Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Patriarch and the Pickle Jar, or how white gentile heterosexual male supremacy operates in the home and in-humanity

[the image above is from here]

So I've taken over a year here to present certain arguments, to argue with certain men, to defend radical feminism and radical feminists of many colors, and to call for radical profeminism to be centered around the experiences, needs, analysis, and activism of radical feminist women of color.

But what about getting on with the matter of radically transforming WHM supremacist societies? What about making gynocide and genocide urgently unsustainable? When do we get about the task of making those who most want those atrocities to continue to step down, to no longer holds positions of influential power? To become as socially invisible in the media as American Indians are now in the U.S.?

Where does oppressive white heterosexual male supremacist power live? Where does it breathe easiest? In what institutions? In which locations and regions?

As with many analyses of Nazi Germany, people often mistake Adolph Hitler as THE SINGLE REASON HaShoah (the Nazi Holocaust) happened. Adolph--a megalomaniac and racist prick, a xenophobe and homophobe, and one insecure and arrogant fuck--would have remained only that had he not lived in a society that was deeply and historically anti-Semitic. He would have been one messed up dude who didn't do well with being an artist. Maybe he'd have become a ranter in the streets, people looking away, embarrassed. But he had access to something that would work to give him enormous political and military power. He lived in a society that tended to follow its leaders, that believed "Father knows best" and who would fall in line easily when ordered to do things. With those elements in place, and an economic system that was shaky, making the masses frustrated and scared, he could, over time, become Germany's leader and appoint others with similar goals in places of power, largely on a platform of fixing the economy, mending the social-spiritual fabric of Germany, allowing Germans to feel PRIDE once again.

And anti-Semitism wasn't only a "German" thing. It was a European thing. It lived in the hearts and minds of many people who did not understand the Jews of that region of the world, and who made gross assumptions about what sorts of powers they had.

Hitler and his propagandists worked to effectively spread the idea that it was the Jews who were to blame for just about everything that was ailing an already cancerous Germany. Germany's cancer, though, was not the Jews, it was anti-Semitism. And after slaughtering millions, various forces organised effectively to stop them in their bloody tracks. Hitlerian Germany was brought down, Jews in camps were liberated, and Germany would have to go on living, knowing what it had become, due to following the leader and practicing bigotry.

To summarise: anti-Semitic Germans, with a charismatic anti-Semitic leader and his cronies, organised, aided and abetted a genocide. These masses either secretly supported them, outwardly supported them, or cowered in fear due to not supporting them. Those who didn't abet their efforts were those in the Resistance. There were also those non-Jews who hid Jews in their buildings, people like Anne Frank. She didn't survive, of course. But she and her family and some friends got to hide together in great fear before being slaughtered. And she pondered many things in those hours tucked away out of sight. She thought about humanity, and inhumanity. She came up with a thought that was needed for her to get by: deep down, people are good, not evil.

This is an idea, that people are "really" good, not evil. I don't measure people's goodness or evilness in terms of what they "must be deep down". I measure it in terms of their actions: are they part of the Resistance or aren't they? Are they the targeted group for bigotry and being systematically harmed and slaughtered or aren't they? Are those not targeted helping those with targets on their chests due to race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality, to be free, to flee, to find ways to survive while also opposing the oppressive forces?

Jews and non-Jews in Europe spoke out against the Nazis. They also fought the Nazis, using all means available to them--and who can blame them. Before the worst of the atrocity, Jews and non-Jews warned the masses of what Hitlerian Germany, and a Nazi-infested, pro-fascism Europe was designed to become, and was already becoming.

So, where is The Resistance to patriarchal atrocity, to white supremacist atrocity? What ought those of us who are not targeted for discrimination and destruction do. I mean those of us who are not American Indians, women, queer people, and other people of color? Do we speak out? What do we say? How do we alert the masses? What is reasonable to expect from the masses, and what should be done if what they consider "reasonable" is to make fun of you for saying it, or to ask you to prove it, or to simply not give a shit?

This is a very large population of people with privileges I am speaking about. It spans conservative to liberal whites, heterosexuals, and men.

At what point do you stop trying to get them to "see what's going on" let alone FEEL it? At what point do you stop engaging with them altogether on these subjects, and just find the closest Resistance movment in your area and join it?

This is what I am wondering today. And, what to do if there IS NO RESISTANCE movement?

Obviously for me, one answer is to write about it on this blog. But I wish there were very well-organised Resistance movements to white supremacy and male supremacy, to racist white domination and destruction of people of color, and sexist male domination and destruction of women.

I couldn't even MENTION "men's war against women" or "gynocide" to that white heterosexual guy I discuss above, the formerly VERY oppressive husband who is not just a relatively mildly oppressive husband. I think his eyes would, with the air thick with condescension and denial, roll so far back into his head that they might never roll back into place.

He does the dishes, he washes clothes, and her does yard work. His spouse and he both work outside of the home. She also does the laundry (more than he does), washes even more dishes, and has to do things like remind him to screw the lids back on jars that he leaves out. Actually she's sort of given up on him figuring that one out, so she just has to remember that any lidded jar she picks up might not have the lid secured to the jar, which is an annoying thing to have to always be prepared for. Such is life with men, with this one white heterosexual man in particular.

To any women, white and of color, reading this, I welcome you to write in your experiences of dealing with white and male arrogance and denial, condescension and oppressiveness.

If I were her, I too would probably have stopped speaking to him about being sure to securely screw on lids to jars he opens and doesn't put back in the refrigerator. Or I'd just loosen all the lids on anything he assumes would be tightened and let him find out what it's like when you pick up a jar of pickles and the glass jar drops and shatters at your feet. And watch him clean up the mess. And then do it again, and watch him again, until, just maybe, he'd "get it".

We are living in politically cancerous times. And the cancer is not women or any form of feminism; it is socially enacted manhood and male supremacy and the men and institutions that actively maintain and defend the privileges and power of being male; the cancer is not people of color; it is whiteness, white people and institutions that uphold and defend the privileges and power of being white.

Those of us who are oppressed by white men know all the ways they leave the lid loosely on the pickle jar. We know what you do to annoy and aggravate us, to insult and silence us, to maim and kill us. We know. So just watch out the next time you reach for those pickles.


  1. Maybe Peter should pick the pecks of pickeled peppers, and Patty should refrain from touching any jars at all.

  2. LOL!!!!

    I speak with her as often as I can about doing that!