Tuesday, December 22, 2009

White Man's Trinity: The Rule and Maintenance of Patriarchy, Prostitution, and Poverty

[image is from here]

I am trying to absorb and comprehend the information in the last twenty posts here, including my viewing of the film, "The Selling of Innocents"; the stories of Native North Americans forced into white Christian Boarding Schools, which were primarily places for psychic as opposed to fully lethal genocide; and the atrocities perpetrated by men, endured and resisted by women globally. I am struck once again with how complex the web of white male supremacist atrocities are. Not impossible to understand, but not simple. Not simply about "patriarchy" or "capitalism" or "whiteness", but all of the above and more. Which is not to say men don't rule worldwide. They do. Men created capitalism. Men maintain patriarchy with a brutal hand. Men control the location and production of poverty.

In the film, The Selling of Innocents, we have a story of post-colonial patriarchal cultures, in the relatively small impoverished country of Nepal and in portions of the city of Mumbai in India, in which women and girls have little value as human beings separate from their connection to men; and their "value" to men is to be used and abused as something that is worthless. We have a story of a society that has been ravaged and permanently altered by colonial invasion and rule, in India's history by the British. We have a story of how a kind of poverty that is a product of industrialisation, capitalism, and Western global imperialism, has left many desperate for "income" or the means to purchase food and other necessities for living, like drinkable water. When you are made to pay for water, you are incredibly dependent on the seller in order to survive for even a few days. Nepal didn't use to be impoverished. India has been impaired by British colonial invasion and occupation. Western cultures, their customs, religions, and laws, pollute and poison the world just as U.S. nuclear waste pollutes and poisons many American Indian people and the land that white people have allowed them to live and die on, called reservations.

Many of these cultures used to be self-sufficient, sustainable, and free from outside invasion and abuse. This doesn't mean they were paradises. This doesn't mean there were no problems. It means that for me, as a white U.S. man, I must call out the ways that white Western society has created the problems that we now see the world over, including the atrocity of female sexual slavery, sometimes called prostitution. I live in a country where "prostitution" can be seen and experienced as separate from sexual slavery. This is one of the luxuries of living in the U.S. For this distinction is non-existent in many parts of the world that are far more poor than is the U.S.

The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Corporate Capitalist Globalisation including an obscenity called "Free Trade", has created a particularly gross form of impoverishment in many regions of what is called "The Third World". The Third World, let's not forget is actually The First World, but has been relegated "third place" by white societies who are self-named "The First World". Indigenous societies existed before every single white one. Indigenous societies have existed for tens of thousands of years before "white manhood" appeared on the Earth.

White manhood and its ideology of white male supremacy, and its culture, politics, religions, and laws, is what has destroyed Indigenous societies all over the world, making them materially poor instead of sustainable. It has made the Third World populated primarily by people of color, mostly female, has been made dependent on the First World, dominated by white men.

White manhood thrives on two things primarily: possession and consumption of that which is not itself.

And here we have the source of incest, rape, battery, prostitution, sexual slavery, and ecocide. Here we have an idea, made real, that female human beings belong to one man or many, and that the Earth is to be dominated, not lived with as a friend, sibling, or parent.

I support all radical efforts to end white man's rule, possession, consumption, and destruction of female human beings of all colors, and of the Earth and all its other inhabitants, many of which white man has already made extinct. Extinction is the inevitable end point of white man's rule. There is no other possibility given white man's values and ways of organising society.

White man's massacres and manipulations of Indigenous societies globally, and his specific abuses of women and girls seen as existing for him, to do his labor and to satisfy his consumptive and destructive sexual appetite, is what I consider to be a horror that is made most horrific by being made to seem natural and inevitable, which is also to say "normal".

To any white man who believes that patriarchy ought to be normal, that prostitution in inevitable, and that poverty is natural, I say this: Your life will end one day, and the Earth will live on. Hopefully you have not left politic heirs to your atrocious ways of being human. Between now and the end of your life, do what you can to end the horror rather than support and celebrate it.

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