religious fundamentalism and even just plain men hating women misogyny.

At this point I'm not sure there is such a thing as just plain men hating women misogyny. White men hate on white women because they are white women. And they hate women of color because they are women and of color. Men of color hate on women of color because they can get away with it in a way they cannot get away with hating on white women. And men of color's internalised race-hatred gets projected onto women of color. And men of color hate women of color because they are women of color. As one commenter here, yolandac, taught me, male supremacy is raced; to act it out is to become whiter and more heterosexually manly. And white supremacy is gendered: to act it out is to become more heterosexually manly (and more white). Andrea Dworkin is one of the very few white radical feminists who got this, in my experience. Please add to the list, if I'm missing any other white radical feminists of renown and prominence who wrote books or essays or poems or plays on this subject.

Julian Real said...

But having said this, I do recognise the various ways in which such male violence against women occurs and that justifications for such violence are varied. I know women of colour experience male violence in different ways to white women and of course, many white women support men in their hatred and contempt for women - especially women of colour. But certainly there are clear links between white men's violence against women and non-white men's violence against white and non-white women.

AND, institutionally perhaps more than interpersonally, white women's violence against men and women of color. Why do white women keep forgetting this?

Power is the issue - continuation of male power and why it continues to be hierarchal which in itself causes less powerful men to attempt to seek the same power white men have had for centuries.

AND the continuation of white power and why it continues to be hierarchial which itself causes less powerful whites to attempt to seek the same power white men have had for centuries.

Christine is right - feminists and pro-feminists globally need to support each other and learn from each other. However, we need to look at what is happening in our own culture first because we can't do everything.

I agree, in part because to do otherwise is to neglect the abuses most known to me, and best understood by me. To go off and address violence not done in white men's names is to behave, well, VERY white and Western. (I recommend reading Yurugu, by Marimba Ani, for more on this, if you haven't already.)

I am constantly learning about the multiple ways men both white and non-white justify their violence against women, as well as learning how and why women's experiences of male violence are not all identical.

I would hope with that knowledge comes the deeply related knowledge of how both white men and white women justify their violence against women of color. To not see this is to not see how power works, institutionally. It is to believe, quite falsely and dangerously, that all oppression happens intimately or interpersonally, often in the home among people of different genders but within the same race. Whiteness--in both male and female forms--kills women of color mercilessly, and, too often, invisibly to all white people. A profeminism that doesn't own these realities is one that betrays women of color, in my view, which is largely informed by women of color quite directly.

Likewise learning how and why many women are complicit in promoting and justifying male violence against women is another complex issue. Racism, heterosexism, misogyny, class are just some of the issues but I believe central is men's continuing pseudo belief in their right to retain and have power over women as a group.

And how and why many white women are complicit in promoting and justifying white violence against women of color.

And how many men of color are complicit in promoting and justifying white male violence against women of color.

soulsistasoulja said...

I wanted to post here... I've been reading for some time now... well lurking lol.

As a woc, a black woman, a daughter of the Pan-African Diaspora, I wanted to say I am plenty tired of white women trying to speak for us. I'm tired of white men trying to speak for us. I'm tired of black men and other moc trying to speak for us.

Recorta, where have you been? I wanted to piggy back off of what Julian already said to you:

"This blog exists to challenge white heterosexual male supremacy as an institutionalized ideology and a systematized set of practices which are misogynistic, heterosexist, genocidal, and ecocidal."

There are plenty of blogs and bloggers out there who detail the crimes moc commit against woc and ww. I would say to you satisfy your need to vilify black and African men there. Do not demand that a white man who has done MUCH to be accountable to woc bloggers, sisters, friends throw moc under the bus. Are moc misogynist, you bet your ass they are! Are woc fed up with their misogyny? YOU BET YOUR ASS WE ARE. Do we need YOU to cry about a white man taking on other white men's misogyny becuase he won't demonize moc? YOU BET YOUR ASS WE DON'T.

What do you know about Africa? Do you know it's a continent, not a country? Do you know that there are difference civilizations in Africa with different cultures, norms, values? Do you know how ignorant you sound (and how white) to use the word tribe? Do you realize how othering you sound here?

I'm tired of white women, and white identified women, co-opting the experiences of woc. I'm going to assume that you're white because in all my years I've NEVER seen a woc, a black woman at that and CERTAINLY not a woman from any African country/civilization talk the way you do. Western white women need to fall back, shut up, and let US speak for ourselves.

Again, if you need to fill some sick desire to see black men demonized, there are plenty of other blogs/bloggers out there who can help you with that. But how disgusting, how racist, how white to take issue with a white man discussing WHITE MALE misogyny. That is his experience, he is a white man, I think he'd know what white men are capable of. smh. Ever heard of Byron Hurt? Check out his blog, he is a black male who writes about black male misogyny.

