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by emma goldwoman
Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2003 at 9:01 AM
the latest in a series about male domination
This is the latest in a series of essays, including:
A MODEST PROPOSAL CONCERNING MASCULISM http://www.nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=25801
TEN THOUSAND YEARS IS ENOUGH!
THE MOVEMENT FOR MALE RESTRAINT
HOW TO CHALLENGE VIOLENT MALE DOMINATION
A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF VIOLENT MALE DOMINATION
THE PROBLEM OF MALE OBEDIENCE
WOMAN'S GREATEST FEAR
FREDERICK ENGELS AND MALE VIOLENCE
Interview with emma goldwoman
Response to My Critics
Women (and Men) of the World, Unite!
Recently many of us heard Noam Chomsky say these words in front of thousands of people at the World Social Forum in Brazil:
“The way to “confront the empire” is to create a different world, one that is not based on violence and subjugation, hate and fear.” (entire speech here: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=40&ItemID=2938 )
The violence Mr. Chomsky referred to was not individual violence (such as murder or assault), because he was talking about confronting empire, which is a political entity. The violence he referred to is state violence, the organized violence of war and police systems.
Mr. Chomsky, who is usually very precise in his language, misleads us with his language in this case. Because, to state the situation clearly, he should have said this: The way to confront the empire is to create a different world, one that is not based on ORGANIZED MALE violence, and ORGANIZED MALE subjugation of MEN AND WOMEN, and hate and fear.
As I have pointed out in other essays (see A Statistical Analysis of Male Domination http://portland.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=14726 ,
and The Problem of Male Obedience http://portland.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=20208&group=webcast ) war and oppression in our society is, around 99.9% of the time, planned and directed and carried out by men. This is true now, and it is true for all of recorded history.
This fact is not part of the acceptable discourse in the current anti-war movement. Why?
It is OK to count the number of former oil company employees in the Bush Administration as a way of showing the influence of Big Oil.
It is OK to count the number of neo-conservative ideologues in important Government positions as a way of showing the influence of the neo-conservative ideology.
But count the number of men in positions of power? Why, what does that prove? That’s radical feminism!
Apparently no radical feminist analysis is allowed on the best anti-war websites, on www.commondreams.org, on www.counterpunch.org, on www.zmag.org. But, let’s do a little counting ourselves, using a Chomskian technique. Instead of analyzing the media by focusing on the ‘liberal left’, as Chomsky does, we analyze by looking at the more or less radical left, the ‘Best of the Left’.
At the commondreams site, in the month of February, out of a total of 219 articles, 170 (78%) were written by men, and 49 (22%) by women.
At the zmag site, in the month of February, out of a total of 235 articles, 195 (83%) were written my men, and 40 (17%) were written by women.
At the counterpunch site, in the month of February, our of a total of 273 articles, 236 (86.5%) were written by men, and 37 (13.5%) were written by women.
Is the obvious fact of male domination on these web sites important? These are the most ‘feminist-friendly’ general political sites you will find on the internet. What does that tell us about the anti-war movement?
Not a single article analyzed the current world crisis in terms of organized male violence. This is not surprising. A woman who had the courage to analyze the facts in terms of male violence would probably not be published on those sites. Most people writing on the left see the problem in terms of ‘elite power’ unresponsive to ‘popular will’. It’s the corporate media, the oil companies, capitalism, state-capitalism, undemocratic decision-making, anything rather than the fact which stares us in the face every day: a world in which conflict is resolved through organized male violence.
Mr. Chomsky, later in his speech in Porto Alegre, stated: “Opposition to the war (in Iraq) is completely without historical precedent.”.
Many people have made this observation and explained it in various ways, some pointing out that the internet has allowed unprecedented organizing campaigns to be launched.
But perhaps there is another reason for the size of the current anti-war movement.
In the 60’s and 70’s resistance to the war in Vietnam was hindered by the sexism of men involved in the anti-war movement. Partially in response to that sexism women organized and agitated for women’s liberation. The women involved in the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement realized the true nature of their struggle: the problems of racism and war could not be separated from violent male domination.
Many consider The Port Huron Statement (1962) (http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/huron.html ) the founding document of the rebellious political movements of the 60’s. In this document there is not a single mention of women’s inequality. Nothing about the need for women’s liberation. Nothing! The men who wrote that document full of high-flown phrases about justice were blind to the injustice under their very nose.
