"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Feb 20, 2012


IOZ hardly needs a link from me, but I'm compelled to nod it off anyway:


Added in Edit:

Commenting upon IOZ's post linked above is Philboyd, who has a corollary formula which really resonates, and which I believe states with elegant brevity a position which is often difficult to understand, especially for those of us with the imperium and auctoritas of acculturated dudeliness:

Every piece of subtle macho posturing, every little joking intimidation would not work without the accepted social position of men as powerful studs who take what they want. Likewise, that accepted social position would not make sense without the awful prevalence of men raping women. Here, maybe, is a radfem twist: even if you don't posture, even if you try to repudiate the idea of a strong, rape-y man, your interactions with women still rest on a foundation of rape - just as a policeman who tries really hard not to use his nightstick still interacts with people on a foundation of violence.  In our society, that's what a policeman is.


I don't believe this is easy for most of us men to understand. I certainly have had difficulty appreciating what it means to live as woman within the confines of a society which authorizes abuse of women as a norm, sexualizes it as entertainment, and politicizes it as a natural order of things.


yonders said...

I don't believe this is easy for most of us men to understand.

No, it is not. It fucked up my view of the world but GOOD.

davidly said...

You're right Jack. Just notice how upset it makes some to witness others even considering it. And this consideration is equated with submission, which should be telling, but isn't.

Jack Crow said...

Same here, yonders.

It's why, after a couple of posts about liberal feminism and my failure to appreciate the responses to them, I stopped thinking about feminism, and started listening.

I admit that it hasn't always easy for me to separate the seemingly culture wide influence of capitalist feminism from the larger feminist argument, and that after an exchange of private correspondence with a person patient enough to muddle through my conflation, I even gave Dworkin a second read. Still not a fan of her style (or the legalism of the Dworkin-MacKinnon approach to porn), but I can see my errors better from the remove.

Not for nothing, the more I posted about gender, the fewer readers I had, and the more hostile the responses became to me, this blog, and my commitment to anarchism.

I posted two posts questioning liberal capitalist feminism, and for the longest time, those were my two most read entries.

Since then, and especially as I've taken a more explicit set of positions about gender, bias, the structure of learning and even patriarchy, well...let's just say I have some earned some dedicated critics:


Jack Crow said...

Applauding IOZ earned some anonymous hostility, eh, Davidly?

Jack Crow said...

"Just notice how upset it makes some to witness others even considering it. And this consideration is equated with submission, which should be telling, but isn't."

This deserves a reply on its own, davidly.

When I first started writing on line regularly, three or so years ago, I didn't have a child in high school. Now I do. Little man and I talk about the high school clime, and it's one unrelenting stew of forced masculinity and expected and reinforced femininity. If a team loses, they've "bitched out." If a baller's girlfriend talks to another dude, he's a cabron and he's expected to do something about it.

I know it was like this when I was in school (fuck, the height of the Cold War...) but if I compare memory and my discussions with my son, it's as if there's been a doubling down on the crude explicitness of the relationships, as well as the idea that submission and defeat feminize.

I dunno, maybe it's just memory fogged up and nostalgia (Heh, I hated school), but I took a few beat downs in the back lot of the Shaw's after school, and as long as you showed up and didn't rat, losing wasn't an immediate marker of attainted femininity.

Then again, I remember what was done to the one kid who was openly gay, and the number of girls who were assumed to have submitted because they'd passed out horizontally, so there's that.

The Red Queen said...

That ain't even rad-fem-y. That's just the straight up patriarchy for you. Same way you don't have to be a racist fuckhead to benefit from racism, you don't have to be a rapist to benefit from rape culture.

And Jack- that macho high school posturing is a huge part of why my sweetheart of a boy has been homeschooled for 3 years. He managed to make it through middle-school somewhat unscathed, but I didn't think he could make it through high school (and even if I completely fuck up his education- he's going to community college where they have the tools to fill in the blanks). He knows enough to know when things are wrong, but he's not yet strong enough to stand up to the overwhelming shitwave of kyriarchy conditioning that is high school.

