Monday, May 14, 2007

anarchism, feminism, punk, part 2

This is from a blog I was doing for punk planet, and then decided not to do it there any more.

Punk, Anarchism, Feminism, pt.2

One of the things feminism taught me was that the patriarchy was deeply embedded inside my mind and inside my body. from the hollywood fairytales I'd been force fed, the prince in shining armor, the soul mate, the person who would complete me. It taught me about the feeling of incompleteness. It taught me to look at it critically instead of looking to fill it with promises that couldn't come true.
One of the thing Anarchism taught me is that the feeling of incompleteness is part of the neurosis of living in a world that robs us of our humanity by turning us into consumers and vacationers. work time and weekend time. Our feeling of incompleteness was partially due to the attempt to fill our needs with empty products, fill our loneliness with empty fun.
One of the things punk taught me was to scream.
I was a girl who hated girls. I was not one of the mean girls who was mean to girls outloud, but one of the quiet haters who just didn't hang out with girls much. I was one of the girls who got her self worth from men, and more than that, from my desirability.
I had learned from my abuse that if I let someone close to me, they would want that, sex. that my only worth was sexual, mostly. There were the logical parts of me that knew that wasn't true, but when you are sexually abused young, (or ever) the logical parts aren't the one attached to your soul.
I had learned from the media a whole array of woman hating things. Maybe you can look at one media image and laugh at it, but it is the endless repetition, the torture of it seeping in through the edges of your eyes when you're just walking down the sidewalk. The way brainwashing works, repeat, repeat, repeat, until you deny that you've been effected, but you have.
One of the things feminsim taught me was that change does not happen on it's own, and the feminists of the 60's weren't hairy leged, man hating complainers. The Conciousness Raising groups I'd heard about and seen depicted as just a bunch of women sitting around talking shit, were actually mostly groups that really seriously talked about and deconstructed the ways patriarchy (not individual men) had sunk into them, and what they could do to unlearn it and confront it and change the world so it wouldn't happen all over again. They read and talked and related ways patriarchy showed up in their daily lives. They started health groups and newspapers and worked to change the laws that made it legal for a man to rape his wife (like my dad raped his), and they worked to change the laws that made it legal for a man to rape a prostitute. (although both of these things are still a nightmare to fight in court.) The feminsits started rape crisis centers (like the one I went to for free counciling), and sanctuarys for women who were victims of domestic violence. They started publishing houses to publish books by women, and fought to bring women's studies departements to colleges. They worked to uncover forgotten and hidden history of women's acheivement and women's struggles. This is just a surface scratch of things they did.
Another thing I learned was how the ideal of womanhood is embodied.
I started paying attention to how I walked, how I took up space, who I made eyecontact with, who I looked to for approval. I started trying to unlearn. Not that I wanted to walk like a "man," or any of that, but that I wanted to be able to walk into a room and feel like I belonged there. I wanted to be able to walk down a sidewalk and not always be the one stepping out of the way, I wanted to sit on a bus and take up the amount of space I needed, and not always be crossing legs and making small while the guy next to me took up twice his space. It was the feeling of entitlement. I didn't want abusive power, but I did want to be entitled to live in this world fully.
pt. 3 coming soon.

1 comment:

Laura-Marie said...

These are really important ideas. Reading this made me realize that I look to men for approval all the time. That's something I'd like to change about myself. Thank you for blogging all of this.