Check out Arooo, especially this post:
http://aroomofourown.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/unity-and-solidarity/

And please educate yourself so that you do not offend or upset another woc the way you've done to me with your post here.

There is nothing awkward about a white man insisting on discussing white male crimes, for me. But then I'm a black woman, who doesn't benefit from white privilege at all, and who has no interest in maintaining it by inviziblizing it and focusing on moc instead.

Julian Real said...

Welcome soulsistasoulja!

I really try to make this a space that is very WOC-friendly and safe, and am so glad you have found what you've read here to be supportive and not annoying (or oppressive to you). I know some of my posts have been triggering and otherwise upsetting to some WOC (I'm always learning!), so I know there's no such thing as a whiteboy creating completely safe space for any woman of color who finds her way here, let alone for EVERY woman of color. So, I hold myself directly accountable to the women here who read and respond. This is "our" space, and you ought to have say in what happens here, in my view.

So, know that I am accountable to you. And call me out on anything, please, as you wish, if you wish to. And lurk away, if that serves you too.

Just know that I welcome you to comment as often as you wish, and, if you are also a writer, to offer up any writings for me to publish here as separate posts for other readers to discuss. And let me know if you have a blog, so I can link to it. And, if you are a poet or musician, or speaker-in-public, I'd be happy to post any YouTube vids of you, or anything more audio-video related.

Find a comfy chair and join the circle. And if anyone annoys the shit out of you here repeatedly, I'll ban 'em. And if anyone treats you disrespectfully ONCE, I'll ban 'em. ONCE. Unless you tell me otherwise.

soulsistasoulja said...

“I really try to make this a space that is very WOC-friendly and safe,”

I don’t give cookies, but to this I say THANK YOU. Because so few white ANYBODY are interested in making their spaces woc friendly or safe. So funny here how white women aren’t for a second considering how a woc would feel about their comments to a white man, pointing out white male misogyny against woc. We’re always and only pawns to white women/feminists. Kinda sick of it.

“so I know there's no such thing as a whiteboy creating completely safe space for any woman of color who finds her way here, let alone for EVERY woman of color.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

“So, know that I am accountable to you. And call me out on anything, please, as you wish, if you wish to. And lurk away, if that serves you too. […] Find a comfy chair and join the circle. And if anyone annoys the shit out of you here repeatedly, I'll ban 'em. And if anyone treats you disrespectfully ONCE, I'll ban 'em. ONCE. Unless you tell me otherwise.”

Hey now watch it, or the white wimmin will swear you’re kissin my ass! Not that I give a shit. I’ve learned that there are still some white ppl worth engaging, just as there are still some men worth engaging. Whenever that changes, trust me you’ll be the first to know.

I am starting a blog. I frequent woc bloggers/blogs. It’s where I’m most comfortable. I’ve been watching for some time now the way white women treat black women and other woc, I hate it, so I refuse to support/participate on their blogs. My blog is new, just hot off the presses and is going to deal with DV, rape, incest, white male crimes against woc and white female crimes against woc as well. I’m sure I’ll get hate mail, some of my closest woc friends have already warned me, but I’m committed. One of my dear friends won her court case against her abusive, soon to be ex, husband. She is black, he is white. That she won her case as a woman against a man and a white man at that… it’s moved me so deeply! She’s heard all kinds of foolishness from white women “he beat you? But you’re a big girl.” Yup, because no matter what, black women are ALWAYS regarded as men.

I see you have quite a few of my favorite woc blogs on your blog roll and actually I came across you from one of their sites. I wouldn’t have commented here (I don’t comment on white run blogs) except that I saw what Dog and recorta were doing here. I’m so fed up with white women’s foolishness, and complete disregard for their white privilege. They think they mean well, but everything that was said here was said from a place of “coming down from on high” as my girl Margaret of Arooo said.  (Love her and Kitty btw, read em.)

ps: Soulsis will do.

Julian Real said...

Hi Soulsis--a two-part response follows...

I don’t give cookies, but to this I say THANK YOU.

You are most welcome. And I do give cookies (made myself, only healthy ingredients), and so maybe I'll make up a delicious batch for some time. My current fav is pumpkin/oats/honey/walnuts with either chocolate chips--DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS. (Whoever thought of mixing cow's milk in with chocolate? I know Mr. Hershey actually did some cool things with his fortune--creating a school for kids without means and such, where it was written into the will that the funds would always be available so that no child would ever have to pay for an education at his school, but really--does EVERYTHING have to be lightened to be popular??? Hair, body size, skin tone, civilisations, and on and on and on.