Troville said...

As a 21-year-old male who is pretty typical in a lot of ways, I simply have no idea what to do with the observation that all interactions between men and women "rest on a foundation of rape." If I pursue a relationship with a woman, am I acting as a predatory aggressor? If I engage in sexual intercourse, am I perpetuating rape culture?

This questions don't originate from a place of hostility, but rather of bemusement.

Anonymous said...

"This questions don't originate from a place of hostility, but rather of bemusement."

Likely story pal!!!

There is no such thing as a good faith objection to this stuff.

Applaud uncritically or be called a misogynist or a weenie.

Jack Crow said...

Karl, have some courage and post under your pseudonym at least.


I won't suggest and am not suggesting that you have rapey impulses, so please don't read these questions wrongly, but...

You used the word "pursue," and that's how must of us are raised and acculturated to treat women, as rewards and prizes at the end of a pursuit.

Add that to the figures about how often women are sexually assaulted or raped (1 in 4, conservatively) or abused (1 in 3) and "pursuit" takes on an uglier cast, no?

Anonymous said...

"You used the word pursue"

Oh for fuck's sake. He said "pursue a relationship". What the fuck is he supposed to say.

I suppose he's a would-be rapist if he finds a woman's company 'rewarding'

This is a pissing contest between dick-swinging males. Feminism is just the topic.

Jack Crow said...

Think it out, Karl. Think it out.

Troville said...

I don't want to be antagonistic, but I have a similar reaction when I observe people making such incredible leaps on the basis of word choice. I am thoroughly unconvinced that my use of the phrase "pursue a relationship" takes on menacing tones because there are women who have been sexually assaulted. But to return to my original question, if I do indeed take steps to meet and interact with women, maybe even with the hope that sex will be involved, am I thus perpetuating rape culture?

yonders said...

troville, how is anyone supposed to know what you're like? And if someone did know you, how could s/he presume to let you off the hook? Read some books & think about it, if you're really interested.

Troville said...

You don't have to know what I'm like. Just assume I might be a halfway decent human being who isn't looking to sexually assault women and then actually address the question I posed.

Jack Crow said...


I can't imagine the decision to home school is easy. A curiosity question, if you don't mind too much: do you find that your son is "out of the loop," so to speak, because he's not in school? By "out of the loop," I mean, is he less socialized towards forced masculinity?

Jack Crow said...

I'm not reading your reply as antagonistic, Troville. I just think we don't take a lot of time, as men, to think out how our actions occur within a social framework. Because we are explicitly raised as named individuals, who are assumed to have force and rugged autonomy on our side. Obviously, not every man is raised that way. And as obviously, it is often women who do the raising, teaching their sons what they've learned from mothers and fathers who've learned it from before.

Beliefs perpetuate because we try to make our kids familiar and similar to ourselves, right? Buddhists rarely raise up Christian children. Jews tend to produce Jews. And my Muslim cousin's children are...being raised as Muslims (four boys, in Saudi Arabia).

All those beliefs, habits, postures are learned responses, and that's basically culture - the telling of stories about how to interact with people and environments. What feminism (and I could be wrong here, as I'm not a feminist) attempts is a break with these forced norms, a struggle for breathing space and physical space where the behaviors are not duplicated and re-patterned on new minds. And most of that is still involved in the process of renaming, calling out, critiquing and making aware. Because, honestly, there's little hope or promise of a shift in material fortunes.

I myself have been rather densely critical of the capitalist strains of feminist analysis, but on pondering further, that criticism ignored basic materiality. For women to be able to show how pervasive are rape culture, commodification of the female body and patriarchal relations, they need to build spaces and relations which don't reduplicate them.

And they need the material resources (and the lack remuneration for "women's work" is key) necessary to that task, which remain mostly out of reach because the majority of property, rank, positions of authority and capital is held and controlled by men.

Who also control the means by which formal, educational and political culture is perpetuated - formal cultures that reinforce the familial ones. Men, who also perpetrate the sickeningly vast majority of acts of violence against women, violence which is so common as to be the normative interaction between women.

