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.
⦁ 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. [x. p.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.