And, thirty years later, they are still blind, or worse. Celebrating that document in an article last year in The Nation, (The Port Huron Statement at 40, http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020805&s=hayden ) Tom Hayden and Tim Flacks wrote “As the words flowed night and day, we felt we were giving voice to a new generation of rebels.” And where is their humble recognition that they gave absolutely no voice to what would become the greatest rebellion of that time, the women’s movement? Nowhere. In fact, they take CREDIT for inspiring the women’s movement! According to our modest graying radicals: “It (the concept of participatory democracy) proved to be a contagious idea, spreading from its academic origins to the very process of movement decision-making, to the subsequent call for women's liberation.”
This type of arrogance is what prevents many men from seeing the problem in front of our eyes: the problem of organized male violence.
I say many men, but not all men.
The current size of the anti-war movement is partially due to the fact that women, for the first time in history, can participate in a mass political movement without having to fight constantly against male domination
And for the first time in history we have a political movement where a large percentage of men are declaring themselves feminists, and actively participating in the critique of male domination. These men have recognized that the male culture of organized violence, in books, movies, and television, is directly related to the homicidal preparations for mass murder happening in front of our eyes, cheered on by a propaganda system controlled by a handful of men.
Women and men now is our time. The use of organized male violence to resolve conflict has brought our planet to the brink of destruction. Fascism is just around the corner. With fascism will possibly come a return to the pure patriarchy we have only recently begun to challenge in an effective way. If you sense that now is the time to act, to bond, to organize, to resist, you are right. Organized male violence is threatening to turn our world into a hell of nuclear war and an environmental catastrophe (which is already well underway).
How many prostitutes will be trucked from poor countries like Bulgaria in order to service the warped sexual needs of male American soldiers stuck in military bases all over the world?
How many of those soldiers will come back home and kill their wives?
Look at the halls of power. How many women do you see selling this war? How many women do you see in the United Nations? Yes, the beautiful United Nations which just killed, through sanctions, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. How many women do you see in the U.S. Government? In the British Parliament? In any group of political leaders how many women do you see? Do you really believe the lack of women in these groups is not worth talking about? Do you really believe that if women were represented equally in ALL political institutions we would be preparing to attack a small defenseless nation, half of whose people are children? Do you really believe male domination has nothing to do with what is happening?
It is time to resist this madness while we still have the opportunity to resist it. Because of past struggles we have some space for action. If we do not use it we may lose this space, and more. We must say to ourselves that we are not going to allow this mechanized computerized organized male violence to continue its path of madness.
People sometimes say to me, ‘But you must hate your husband’. No, I don’t hate my husband, because he no longer has the legal right to control my money and to rape me. They say ‘You must hate your father’. No, I don’t hate my father, because he no longer has the legal right to decide who I’m going to marry. They say, ‘You must hate your brother’. No, I don’t hate my brother, because we share the same right to an education, we share the same right to a decent job.
Those rights came to women because women organized and struggled. Men did not give us those rights; we pried those rights from men’s fists.
Now women have the right to drop bombs on innocent people. As former leftie and current war monger Christopher Hitchens so glibly and dishonestly said, Afghanistan is "Where American women pilots kill the men who enslave women." (http://archive.salon.com/news/letters/2001/11/17/hitchens/ ). I think the men dominating our world would be overjoyed for women to obediently take their place within the hierarchical structure of the male war machine, and learn to kill as efficiently as men.
Women, is that what you want for the future of your planet?
The men who have political power in this world are claiming the right to lead us into yet another absurd war, like little boys with overcharged bazookas they charge around the world speaking their grand words, but in fact it is just another sad chapter in the history of organized male violence.
Is it not ridiculous that a man called ‘Papa’, who claims a hotline to heaven and who is anti-feminist to the core, is the most visible spokesperson for peace in this world? Who created these crazy religions that divide humanity? Who controls them now?
Women, it is our destiny to use the freedoms we have struggled to attain in order to stop this war. Go to Washington this weekend. Demand an end to organized male violence. Resist the massive bombing of innocent women, children, and men.
Women of the World, Unite!
Men of the World, Join your sisters in Solidarity!
The insanity of organized male violence must be overcome. How are we to do it? That is the question of our age. When enough of us are actively asking that question, surely the answers will come.
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