This is the environment in which women are pursued as attainable sex prizes. This is the environment in which they are treated as the class which exists to please and serve men.

This is what, I think, radical feminists mean by patriarchy. And it colors and shades the actions of even those of us who don't rape, abuse or coerce.

alltheyoungdudes said...

Dear Jack,

Another 20somthing guy here;

I have been reading you for a year and I think you are a great writer. I do not always agree with you, but I think you have interesting and honest opinions. You seem to have chosen rad-feminism as your hobbyhorse of late. This is unfortunate because it seems to have fucked up your usual clear thinking head.

You talk about what culture teaches us. For the middle and upper classes that is now feminism. I would know, I just finished 16 plus years of schooling in America. The feminists won/are winning. It is now the average man who is more disadvantaged.

Strange to hear, eh? It true. Of course men still dominate at the top of society, but these men are few in number. And the corollary is that men are also most punished by society. War. Work-place death. Homelessness. Suicide. Imprisonment. Society punishes low class men more than anyone else. We also know more women are now in college. And as our economy cuts manufacturing and construction (male jobs) and adds education and healthcare (female jobs), the economy begins to favor things that women are naturally better at. In fact, young women now earn more than young men. So in reality, the ‘shift in material fortune’ is already here.

Feminists want power. And now they have it. It is truly the ruling ideology of today. That’s why we are now getting all the language policing and social deference; it’s the final element. Think I am going too far? Perhaps, but honestly Jack you are stuck in the past. Things have changed big time. All the sensitive ruminating you are doing rightly comes of as baffling and absurd to the younger crowd. You have become someone who protects the status quo. Feminists have enough magazines and institutions (all universities are soaked in feminism) to do it themselves. Save it.

In regards to the violence, you are correct in one sense. Violence is the tool of man and leaves apparent marks. Sexual and psychological manipulation is the tool of women. They are less obvious but no less powerful. Keep in mind that men always pretend to be more powerful than they are. While women always pretend they have less power than they actually. It’s partly how they keep it.

gamefaced said...

um. i've been lurking, on this and the ioz post, and i came back to ask a question of jack, but i read this 'alltheyoungdude' comment and oh my mother fucking god kid - get a clue. i'm 33, not as young as i assume you are but not at all old or 'stuck in the past'. i am also not a feminist. i am also, raising a son - without the father around so, i'm kinda real sensitive to the male perspective and still - you are an idiot. and i want to say, a young republican? i could be wrong but 'it is the average man who is more disadvantaged' is certainly the assertion of an angry white, um, kid. see, what you have is an unshirkalbe bout of white male privilege. i know i know, sounds harsh, but you'll come to accept it as your birthright, embellish it a little before you realize that you can bring more good than bad, if you use your power correctly. remember the spiderman quote. very fucking important.

anyway, jack. i was going through my reader and came across this via disinformation and was wondering your thoughts, just cause i'm new to reading you: http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-feminism-hates-women_30.html
to forward, i tend to agree.

The Red Queen said...

He is out-ish of the loop. I mean I can't keep him from all influence of oppressive structures without locking him in a cave and becoming a different kind of oppressor.

But he doesn't see the daily normalization of misogyny that is high school (oh the stories I could tell but I'm not in the mood to relive that shit). So he'll have less crud to scrub from his brain and, I guess, bigger eyes to see the bullshit. At least that is my hope. And so far, Kid is pretty cognizant of shit (though I did have a teaching moment about trans*folks the other night. Privilege means sometimes you get to forget other types of oppression that are different from your own.)

And I decided to homeschool not just because sexism, but rampant racism, classism, etc including the warehousing of poor and/or black brown kids in the highschool he would have gone to. The kids call it "The Slave Ship" because wealty white kids are bussed in from around the city for ap classes and stay on the top floors of the school while everyone else is stuck on the bottom. Kid's white, but we're poor. Even his test scores couldn't save him from that shit.

The Red Queen said...

