Notes on Women’s Oppression and Critical Theory of Patriarchy

So all the research that I have been doing is regarding the origins of patriarchy and it’s rise and the roots of women’s oppression. All I can say is that (and I know a lot of women will have already figured it out / are in the process) we are so, so, so, close to ending this once and for all. Right now, we are among the first to see the final decline of this phenomenon that is patriarchy / ‘sex superiority’. This is it.

“The twenty first century shall be the century of women’s liberation.” – Apo Öcalan, Liberating Life: Woman’s Revolution

Anyway, I can’t wait to share what I’ve learnt so far and get this conversation really going. This is my preliminary contribution to the ongoing discussion and development of a Critical Theory of Patriarchy. I am in the process of writing a full version, but wanted to give a brief outline in dot point form:

⦁ Patriarchy is a Men’s Liberation / Equality movement. Specifically, it is ‘Father’s Right’s’.

⦁ It is the product of and externalization of an alienated male reproductive consciousness.

⦁ What is key is understanding how they are defining ‘father’ and ‘male’ (like how they define ‘love‘). ‘Father’ in their definition means ‘male mother’; it was something entirely new.

⦁ The male supremacist attempts to negate his negation from the process of human procreation, by negating the sex difference entirely. Instead, the sex difference under patriarchy is re-defined thus: we are the same sex, only he is better (stronger, smarter, more rational etc.) He is not male, but an upgraded female.

⦁ Because at some point in history, men conceived of paternity as concrete, as real. [x] [x]

⦁ This is why they don’t believe that what they are doing is wrong. Instead, women’s oppression is reduced to a moral question: we decry it, but it is still considered ‘apolitical’, a matter of ‘nature’. In other words, we still retain faith [x] in the core tenet of patriarchy: that men can transcend their biology, are mothers.

⦁ This is the source of the tension in the man-woman relationship: there cannot be two beginnings (two mothers).

⦁ But because of the obvious difference in physical ability, rather than admit the truth he must conclude (through an admittedly impressive reversal) that the reason he cannot give birth is because childbirth is a curse: that our ability deforms us. And women cannot be human and make humans at the same time (because then what is he?).

⦁ Under patriarchy, pregnancy is not a human ability but one of ‘nature’ [x]. The male supremacist is attacking the core basis of our social being, of what makes us human: he is at war against women, war against life, war against humanity, war against nature, war against himself. [Note: the original meaning of torture is to separate the mind from the body].

⦁ Marx recognized that relationships based on exploitation (where one gains at the other’s expense) could only occur “from the moment when a division of material and mental labour appears”. But Marx, who insisted on explaining man’s ‘knowing’ by his ‘being’, could not recognize that the problems for men in relation to thinking and existing is because ‘paternity’ remains essentially Ideal.

⦁ Women do not need to analyze patriarchal ideology in order to understand their problem, we just need to listen to them. They are telling us what their problem is – they can’t help it. They are criminals who don’t think they have committed a crime, so they spill the beans willingly.

⦁ For example, the persistent dualisms which characterize Western philosophy is due to men’s inability to mediate the contradiction that is their simultaneous inclusion and exclusion from the process of human procreation (mind vs body, spirit vs matter, human vs nature or culture vs nature, public vs private, gender vs sex [see x], etc. ). They are resisting their alienation.

⦁ The sex difference is labour (what they keep pretending doesn’t count for anything). It is what women can physically, socially, mentally do that men cannot.

Women mediate the natural and the historical worlds through reproductive labour. Human consciousness is a euphemism for maternity, which is praxis: the unification of knowing and doing. Women appropriated the productive forces of our bodies, in the same way we appropriated our hands etc. We are life made self-conscious.

⦁ The view of history as endless, linear progress which always seems to project a vision of a future without limits and everything automated – in other words, no human labour whatsoever – is really about an unarticulated desire to erase the socially necessary labour time that constitutes pregnancy. Because despite a system of male dominance, reality continues to exasperate them: they still cannot conjoin the theory (man makes himself) with material reality. (Between the conception and the creation…lies the shadow. – T.S. Eliot. The ‘shadow’ is lapsed time).

⦁ Women are just now emerging from a stage of Feminist Utopianism. Like the Utopian socialists, we found that whilst we could condemn the injustice of sex inequality, we could not explain why things are the way they are. But this was not our fault; until the struggle reached an advanced stage, the crude historical conditions that we were presented with could only result in our production of crude theories. In other words, we couldn’t see it. Feeling powerless in the face of male terrorism (they hide behind walls and throw battery acid on our faces), we could only blame ourselves.

⦁ The underlying process by which the history of patriarchy is objectively propelled is the extension of male control over female reproductive ability. (Male appropriation of motherhood).

⦁ Patriarchy is a men’s equality movement. They are at war against women because they are at war against themselves.

It is not our fault. Women suffer no ‘biological disadvantages’ or ‘vulnerabilities’ that cause oppression. The desire to dominate is a manifestation of profound impotence. It is men’s biology that is the problem. What they want is impossible.

⦁ Men do not oppress women because they can, because they are able to, as though patriarchy were an achievement, but because they cannot give birth. What they don’t seem to comprehend is that this does not change.

⦁ Male supremacy is pointless: no amount of male violence against women, no feat of mental gymnastics, can change what we are. In men’s efforts to dehumanize women, they instead sacrifice their own.