I know there are those (who I do not understand but try and be tolerant of) who do not like chocolate. For them, I'll put in dried cranberries instead. (Although both works too!)

Please know that all your comments are well noted by me. Registered in the brain and body. The brain sometimes forgets... but never the body.

Hey now watch it, or the white wimmin will swear you’re kissin my ass! Not that I give a shit. I’ve learned that there are still some white ppl worth engaging, just as there are still some men worth engaging. Whenever that changes, trust me you’ll be the first to know.

I hope so. I don't kiss asses anyway but I do give warm hugs!

I am starting a blog.

HURRAY!!!!!!!!!

I frequent woc bloggers/blogs. It’s where I’m most comfortable.

I welcome you to alert me to any that are missing from my blogroll. And, along those lines, THANK YOU for directing me to AROOO!!!! I went over and cannot believe I didn't know of them! I just read the blurbs about/by Margaret and Kitty. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve been watching for some time now the way white women treat black women and other woc, I hate it, so I re fuse to support/participate on their blogs.

To borrow from my radical feminist friend, YC: in white male supremacist societies, all whiteness is politically male and all manhood is politically white. I have been pondering and observing that ever since she said it. And it says A LOT!

Julian Real said...

My blog is new, just hot off the presses and is going to deal with DV, rape, incest, white male crimes against woc and white female crimes against woc as well.

So that'll be one I'm linking to and may, if you wish, cross post some of your blog entries here.

I’m sure I’ll get hate mail,

And male hate! Just ignore it, if at all possible. And don't read any gross comment. You can usually tell within the first three words the direction the comment is going in. Spare yourself the ugliness of men's hatred.

some of my closest woc friends have already warned me, but I’m committed.

Your friends obviously love you. As you know from reading 'em, feminist ethics are sorely lacking in cyberspace. I joke--not ha ha funny: with all those white middle class folks doing "Consciousness Work" where the hell is the awareness about what WOC endure and resist globally, or, um, even next door?

One of my dear friends won her court case against her abusive, soon to be ex, husband. She is black, he is white. That she won her case as a woman against a man and a white man at that… it’s moved me so deeply!

I am so, so glad for her!!! (And, as you note, this is a RARE occurrence, so should be celebrated. I hope she has lots of loving women around her. This next joke annoys me because it reinforces Western white men's ceaselessly reinforced obsession with women's weight loss. But if we're going to go there, this is the joke for that situation:

One heterosexual woman says to another: "Last year I lost a total of 185 pounds!" Second woman says: "However did you do that?!" First woman says, "I finally divorced the cheating, no-good scoundrel."

(Oppressive husbands: talk about 'the ol' ball and chain'?!)

She’s heard all kinds of foolishness from white women “he beat you? But you’re a big girl.” Yup, because no matter what, black women are ALWAYS regarded as men.

That is the truth! I'd never thought of it like that, but YES! (How incredibly messed up is that... on EVERY level!?)

Ok, off to read Kitty and Margaret's writings!

Julian Real said...

To Dog16arma,

Until you respond here to what Soul Sis said/wrote, your comments will not be approved here. This is not a space where a woman of color speaks and you can just ignore her. And if you think there should be such spaces on Earth, then please explain what's "Radical Feminist" about that. Because, for me and for EVERY woman of color I know, it is racist to the core. And damned rude. I await your respectful, engaged reply to Soul Sis. Here. Until then, be well.

Dog16arma said...

Hi Sousistasoulja,
Thanks for your comments. I think that most white americans know nothing about African countries, and most americans know little about the world. It's always best to focus on fighting oppression where you are. You can't just point to one country and say that place is "bad" or one group of "men" and say they are "far worse than_____" a common tactic of white men to deflect responsibility for their own attrocities... just watch the evening news these days...
The tricky part is how to comment on the world, or how does a majority comment on a minority? I think blogs are very limited in this way.
The best work can be done in person. I don't see how it is awkward for a white men to talk about the crimes of white men. You can only know your own group best. WOC can speak best for themselves, women in each nation know best how to deal with racism and sexism in their own lands, and it is never one size fits all.
We each know the boredom of having one group talk about us, and simply have no idea what they are talking about. The obsessions of whtie women are bizaar, the weight loss culture, the millions spent on failing weight loss products... horrifying, and that should be what white women could be fighting.

The difficult part is none of us can afford to ignore any part of the world, or the evil effects of white colonization everywhere. Globalization has upped the ante, and it is creepy as all get out in my opinion.
Anyway congrats on your new blog, and don't let the hate keep you down! As a readical lesbian feminist, I just keep going, and have lived to see incredible things that didn't even exist 40 years ago.