In case trolllvile is asking questions in good faith- here's the quick and dirty on how rape culture benefits men who aren't rapists at the expense of women.

Men are more likely to be believed and considered authorities when they speak. This is true in rape situations where people use the "it's a he said/she said thing" as an excuse to side with the he (cause OMG nothing in the world is worse than a false rape accusation! cough-except-rape-cough)

This spills over into things not rape related. Men are more likely to be listened to, believed and considered authorities on everything. Look at the recent congress dog and pony show where only religious blowhards with dicks were allowed to testify to congress on women's access to birth control. This is why there are more men in every top position in government and business and education. This is why men make more money for the same job performed by a woman.

Then there is fear. I know too many dudely types who are all "man if I got hit on like girls do I would be all for it". These dudes usually assume it would be some 90 pound hottie grabbing their ass and "hay baby"ing them. Try imagining that situation with a 300 pound linebacker who you know could break you in fucking half without blinking. And you don't know if you just tell him to fuck off if this is going to be the time the guy gets violent and won't take no for an answer. Try living everyday from the time you first learn words being told how to dress, where to walk, how to act, etc. etc. so as to avoid being raped. So you always have that fear in the back of your mind. Then think about what happens when either you've followed every one of those contradictory rules or maybe you let your guard down for a second and acted like a human- and you get raped anyways.

And then you get to almost middle age and think "whew- no more worrying about handsy shitheads who can't take no for an answer" only to end up at a party with a handsy shithead who literally takes no as a challenge. (Sorry- that one is recent and I'm still fucking peaved about it).

And you non-rapey dudes benefit from the actions of the handsy shitheads because when half the population has this constant little vein of fear when dealing with any of you- you get treated nicer, often nicer than you deserve.

And yes Jack- a lot of mainstream big name feminists are capitalist cheerleaders. That's how they get to be mainstream. "Oh look at the little lady, she just wants to be a CEO, she doesn't give a flying fuck about poor women or brown women or or or". But I'm a feminist and I am pretty firmly against capitalism.

gamefaced- you may not be a feminist. But you might want to ask yourself why most single parents are women and why 70 percent of single parents don't get child support on a regular basis. That brand of sexism is probably fucking over both you and your boy child right now (at least there's a 70% likelihood of it). You might also want to ask why it is that one of the most common markers for poverty is motherhood but not fatherhood.

davidly said...

Well said, TRQ. These are issues that my sister hipped me to when I was much younger.

And Troville, in case you're still reading: I don't see your query as antagonistic either. And more importantly, something that distinguishes yours from the comments over't the source is that you are NOT flipping out. That's a tell-tale sign, and IOZ knew it would happen. I found it amusing at first, then I looked back at the previous previous thread; it is TOXIC.

I come at it from a slightly different angle, or at least differently accentuated: It's not personal. Seriously. But one must consider that it does matter what you are like because it matters to the woman you are interested in. And if she isn't lucky enough to be interested in you, but rather some prick, AND she doesn't proceed with enough precaution (which she shouldn't have to do), there's a chance she will not only be victimized, but blamed for it as well.

Hell, even if she does proceed with caution. And, no, that doesn't mean that every nice woman you care to be friendly with thinks you might be an evil bastard... even constants have exceptions. If they didn't, you'd friggin know about it.

Privilege has to do with our not having to deal with the shit that The Red Queen was just talking about. Do dude's have to deal with shit? Sure. And different individuals have varying degrees of hardship. But, man, the shit women have to deal with constantly...

Most importantly, however: the context of this critique. Anarchy. I kind of see it as more a scientific eventuality than an ideal. I'd like to believe in the ideal and I try to live my life as unobstructed by hierarchy as possible, but it is inescapable if you want to be a social being.

Enter patriarchy. On one side of the world you got women being raped for not wearing enough, on the other you got xenophobes casting judgment on those backward Muslims (or whoever), and raping the "free women" who "dress like sluts". And I'm sure I don't need to tell you what the good guys do when you send them to free the captive women.

To me, that's patriarchy in full force. Dissolve that and I think you get some answers to a lot of those "How would you solve xyz in an anarchy" questions.

