Monday, October 11, 2010

Man-Unkind: When Hate is Called Love and When Love is Called Hate, What is Being Protected and What is Being Destroyed?

image is from here
Across the web and across time, feminists, especially radical feminists and any radical human rights activists, whether Marxist, Indigenist, pro-queer, anti-racist, or environmentalist, are routinely called haters of something or another, as if fighting for human rights, animals rights, and the rights of the Earth to be free of the White Het Man's abuses is a hateful thing to do. To whom or to what, we must ask, are radical activists and their political-spiritual efforts hateful? To women? To the poor? To people of color? To lesbians, gay males, and bisexuals? To intersex, intergender, and transgender people? To the animals and plants? To the sky, the land, and the water? To Gaia?

The answer as evidenced by what the White Het Man writes and expresses online and offline is that any opposition or resistance to forces of destruction and domination, or apathy, sadism, and allegedly inevitable supremacy will be considered "hate" by the enforcers of that destruction who is Him, his protectors, and his apologists. His destruction is expressed as misogyny (woman-hating), racism and genocide (white supremacist bias and bigotry, violation and other violence, cultural devastation and appropriation, and mass murder), heterosexism (violence against lesbians, gay males, and gender non-conforming people--as the White Het Man defines "gender" and "them"), and ecocide. Our resistance, or opposition, our determination to survive his efforts at global death must not be named by him alone or by him authoritatively. We must refuse him the power to name Love and the power to name Hate in ways that make him the manifestation of all that is good and us the sources of all that is evil.

One thing I have noticed that the White Het Man experiences as an egregious act of HATE is me or anyone else referring to him as "the White Het Man". If only the groups of people he oppressed were so lucky as to only be referred to by such a non-hateful term! If only women were only called "Women" and queer people were only called "Lesbian and Gay"! If only people of color were only called "Asian" and "Indigenous", Black, and Brown! But he is not content to do so. Instead he unleashes upon the world all manner of cruel terms and labels designed to stigmatise, stereotype, degrade, humiliate, and diminish people who are not "Him". And with those terms are punishments--practices designed to take away from us our dignity and our determination to survive his efforts to use or kill us.

What is being asked of "Him"? Is he being asked by the oppressed--by those he oppresses--to behave inhumanely or is he being asked to love all of humanity and the Earth? The Buddha, Jesus, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Audre Lorde, Andrea Dworkin, Alice Walker, Catharine MacKinnon, bell hooks, and so many other human rights activists and teachers have asked the oppressor to stop his destructive ways. They have requested, in every tone of voice imaginable, that the oppressor stop his hating and to practice love in meaningful ways--in ways that are not injurious and destructive to the planet and its people. Either he does not know how listen or he does not care to listen. If he listens, what he hears is a gross distortion of what is being asked of him. When Andrea Dworkin asked a group of men to organise to end rape--to stop rape, once and for all, she was called, by the White Het Man, a "man-hater". When men defend rape as a practice that is biologically or evolutionarily inevitable, they are called lovers. I offer up as evidence of this the following:

"I Want a Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape", by Andrea Dworkin. (Errors in the transcription of this speech will be corrected within the next two weeks.)

The Inevitability of Patriarchy, by Steven Goldberg.

A Natural History of Rape, by Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer.

Any challenges to the power and entitlements of the oppressive ways of the White Het Man is seen by him as an absolute and intolerable affront. He feels accosted, abused, and "oppressed" and doesn't hesitate to say so and lash out against and punish (including by death) anyone who challenges his belief in his own supremacy. He insults those who ask him to be humane in an effort to protect the very privileges and power that keeps him inhumane.

I conclude that oppressors want to hate more than they want to love, and they do not really wish to find out the meaning of either term as each is experienced by the oppressed. This is key: he doesn't wish to be brought outside of his own protected world of denial and destruction to experience what most of the world experiences every day.

