time for post feminism.

2014-10-21 11:53

Disclaimer: what follows is my opinion and it is based on my experience. As such there is always a risk of generalisation for which I do not apologise but of which I am aware.

You often see it. A man walks into a group of women who are talking with one another and takes over the conversation. He expects all the women to turn their attention to him and faff. This purely because he is a he. How funny.

Women saying things like ‘I hate other women. I get on best with men. Women are full of nonsense.’ I think one contribution that Karl Marx successfully made towards the thinking about things can be applied here. That of false consciousness. Women are so removed from their own position and experience and identify rather with that of men. We hate our menstruation, for example. We believe that at that time of the month we are necessarily irrational because we are emotional. Almost as though one can quantify the human experience into static columns that are binary.

Recently, I read a line that went somewhat as follows ‘suppose the reader of a text is a woman, might that not have some impact on how the text is read?’

I quote Jonathan Culler loosely (and frequently) but the suggestion is that that one is a woman leaves room for a different interpretation, upon the reading of text. While we can hardly argue away the relevance of physiology, we are here more concerned with the experience of a woman and how this lets her read (or understand).

Now, a woman can read as a woman. A woman can also read as a man. The latter being what I deem happens when women say they loathe other women and prefer the company of men as women are too emotional, irrational and so on and so forth. The former being a woman who reads or perceives through the lens of her own experience, rather than how she ought to perceive.

…Hmm.

What is interesting about this notion is the absence of the idea of men reading as men versus men reading as women. Is it a thing that happens? Do men read as either women or men? Or is that men read necessarily to mean that they read as men? Either way, the important thing here is the absence of this discussion, or question.

I am often called a feminist. While I take it as somewhat of a compliment, it is not entirely so. I could elaborate on the topic of feminism and its criteria to better explain this but I think the enterprise to be less productive than articulating my actual sentiments on the issue of gender relations. These sentiments are as follows.

At the start of this piece I indicated an observation about how men and women interact. That you are a man, you think there is some inherent primacy in what you have to say. And so do many women (these being the women who read as men). Yet my view is slightly different and quite simple. Feminism does men a favour. It wants ‘equality’ between the sexes. This is problematic in that:

  • Women can read (or understand and think) as men as well as reading as women, it necessarily makes women more capable and as such it makes women better.
  • Wanting equality between the sexes, affirms the patriarchal enterprise that seeks to place itself before the matriarchy without which it could not exist. So why do we do it? Why care enough to do it?

Feminism acknowledges and pays tribute to a ‘male domination which,’ quite frankly, irks the hell out of me. So now we want to beat patriarchy at its own game? Please. Don’t waste your time. Read for yourself, think for yourself. Every time you think a thing think again and ask ‘what if I didn’t think this, what else could I think?’ Open your mind and change the rules of the game.

I have a will. It is my private will. Encroachment upon my private will has no inherent or intrinsic value. It has value only in so far as I determine it to. And I do. I live in society and as such have endorsed a social contract or agreement that I won’t harm others and others can’t harm me, because of fear of a state of nature. My allowing general will (society at large) to impede on my private will is purely a means to an ends and NOT an end in itself.

Beyond this means-to-ends encroachment, I see no value whatsoever in any attempts to hamper my private will by neither patriarchs nor by feminists.

Dear mailer

I took very kindly to the email that I recently received from you requesting another ‘insightful’ blog… I hope you will respond and let me know your thoughts on this ;)

Best,

A

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