Is it possible to get there? I got no guidebook, only my feelings and wits and, I'm afraid, that ain't enough.

Anyway sorry for the long-windedness or if I sound preachy.

davidly said...

Thanks for the comment, Jack. And the opportunity.

Strength to ya. School was for me only looking back a good time. But mostly, it was a nightmare. I couldn't imagine having to guide a child through it.

Mandos said...

I was just (un)shocked at the extremely short time it took for people to get to the "BUT DOES THIS MEAN YOU WANT TO KILL ALL MALES???" point, which is basically the Godwin Limit of any discussion about feminism.

Devin Lenda said...

If you criticize the U.S. and the beneficiaries of its architude, you get called anti-American. If you criticize dudes and the benefits of dudeliness, you get called anti-men. (Well, one should expect that. To the misogynist or nationalist, you're being attacky. Experientially, they're right. Systemically, you're right.) The problem is benefitting from systems of domination and not recognizing this, not doing anything about it; the problem is not simply being born American or being born male, it's accepting the benefits from these circumstances.

But some people are actually anti-American and anti-men and IOZ makes no attempt to distance himself from the anti-men attacks and actually makes them himself. I suppose it's an inside joke. If so, I don't get it. Now I think I get that it's none of my business to impose my narrative on victims of empire who hate America or rape victims who hate men. I have nothing to add to their experience but my ears. But IOZ is a beneficiary of empire like the rest of us and of dudeliness like some of us.

Davidly and Jack are good examples of how dudes can help each other become less dudely. If Troville had asked that question at club IOZ, he'd have been labeled an idiot, even though he clearly isn't one, and anyway, abiding by the category idiot is to be a victimizer of idiots. Only half-kidding there. Also, to cave to such manipulation, to submit, is as un-anarchisty a thing as you can do.

Anyway, before women can be victimized by dudely systems of domination, they're victims of adult-child relations, along with boys. Children are the most vulnerable, dominated, fucked over victims of all, without question. Dudes' first relationship with a female is with their mother. The mother is the dominant figure in that relationship. Dudes are victims before they're victimizers. What I'm saying is Oxtrot/Karl's mom must have been horrible to him and also, only victimization leads to victimization, and of course having a horrible mother doesn't "excuse" misogyny, though nothing excuses anything anyway cuz moral responsibility don't make sense, and finally, the best way to deal with the Karls of the world is to get them to confront their mothers and let all the hate out.

Therapeutically, you want victims hating their victimizers, and that's it. Victims hating other victims leads to a horrible phenomenon I'll awkwardly label cross-victimization.

Troville said...

I feel like everyone here has addressed every assumption or prejudice or pre-conceived notion that they thought they detected in my intial posts, but nobody has actually responded to the question I asked. It might be unclear exactly what I'm getting at, so let me put it differently:

If somebody were to come up to me in the street and say, "It doesn't matter if you claim to be against the wars--all Americans are complicit in the murder of Middle Easterners," my response would be, "Wow, is there anything I can do?" And there is--I could stop paying taxes or leave the United States, or I could even engage in acts of industrial sabotage. I may choose not to because the costs outweigh the benefits, but nevertheless I have identified and could choose to follow some course of action.

But then somebody else comes up to me on the street and tells me that "All interactions between men and women rest on a foundation of rape." And my response is to say, "Wow. Okay, so what should I do? How can I better approach relationships with women and alter my own behavior?" But the person on the street replies, "It makes no difference. Even if you try to repudiate the idea of a strong, rape-y man, your interactions with women still rest on a foundation of rape."