This is beyond selfish. It is beyond egotistical and narcissistic. It is a willful refusal to be humane as the term is defined by anyone other than him.

The White Het Man portrays himself as the supreme logician, the Rational Master of the Universe, the Hero, and the Endpoint of Evolution. His self-glorification no know bounds. What he cannot come to terms with, in front of anyone other than himself, is the fact that anything he accomplishes that he calls "good" or "holy" must be done at the expense and extermination of someone or something else that is not "him".

And so anyone or anything that opposes him will be seen, by him, as "bad" "unholy", "wicked", "evil", "communistic", "anti-family", and against the laws of Nature or the Will of [His] God.

There has been much discussion about how and whether to engage with him, the White Het Man, sometimes only referred to as the White Man, or The Man. The discussion runs the gamut from the oppressed stating we must love him more to we must love one another more and stop trying to change him. He can change. He can become humane. And perhaps it is time and always has been time to let him figure out how to do that without the rest of us teaching him, encouraging him, supporting him, consoling him, and attending to his every neurosis and need.

Yesterday I was reading the writings of a Black lesbian separatist. I will tell you this: I do not know any white het men--not a single one--who would assume she is not, in some way, "a hater". That he cannot imagine loving her in ways that register for her as love is, apparently, beyond his capacity of imagination or action. What might such love look like? It might look like him acknowledging the power and privileges he has over and against her that are in him and beyond him simultaneously--they are exercised by him and externalised into institutions and systems of hateful dehumanisation which he thinks of as loving only because he believes they are good. He believes heterosexism, racism, and misogyny are good, and so acting out of those forms of hatred and bigotry are good because he continually establishes himself as The Great Namer of Truth in his own mind and in his own society of patriarchal peers.

I have engaged in many conversations with the worshippers, apologists, and apostles of the White Het Man. I don't think it has ever been fruitful. He has not demonstrated any genuine willingness to grow or learn. He instead insists that people are against him, as he is an innocent on the Earth, doing nothing at all that is hateful and demeaning and destructive to everyone else.

I support the Separatist project, for those whom the White Het Man oppresses, exploits, and extinguishes. I do not practice it, and, for many reasons, cannot practice it. And I know a tiny fraction of human beings--perhaps as few as one tenth of one percent of people on Earth, will manage to keep their energies entirely directed at helping the oppressed and disregarding the Great WHM Oppressor.

What I want to encourage, though, is for those of us who are oppressed by Him, as we define oppression, not as He does, to not fight amongst ourselves, blame ourselves, or shame ourselves. Especially to not insult, maim, and kill ourselves. What I support is us Loving one another in ways that sustain us. We may Love him too. He usually won't experience it as Love, though. For he seems utterly determined to confuse Love with Hate. He calls feminists "feminazis" for example. He calls Indigenous people who are fighting for their land and their water, "thieves". He calls people of color working for human rights "uppity" and "racist". He calls lesbians and gay males "an abomination". He considers the Earth a thing for him to exploit and abuse.

I heard one white het man refer to Yoko Ono, over the weekend, on the radio, as "a radical feminist" and what he meant was that she was a humanitarian, a lover of humanity, a human rights advocate. It is perhaps the first time ever I've heard a white het man use the term "Radical Feminist" in a positive sense. This shows me that WHM can "get it". John Lennon, also, "got it". It is not beyond WHM to understand that opposition to WHM supremacy is not hateful, but is, rather, deeply and profoundly loving. But WHM, collectively, do not give each other much room to declare this without putting each other down in misogynistic ways.

Those remain his problems to work out while the rest of us get on with the business of Living and Loving the world into a far more sustainably peaceful and joyful place where there is care and compassion, empathy and endurance, along with inevitable pain and death because part of Life is pain and death. What there will cease to be, one day, are the forms of pain and death, sadism and destruction, oppression and exploitation organised by White Het Men and inflicted upon everyone and everything else on Earth.

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