⦁ The move from patriarchal Idealism to patriarchal Materialism, which marks it’s final decline, further reveals Patriarchy’s essentially paradoxical, futile and ultimately suicidal character. [xp.13]

⦁ Marx once wrote that “History happens twice; first time as tragedy, second time as farce”. We are currently coming full circle and witnessing the rise of patriarchy all over again (*cough* trans activism *cough*) because it is peaking / dying.

⦁ Women are exploited because we create life: physically, socially, emotionally, ad infinitum. We destroy patriarchy by creating the world we want to live in: because we are the ones who are reproducing it – not men and not Capital.

⦁ The reason we are awakening to our power, I believe, is for many reasons but two main ones are:

a) The contradiction inherit to political systems of domination is that they inevitably dig their own graves. Women are in this process becoming conscious of what we are, of our power, in a way we haven’t before (under patriarchy).

b) “Mother Nature” is making liars out of them and their ideology. Creation can never come from destruction. Patriarchy is the ‘project of a delusion’ and a failure; it is a testament to the strength and resistance of women that the human race has survived until now.

“Woman is Life, and Life wants to Live” – Rojava Revolution


note: I believe men will have to make their own sort of ‘men’s movement’ away from Patriarchy, that works in tandem with the women’s movement, in defiance of patriarchal prescriptions for their lives and moves toward re-creating genuine social Fatherhood (as opposed to the absurdity that is ‘male motherhood’ under patriarchy where they perpetually just send each other to war) and brotherhood based (like women) on respect, dignity, and love for life.

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4 thoughts on “Notes on Women’s Oppression and Critical Theory of Patriarchy

  1. hi, I hope you will write more, your post is illuminating and I like it very much. will your writing have anything on female sexuality/orgasm? like sexual/life energy. I’ve been thinking about it a lot but have never really put my thoughts down on words. basically women are alive(have orgasmic life energy) while men do not have this, they are essentially walking dead. they pretending to be alive/pretend to be women and have constructed a “reality” based on this lie. its unsustainable an failing rapidly, it was doomed to failure from the start. I’m excited because what I read here seems like it’s similar to what I’ve been thinking.

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    1. Hello and thank you! I’m glad some of it resonated with you, and I of course hope to write more. As far as your question on female sexuality goes, I haven’t thought much about it from that angle. Maybe you could write up something? I think the most important thing is for women to get our thoughts out and in the process of bouncing these ideas off each other, we really come to a greater understanding of things. If that makes any sense?

      For example, you really got me thinking of all those sexist male conceptions of the evolution of female sexuality that permeate anthropology and sociobiology. Because, as you know, when modern science came to replace religion as the chief legitimizing force in society, male supremacists needed new ways to justify their subjugation of women. So, they replaced the story of Adam and Eve with a narrative based around “Man the Hunter” emerging from the animal kingdom red in tooth and nail, with women riding on his evolutionary coat tails.

      So the origins of how humanity came to be and the origins of male supremacy are one and the same. Therefore, the connection between the two is key. Why, in men’s attempts to understand the “birth of mankind”, does he place himself in the role of not only his own creator, but of women’s too? I think patriarchy was/is a kind of ‘Meninism’ that has spread like a virus to every corner of the globe, via war. Because when women ask about the origins of patriarchy, of how we came to be, we do so for the same reason that men ask of their own origins: we are presented with a material contradiction. Like a dog chewing her own foot, we feel like we are cursed to cook and clean and raise and literally create these wretched creatures whose seemingly only reason for being is to kill us all. Likewise, at some point in history, being human (made in woman’s image) and being male came to contradict one another.

      Because just as a “class of idlers” justify their parasitic and exploitative rule by claiming things like “blue blood”, and a “superior race” insists on an equally phantasmagoric “whiteness”, men’s claim to sex superiority is based on a belief that that they are not what they in fact are: the M-A-L-E of our species; a part of our world. Women’s productive power in social labour is recast as the productive power of men, who personify themselves through various metaphysical manifestations of male motherhood (God the Father, Man the Hunter, etc). As this requires coercion through the threat of violence, violence becomes how men conceive of themselves as productive, as human. Both women and men, still retain faith in this belief that violence is not violence, but something else, and that through it, men transcend their biology somehow.

      But as the globalization of patriarchy threatens human life, men’s claims to being the ‘protectors’ and ‘creators’ of humanity, are being revealed for what they are: the complete opposite of reality. And in this way, women are becoming conscious of who we are, almost like we are becoming human all over again. It is WE who give birth to the human race. And we did not come to be human by killing, fighting or exploiting anyone.

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      1. YES to getting our thoughts out and bouncing it off each other, it makes sense. (Making ‘sense’.) I think the general understanding of ‘orgasm’ is very limited probably not accurate for women, like how it is defined as a ‘physical body experience you feel for a certain length of time as a result of engaging in sexually stimulating activity for a length of time’. like how sex/masturbation is defined as ‘rising peak, “orgasm”, then sharp drop off’–the general understanding is that it has a beginning and an end, which is wrong I think. I mean our bodies do/can have an experience as defined above, but that’s very male-identified. even our sexuality and orgasms are male-identified and that’s a big problem. I think life existence without patriarchy will literally feel different for women physically. I think the current definition of ‘orgasm’ is the closest approximation of what males came up with/experience that even compares to what this is, ‘this’ as in the feeling of the state of existence physically for women that is natural aka without patriarchy.

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  2. I think “having sex” and “having orgasms” is not really a natural thing we do and it we probably wouldn’t do it without patriarchy. I don’t think language as we know it would exist without patriarchy either.

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