Thus, I have no course of action that I can follow, not even in theory. I have been informed that I am guilty and that, no matter what, I cannot alleviate my guilt. Maybe I'm just being pedantic, but if not my original question remains: As a male living out in the world, what are men supposed to do with this observation, and if there is nothing they can do with it, why would they be expected to give it any thought?

gamefaced said...

hi redqueen. lemme clarify. i say i am not a feminist because my priorities are related to class as opposed to sex. obviously as a woman, i feel that women should have equal pay, equal rights, etc. but none of this will come to pass without the recognition of our caste system here in the ol us of a. a poor woman experiences sexism much differently than a rich woman. so for me, personally, my beef is with a different - tho related - beast.

also, i do not receive child support because i do not ask for it, not through the state. because goddamn fuck the state. i don't want them in my life any more than they put themselves there to begin with.
that said, the father of my son has bought him a pair of shoes in the span of two years. that is the amount of his financial contribution, and that contribution is pretty much on par with his ability. he's fucking almost 32 and still lives with his parents. just got done with parole for selling weed. he can never seem to keep a job, or his driver's license. he just can't keep himself on track. so, i don't expect much.

we had been a couple since i was 16 and he was 15. i got pregnant at 22. i divorced him when i was 28. i have grown and changed considerably since we were kids together - him, well, not so much. do i think he's a loser? yeah. did i kinda know that but think the kid would force him to grow up? yeah. is that hard to admit? yeah, it fucking sucks - but as an anarchist my main ideal is personal responsibility. for all points and purposes i can only control my own actions, i created a life and i created a situation that required single motherhood of myself. while he is also to blame - that isn't my stone to toss. if he wants to do more than just visit with my son every other weekend or so, if he wanted to pay for his after school tae kwon do program ($316 a month good gawd) i have invited him to feel free to do so. he can also set up a college fund for my son, or pay for his lunch at school - but i don't need to be the channel for his child support. honestly, i just don't want his money because i feel that would allow him to feel as if he has some say so over my life regarding the decisions i make for my son. as it is now, dude can't say shit. he does nothing but hang out with him every so often.
as far as one of the common markers of poverty being motherhood, but not fatherhood, well, i still say that all comes down to a girls caste. gender roles are what they are primarily because of biology and capitalism just hypes such shit as selling points. not receiving child support isn't sexism - cause there are plenty of dead beat moms out there. the problem is lack of personal responsibility and lack of problem solving skills. what's the first thing a single girl does when she ain't getting help from her baby daddy? run to the state, get the state to shakedown that money. and in my opinion, that's shit. if dude ain't gonna step up, then that's his row to hoe. he will have to answer to his offspring eventually, and he will be the only one able to answer for himself.

Anonymous said...

Troville, there's quite a bit you can do, if you're really interested. The obvious things include not raping people, not blaming victims of rape, not making jokes about rape, not consuming rape porn, and objecting when other people do these things. You could also refrain from/object to the less obvious manifestations of rape culture (some are listed here http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html).

mp said...

echoing nony 12:51. much of feminism makes sense. it is actually easy to do for a person of good conscience. the language of patriarchy is much more subtle, subjective, and problematic. i've thought and thought about the "possession" language supposedly implied by saying things like "my wife." can't buy in. my actual fiancee likes me to call her my fiancee. should i stop to fit a stranger's paradigm? i'm going to dissent right about there.

Anonymous said...

Just popping in to say that 12:51 has the good stuff, Troville, and you should listen to him.

Troville said...

Anonymous 12:51 and 2:01, you either didn't read the original quote or else you just aren't listening to me (and apparently you assume I'm an idiot if you think I need to be told not to tell rape jokes). Look at the quote again:

"Here, maybe, is a radfem twist: even if you don't posture, even if you try to repudiate the idea of a strong, rape-y man, your interactions with women still rest on a foundation of rape - just as a policeman who tries really hard not to use his nightstick still interacts with people on a foundation of violence."

It says right there that it doesn't matter how you act, because your interactions still rest on a foundation of rape. I don't rape women. It doesn't matter. I don't tell rape jokes. It doesn't matter. I don't watch rape porn. It doesn't matter, because, according to the statement on which this entire comment thread is based, my interactions with women still rest on a foundation of rape. The statement wasn't, "Many men have internalized values and act in ways which contribute to rape culture," or "Oppressive systems of patriarchal dominance manifest themselves in personal interactions between men and women so pay attention to how you behave." The statement was that all gender interactions rest on a foundation of rape. I don't know how I can possibly make myself any clearer.

Jack Crow said...


I had a hard time not seeing the concept through a very personal lens the first time I really gave it a thought.

I also don't rape, use porn, tell rape jokes... the whole of it. So I kept asking, what is this damned theory that says I'm personally responsible?

And that's the rub. The critique just doesn't assign personal responsibility to each man for the actions of other men. It doesn't suggest that your actions are specifically causative.*

No more than suggesting that, as a principle, American white successes and power (achieved through the subjugation of black slaves, the continental appropriation of Indian land, genocide and other generational projects of conquest) are the exact, contemporaneous personal responsibility of every beneficiary of those historical occurrences.

Most white folks do not control the institutions and wealth inherited and perpetuated following that long chain of causative success which were achieved at a distinct disadvantage to people who were not white. But they still benefit, especially when it comes to the distribution of the proceeds of the commons, especially in comparison to brown people. And they still benefit, obviously, in how the law recognizes their worth, constrains their bodies, and responds to their desires.

Common assumptions, press treatments, and foundations for policy: a white criminal is an isolated instance. A black one is an example of social, racial and cultural degradation . And so forth.

This is, and I simplify, also the logic of identifying patriarchy, rape culture and the socialized abuse of women.

You haven't raped any women.

Neither have I.

I also haven't appropriated any Lakota land, owned a slave, been on a drug raid, worked as a prison guard, served in the Army or run a chain gang of coolies.

But, even as a halfsie-caucasian, I am certainly a beneficiary of those past acts. And likewise I am, as a man trained in a culture, raised in a system, educated and morally formed according to a prevailing belief system, a beneficiary of the unbelievably long history of the subjugation of women. That colors and shapes how I interact with all the women (no matter that I'm not personally raping them) I meet because they too were also raised within the same loci of inequality, disparity, toleration of abuse, rape and misogyny.

If I haven't made that more clear for you, Troville, the error is not yours. It's mine. And despite my tremendous capacity for error, I'd be more than happy to go around on the subject again, especially if you're will to accept my many limitations and faults.

* - Though it does recognize that men, as a rule, reinforce the inequity when they fail to confront it.

Jack Crow said...


I have to do parenty things. I hope to have a reply for you later tonight, or maybe early tomorrow.

alltheyoungdudes said...

I look forward to it jack

Five by Five said...

Troville, I think Jack's latest response covers your question fairly well, but I'll throw in my two cents (unasked for, as always).

You are correct in your general characterization that your personal choice to refrain from the reprehensible conduct listed in this discussion does not matter per se to the foundation on which your choices rest. Identifying that problem (that you have to make that "choice" not to be violent and evil) is, in our current society, a personal, rather than systemic responsibility.

I am of the opinion that change in these types of areas comes over time (one cannot force people to be raised or to think differently), from small, individual, everyday decisions. All our hands are inexorably tied by the happenstance of our birth. This usually extends for the first two or so decades of life.

Faced with seemingly implacable institutionalized racism/sexism/violence, the moral duty to oppose and act in discordance to those values is clear. But so is, I think, a recognition that it tends to put people in ethically impossible situations. The burden of knowledge, my friend, is usually unpleasant.

Jack Crow said...


Forgot I had appointments yesterday. Then I posted a big reply without signing into der guegler.

Lost the whole thing. Bah.

So the short reply: not a fad for me. Used to know Sisterhood feminists, when I was much younger. That's how I mapped feminism. Liked what they had to say. Then, came to the wrong conclusion that the only feminists with clout were the liberal capitalists. Made wrong connections from there. At a kind person's request, took a second look at a number of feminist writers, bloggers, et cetera.

Agreed with what I read. Made the adjustment.

yonders said...

Faced with seemingly implacable institutionalized racism/sexism/violence, the moral duty to oppose and act in discordance to those values is clear. But so is, I think, a recognition that it tends to put people in ethically impossible situations

Just wanna say I thought this was well put. Cool.